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#109225 - 03/26/03 02:31 PM Hidden meanings in Japanese words
raccoon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
A lot of time, a word's common meaning is quite different from it's "literal" meaning. When I said "literal", I mean breaking the word into it's components and read the individual words in it. It's kind of like finding the latin root in English words.

I noticed a few in a recent conversation with some seniors, I suspect they might carry the culture of maker of the arts we now practice. So if you will allow me to share this with you...

BU as in budo - the chinese character is made up of "stop spear". As lots of you probably know, soldiers in ancient china mostly use spear, so It's probably fair to say spear symbolize war.

Taihen - a Japanese term commonly used as an adverb to mean extremely, or as a noun to mean something terrible, such as hardship. To break it up, it says BIG (tai) CHANGE (hen). BTW, switch the word order and you have "Change big" (hentai)... [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]~

Chigau - when someone answer a question correctly, you say "tadashii desu", when they don't answer it right, you say "chigai masu". Now, tadashii means correct/ right. Then "chigau" must mean wrong, make sense?
But someone just pointed out to me, literally chigau means "different" - there is no "wrong" in Japanese, only different!

Shinobi/ nin (as in ninja) - commonly means to tolerate. it's made of the character to cut on top and heart at the bottom. So to be a ninja, you have to stab your heart? [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/tongue.gif[/IMG]

If you can think of more, do share!

-raccoon

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#109226 - 03/29/03 06:08 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
ZealianBadass Offline
Member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 176
Loc: Basking Ridge, NJ, USA
With regards to the ninja one- how many stories have you heard of ninja who killed themselves if they failed a mission so they wouldn't be captured. Loyal enough to end one's own life, and to tolerate the loss thereof.

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#109227 - 05/29/03 04:13 AM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
Ender Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/29/03
Posts: 2253
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
tis true, Ive heard of this dozens of times.

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#109228 - 04/29/04 05:08 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
creative Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 401
Loc: UK
[QUOTE]Originally posted by raccoon:
A lot of time, a word's common meaning is quite different from it's "literal" meaning. When I said "literal", I mean breaking the word into it's components and read the individual words in it. It's kind of like finding the latin root in English words.

I noticed a few in a recent conversation with some seniors, I suspect they might carry the culture of maker of the arts we now practice. So if you will allow me to share this with you...

BU as in budo - the chinese character is made up of "stop spear". As lots of you probably know, soldiers in ancient china mostly use spear, so It's probably fair to say spear symbolize war.

Taihen - a Japanese term commonly used as an adverb to mean extremely, or as a noun to mean something terrible, such as hardship. To break it up, it says BIG (tai) CHANGE (hen). BTW, switch the word order and you have "Change big" (hentai)... [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]~

Chigau - when someone answer a question correctly, you say "tadashii desu", when they don't answer it right, you say "chigai masu". Now, tadashii means correct/ right. Then "chigau" must mean wrong, make sense?
But someone just pointed out to me, literally chigau means "different" - there is no "wrong" in Japanese, only different!

Shinobi/ nin (as in ninja) - commonly means to tolerate. it's made of the character to cut on top and heart at the bottom. So to be a ninja, you have to stab your heart? [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/tongue.gif[/IMG]

If you can think of more, do share!

-raccoon
[/QUOTE]

Although lots of Japanese words correspond with the chinese character meaning, i believe some dont. also i dont think all of the chinese meanings have be translated correctly between languages.

there is a word for wrong in japanese. "machigata" but you are right they do say "different". I dont think you can take all of the character meanings 100% to the word meaning, although there is obviously a connection in most cases.

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#109229 - 05/05/04 04:27 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
WADO Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Here is an example shitakiri suzume means literally sparrow with its tounge cut off but means eunich. We have idioms in the west if you don't understand western history you can't be expected to understand what a Herculean effort is, or if you call someone a Benedict Arnold or say someone has a heart of gold. Japanese will commonly say after a meal go chiso sama deshita, which literally means what a great feast, but idiomatically means I'm full.

[This message has been edited by WADO (edited 05-05-2004).]

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#109230 - 05/05/04 06:10 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
creative Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 401
Loc: UK
[QUOTE]Originally posted by WADO:
Here is an example shitakiri suzume means literally sparrow with its tounge cut off but means eunich. We have idioms in the west if you don't understand western history you can't be expected to understand what a Herculean effort is, or if you call someone a Benedict Arnold or say someone has a heart of gold. Japanese will commonly say after a meal go chiso sama deshita, which literally means what a great feast, but idiomatically means I'm full.

[This message has been edited by WADO (edited 05-05-2004).]
[/QUOTE]

It means more like thank you to everyone who has prepared the meal from God to the chief. it is often broken down by younger people to gochiso. It doesnt mean im full

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#109231 - 05/06/04 05:39 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
WADO Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Well you get my meaning their are literal meanings and figurative meanings. A better translation into english the way the kisd in Japan use it nowadays is something like "Thanks for the Grub"

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#109232 - 05/07/04 03:56 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
creative Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 401
Loc: UK
[QUOTE]Originally posted by WADO:
Well you get my meaning their are literal meanings and figurative meanings. A better translation into english the way the kisd in Japan use it nowadays is something like "Thanks for the Grub" [/QUOTE]

Yeah you are right. Sorry for being picky was having a bad day. just finished my dinner after training now so im happy. Gochiso osama deshita. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

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#109233 - 05/07/04 03:58 PM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
creative Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 401
Loc: UK
This transfer of meaning also happens in english. As you all know english comes alot from latin. I was given the example of the word "politics"
Poli = many
tics = blood sucking creatures
not just japanese see!

[This message has been edited by creative (edited 05-08-2004).]

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#109234 - 05/10/04 10:54 AM Re: Hidden meanings in Japanese words
WADO Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Politics really comes from the word meaning manners, to be polite or politic are considered the same. The meaning is that people in politics say what is polte not necessarily what is true.

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