“Yes” in Japanese


Lang_Family_SubgroupAs shown to the right, languages are classified into “Language Families“.  Languages in the same family share much in common.  If, for instance, a person speaks French, Spanish and English, they speak languages all in the same Indo-European language family. So if that person were to ask me “How do you say ‘yes’ in German” (another Indo-European language), they would rightly expect a rather simple answer. That is because word usage overlaps a great deal in related languages.

However, Japanese is a completely different language family (“Japonic”) and thus the way of saying things in Japanese is often hugely different from the way of saying things in Indo-European languages. Thus, as my diagram above shows, asking “How do you say ‘yes’ in Japanese?” would involve a complicated answer.

In my coming post, I will relate this phenomena to ideolects, abstractions, definitions and obstacles in communication.




Filed under Philosophy & Religion

2 responses to ““Yes” in Japanese

  1. “Like” in Japanese should be “suki”, not “tuski”.

  2. Thanks, Paul, got it.

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