View topic - Commas in Japanese
The whole company stood in silence for a few moments, as a tribute to the dead.
I think it looks better with a comma added
any informed second opinions?
- Posts: 3210
- Joined: Thu 06.01.2006 9:35 am
I have noticed that comma usage is quite different in Japanese than in English, and I am curious what the rules are.
For instance, here's a sentence from the Tanaka Corpus. (Yes, Paul. I'm working on it. One reason it takes awhile is I tend to mine it for vocabulary and grammar points as I go along...)
If I translate that to English a bit more directly than the TC version, it would be:
"Even though you haven't got much talent, you shouldn't be discouraged."
The English version, unlike the Japanese, needs a comma between the dependent and independent clauses.
As a rule, my untutored feeling is that the majority of commas in Japanese come after particles. One example that used to startle me a lot was this sort of usage:
(from an article in US Frontline)
Both the commas there are come after particles and both are a bit startling to an English speaker.
What I have concluded after noticing this pattern frequently is that the commas are inserted if something comes between the particle and its head. That is, the の before the first comma really "goes with" the following 考え方, but since there are words in between, the comma warns the reader of that. Simimlarly, the と before the second comma "goes with" 言う, but since the speaker's name is inserted between, the comma gives the reader fair warning.
Am I completely confused about this, or have I made a reasonable deduction?
The Elephant's Child
- Posts: 142
- Joined: Thu 09.14.2006 10:32 pm
It usually seems like in Japanese commas are just inserted before pauses.
- Posts: 5609
- Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
- Native language: English
If you write もの with カタカナor 漢字, I don't think 読点 is needed.
and のものの looks like 油断大敵さん. :p
- Posts: 3061
- Joined: Mon 05.30.2005 12:43 am
- Location: 東京都
- Native language: 日本語(Japanese)
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests