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から and past/future confusion

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から and past/future confusion

Postby pruwyben » Fri 09.25.2009 4:43 pm

Hi, new guy here,

I was on smart.fm and came across the sentence:

うちの次女は春から中学生です。
Uchi no jijo wa haru kara chuugakusei desu.

I translated this as: Our second daughter has been a junior high school student since spring.

Their translation: Our second daughter is going into junior high this spring.

It seems ambiguous to me - 'desu' seems to make sense with my version, since she is a junior high student right now. Can it be interpreted either way?

Thanks
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Re: から and past/future confusion

Postby furrykef » Fri 09.25.2009 5:52 pm

This is my guess: it depends on when "spring" is in relation to the current year. If spring hasn't come yet, it would seem to be a future reference; if it has, it'd be a past/present reference (as you've translated it). If you mean "last spring", it'd be clearer to say something like 去年の春.
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Re: から and past/future confusion

Postby NileCat » Fri 09.25.2009 6:32 pm

furrykef's answer is totally correct. :)

FYI:
Interesting Thing: I thought pruwyben's translation was correct and theirs was wrong. (No one can tell without the context, though)
Reason: You said that you "came across" it. So I took it as that happened "recently" which means "summer in 2009".
Image In My Brain:   "Spring in 2009" ----"Summer in 2009" ------------------"Spring in 2010"

Because the spring in 2009 is "closer" than spring in 2010, I thought it was 2009, without thinking. (Sorry I'm sleepy) :mrgreen:

See? This is the common way of thinking of Japanese people.
Technically speaking, furrykef's answer is perfect.
This expression is confusing. It's a very common problem even for us.

EDIT:
去年の春=past, 来年の春=future
この春,今年の春 =past/future

うちの次女は春から中学生になったんです。(past)
うちの次女は春から中学生になるんです。(future)
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Re: から and past/future confusion

Postby pruwyben » Fri 09.25.2009 6:53 pm

Thanks for the help guys! That's interesting. Kinda reminds me of the "this Friday" vs. "next Friday" confusion in English :D
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Re: から and past/future confusion

Postby gabi in japan » Sat 09.26.2009 3:37 am

pruwyben wrote:Thanks for the help guys! That's interesting. Kinda reminds me of the "this Friday" vs. "next Friday" confusion in English :D


That's 'next' thing is even more confusing in CHinese. We had some Chinese people say they'd be over 'next summer' and we were thinking ok, that means 2010, and we had plenty of time, but as it turned out they meant that they were coming 'this summer' ie this July.
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Re: から and past/future confusion

Postby Endo » Sat 09.26.2009 5:07 am

gabi in japan wrote:That's 'next' thing is even more confusing in CHinese. We had some Chinese people say they'd be over 'next summer' and we were thinking ok, that means 2010, and we had plenty of time, but as it turned out they meant that they were coming 'this summer' ie this July.

I think it comes down to when it was said, for instance if it was beginning of 2009 then you could say 「这个夏天」or「这个暑假」, but if it was like somewhere in the end of last year 2008 then it could be 「下个夏天」. But it also depends on the speaker, it it were me I'd be more specific saying 「明年夏天」or「这个暑假」'n stuff.
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Re: から and past/future confusion

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 09.26.2009 9:50 am

Of course "this Friday" vs. "next Friday" is confusing for native speakers, not just learners.
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