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What's the best way to say...

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What's the best way to say...

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Wed 10.21.2009 6:41 pm

I have a question about quoting someone in speech that has been bugging me. Consider the following:

静さんは元気だと言っていました。

This could mean "(someone) said Shizu is healthy" or (maybe?) "shizu said he is healthy." Or am I wrong about this? If not, then is it a good idea to always include who is said whatever you're quoting:

東さんは静さんは元気だと言っていました。

Thanks.

Edit: I changed the title to allow for similar questions to be relevant.
Last edited by lonelytraveler8 on Wed 10.21.2009 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Quoting

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 10.21.2009 6:51 pm

In the context of a normal conversation it should be clear because of whatever the preceding remark was.

Of course IANANS, but it seems to me that the most likely interpretation of the sentence 「Aさんは元気だといっていました。」is "(someone) said that A is doing well." If A had said it themselves, it would be more natural to just say Aさんは元気です。, since you have it straight from the horse's mouth, as it were.

I may be wrong though, so I'd be interested to hear a NSoJ's opinion.
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Re: Quoting

Postby NileCat » Wed 10.21.2009 7:16 pm

Excellent!
I think your grasp is good. It's a confusing expression even for us.
To include who is said can be a good solution. But only when the contxt has already told you who said that, you can get rid of it.
When you write it, in order to make it a bit clear, we use comma.「静さんは、元気だと言っていました」SHE said...feeling. On the other hand,「静さん本人が、元気だと言っていました」or 「静かさんが自分で、元気だと言っていました」 also works.
Well done. Good insight.

Sorry, I have no idea what NSoJ means. But I can imagine some certain occations where you would come across this expression in reallity. To me, it seems 50/50 %. Almost even.

部長「彼女は最近元気がないようだが」
友達「いえ、静さんは元気だといってました。おそらく少しストレスがたまっているだけでしょう」
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Wed 10.21.2009 8:08 pm

Ok, I have another question (I edited the thread title so similar questions would be relevant). When it comes to cooking, what's the best or most natural way to say someone is good or bad at it:

1) 静はりょうりが上手です。
2) 静はりょうりをつくるのが上手です。
3) 静はりょうりするのが上手です。
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 10.21.2009 8:43 pm

lonelytraveler8 wrote:Ok, I have another question (I edited the thread title so similar questions would be relevant). When it comes to cooking, what's the best or most natural way to say someone is good or bad at it:

1) 静はりょうりが上手です。
2) 静はりょうりをつくるのが上手です。
3) 静はりょうりするのが上手です。


These are all fine. I like number one the best because it's the most concise.

And NileCatさん- NSoJ is you! It means a Native Speaker of Japanese. I am a NSoE. :lol:
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Wed 10.21.2009 9:52 pm

You know, I just realized I posted this thread in the wrong subforum :oops:

Thanks for the response. りょうりが上手 sounded odd to me, at first, but I just now thought about it a bit, and it makes sense.
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 10.21.2009 11:32 pm

lonelytraveler8 wrote:You know, I just realized I posted this thread in the wrong subforum :oops:


No problem! I moved it for you.
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby jcdietz03 » Thu 10.22.2009 6:32 am

Is there a thread for this type of thing?
どちらの方がいいですか: (I'm trying to say "Which is better")
Do I need to say どちらの方が一番いいですか。

"There are a lot of people in Boston."
ボストンに人が多いです。
ボストンには人が多いです。
ボストンに人々が多いです。
ボストンはたくさん人々があります。

Does it sound better to say "A lot of people live in Boston"?

How do you say "Way to say something" in Japanese? I know the set phrase 日本語でなんと言いますか。 - a set phrase from class #1 of my Japanese class. I don't know how to combine this with "Which one is best."
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby NileCat » Thu 10.22.2009 8:54 am

When you have only two chices: どちらがいいですか(?)or どちらの方がいいですか(?)
When you have more than three choices: どれがいいですか(?)or どれが一番いいですか(?)

ボストンには人が多いです。is the best among those four sentences.

"A lot of people live in Boston" is not as same as "There are a lot of people in Boston", I'm afraid. So I can't tell which is better. ボストンにはたくさんの人が住んでいます。

「言い方」(いいかた) means "way to say something".

(日本語では)どの言い方が一番いいですか(?) would be the answer, I guess.
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Tue 10.27.2009 8:15 pm

I wanted to ask my professor if I could use her as a reference for a RA position I want to apply for, and when I went to write the e-mail, I suddenly decided I wanted to give it a shot in Japanese. I kept the actual request short, but I haven't yet practiced the verbs used in giving and receiving (I read the section in Tae Kim's guide, though), so I'm not completely comfortable.

Here's what I'm attempting to say:

I'm applying for an RA position, but I need two references. Can I use you as a reference?

My attempt:

私はRAの仕事を申し込んでいます、でもReferenceが二人射ます。あなたからReferenceをもらってもいいですか。

Now, I left the word Reference in English, because I have no clue what the equivalent would be in Japanese and using a dictionary didn't really help. I also used the counter 人 because it seemed to make the most sense here. I was trying to be extra polite in requesting if it's ok that I get a reference from her, hence the use of もいいですか, which I admittedly don't know the best uses for (my textbook dedicates only a very very small part of a chapter to it).

So keeping to the title of the thread: What's the best way to ask for something, in general. And more specifically, what's the best way to ask for a reference for a job? Oh, also...what word would be used in place of 'Reference' in the above sentence?
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby jcdietz03 » Tue 10.27.2009 10:37 pm

~てもいいですか。 -Asking for permission
~てもいいでしょうか。 -Same thing, a bit more polite. (でしょう is a little more polite than ですか)
~て下さい。 -A request
言いたい事の言い方は、私を聞かない方がいいですよ。

Giving and receiving:
あげる - to give
あなたは時には妹さんにおこづかいをあげますか。
Person giving -> は or が
Person receiving -> に
What is being transferred -> を

もらう - to receive
私は叔父にカメラをもらいました。
Person receiving -> は or が
Person giving -> に
What is being transferred -> を

There's a third common word used in giving and receiving that I'm missing.

Basic explanation: Some verbs in Japanese have two targets (to use an RPG-like analogy). Above are two examples. The "second" target gets に.
Last edited by jcdietz03 on Tue 10.27.2009 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 10.27.2009 10:46 pm

For a teacher you should use いただく instead of もらう, though.

A very polite standard way to make a request to a teacher is te-form of verb + いただけない でしょうか, literally "I wonder if I might not be able to have you do..." I'm not sure how to ask someone to be your reference, though (assuming she's not writing a letter or anything).

Then if you really want to impress her, stick お忙しいことと存じますが、何卒よろしくお願い申し上げます。 at the bottom of the letter. :)
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Tue 10.27.2009 11:12 pm

That makes a lot of sense. So, at the very least, I should have used ~てください instead of ~てもいいですか.

I like your explanation for determining how to use the particles for those verbs, too.

Edit: Thanks Yudan, I'm going to figure out that sentence tomorrow when I'm not tired haha. I'd never heard of that verb, but I'll remember that in the future! Oh, and no...she's not writing a letter. It's just like a regular job application. Thanks a bunch :)
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 10.27.2009 11:31 pm

いただく is the same as もらう, you just use it when you're receiving something from someone "above" you (like a teacher). You probably already know the verb from いただきます! when you eat.

(Don't worry about figuring out that long sentence I posted; it's just a stock formulaic way to close a request letter or e-mail that I got from a letter writing book and used in some stuff I wrote. It basically just means "I know you're busy but please do this.")
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby furrykef » Wed 10.28.2009 12:42 am

Speaking of itadaku, I found a puzzling use of it in the Japanese version of Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose (a Super Famicom game). Montana Max used it, but Montana is very haughty (he actually uses 俺様 and, in this excerpt, このモンタナマックスさま) and wouldn't seem to have an ounce of humility in him, and, furthermore, he used it in the context of robbing a safe!

Montana Max wrote:へへっ!
いまごろきても もう おそいぜ!
かねめのものは
この モンタナマックスさまが
ぜーーーんぶ いただいた!
あばよ!!


Is the usage of いただく here supposed to be ironic/sarcastic, or is there something I'm missing here?

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