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"What is your Major"

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"What is your Major"

Postby AutumnFalls » Wed 05.27.2015 11:24 pm

Hi guys, I've just delved back into Japanese and already I've come across something odd. I studied Japanese for a while in University but that was about five years ago. I still remember a few words/phrases though including "senmon wa nan desu ka" Or What is your major. I was taught by my previous Japanese teacher that your major in university was "senmon". But Genki calls it "senkoo". Is this a dialectual thing, or do both words mean the same thing?

P.S. Sorry for the lack of kana, I have yet to download ime on my computer.
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Re: "What is your Major"

Postby richvh » Thu 05.28.2015 9:45 am

I think I remember an older text I have (1970s era) using 専門 (senmon) as well, but checking Eijiro and Edict I find that only 専攻 (senkou) has the sense of a major subject of study, while 専門 is restricted to specialization/specialty (専攻 also an aspect of specialization.) I didn't check any 国語辞典 to see what all the differences in nuance are.

It may be a case of language drift rather than dialect.
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Re: "What is your Major"

Postby Ongakuka » Thu 05.28.2015 10:03 am

They are basically interchangeable but usage tends to follow the patterns below.

専門 means 'speciality' so if you ask 「専門は何ですか」 the person replying ought to name a subject of which they have already acquired a significant degree of knowledge. A 専門家 is a professional in their given field.

専攻 is used more like 'major' or 'specialization.' It's something that you study. You might not be an expert on it, but you are on your way there.
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Re: "What is your Major"

Postby AutumnFalls » Thu 05.28.2015 1:17 pm

That's interesting. So would I be better off to retrain myself to say せんこう rather than せんもん?
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Re: "What is your Major"

Postby Ongakuka » Fri 05.29.2015 8:15 am

Maybe :) I remember first hearing 専攻 and up until that time I had just used the word 専門. But actually 専門 suggests a certain degree of expertise already in the basket.
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Re: "What is your Major"

Postby AutumnFalls » Fri 05.29.2015 6:54 pm

Well, I am almost done my degree so I guess 背門 would work.
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Re: "What is your Major"

Postby addseo1115 » Wed 06.10.2015 5:23 am

It seems that so difficult for me, the Japanese language.
Thanks for posting the interesting part of learning this language.
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