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One sentence translation

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One sentence translation

Postby hana_mochi » Sat 09.04.2010 7:51 am

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to translate my report topic and research question that I've decided on for my essay I'm writing for Japanese (I study Japanese at university).

Here is what I'm trying to say and what I've attempted (badly) to translate.


TOPIC: "The combination of ideographic and phonographic characters in the Japanese language"
= 日本語は表意文字と表音文字の組み合わせて使われる

RESEARCH QUESTION: "Does the use of kanji in conjunction with kana characters make Japanese easier to process than alphabet-based languages?"

日本語は漢字とかなの組み合わせて使われるので、表音文字法を使う言語とくらべて、日本語を理解{りかい}しやすくしますか。


Does it make any sense? I have a feeling the research question doesn't make sense with the position of 'kurabete', or something like that...

With the topic I wasn't sure if I should put nihongo ni or nihon ha for 'In the Japanese language'...

* The translations are direct, so the English I've put is a little different to what I've actually translated to as an exactly literal translation isn't really possible *
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Re: One sentence translation

Postby NileCat » Sat 09.04.2010 1:28 pm

TOPIC: "The combination of ideographic and phonographic characters in the Japanese language"
= 日本語は表意文字と表音文字の組み合わせて使われる

~はAとB組み合わせ使われる
(~ is used in combination of A and B)

~はAとB組み合わせ出来ている
(~ consists of a combination of A and B)

「~におけるAとBの組み合わせ」 (not a sentence but as a title)
(The combination of A and B in ~)

日本語 sounds fine.

RESEARCH QUESTION: "Does the use of kanji in conjunction with kana characters make Japanese easier to process than alphabet-based languages?"

日本語は漢字とかな組み合わせ使われるので、表音文字法を使う言語とくらべて、日本語を理解{りかい}しやすくしますか。

underline added --- wrong usage

Your question is kind of tough to answer. Well, it's always challenging to make a proper university-level thesis even in our mother tongue, isn't it?
Ok, I'll assume you are at an advanced class. If you are not, please ignore my trivial pursuit. :)

Since your Japanese sentence has the word "because"(ので), which doesn't appear in your English version, the question sentence sounds too complicated. Also, the subject in your sentence seems to be "日本語は". So, if you erase the "because" phrase (clause of reason), the sentence would become "日本語は、日本語を理解しやすくします", which doesn't make sense. I mean, the "Subject - Object - Verb" construction doesn't seem correct.

If this was not a question sentence:
日本語は漢字とかなの組み合わせで使われるので、表音文字法を使う言語とくらべて、理解しやすい。
would sound totally natural.

But when it comes to a question sentence,
日本語は漢字とかなの組み合わせで出来ているので、表音文字法を使う言語とくらべて、理解しやすいだろうか?
This sentence is grammatically correct. Seems ok. If I were your professor, I'd give you B.
But your reader won't know that that is a question sentence until finding the "か?" at the very end of the sentence. Besides, the existence of the word "because" makes things complicated. It might sound kind of choppy.
Also, unfortunately, we don't have a good word for "to process".

I'm afraid I can't explain all about it well with my poor English skills.
The following is my shot. :roll:

漢字とかなの組み合わせで表記される日本語は、表音文字法を使う言語と比べて直観的に把握しやすいだろうか?
表意文字である漢字を使用する日本語は、表音文字のみを使用する他言語よりも直観的に把握しやすいと言えるだろうか?

This kind of sentences sound very stilted, though...
If you want a much more simple sentence:

日本語は漢字を使うので、アルファベットを使う言語よりもわかりやすいでしょうか?
would be able to convey the similar meaning, I think.

Hope it helps.
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Re: One sentence translation

Postby hana_mochi » Sun 09.12.2010 4:40 am

どうもありがとう NileCat!

This was very, very useful and helped me a lot!

My final submission of the title and research question were:


日本語における表意文字と表音文字の組み合わせ

漢字と仮名文字の組み合わせで表記される日本語は、表音文字法を使う言語と比べて直観的に把握しやすいでしょうか。

I'll hear back from my sensei soon, so I guess they will tell if these sounds okay! :D

Once again, thank-you for spending so much time in helping me, I can't thank-you enough! Though I will probably be posting many more questions on here when I begin to write the essay itself (Oh no! :P).

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