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Ja nai

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Ja nai

Postby Akuma » Tue 09.06.2005 7:26 pm

I'm a bit confused about this phrase. Is it supposed to be a rhetorical phrase, as in "Is it not?" For example, would it be used in a sentence like "This looks good on me, doesn't it?" Or is it used in other situations?
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RE: Ja nai

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 09.06.2005 7:44 pm

depends on how you say it. It literally means "Is not" But if you have it in a question, then it would be "Is it not?" じゃない? *grin*

You can even stack them! Your sentences become more Japanaese sounding immediately!
りんごじゃないじゃない? - It isn't an apple, isn't it?

Here are some examples for negative.
高校生じゃないよ - I'm not a high school student
さるじゃないな - It's not a monkey
ゾンビに脳みそを食べられたわけじゃないよ! - Of course I didn't get my brain eaten by a zombie!

And here are some examples for questions
もう食べたんじゃないの? - didn't you already eat?
ゾンビが好きじゃないの? - don't you like zombies?
友達みんなが橋から飛び落ちたら,おまえもするんじゃないの? - If all your friends jumped off a bridge, you would too, wouldn't you?
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RE: Ja nai

Postby redfoxer » Tue 09.06.2005 8:05 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
You can even stack them! Your sentences become more Japanaese sounding immediately!
りんごじゃないじゃない? - It isn't an apple, isn't it?


lol that made my day :)
日本語はとても面白いと思いますよ!私は日本語が大好きです!
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RE: Ja nai

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 09.06.2005 9:43 pm

It's so true though. =)

Take for example the phrase "I don't want to eat your filthy natto."
In English, trying to be polite, you would say something like "That's ok. I don't really like Natto."

Translated directly "もう結高ナす。あまり納豆が好きではないから。"

But that will hurt the person's feelings. You must say something like:
「ああ,垂オ訳ありません。納豆を食べないわけではないけど。。」
Which translates to "Oh, I'm very sorry.. It's not really that I don't eat Natto, but y'know...."

IT WILL DRIVE YOU INSANE! =)

and then you'll fall in love with it.
Last edited by Harisenbon on Tue 09.06.2005 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Ja nai

Postby Mukade » Wed 09.07.2005 12:16 am

The test for the driver's license here in Japan is purposely made overly difficult, and so is filled with these multiple negatives.

一方通行の道路で反対に止まってない時に意外、逆に運転しないといけないじゃないかい?
Other than when you are not stopped the opposite way on a one-way street, isn't it true that you can't not drive backwards?

:o

This is why it takes people three or four tries (at least) to pass the Japanese driving test...
Last edited by Mukade on Wed 09.07.2005 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Ja nai

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 09.07.2005 12:36 am

Really, I thought that it was more the practical test that failed people. Y'know, the whole "if you pass over the stop line by more than 2 centimeters, YOU FAIL!" thing. *grin*

When I took the written test, I had to keep checking the Japanese version to make sure of what it was saying. They english was too bad to figure out.

But I must gloat that my friends and I passed on our first try. However, each of us was one of 2 people in our group that passed.
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RE: Ja nai

Postby Mukade » Wed 09.07.2005 1:30 am

Most people seem to fail both several times.

It took me three tries with the written because of the convoluted Japanese - there was no English for me to check against. Maybe I'm in a town that's too provincial.

The practical I passed on the first try. Heck, I've been driving for 18 years now. Even though everyone complained about it, I thought it was a piece of cake. *shrugs*

The same day that I took my practical test, though, there were about 35 other people taking the test and I was one of two who passed. Many of those people said it was their fifth or sixth try! :o
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RE: Ja nai

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 09.07.2005 2:10 am

The guy I was sitting next to said it was his 7th time. He failed that time too. Poor guy.

Did you take the transfer test, or the actual test for Japanese drivers? At our prefectural DMV (only one test center for changing licenses in the prefecture. Such a pain) they had the written translated into all major langauges. Only one person failed the written in our group.

I wonder how much the practical test varies by location. The guy in front of me failed because he "didn't make it clear enough to the instructer that he had checked all blind spots." That's why I point like a train conductor whenever I turned. "check check check check GO"
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RE: Ja nai

Postby Daichi » Wed 09.07.2005 5:59 am

Harisenbon wrote:
You can even stack them! Your sentences become more Japanaese sounding immediately!
りんごじゃないじゃない? - It isn't an apple, isn't it?


Aaargh!

How would I answer this?
Assuming it is NOT an apple, do I answer はい or いいえ ?
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RE: Ja nai

Postby natemb » Wed 09.07.2005 11:52 pm

In the Kansai area they have a slightly different but equally amusing construction, using ちゃう (a contraction of ちがう - "wrong") instead of じゃない: I have on several occasions heard people say:

ちゃうんちゃう? - Isn't that wrong? or more literally: (That's) wrong, (am I) wrong?
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RE: Ja nai

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 09.07.2005 11:57 pm

Daichi wrote:
Aaargh!

How would I answer this?
Assuming it is NOT an apple, do I answer はい or いいえ ?


I couldn't decide which it would be either. The wife says it's:

はい、リンゴじゃない - Yes, it's not an apple.
or
いいえ、リンゴです - No, it's an apple.
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RE: Ja nai

Postby Mukade » Wed 09.07.2005 11:58 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
Did you take the transfer test, or the actual test for Japanese drivers?


The standard test...my American license had just expired. :(
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RE: Ja nai

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 09.08.2005 1:50 am

Ah, that explains it. The transfer test is made for foreigners, so it has various langauges available, but the Practical test is butt hard. The Japanese written is apparently much harder, but the practical is more lenient. My wife hit a curb and didn't fail her practical. Lucky punk. ;)
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RE: Ja nai

Postby Daichi » Thu 09.08.2005 4:47 am

Harisenbon wrote:
I couldn't decide which it would be either. The wife says it's:

はい、リンゴじゃない - Yes, it's not an apple.
or
いいえ、リンゴです - No, it's an apple.


Thanks, I don't feel too bad now, knowing that this was enough to stump someone who's so much better at Japanese than me!:)
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RE: Ja nai

Postby ryuubu » Fri 09.09.2005 4:23 am

I hear around Kanto, a lot of people use じゃん instead of じゃない. Like Kanto's answer to ちゃう?
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