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How long have you studied Italian?

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How long have you studied Italian?

Postby Minarai » Fri 10.30.2009 3:02 pm

Mina san konban ha , ohisasihburi desu ne.
ogenki desu ka. :D
Eeto, shitsumon ga arimasu. Nihongo de "How long have you been studying Italian?" ha nan to iimasuka?
Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.

Ps: sorry for the roma-ji but I'm having some troubles with my pc!
Oooh it's always the same...c'mon Zenigata!Let me go, I'm just a gentleman!Good bye paparino!

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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby Astral Abraxas » Sat 10.31.2009 12:35 am

Give it a shot first. :) If you get it wrong I can tell you why and you'll learn better that way.
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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby magamo » Sat 10.31.2009 8:27 am

The OP asked it in excellent Japanese so maybe it's a little harsh to tell him to translate it by himself, I guess. Probably he tried. If he just copied a Japanese question template or something and didn't give it a shot, well, it's ok. I'm feeling generous today. If it's inappropriate to answer his question, please let me know so I can delete this post.

"How long have you been studying Italian?"

何年イタリア語を勉強していますか。(Textbook-ish but grammatical)
何年イタリア語勉強してるの? (Spoken Japanese. Good when you ask your friends. Don't use it to your boss, older people, etc.)
イタリア語勉強して何年? (Another informal, spoken way to ask)
イタリア語はじめてどんだけ?(One more informal version)
イタリア語の勉強をはじめてどれだけ経ちますか。(Textbook-ish version of the above sentence. May sound a little stilted. Good for JLPT and other standardized tests, I think.)

Let me know if you want to add a particular nuance to the question or want to use it in a specific situation. I'll give appropriate alternatives if I come up with nice translations.
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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby astaroth » Sat 10.31.2009 9:53 am

I think I would have used どのくらい instead of 何年 as I feel it's more general.
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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby hyperconjugated » Sat 10.31.2009 10:36 am

magamo wrote:The OP asked it in excellent Japanese so maybe it's a little harsh to tell him to translate it by himself, I guess. Probably he tried. If he just copied a Japanese question template or something and didn't give it a shot, well, it's ok. I'm feeling generous today. If it's inappropriate to answer his question, please let me know so I can delete this post.

It's not inappropriate, it's just less helpful for the OP in the long run. For the reason Astral Abraxas stated above.
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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby magamo » Sat 10.31.2009 11:24 am

astaroth wrote:I think I would have used どのくらい instead of 何年 as I feel it's more general.

Yeah, you can also use どのくらい, どれくらい or something along those lines. But どれくらいイタリア語を勉強していますか。 could mean something like "How much are you learning Italian?" depending on context, hence the clearer wording. It'd be strange to say 何年 if context says it's obviously less than a year though.

Actually I was about to list どのくらいの期間イタリア語を勉強していますか。as well, but, um, isn't it a little too stiff? It may be the least ambiguous option, but it's not what I'd normally say. It's totally idiomatic though.

hyperconjugated wrote:
magamo wrote:The OP asked it in excellent Japanese so maybe it's a little harsh to tell him to translate it by himself, I guess. Probably he tried. If he just copied a Japanese question template or something and didn't give it a shot, well, it's ok. I'm feeling generous today. If it's inappropriate to answer his question, please let me know so I can delete this post.

It's not inappropriate, it's just less helpful for the OP in the long run. For the reason Astral Abraxas stated above.

Thanks. I was thinking some members of this forum might say answering that kind of question could encourage similar posts and could invite an influx of "Translate this for me. I don't have time. Thanks"-ish threads.
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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby NileCat » Sat 10.31.2009 5:21 pm

I'm a little confused. :?

何年イタリア語を勉強していますか。
How many years have you been studying Italian?

どれくらいイタリア語を勉強していますか。
How long have you been studying Italitan?

Those two sentences are different from each other, aren't they? :D


It's as same as:
空港までどれくらいかかりますか?
How long does it take to the airport.

Of course it can mean "How much (money) ~". But it sounds natural Japanese in the appropriate context.
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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby magamo » Sat 10.31.2009 8:16 pm

@NileCat

Consider these examples:

えーっ、ちょっとあんたイタリア語上手すぎ!いったい何年勉強してんの?つか、電話越しだとイタリア人と区別つかん。

[家庭訪問にて担任の先生が] お子さんですが、ご家庭でどれくらいイタリア語を学習されていますか?

The former doesn't literally mean "How many years..." per se. It's just saying, "Whoa, whoa, wait a sec. You're not a native speaker?! How long have you been learning Italian?!" In the latter case, your mom might reply, "授業のあった日は主に習った単元のみ、教科書で復習しているようです。休日は隣に住むイタリア人の方がいらして下さいますので、そうですね、週に最低30分はネイティブスピーカーと会話していると思います。" or "娘が生まれてすぐにイタリアに引っ越しましたので、あの子もかれこれ10年はイタリア語に触れていると思います。" As you can see, you can reply by hours/intensity/amount/whatever.

Without context, it's pretty much impossible to know what a sentence actually means. It all depends on context if you ask me. You're not forced to say "How many years..." when 何年 is in your mind and vice versa. But then again, you're a native Japanese speaker, so every Japanese phrase you say/write is part of real, authentic Japanese. So...

Edit: By the way, if you want to literally mean "How many years...," wouldn't you say, "何年間イタリア語を勉強していますか。"? This way the listener will more likely take it literally, I guess. Context is still stronger than syntax though.
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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby NileCat » Sat 10.31.2009 8:52 pm

Imagine this situation:

A: I'm studying Japanese. Now I can read 20 hiragana.
B: Wow, how long have you been studying Japanese?

C: I'm studying Japanese. Now I can read 20 hiragana.
D: Wow, how many years have you been studying Japanese?


Well, I think D sounds very rude. :D


Hehe, I know exactly what you mean. I'm just enjoying the ambiguity in Japanese. See you!
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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby keatonatron » Sat 10.31.2009 9:15 pm

NileCat wrote:Imagine this situation:

A: I'm studying Japanese. Now I can read 20 hiragana.
B: Wow, how long have you been studying Japanese?

C: I'm studying Japanese. Now I can read 20 hiragana.
D: Wow, how many years have you been studying Japanese?


Well, I think D sounds very rude. :D


I think that's the point :wink:
The only time you should use 何年 is when you know the answer is at least one year... or for when you want to insult the other person's studying abilities :lol:
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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby magamo » Sat 10.31.2009 11:58 pm

NileCat wrote:C: I'm studying Japanese. Now I can read 20 hiragana.
D: Wow, how many years have you been studying Japanese?

ahahaha

Yeah, I've never met a person who still uses romaji after a couple years of learni... oh wait.

Just kidding!

NileCat wrote:Hehe, I know exactly what you mean. I'm just enjoying the ambiguity in Japanese. See you!

Language isn't ambiguous. Humans are. /pretend to be smart

On a serious note, context is always key to get a good translation. The thing is that people who don't speak the target language don't know what kind of thing could be "context" that would affect wording in translation. If they knew about the culture where the language is spoken, they would speak the language fluently and wouldn't ask for translation in the first place; you need to speak the language to learn its culture.
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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby Minarai » Tue 12.22.2009 8:44 am

Hello everybody!

My answer comes after a long time, I know...gomen nasai!! :oops:
Since I've started my university studies, I don't have (hardly ever) time to post in this forum.
Anyway, I've never forgot people that kindly answered my question.

I opened this topic calling it "How long have you studied Italian" and then I asked for "How long have you been studying Italian". 私のミスでした、ごめんなさい。

Now I'm going to read your posts.
皆さんありがとうございました。
Oooh it's always the same...c'mon Zenigata!Let me go, I'm just a gentleman!Good bye paparino!

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Re: How long have you studied Italian?

Postby mbridge » Fri 01.01.2010 3:36 pm

;) this is a perfect opportunity to use 間!

イタリア語を何年間勉強しましたか。
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