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別の(betsu no) and 他の (hoka no)

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別の(betsu no) and 他の (hoka no)

Postby Dionysios » Wed 03.31.2010 11:51 pm

"Betsu no" and "hoka no" are both translated as "other". Is there a difference between the two words?
Thank you to those who have answered my other queries.
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Re: 別の(betsu no) and 他の (hoka no)

Postby NileCat » Thu 04.01.2010 12:52 am

Just my two cents.

他の is usually used to refer to others (in a group).
別の is usually used to refer to different one(s).

If you were a spy and needed to disguize a different character, you'd say:
私は別の人間になる。

And then, nobody would notice you.
他の人間は、誰も私に気がつかない。


But,in reality, in most cases there is no big difference between the two and they are interchangeable, at least in our daily conversation.

詳しく知りたかったら、別の人にも聞いてみてください。
詳しく知りたかったら、他の人にも聞いてみてください。

その日は都合が悪いから、別の日に会いましょう。
その日は都合が悪いから、他の日に会いましょう。

その理由について、別の可能性はありませんか?
その理由について、他の可能性はありませんか?

ごめんね、別のこと考えてた。
ごめんね、他のこと考えてた。

別の人を愛してしまった。
他の人を愛してしまった。

The subtle nuance is very difficult to explain. It can change according to the context, age of the speaker, or the situation. We usually pick one up subconsciously, I think.
But in many cases, generally speaking, 別の emphasyszes the meaning of "different" rather than 他の.

I'm not confident in my explanation though...
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Re: 別の(betsu no) and 他の (hoka no)

Postby spin13 » Thu 04.01.2010 1:37 am

NileCat wrote:But in many cases, generally speaking, 別の emphasizes the meaning of "different" rather than 他の.

I agree with this. Fun with analogies: 別 is to 違う as 他 is to 以外.
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Re: 別の(betsu no) and 他の (hoka no)

Postby NileCat » Thu 04.01.2010 1:57 am

Yeah, spin13.
I was just thinking about the difference between 別の人 and 違う人, or 別の日 and 違う日.
It's tough, isn't it? :wink:
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Re: 別の(betsu no) and 他の (hoka no)

Postby furrykef » Thu 04.01.2010 9:55 pm

This reminds me of the distinction between "alius" and "alter" in Latin, though it wouldn't surprise me if the similarity is superficial.

Though I imagine the number of people studying both Japanese and Latin (or Japanese people studying Latin) is pretty low. ^^;

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