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Help!

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Help!

Postby toilet » Mon 10.25.2010 4:44 am

Environmental sentences. I've translated most of them, I'm just looking for someone to kindly fix any errors I've made or improve the English translation. I don't need help with the Japanese as this is from a revision sheet.  ありがとうご ざいます!

1.ぬのぶくろを使いはじめました。I started using cloth bag.
2.きょうしつのごみをひろいおわった。The classroom's rubbish is..
3.かんきょうのために、さいきん、車をバケツであらいはじめた。For the sake of the environment, recently..
4.使いやすいけいたい電話ですね。It is easy to use a mobile phone, isn't it?
5.このペンは書きやすくない。It is not easy to write with that pen.
6.このくすりは飲みにくくなかったです。It was difficult to drink that medicine.
7.日本語ができる人はいますか。Is there anyone that can do Japanese?
8.かんきょうによくない物は何ですか。What things are not good for the enivornment?
9.ごみをすてた人が、ごみをひろわなければなりません。People who litter must pick their rubbish up.
10.去年、かんきょうのために、きをうえた。Last year, for the sake of the environment, we planted trees.
11.かんきょうをまもるために、どんなことをしていますか。In order to protect the environment, what kind of things are you doing?
12.ごみをへらすために、リサイクルをしてください。In order to reduce rubbish, please recycle.
13.ビニールぶくろを使わないで、店にエコバックをもって行くようにしましょう。I don't use plastic bags, I take Eco bags to shop.
14.水をむだづかいしないようにしてください。Please don't waste water?
15.あきかんを道にすてないようにしましょう。
16.かんきょうをまもるために、何をしたことがありますか?In order to protect the environment, what have we done?
17.紙のむだづかいをやめるために、リサイクルペーパーを使ったことがありますか? In order to stop wasting paper, do we use recycling?
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Re: Help!

Postby NileCat » Wed 10.27.2010 5:40 pm

Since nobody has replied...

1. ok
2. (I) have finished picking up trash in the classroom.
3. (I) have recently started washing my car using a bucket.
4. This (specific) phone is easy to use, isn’t it?
5. This (specific) pen is not easy to write.
6. This (specific) meditine was not difficult to swallow.
7. Is there anyone who speaks Japanese?
8. What is not good for the enviroment?
9. ok
10. ok
11. ok
12. ok
13. Let’s take Eco bags to shop and don’t use plastic bags.
14. ok
15. Don’t throw away empty cans roadside.
16. ~, what have YOU done?
17. ~, have YOU used recycling paper?
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Re: Help!

Postby Michael_SD » Tue 11.02.2010 9:41 am

NileCat wrote:16. ~, what have YOU done?
17. ~, have YOU used recycling paper?
I could have no dispute with what you write here regarding these two sentences -- compared to native speakers like yourself and other fluent speakers of Japanese, I know practically nothing of the language. However, had I not seen your post regarding these two sentences, I'd have expected that the original Japanese text, with no other context, could have been read as either 'we' or 'you'.

Please elaborate as to why you choose 'you' (instead of 'we') for those sentences?
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Re: Help!

Postby NileCat » Tue 11.02.2010 11:37 am

Very good question, Michael_SD-san.
It’s true that, in Japanese, it’s sometimes hard to tell what the true subject is.
However, in these two sentences, both of the questions are made using “~たことがありますか?”. This form is usually used when we ask someone about s/he or their experience in the past. Grammatically speaking, in theory, it can be OUR experience as well. But, in reality, it would sound very unnatural if you ask the question meaning the subject is “we”. Because in that case we usually indicate the subject “we” in the sentence.
e.g.
かんきょうをまもるために、わたしたちは何をしてきたでしょう?
かんきょうをまもるために、わたしたちは何かをしたことがありますか?
Please note the subtle changes of the choice of other words. That’s because it has to be an enantiosis (rhetorical question) if the subject is “we”. Otherwise, the speaker would just sound like being…ah…senile.

There are some other ways to phrase rhetorical questions (OR simple questions) using “we”, though, your original sentences just sound simple questions to someone else because of the absence of the subject word. Does my explanation make sense?

EDIT:
Oh, sorry, Michael. The original sentences weren't yours. :sweatdrop:
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Re: Help!

Postby Dustin » Tue 11.02.2010 2:08 pm

Toilet

May I suggest a more descriptive title next time than "help" :p

More people that may be able to help will read it if they know what to expect!
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Re: Help!

Postby Michael_SD » Tue 11.02.2010 4:40 pm

NileCat wrote:Very good question, Michael_SD-san.
It’s true that, in Japanese, it’s sometimes hard to tell what the true subject is.
However, in these two sentences, both of the questions are made using “~たことがありますか?”. This form is usually used when we ask someone about s/he or their experience in the past. Grammatically speaking, in theory, it can be OUR experience as well. But, in reality, it would sound very unnatural if you ask the question meaning the subject is “we”. Because in that case we usually indicate the subject “we” in the sentence.
e.g.
かんきょうをまもるために、わたしたちは何をしてきたでしょう?
かんきょうをまもるために、わたしたちは何かをしたことがありますか?
Please note the subtle changes of the choice of other words. That’s because it has to be an enantiosis (rhetorical question) if the subject is “we”. Otherwise, the speaker would just sound like being…ah…senile.

There are some other ways to phrase rhetorical questions (OR simple questions) using “we”, though, your original sentences just sound simple questions to someone else because of the absence of the subject word. Does my explanation make sense?

EDIT:
Oh, sorry, Michael. The original sentences weren't yours. :sweatdrop:

Your explanation does make perfect sense. Your English is quite excellent, in my opinion; you may have heard the (indelicate) term "hijacking a thread." Well, I plead guilty to that in my having made my post to you regarding those sentences. So if any apology would be in order, I am the only person who should be offering it.

Hopefully that wasn't a huge infraction (in the minds of the regular members of this forum). But, otherwise, I'd have had to end up opening a whole new thread using those two sentences.

The fine point you made in your post, specifically your explanation as to why わたしたち would more naturally appear, to give the 'we' meaning in those sentence, is excellent. When I have the opportunity to learn such fine points from native speakers such as yourself (and from those with great fluency in Japanese) at a deeper level than I'd never have acquired in a very long time, that's always a thing which I appreciate very much.

Thanks for allowing me to learn this point. I'll keep this in the back of my mind and consider it when I read things in the future. It's a valuable tool that will come in handy.
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Re: Help!

Postby NileCat » Tue 11.02.2010 5:30 pm

No problem, Michael. I don’t think you need to apologize for anything.
We can share any questions with everyone here. Someone’s question can be helpful for someone, I think.
:)
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Re: Help!

Postby burstandbloom » Wed 11.03.2010 10:39 am

@Nilecatさん. It isn't wrong to look at ~ことがある。 As sort of asking "have you ever?" in English, right? Because that's how I've sort of always looked at it.
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Re: Help!

Postby NileCat » Wed 11.03.2010 11:06 am

Burstandbloom-san, I’m afraid I don’t see your point well.
Are you asking if ~ことがある can form a question meaning “have you ever?” ? If so, you are absolutely right. But, well, burstandbloom, I don’t see you are a beginner in terms of Japanese. I assume you are not saying of that simple usage. Besides, I’m not sure how the nuance of the sentences differs according to the existence of the word “ever” in English.
e.g.
その映画を(これまでに)見たことがありますか?
Have you (ever) watched the movie?

What I was trying to say in this topic was that the hidden subject in this kind of question form is [usually] “you”, not “we”. Please feel free to point out if I have made any mistakes in my previous post.
:)
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Re: Help!

Postby burstandbloom » Wed 11.03.2010 12:00 pm

NileCat wrote:Burstandbloom-san, I’m afraid I don’t see your point well.
Are you asking if ~ことがある can form a question meaning “have you ever?” ? If so, you are absolutely right. But, well, burstandbloom, I don’t see you are a beginner in terms of Japanese. I assume you are not saying of that simple usage. Besides, I’m not sure how the nuance of the sentences differs according to the existence of the word “ever” in English.
e.g.
その映画を(これまでに)見たことがありますか?
Have you (ever) watched the movie?


Sorry for the confusion. I was just asking, because it didn't appear the OP had learned the Past Tense + ~ことがある pattern, that if it was a good way of understanding the pattern when learning it. Generally(I think) in English when talking about an experience one has had usually the question is asked as, "Have you ever seen this?", "Have you ever done this?", etc. I was wondering if that is the same way in Japanese as that is how I generally have used it. I was just going to suggest thinking of it in that way to essentially discern the difference between just past-tense and the pattern mentioned. Because wouldn't
紙のむだづかいをやめるために、リサイクルペーパーを使ったの? 
Still be asking whether or not you have done it?
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Re: Help!

Postby NileCat » Wed 11.03.2010 3:40 pm

Good point!
I’m not quite sure about the English nuance, though. :)
リサイクルペーパーを使ったの?
I think I can translate this like “Did you use the recycling paper?” as well.
In my understanding, however, if the English sentence goes “Have you used it?”, instead, it can mean that the action was done a short moment ago. (The action has finished right now) Am I correct?
In that sense, this Japanese sentence can deliver both meanings. The action might be done a year ago or might have been done just now. Yeah, you are absolutely right! I should have made it clear that the original sentence of the OP should be translated as “have you EVER ?”.
Thanks!
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