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Direction -- ほう and ほうこう

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Direction -- ほう and ほうこう

Postby KharismaticKayteh » Thu 11.17.2011 2:01 am

On learnjapanese.com, they have a flash card trainer (pulled straight from the site that used to be studyjapanese.org), and on the category StudyJapanese.org Lessons, subcategory Directions, there are two cards labeled "directions" that can be translated as either "hou" or "houkou". I went back to the lesson from which those cards should have been made, and I found "hou" in there, but not "houkou".

Is there an appropriate time to use either word, or is this some sort of typo, possibly?

ありがとう御座います。
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Re: Direction -- ほう and ほうこう

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Thu 11.17.2011 2:34 am

方(ほう)is a very vague word meaning that means 'direction' among other things.
http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/dsearch?p=%E6%96 ... =0&dtype=3

方向(ほうこう)is a very specific word meaning the direction something is going in or something is coming from.
http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/dsearch?p=%E6%96 ... =0&dtype=3
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Re: Direction -- ほう and ほうこう

Postby KharismaticKayteh » Thu 11.17.2011 11:25 am

Okay, I think I see.

To be sure, is it simply like ほう means just "direction" (about as vaguely as English "direction"), but ほうこう might be used with a specific direction (left, right, north, south, etc.)?
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Re: Direction -- ほう and ほうこう

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Thu 11.17.2011 12:48 pm

No, ほう・ほうかく would be used to talk about north/south/east/west -in general-. By 'vague' I mean ほう sort of means direction (and doesn't have any other easily explainable meaning). It's used to talk about directions and placements in general.

ほうこう means direction of travel, so would be used to talk about driving north/south/east/west, setting a ships course, which way the enemy is marching.
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Re: Direction -- ほう and ほうこう

Postby KharismaticKayteh » Fri 11.18.2011 10:23 pm

So, basically, I am never using "hou" because it makes little sense to me, hahaha.
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Re: Direction -- ほう and ほうこう

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Fri 11.18.2011 11:26 pm

That won't be an option... ほう is an integral part of some fundamental grammatical expressions; as such, you should encounter it several times by the time you complete any first-year text.
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Re: Direction -- ほう and ほうこう

Postby KharismaticKayteh » Sat 11.19.2011 1:32 am

Shame. Oh, well. Surely someones knows a simpler way to explain it.

有難う御座います。
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Re: Direction -- ほう and ほうこう

Postby kalavinka » Thu 01.12.2012 3:32 pm

As pointed, ほう (方) can also be read as かた and both can have a "that object" or "that person" meaning. I can't think quickly offhand of how it's like "direction" but some examples so you can a better sense of the difference...

Talking about various things, single out one thing and add ほう
トヨタの方が好き。
I prefer Toyota.

犬より猫のふんの方が臭い。
Cat poo is more stinky than dog poo.

あっちの方は?
What about over there? (very vague sentence, could be a place, could be a person)

For かた it can be "the way ____ is done(verb)"
歌い方 way to sing
歩き方 way to walk
喋り方 way to talk

Or a person (in this case it's like "a person who")
彼女はよく歌う方でも歌うの下手。She (is a person who) sings a lot but she's not good at singing.
お前はよく歩く方だな〜 Boy (or insert casual speech/slang word of choice) you (are a person who) walk(s) a lot
彼はよく喋る方、喋り過ぎ。He (is a person who) talks a lot, talks too much.

ほうこう(方向) direction
Well my favorite word related to this is 方向音痴 (a person with no sense of direction, houkou onchi).
お母さんは方向音痴なのでよく迷いちゃう。My mom has no sense of direction so she ends up getting lost a lot.
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Re: Direction -- ほう and ほうこう

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Thu 01.12.2012 7:08 pm

ほう(方、not any other word with the same sound) is like direction as in, that's its primary meaning, as in the dictionary entry I linked to.
From there, we can see,

その湖は村の東の方にある
The lake is to the east of the village.

どっちの方へみんなは行きましたか
Which way did they all go?

銀座の方へ歩いていった
They walked 「in the direction of [toward] (the) Ginza.

And many more examples. The 国語辞書 also define it primarily as 'direction',
大辞泉 says 『1 方向。方角。方位。「西の―」「駅の―へ歩く」「声のする―を見る」「九州の―に行く」』
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