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What is the common/natural way to say "What is it about?"

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What is the common/natural way to say "What is it about?"

Postby Shiroisan » Thu 03.29.2012 2:03 am

As for real life situations, I know that どうしたのis useful to ask what's going on with an occurence that you happened upon.

However, if you happen upon someone else's book, movie, t.v. show, news article, what would be the natural, native way of asking "Oh hey, what's this dvd on your counter about?". Or if someone tells you that the novel they're reading is so cool, and you want to reply, "そうですか? What's it about?"


I've considered some awkward phrasings of asking that of which I know there must be a better, more natural way.
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Re: What is the common/natural way to say "What is it about?

Postby Shiroisan » Thu 03.29.2012 2:11 am

何についてと言うことがいいはずがありませんが、それは、どう思いますか?
Last edited by Shiroisan on Thu 03.29.2012 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the common/natural way to say "What is it about?

Postby NileCat » Thu 03.29.2012 4:15 am

何について is fine. Like “何についてのDVDですか?”
However, we usually say:
何のDVDですか? (なんの’ディー・ブイ・ディー’ですか?)
(In this phrase, we pronounce it nan, not nani, almost always)

As for your second question, そうですか? might sound kind of skeptical depending on the intonation.

「この小説は面白いですよ」
「そうですか?」(with rising intonation)
Is that so? (Do you mean it?)
「そうですか」(with falling intonation)
I see.

And you can continue:
何の本/小説ですか?
それは何の本ですか?
Or:
何の本なんですか?
それは何の本なんですか?
(by adding なん, you could make it sound more natural and native-ish, colloquially) :wink:
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Re: What is the common/natural way to say "What is it about?

Postby Shiroisan » Thu 03.29.2012 9:05 pm

何の? See I had absolutely no idea that it could be used like that. Thank you very much. How does 何の compare to どんな? 
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Re: What is the common/natural way to say "What is it about?

Postby furrykef » Thu 03.29.2012 10:22 pm

何のDVDですか -- what is it a DVD of? / what DVD is it?
どんなDVDですか -- what kind of DVD is it? (might get a response like "action", etc.)

At least, that's how I see it...
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Re: What is the common/natural way to say "What is it about?

Postby Shiroisan » Thu 03.29.2012 10:58 pm

Perfect, thank you.
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Re: What is the common/natural way to say "What is it about?

Postby Pianogirl123 » Fri 03.30.2012 2:11 am

「内容は何ですか?」
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Re: What is the common/natural way to say "What is it about?

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Fri 03.30.2012 2:22 am

Pianogirl123 wrote:「内容は何ですか?」

それは書き物だけに対して使うべき表現じゃありませんか
そう思っていましたが、間違ったかもしれません
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Re: What is the common/natural way to say "What is it about?

Postby Ongakuka » Sat 03.31.2012 10:16 am

「内容」はこの場合でも使ってもいいと思います。しかし、「内容」と言ったら、「この(番組、など)の本質、意味、何を伝えようとしているかのことも知りたいように聞こえます。つまり、「何についてですか」より深い意味でもっとフォーマルな言葉だと思います。

とにかく、Shiroisanさんの探していた文句はNilecatさんが書いた通りだと思います。
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