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なんて

dhmkhkk

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This is one of those words I will probably never be able to understand - なんて. I have seen a lot of sentences with it, and in all of them you could just leave it out and the meaning of the sentence would not change at all.

A question to (probably) non-japanese speakers who know Japanese: how did you learn this word? Are there English/German/Russian counterparts which I could substitute in my head for in order to understand it better? I have read so much about it online but all I read leads to one thing - it is totally not needed in the sentence except for putting a stress on emotion of the speaker. Please help. :emoji_pray:

One of the last examples I have seen:
メイがウソつきだなんて思っていないよ
 

mdchachi

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It was cemented in my mind from a TV program about 20 years ago called ロシナンテ which was the name of a donkey. I always assumed it was a play on words with the なんて that you're referring to (but I certainly could be wrong). I wish I could find a DVD or online stream of the series; I'd love to watch it again. It was about these two tarento (comediens) hitchhiking across Japan with a donkey. It was the cutest/funniest thing. But I digress.
To answer your question, like most things it's something you learn by exposure and repetition. There's no good equivalent that I can think of. I liken it to an embedded exclamation point like:
Bobby(!) broke the cup.

roshinante.jpg
 

dhmkhkk

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I always assumed it was a play on words with the なんて that you're referring to (but I certainly could be wrong).
Interesting hehe. I thought Rosinante is a horse of Don Quixote? You know, the crazy guy fighting the windmills? He is pretty famous in East Europe for some reason. I could imagine this Japanese donkey's name could have something to do with that. :emoji_grinning:

Thank you, I guess exposure is the only option.... 🙂:
 

AmerikaJin5

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I grasped this word more fully through heated (or in some cases, simply excited) discussions with friends. It's not a word with a "meaning" that you could really look up in a dictionary, so much as it serves to convey the speaker's emotion/fervor/opinion. Once you get that, the sentence with it sounds different from the sentence without, even if the technical meaning is identical.
 

joadbres

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I thought Rosinante is a horse of Don Quixote? You know, the crazy guy fighting the windmills? He is pretty famous in East Europe for some reason. I could imagine this Japanese donkey's name could have something to do with that.
Yes, it comes from that. Don Quixote is famous all over the world. There is even a chain of stores in Japan called Don Quixote (ドン・キホーテ).
 
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