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Rockuman

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I'm starting to get a lot more familiar with Japanese (at least the actual phonetic Japanese. I can read Katakana and Hiragana, but Kanji is the roadblock). But I have a few questions that I'm not too sure of.

-Is it possible to use "zo" in place of "wa\ga"? There have been a few times where I've thought I heard "Ore zo ..." or "Kore zo ...".

-I'm a bit confused with "de". I know what it means, but I'm not quite sure when to use it. Here's why.

An example sentence is "Kore de, owari da", which can translate to "This is the end" (as far as I know). Wouldn't this normally be "Owari wa kore da", or something along those lines? If there's a more direct translation for "Kore de owari da" that separates it from "Owari wa kore da", then I'd like to know, cause it would probably help me out.

-Do -kyaku, and -ken mean "kick" and "punch" directly?

And that's all I have for now. An answer to any of these would be greatly appreciated.
 

Glenn

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Rockuman said:
-Is it possible to use "zo" in place of "wa\ga"? There have been a few times where I've thought I heard "Ore zo ..." or "Kore zo ...".

Not that I know of. I wouldn't use it unless someone tells you that it's a) in common use, and b) what dialect it's used in.

Rockuman said:
-I'm a bit confused with "de". I know what it means, but I'm not quite sure when to use it. Here's why.

An example sentence is "Kore de, owari da", which can translate to "This is the end" (as far as I know). Wouldn't this normally be "Owari wa kore da", or something along those lines? If there's a more direct translation for "Kore de owari da" that separates it from "Owari wa kore da", then I'd like to know, cause it would probably help me out.

Think of it as the instrument marker: "by means of this, it is the end." I think it shows a point in time by showing the instrument of the end rather than showing a place that marks the end, if that makes sense. At least that's how I figured it.

Rockuman said:
-Do -kyaku, and -ken mean "kick" and "punch" directly?

蹴り (けり) is "a kick"; 蹴る is "to kick."
拳 (こぶし) means "fist," and it's only read けん when used in kanji compounds.
 

Elizabeth

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An example sentence is "Kore de, owari da", which can translate to "This is the end" (as far as I know). Wouldn't this normally be "Owari wa kore da", or something along those lines? If there's a more direct translation for "Kore de owari da" that separates it from "Owari wa kore da", then I'd like to know, cause it would probably help me out.
"Kore de, owari desu" sounds to me like "Well, then, this is it/this is the end"
"Owari wa, kore desu" appears to refer to something in particular (kore) which has provided the ending. "The end, it is here/this thing" -- someone else will be able to fill in the blanks I'm sure, but it sounds like something that would have relatively limited usage. At the very least, I wouldn't worry too much at this point. :)
 

Rockuman

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I see, well thank all of you. I'm still not entirely sure on the Kore de owari da thing, but I'm probably just making it more complicated than it needs to be. I could translate a sentence like that, but I'm just not exactly sure what the technicalities behind it are.
 

cacawate

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Do you know the 'technicalities' behind konnichiha, sayounara, or oyasumi nasai? Just take certain things as they are at first. After that, you'll learn the 'technicalities'.
 

Elizabeth

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Rockuman said:
I see, well thank all of you. I'm still not entirely sure on the Kore de owari da thing, but I'm probably just making it more complicated than it needs to be. I could translate a sentence like that, but I'm just not exactly sure what the technicalities behind it are.
Do you not understand the "kore de" part ? It ends like this, with this it ends, finally it ends, well, this is it, it's over....😌
 

bentenmusume

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Just to add my two cents, for whatever it's worth...

The reason you probably wouldn't hear 「終わりはこれだ」 as often as 「これで終わりだ」 has to do with the use of 「は」 in the former, I think. As you may already know, 「は」 is considered a "topic" marker, meaning that it's typically something that has been established as a potential topic of discourse. What comes after 「は」, then, provides a comment on that topic, and is emphasized in a sense.

Saying 「終わりはこれだ」 has this nuance of, "Well, as far as the end goes (If we're talking about the end here...), then this is it!" That's kind of a marked utterance, and I'm sure you'll agree that that's not the nuance that "This is the end" would have in English. 「これで終わりだ」, on the other hand, is a more neutral (and natural, in this case) expression because it doesn't presuppose that we're already talking about some end that we want to comment on.

This explanation might be a bit confusing, so here's an example from some random person's fanfiction:

Ever and Forever

...which starts out with a few of the characters sitting around eating 年越しそば. Read down to the fourth line of dialogue, and you'll see:

「やっぱり一年の終わりはこれだよね」

Which you could translate as, "Now this is what the end of the year is all about" or something of the like. See how the emphasis (and the idea of "the end (of the year)" as an established topic) makes sense here? And how the focus here is different from that of "This is the end"...?

This all might be a bit confusing if you haven't thought about it before, but if you can follow this, you're a step closer to understanding how topic/comment sentences with 「は」 work in Japanese. The good news is that if you read/listen to enough Japanese you'll eventually internalize all of this stuff.

It takes time, though.
 

epigene

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Just an additional note on something I noticed in the original post:

Rockuman said:
-Is it possible to use "zo" in place of "wa\ga"? There have been a few times where I've thought I heard "Ore zo ..." or "Kore zo ...".

"Kore-zo" is used to mean "[this is] the ultimate or definitive [thing]."

Example: Korezo Nihon-jin! (He/she's Japanese in the true sense!)
Korezo kenpo! (This is the ultimate martial art!)

HTH! :)
 

Rockuman

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I see. That clears it up. I was probably hearing Kore-zo as Ore-zo. But yeah, that makes perfect sense from where I heard it. And also, I understand "Kore de" now. Thank you all for the help. :)

Now, here's another wave of questions.

-What does シ、 ソ、 and other characters used at the end of a sound effect signify? Pretty much all I can tell is that they're sound effects because of their placement in manga, but do the different usages of them have anything to do with the sound itself?

-Can the base form of a verb be used as a command? So if you were to say "iku", to someone, would they understand that as a command, or would they think you were saying that something or someone was going?
 

McCrutch67

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I'm not completely sure but ッ looks like シ and ソ. A small tsu at the end of a sound I think means that it's quick and cut off or at least signifies that it is a sound effect.

As for commands, there is the て form, as in 行って to mean "go" as a command and base 2 + なさい as in 行きなさい. There may be more, I don't know all that much about it except that the te form tends to be less commanding than nasai and can also be used to combine verbs so you don't want to mistake that.

Whether you can use 行く as a command, I'm not sure.
 

Rockuman

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I see. It was probably "tsu" I've been seeing, but I've definitely seen a "so" or an "n" behind sound effects.

Thank you to everyone who's helped me thus far, once again. This topic's really helpful to me.

Here's another one. A Japanese person who has an average Kanji reading level... If he were to see a kanji word, composed of two kanji that they're familiar with, but aren't familiar with the actual compound, will this necessarily guarantee that they know the kanji's pronunciation, AND meaning?
 

Fantt

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I'm pretty familiar with english and english words along with prefixes and suffixes, but sometimes I come across a word that I have no idea what it means, even if I'm able to pronounce it.

I'd guess there's some sort of Japanese parallel there.
 

McCrutch67

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From what I've read about the system, sometimes there are on-on reading compounds, sometimes kun-kun and sometimes a mix and to know which reading to use you have to already know the word and actually what ends up happening is it's more common to know what something means and NOT know how to pronounce it than it is to know how to pronounce it but not know what it means. Knowing what both kanji means does not guarantee that you will know the meaning but yes generally you can figure out what many compounds are by it. But only a guess at the pronunciation.
 

Haruspex

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行け is the command form i believe. Please correct me if im wrong.
 
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