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Thread: Phrasebook explanation

  1. #1
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    Default Phrasebook explanation

    I was looking through the lonely travel phrasebook that I bought a few years back, and came across the sentence

    sesan no shitai desu ga

    which according to the book means 'I'd like to pay the extra fare'. Now I remember actually using this phrase, but I don't understand it. I've not been able to find a translation for 'sesan' and also I also don't understand the use of 'no' in this context assuming sesan is a noun.

    By the way I've written all of this in romaji as I know that sometimes the phrase books change the Japanese spelling to make it easier to read (eg desu becomes dess).

    Can anyone explain this to me? :?:

  2. #2
    Senior Member chibitotoro's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I can't make any sense of that either.

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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Those phrasebooks really are a load of garbage.

    I got one for my parents as they were trawling the country while i was at work and i wanted them to be able to get around independently.

    It said 'western style toilets predominate' (Western Japan seems to have skipped this part) and that the little button on the toilet wall (the one that says 'emergency' in Japanese) is not an emergency button, but actually to make gentle flushing noises to cover your shameful toilet noises.
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    I could be completely wrong but from what I remember, sesan (actually seisan, or 精算) is a word you want to use when you want to pay your bill, so saying 精算をしたい could mean "check, please". I have no idea why they have 'no' instead of 'wo'

  5. #5
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    Well done Samesong it does say seisan. I checked out the kanji and they're the same.

    I actually made a mistake when I posted yesterday - it actually says:

    seisan shitai no desu ga

    Sorry, would have probably avoided a bit of confusion if I'd actually had the book in front of me rather than doing it from memory. Anyway this might make a bit more sense to everyone now, but I still don't properly understand it. I know you can put 'no' after a verb in dictionary form to nominalize it (e.g. eiga wo miru no wa tanoshii desu), but how does it work with a verb in it's tai form?

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    Delicious...and moist! kiwimusume's Avatar
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    Oh, I see what they've done. ~tai + n desu ga is a polite way of saying "I'd like to..." or "Can I..." and "no" is a politer way of saying "n". But I have never heard anyone say "tai no desu ga", (maybe in a super-polite environment, but this book is for tourists!) and I was always taught to say "tain desu ga". Maybe they thought it'd be, like, easier to pronounce or something.

    And that "extra fare" thing cracks my shit up. I almost want to get hold of my own copy to see if they've fucked anything else up.
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    Yeah, it's really good stuff. For some reason, they bound it as a book, instead of on a roll. There's 190 pages, which is probably good for at least a few dozen shits.

  7. #7
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    Aaaah....yeah I remember now. no desu ga is the written form of -n desu ga isn't it.

    So what it's actually saying is 'I want to settle....'

    I think you're right, they must have used no to make it easier for people to say. That, or they used some crappy translator. Either way, I'm burning the book when I get home!

    Thanks for the help everyone!

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