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Thread: Japanese Question word "why"

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    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Japanese Question word "why"

    Is there a difference between:

    naze
    nande
    doushite

    or can I use them interchangably?
    Superman once wrote on the wall: "Batman is a wimp."
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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    Good question.
    Nande can also mean 'how', I am pretty sure.

    Doushite is the most formal/polite.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    Nande is the most casual. Stick to this one most of the time.

    Naze is normally used in formal writing. I hear nande more often than Naze, but it's common in spoken Japanese in certain dialects.

    doushite is more formal than nande. not used in formal writing. I hear nande more than doushite.

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    Senior Member ampersand's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    What they said.

    Naze is pretty much for writing or very formal speech. Doushite can be used either for speech or writing. Nande as why is pretty much only for speech. Generally, it's less casual than doushite, but, for example, in my region it's almost always nande instead.

    As Ali wrote, nande also means "how" or, more literally, "by what means". (It's used in the sense in writing.) This leads to my favorite foreigner-language-trick/oyaji gaggu:
    "Nande nihon ni kimashita ka?"
    "Hikouki de."

    Doushite also means "how", but more in the sense of "in what way". In my region this is usually replaced with the more casual douyatte.
    Last edited by ampersand; December 5th, 2008 at 10:43.

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    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    Wow, thats pretty annoying but it makes sense given the language.

    I was also wondering doushita, but found that it means "whats wrong" or what happened? correct me if I am wrong though.
    Superman once wrote on the wall: "Batman is a wimp."
    The next day Batman wrote: "Superman is Clark Kent."

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    you are right.

    doushita?
    doushita no? means 'What's wrong'

    大正解!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Senior Member ampersand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonesinjapan View Post
    Wow, thats pretty annoying but it makes sense given the language.
    What's annoying about it?

    I was also wondering doushita, but found that it means "whats wrong" or what happened? correct me if I am wrong though.
    More "What happened?", but often with a negative expectation.

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    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    ok Different question, I should know this but I understand "Dare" as who, and "no" as a particle of possesion.

    So I have been using "Dare no" as a way of asking "whose", some seem to understand when I ask but is there an actual word I should be using instead of that?

    Thank you.

    P.S. I am looking for a Japanese class that I will plan on going to next year, so far the only one I see thats close to me and available for me to go is one for chinese people about 30 minutes away.
    Superman once wrote on the wall: "Batman is a wimp."
    The next day Batman wrote: "Superman is Clark Kent."

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    Dare no is correct as far as I know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    cool I guess my "accent" is too mch for some people who dont understand what I am trying to say.
    Superman once wrote on the wall: "Batman is a wimp."
    The next day Batman wrote: "Superman is Clark Kent."

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jonesinjapan View Post

    P.S. I am looking for a Japanese class that I will plan on going to next year, so far the only one I see thats close to me and available for me to go is one for chinese people about 30 minutes away.
    My Japanese class is mostly Chinese and Indonesian. Is the class taught in all Japanese?

  12. #12
    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    Yeah the majority is in Japanese but the teacher that heads it speaks english as well (well from what I got from her email i can assume she does) so I dont see anything really wrong with it other than the 30 minute drive.
    Superman once wrote on the wall: "Batman is a wimp."
    The next day Batman wrote: "Superman is Clark Kent."

  13. #13

    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    だれのですか。 *point*

    Or for more specificity, だれの(whatever)ですか。

    are both pretty standard as far as I know. If people are having trouble understanding, try speaking slower. I notice that a lot of Japanese make this mistake (which is common all over the world) -- as soon as something doesn't seem to immediately click, they get flustered and start rambling with a whole bunch of different words, or trying to inject English words, which only confuses the listener (who really just needed to hear it one more time). Similarly, sometimes when you're uneasy about the correctness of your language, it's tempting to mumble. I do that a lot, but it helps when I force myself to say my best guess in as clear a voice as possible.

    Note: bear in mind that の is also the abbreviation for んですか, so if you just say だれの there is I suppose a slight chance of confusion. (Although I have never witnessed this being ambiguous.)
    Last edited by Wakatta; December 10th, 2008 at 16:02.

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    You don't pronounce it like 'Dar-ey' do you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Senior Member ampersand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakatta View Post
    Note: bear in mind that の is also the abbreviation for んですか, so if you just say だれの there is I suppose a slight chance of confusion. (Although I have never witnessed this being ambiguous.)
    んです(か)・の can't immediately follow a noun. You need to put a な in there, so it would be 誰なの.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ampersand View Post
    んです(か)・の can't immediately follow a noun. You need to put a な in there, so it would be 誰なの.
    Right, that's why I said there was a "slight" chance of confusion if he was mumbling or something.

    Although if he was pointing at a toothbrush and saying "誰の" I'm pretty sure nobody would assume he was asking for the toothbrush's name. So I'm at a loss! Ali might have it.

    That's definitely happened to me. Hell, today, someone mentioned a word I wasn't familiar with (親戚 しんせき) and I was trying to figure out what it meant; I hazarded something like, 親戚の「しん」は両親の「しん」ですか。 and she definitely shook her head and told me it wasn't. I suspect I just wasn't speaking clearly enough.
    Last edited by Wakatta; December 10th, 2008 at 20:09.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese Question word "why"

    If anything I say it "Da-rey no" with an upword inflextion on the the "no" but I might mumble it from time to time so I guess thats where the problem is.
    Superman once wrote on the wall: "Batman is a wimp."
    The next day Batman wrote: "Superman is Clark Kent."

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