Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese Forum

To address questions and improvements for the Japanese Grammar Guide as well as topics concerning Japanese in general.

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#1 2012-02-29 05:51:33

unc0mm0n
Member

大丈夫 + 2 more random questions

In a random song I encountered I heard this line:
大丈夫 元気出して
the English translation was: "Don't worry, cheer up"
I searched in Jisho and found that 元気出して is an expression that means "Cheer up", but can 大丈夫 be translated as "don't worry"?
How would you translate that sentence?

I have another question so I'll just dump it here:
according to the "noun properties" page of the guide,
スミスさんのは、どれですか?
means: "which one is Smith-san's?"
but if I want to ask: "Which one is Smith-San?" would it be:
スミスさんは、どれですか?
or does something not make sense here?

edit: and yet another question, sorry.
the sentence: リーさんの趣味は何ですか? was translated as: "Lee-san, what is your hobby", but depending on context, can it also mean "What is Lee-san's hobby"? If it can't, why is that?

Last edited by unc0mm0n (2012-02-29 07:27:44)

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#2 2012-02-29 07:22:51

Shadd
Member

Re: 大丈夫 + 2 more random questions

As for the 大丈夫, i think it would help to think of it as "it's ok". As a whole, 大丈夫 元気出して would literally be something like "it's ok, you'll be fine", which is quite close in flavour to "don't worry, cheer up".

About the second question, i believe it's a typo; the correct one for that question would be スミスさんのは、だれですか? as だれ means "who".

The last one: yes you could. Japanese have polite habits, one of which is right there: using the name to refer to the person they're speaking with, instead of a pronoun like the various forms of "you", which is considered less polite.

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#3 2012-02-29 07:32:47

unc0mm0n
Member

Re: 大丈夫 + 2 more random questions

Shadd wrote:

As for the 大丈夫, i think it would help to think of it as "it's ok". As a whole, 大丈夫 元気出して would literally be something like "it's ok, you'll be fine", which is quite close in flavour to "don't worry, cheer up".

I see, thanks.

Shadd wrote:

About the second question, i believe it's a typo; the correct one for that question would be スミスさんのは、だれですか? as だれ means "who".

oh ok, so どね would be used when referring to objects while だねwhen referring to people?

Shadd wrote:

The last one: yes you could. Japanese have polite habits, one of which is right there: using the name to refer to the person they're speaking with, instead of a pronoun like the various forms of "you", which is considered less polite.

hmm... I understand but it's still a little confusing, maybe I'll get it with enough practice.
but what would you do when addressing someone you don't know?

Thanks for the help.

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#4 2012-02-29 10:05:44

jenl
Member

Re: 大丈夫 + 2 more random questions

for people: だれ (not だね) or sometimes どちら is used.
for objects: どれ

It is possible to use あなた if addressing someone you don't know if it is necessary to make the sentence clear, but quite often you don't need to use a pronoun at all.
If you were having a conversation with someone you'd just met, you could say, "趣味は何ですか", and unless there is some special context that usually means you're asking about the person you're talking to.
Or if you're asking permission you don't need to including pronouns to say "do you mind if I..." ,because that's implicit in the ~てもいいですか? form.

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#5 2012-02-29 19:19:12

Shadd
Member

Re: 大丈夫 + 2 more random questions

Yup, a lotof things can often be left unsaid in japanese. The only case i can think of in which you would mandatorily need a pronoun would be when in need to indicate a possession or other kind of genitive about your interlocutor. In other words, things you would use the の particle for.
I would say the proority about the pronouns to use is much like this:
Title/role name > Surname (+honorific) > Name (+ honorific) > personal pronoun
Although i myself would probably switch the last two around rather than risk a lack of respect.

About your confusion, most likely you will get used to it with practice but it's a bad idea to leave something to time alone if you didn't understand it thoroughly, so if there's anything still unclear keep asking.
The easier way to get the right idea about the use of personal "pointers" (i call them like that because they can be pronouns, but they can also be names and so on - i needed some larger term) is to think as to being talking in third person.
In japanese, a conversation like this wouldn't be odd at all:
Bob: Hello.
John: Hello. Is Bob fine?
Bob: Yes, I'm fine.

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