短能

Hello everyone, ~ みなさん、こんにちは、

a Japanese friend of mine wrote me the following sentence:

英語、フランス、ドイツ語は短能ですね。。頭が下がります!

I have problems to understand what she means by: "は短能ですね".

My try:
"English, French and German are scarce skills (on the job market). I admire you greatly!

May you please tell me if I got it right? :confused:
Suggestions for improvement are welcome. :)

Thank you very much! ~ ありがとうございます !
The USE ~ヨーロッパ合衆国
 
  • SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    The most probable interpretation is that 短能 is merely the typo for 堪能 (fluent). The both have the same pronunciation.

    Another possibility is that it can be sarcasm using that pun as you interpreted.
    短能 is a coined word, which would mean "the lack of ability."
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    You cannot understand 短能 as rare abilities. At least in Japanese, 短 is primarily "short." It has extended meaningsof "shortcomings" as in 短所, and "lacking" as in 短欠 (See Wiktionary s.v.). I am not aware of the sense "rare."
     

    SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    @SoLaTiDoberman , I interpreted 短能 not as a sarcastic comment. Okay. I see.
    I understood it as "rare competence on the job market". Someone able to speak French, German and English is rare on the job market. --- This interpretation is just wrong.
    Would you agree to that? --No.
    Or do you think that there is no way, that my friend would have meant this. --- No way. There is zero possibility for that interpretation.
    If it was not sarcasm, 短能 must have been typo for 堪能. It is a miss character conversion from "ta n no u" to kanji letters.
    Other candidates might be 胆嚢, 単能, 単横 etc.
    This type of typo always happens according to the low-performance of the word-processor and the writer's carelessness.

    "You're fluent in English, French and German. I admire you greatly!

    But I still think of the possibility that 短能 includes sarcasm or a joke because a usual/normal word-processor doesn't convert "ta nn no u" to 短能 automatically. I strongly suspect that there was the writer's intention to choose it.
    If it were 単能 (this is another bad, offensive and rude word), I wouldn't think it as sarcasm. It can be typo for 堪能. It can be merely a miss-conversion.
    But 短能 is a coined word, which usually doesn't appear to the converting list on the word-processors, unless the writer intentionally creates it.
    For this reason, I don't know what was actually going on there.

    Anyway, one thing for sure is that 短能 cannot have a positive meaning. It only has a negative, offensive and rude connotation. It doesn't mean "the ability that is rare and valuable."
     
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