gaikokujin-ni shitewa yoku hanasemasune

parlo

New Member
Italian
I only heard it from Pimsleur Japanese lesson 3, they say it in the last 2 minutes but don't give the meaning, I try to write it in romaji:

go haiko go jinni shitewa yoku hanasemasune.

If anybody can help translate it many thanks!
 
  • Wishfull

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Hi.
    Is it typo of "gaikokujin-ni shitewa yoku hanasemasune."?

    If so, "You can speak very well as a foerigner, can't you?"
     

    parlo

    New Member
    Italian
    That's it! But can someone explain better this part: "gaikokujin-ni shitewa"

    What does it mean part by part?
     

    Starfrown

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Hi.
    Is it typo of "gaikokujin-ni shitewa yoku hanasemasune."?

    If so, "You can speak very well for a foreigner, can't you?"
    :)

    That's it! But can someone explain better this part: "gaikokujin-ni shitewa"

    What does it mean part by part?
    Benvenuto parlo. Spero che la mia risposta possa aiutarti.

    The combination of the particle ni with the verb suru, meaning "to do," must be translated as "to make."

    You also must understand that the combination of the te-form with the particle wa results in a construction that is often best translated with a conditional. It is perhaps better literally understood by a combination of "as for" and the gerund. Example from the movie Zatoichi:

    こんな狭いところで刀そんな風につかんじゃ駄目だよ
    Konna semai tokoro de katana sonna fuu ni tsukanja (=tsukande wa) dame da yo.

    Translation (not very natural, but it will illustrate my point):
    "If you draw your sword in such a cramped place, it'll be no good."

    More literally:
    "As for drawing your sword in such a cramped place..."

    Therefore, I think we may understand gaikokujin ni shite wa as:

    "If [one] makes [it] a foreigner..."

    which is roughly equivalent to:

    "If one is talking of a foreigner..."

    which is essentially the same as:

    "For a foreigner..."

    I'd like to know what the native speakers think of my interpretation.
     
    Last edited:

    parlo

    New Member
    Italian
    I know gaijin means foreigner so what's "koku" between gai and jin? And what does shitewa mean?
     

    Starfrown

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I know gaijin means foreigner so what's "koku" between gai and jin? And what does shitewa mean?
    Koku is "country."

    Gaikokujin = "foreign country person" = "foreigner"

    Shite is the te-form of suru. I don't know whether you have learned the te-form yet. If not, you should read up on it. There are plenty of internet resources that address it, I'm sure.

    The combination of shite and the particle wa could be translated as:

    "If [I/you/one] do/does [it]..."

    Keep in mind that this is only a rough guide. You cannot always translate it with a conditional. You must study the te-form to gain a fuller sense of its meaning.

    Spesso è difficile tradurre letteralmente anche le espressioni giapponesi più semplici.
     
    Last edited:

    Wishfull

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you, Starfrown, for correction. (as→for)

    Hi,Parlo.
    I agree with Starfrown.
    But I think you had better not analysis each part of "nishitewa",
    because native like me never thought of it.

    For example;

    Your English is excellent for Japanese.
    nihon-jin nishitewa eigo ga umai desune.

    =Your English is not natural for a native speaker but I can understand it. It is no good for a native speaker, but I would rather say it is some kind of "good" English or "excellent" one, because I take it into consideration that usual Japanese can't speak English at all, or their Englsih is usually very poor. In other words, "Your English might be excellent, if I think about Japanese people's English ability."


    In this example; for=nishitewa

    I advice you had better learn "nishitewa" as idiomatic expression that means "for" in English.

    Wishfull.
     

    Derselbe

    Senior Member
    Deutsch, German, ドイツ語
    I know gaijin means foreigner so what's "koku" between gai and jin? And what does shitewa mean?
    Gaijin is an abbreviation of gaikokujin. It might sound rude and insulting and some foreigners might get angry when they hear it. You will certainly not want to use it in formal situations.

    Literally translated gaikokujin means "person from another country"
    and gaijin means "person from outside", so it can contain the meaning that you don't belong there.
     

    Derselbe

    Senior Member
    Deutsch, German, ドイツ語
    In this example; for=nishitewa

    I advice you had better learn "nishitewa" as idiomatic expression that means "for" in English.
    But there are a lot of ways to express "for a person" in Japanese, aren't they?

    外国人には難しすぎる。外国人にとって難しすぎる。 :tick: (It's too difficult for a foreigner)

    but
    外国人にしては日本語が上手だね。:tick: (He speaks good Japanese for a foreigner)
    外国人には日本語が上手だね。外国人にとって日本語が上手だね:cross: (That seems wrong to me. But I'm not sure.)

    So I prefer to tranlate those things in a way that makes them unique also in English:

    外国人にしては日本語が上手だね。= He speaks good Japanese considering that he's a foreigner/if you keep in mind that he's a foreigner.

    If you learn it this way you are not in danger of confusing Japanese constructions that can be translated by the same word in English.

    Starfrown: I never thought about te-form that way. Very interesting. It will certainly help me getting closer to understanding Japanese grammar. Thanks for that. And it explains why
    しないといけない and
    しなくてはいけない mean the same thing.

    I never heard something like
    するといけない but following that logic it should be the same as してはいけない. Is that correct?
     

    Starfrown

    Senior Member
    English - US
    こんな狭いところで刀そんな風につかんじゃ駄目だよ
    Konna semai tokoro de katana sonna fuu ni tsukanja (=tsukande wa) dame da yo.

    Translation (not very natural, but it will illustrate my point):
    "If you draw your sword in that way in such a cramped place, it'll be no good."

    More literally:
    "As for drawing your sword in that way in such a cramped place..."
    Left out an important detail.
     

    Wishfull

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Hi.
    I advice you one more thing.

    praising something for a person→nishitewa
    saying something good, affirmative, positive for a person→nishitewa

    saying someting negative, putting down for a person→niwa, nitottewa.

    See, you can learn easily.
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Starfrown: I never thought about te-form that way. Very interesting. It will certainly help me getting closer to understanding Japanese grammar. Thanks for that. And it explains why
    しないといけない and
    しなくてはいけない mean the same thing.

    I never heard something like
    するといけない but following that logic it should be the same as してはいけない. Is that correct?
    するといけない is used in the sense of "must not" as in (shameless Web search):
    足のためにはあまり太るといけないんですよね。
    They shouldn't gain much weight for the feet, right?

    It has another meaning at least as frequent as the sense of prohibition. I don't know how to call it in a word but it is on a par with "lest something should happen":
    濡れるといけないからレインコートを着なよ。
    Put on your raincoat lest you should get wet.

    いけない here is not so much the speaker's ban on getting wet as his worry that the listener may get wet. You cannot say 濡れてはいけない to express your worry.
     
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