I don't speak much Japanese

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doodoo11

New Member
England, English
Can anyone help me with the phrase: " I don't speak much Japanese" in Japanese?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    doodoo11 said:
    Can anyone help me with the phrase: " I don't speak much Japanese" in Japanese?

    Thanks in advance.
    Before natives reply, here's a similar thread - maybe you could give it a try now? :)

    Jana
     

    doodoo11

    New Member
    England, English
    Thanks, I looked at that already:D

    But I'm not wanting to say I don't speak any Japanese, I want to say, I don't speak much Japanese.

    Thanks anyway!
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    私はあまり日本語がしゃべれません。
    Watashi-wa amari nihongo-ga shabere masen.
    I-Topic soMuch Japanese-Acc ableToSpeak NotPolite.
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hmm, I have been taking liberty of using a very unusual notation to give out the gross of Japanese sentences. Am I making myself successfully understood?
     

    kamome

    Senior Member
    italian - italy
    済みません、「私は」 日本語が少しだけ出来ます。

    「sumimasen, (watashi wa) nihongo ga sukoshi dake dekimasu」
    "sorry, ( I ) can manage only a little with japanese"

    かもめ
     

    kamome

    Senior Member
    italian - italy
    please, Flam, would you mind helping me to understand the difference between 「話す」 and 「しゃべる」 ?

    どうも有り難う。

    かもめ
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    From semantic point of view, しゃべる seems to refer to an act of speaking that is less consistent and intentional than はなす.

    A verbal modifier -chirasu means, "doing something away." It can combine with しゃべる to mean "chattering away" but はなしちらす sounds odd. The two verbs can derive nouns with o- prefix (signifying respect or endearment). The former yields おしゃべり, meaning chatter or a talkative person, whereas the latter, おはなし which only means a story. Such usage as above may contribute to the fact that しゃべる is regarded as a lower register than はなす.

    In terms of syntactic difference, I am under impression that しゃべる is not very good at taking a direct object noun governed by -o. Here are some contrasts:
    To tell the truth
    OK 真実をはなす
    * 真実をしゃべる

    To tell the reason
    OK わけをはなす
    ?* わけをしゃべる

    To speak Latvian
    OK ラトヴィア語をはなす
    * ラトヴィア語をしゃべる

    In my post above, I used しゃべる in context of speaking Japanese. The example is grammatically okay since the verb is suffixed with -reru suffix that denotes potential sense. Come to think of it, however, 日本語がしゃべれる is less acceptable than 日本語が話せる, not only because of the register issue but also due to some syntactic constraints.

    Before making any more fatal faux pas, I entrust our fellow Japanese posters with the task of refuting or augmenting my points. qui tacet consentire videtur.

    Flaminius
     
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