If there is no darkness

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by DragonRelease, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. DragonRelease New Member

    I'm new to this forum and so am I to Japanese. I have been learning Japanese for a while now and I can handle Hiragana, Katakana and a few simple Kanji due to learning them on the Internet. But I can't find any good tools to learn grammar. So here's my question:
    I want to translate the sentence: "If there is no darkness, there can't be light."
    My translation would be:
    If I am wrong in any point, please correct it and tell me why it was not correct.
  2. lrosa Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    Welcome to the forum!

    Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_verb_conjugations#Provisional_Conditional_eba_form
    Note that ない nai (negative) becomes -なければ -nakereba, so 闇があればない should be 闇がなければ

    Also take a look at http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/potential
    This page deals with potential forms of Japanese verbs and notes that the verb ある is an exception and becomes ありえる. You cannot use 出来る directly after a verb - you must add ことが, e.g. 食(た)べることができない (I can't eat.) But again, the verb ある is an exception and あることができる is not commonly said.
  3. DragonRelease New Member

    Thanks for your reply.
    I read through the links you sent and I have got following questions now. It'd be kind of you to answer them,too.

    1) In one of the examples ( 友達のおかげで、映画をただで見るのができた) the verb dekiru is not written in Kanji. Is it due to the past form? I've already seen this with 全て/すべて, too. But here, it there is no (direct! I know there is だ/だった) past form, so I can't tell why one time it is in Kanji and at the other time it isn't. Do you know why?

    2) The link says if you conjugate the verbs with -られる/-える, it turns them all into ru-verbs. Does this mean then the -te-form is also formed normally? For example:
    • 終わる -> 終われる -> 終われている
    • 話す -> 話せる -> 話せている
    • 見る -> 見られる -> 見られている
    Is this correct?
  4. lrosa Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    1) I'm quite sure it's not to do with the past form, but I got 940,000,000 Google results for できる and 259,000,000 for 出来る - the word is more commonly written in Hiragana. There is likely some subtle difference between using Kanji vs. Hiragana for common words such as dekiru, koto, toki, tame, takusan, etc. But these are beyond my knowledge.

    2) Yes, those are the correct -te forms.
  5. blutorange2 Member

    I have been wondering how often a certain kanji spelling was intended by the writer ; and how often it's just the result of them not caring enough and going along with the first thing the IME suggests. Well, sometimes it's best not to think too hard about it. And both spellings are common enough that you should be able to recognize them.

    A certain spelling can also be used for emphatic purposes. Also, kanji usage depends upon the target audience, and the author's style in general. I've seen じゃ無い used consistently...
  6. DragonRelease New Member

    So, I know the Japaneses have a huge respect system. And something can easily be done wrong when you don't know. And according to what you said, isn't it kind of a compliment for a Japanese when you give them a text with very much kanji because you expect them to be very intelligent, or do they understand it that way that you act arrogantly - due to your knowledge, everything written in kanji - and you don't even want your partner to understand you? For exemple 有る for ある or じゃ無い for じゃない.
    Does anybody have an answer to that?

    Speaking of that makes me remember another thing: When watching animes, I often see オレ instead of 俺 or ボク instead of 僕. Because it's in animes whose targeted audience is teenagers, I guess they don't expect them to know the kanji. But why is it Katakana this time? Is it a thing of personal intendence wheather to write in hiragana or katakana or is there a rule?
  7. mimimarie

    mimimarie Senior Member

    Hi, I'm Japanese and I think you are guessing pretty well....
    About using hiragana, kanji, or katakana, we actually don't have exact rules.
    But in my opinion,a writing in hiragana gives a soft and feminine impressions. On the other hand, a writing used too much kanji seems rather formal, masculine or unfriendly. And katakana is.... originally we use it for the words of foreign origin,then if you use katakana intentionally for a Japanese word,maybe you want to emphasize the word....well it's up to the occasion.
  8. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    Imagine a sheet of paper filled with a lot of kanji―like your thread title suggests, you may say, 'Wow! 真っ黒だ!' Full of kanji shows a sheet darker, making it hard to read and less motivating a reader to read.

    Selecting できる than 出来る for example, selecting hiragana―although you need to do properly―can give more 'white spaces' on a sheet, thus making it easier to read. Interesting, isn't it? It's true, and this is not only on a sheet of paper, but also in a short sentence on the PC's screen. I like using hiragana often for this reason. (To you all kanji users, I don't mean that you should stop using kanji a lot!) I know a manager in my office who complains all the time 'Whoa I can't see (the words on the sheet)' because of his declining eyesight.

    However, there are people who like using kanji a lot, as you said, when they want to show themselves more intelligent, or their preference. And we don't have a rule to define how many, how often we should use it, as mimimarie said.

    オレ、ボク are more casual than their kanji. Yes.

Share This Page