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Thread: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

  1. #1
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    Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    I been having a tough time trying to decide how to go about translating kanji with hiragana at the end. They are often used to seperate different kanji with several meaning for example 起 reads as "Awakening" but with (きる) at the end it's read as "get up" and occur" and with (こる) at the end it comes out as "occur". When I translate a sentence like "起こらない" to me I translate it as "happen らない" but I've been wondering if I should include the ら character to make it "happen ない". But I also wonder since that the hiragana "こら" doesn't match the hiragana in my dictionary "こる" if I should treat 起 as 'happen" instead of "occur". So I'm wondering if the sentence comes out as:

    1. "Awakening koranai" (起こらない)
    2. "Occur ranai" (起こらない)
    3. "Occur nai" (起こらない)

    Sorry I don't know the translation for ない or the other variations I've shown, if that is what it comes out to be. I was also wondering about if hiragana at the end of kanji can be substituted such as "い" for "う" or if the sentence "起こない" doesn't include the "る" or "ら" if could be translated as "occur" or "awakening" if that is what it comes out to be. Also I'm sorry for the lenght of the post and the possible confusion of it.

  2. #2
    Translator 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member cmertb's Avatar
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    Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    Hmm, are you Chinese by any chance? Or have you learned Chinese?

    It's just that I can't come up with any other explanation for the fact that you know kanji, but you don't know the very basics of Japanese.

    The thing is, in Japanese you can't really speak of "kanji with hiragana at the end" when it comes to verbs. You can't translate 起 alone, there is not such word in Japanese. But there is a word 起こる(おこる), which means "to occur", and there is a word 起きる(おきる), which can mean either "to get up" or "to occur". And then there are very specific rules about how verbs are conjugated depending on the function they serve in the sentence. Let's take おこる as an example:

    おこる - plain dictionary form, to occur
    おこらない - not occur
    おこりません - not occur, but polite
    おこった - occurred
    おこらなかった - did not occur
    おこっている - is occurring (with the help of another verb)
    おこりたい - want to occur
    おこりたかった - wanted to occur
    おこりたくなかった - did not want to occur
    and many, many other more complex forms.  All of which you will need to memorize.

    So I would suggest that you start from here: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar and get the basics down before you translate.

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    Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    I'm American of no Asian decent. I have not taken a Japanese class mainly because my college doesn't offer it. I have a huge dictionary called the Kanji Dictionary that covers basically all Kanji. My dictionary shows the character and the different meanings that can be read from it. The english translation for the word I was showing 起 comes out as "Ki" in english meaning "Awakening" but for "Occur" it comes out as o(koru). When I recently found this word in one my books the kanji symbol was next to the Hiragana characters こら (kora) I was mainly wondering since the these characters are close to (koru) one would be able to substitue them or if you mainly translate 起 alone form the rest of the sentence. I also noticed that some words that end with (eru) in them often end with the "e" and basically wondered if it was okay to translate the character even if the complete characters weren't there. I also asked about translating hiragana since some of my books have long chunks of hiragana in between kanji. I also don't have any program that I can use to put kanji into a translation site to get a more accurate translation. I mainly translate these books for my own enjoyment and I'm sorry if I sound angry in this post, I didn't mean to come off that way. Thank you for your time.
    Last edited by Sharaku; December 15, 2009 at 12:42 AM. Reason: Missing sentence

  4. #4
    Intl Translator 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Ju-da-su's Avatar
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    Mx0 Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    Don't mean to make it sound like an offense, but...for example, if I got this sentence: "She has gone to the party and met with him". I want to translate this sentence, but I have some problems. What's the "has" for? Since my dictionary has it that "has" means to "possess something". How am I supposed to translate that? Am I supposed to translate the "-ne" at the end of "go"? Why do I need to have "to" after "go"? What's "the" for? What exactly is that "and" do in the sentence? My dictionary doesn't have the word "met". How is it different from "meet"? What's that "with" for? And why can't I just use the word "he" instead of "him", if it means the same? Wouldn't it be OK if I just say "She go party meet he"?

    That's what you're actually asking, IMO. Basically, most of the times, hiraganas are used for grammatical purpose in Japanese, like cmerbt said. If you don't know the grammar, even if you know all the words in the sentence, you'll never understand how are they supposed to go together. If you seriously want to be able to translate, then I'd say, kanji dict would NEVER be enough if you don't know any basic Japanese grammar.

    With the "eru"=>"e", mostly, it's like "giving order" or "more formal form of saying (one sentence), and (another sentence)", depending on the context. I'd say, you have to look at the context and translate it out to get the closest meaning accross, NOT leaving a romaji with it. Just imagine this: if you're a Japanese reader, how will you react if you see someone wrote "起ing", saying that they translate it from "occuring" and don't know how to get the "ing" in there? Similar fashion...

    And with the chunk of hiragana in between kanjis, you know what? I dare bet that inside that chunk you're talking about, there are hiraganas that'll serve either as tense, conversion between verb, noun, adjective (like how you'll change "to change" to "changing" to make it into "the changing world", or "wide" to "width"), onomatopoeia or word that you'll use to connect two things together (eg. "is", "am", "are", "and", "or", "but", "though", "then", etc.). Otherwise, try searching for those words in your kanji dict then.

    One thing I'm going to say, if you don't understand how Japanese grammar works, then don't translate yet. Translation isn't a process of blindly placing together all the words you know and just hope that you get the right meaning of the sentence across.

    PS. Sorry, I'm really bad at explaining stuff after all. >__<"
    Last edited by Ju-da-su; December 15, 2009 at 08:43 AM.

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    Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    Are there any books that you know of that could help me get a better grasp on Japanese grammar or hiragana. Also my Kanji dictionary is not a typical Japanese to English dictionary, the only way to look up a word is by finding the radical that the symbol is attached to or how the symbol is translated in english such as "kokoro" for heart or mind.

  6. #6
    Translator 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member cmertb's Avatar
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    Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    Try the link I provided above. It's a very thorough introduction to grammar, better than most beginner books. After that, you should also try a more detailed look at verbs here: http://www.timwerx.net/language/jpverbs/index.htm

    For the kana (hiragana and katakana), you don't actually need a book. Just learn them. There was a Java applet somewhere online that was very good at teaching character recognition. You could basically go 5 characters at a time, and the whole process took about 1.5 hours of total study time per syllabary. I can try to find it if you're interested.

    If you want actual books, they are plentiful. Most people I asked recommended the Genki series of books, but I've never tried it myself.

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    Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    It appears I made a mistake in my question. What I ment to ask about was the okurigana at the end of kun readings for the kanji and my example and question was based on that. When translating a stand alone kanji symbol that's not combined with another kanji character if it is possible to translate that symbol even if the hiragana coming after that symbol doesn't match that reading in a dictionary. Since I often find the symbol for "expensive" "高" is often accompinied by "く" and I can't find any diffinition when both are combined. I've also read the article on okurigana on Wikipedia and other internet articles and I know this new question may not make a difference, but I just wanted to just clear up the confusion.

  8. #8
    Intl Translator 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Ju-da-su's Avatar
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    Blush Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    ...Gosh, I just don't know how to explain it...I'm sorry beforehand then, since I think what I'm going to say will turn out to be a bit harsh as well...

    高い = High, expensive
    高く = Highly, expensively
    高さ = Height

    Tell me what's the difference between "high", "highly" and "height" and that's your answer. Basically, these are all grammatical stuff that you got to know before being able to read any kind of literature. Your kanji dict have something like たか(い) in the kunyomi part, I assumed? Then you should already know that the () means the hiragana it needs to make it into the definition of the adjective itself (in this case is い, because 高い is an い-adj). If you add the い into it, then it makes it 'high', an adjective. If you understand the grammar of it, you should be able to know right away that い-adj, if you put a く in, it's no difference from putting a "-ly" at the end of the word.

    Like cmertb said, all these word...most of the time, you won't understand the thing fully just by looking at the kanji alone. You might be able to slide through a bit with the adjectives, but with verbs...you'll need tense and stuff like in English. Not to mention that the "not" with verb in English will become the hiragana at the end of the kanji. (There are some numbers of kanjis which mean "no", but they're not used with verbs. Mostly, it's with the adjective, and still, most of the time, the "not"-adjective would be said with the hiragana that follows it (くない and じゃない))

    I would say, stop looking just at the kanji and lying to yourself that kanji is actually all you need to be able to understand Japanese. Those hiraganas are even more important than those kanji sometimes, and if you don't know that they're part of the word, with kanji and hiragana, then I can't imagine how are you going to read any Japanese literature and being able to understand it. Yeah, knowing the kanji is important in being able to understand Japanese literature, but if you don't know the grammar...let alone translating it, you won't understand what the thing is saying anyway even if you got all the kanjis memorized. If you're aiming just to get the kanji and let off all those kana, then seriously, go translate Chinese, not Japanese. (Since you won't need any kanas in Chinese anyway. No need to know what the kanas are for...though Chinese can be tricky from times to times especially with proper noun...>_<")

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    Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    I know what I may say next may not make a difference, but I'm not trying to avoid defining the hiragana in between the Kanji. Of the dictionaries I have only a hand full of hiragana are acutually translated such no, kara, suru, etc. words like "tame" and "toshite" are not found in my Japanese to English dictionaries. What I do is translate the the Kanji first and then translate the hiragana on the internet. And I don't use sites like Babelfish and Altavista, but sites like http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/c...wwwjdic.cgi?1C, but even then words like sono, tachito, and kara are left untranslated and I have to search around other sites for their meaning. Once again I realize that there are still probibly issues with the fact that I use websites to translate my stuff.

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    Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    kara is particle, like ha, (w)o, de... sorry before you go into translating stuff try to learn first how are sentences build in language, learn about particles, about diffrent constructions of sentences, about declinations of verbs..., otherway its totally useless effort from your side, kanji are tought in later parts of japanese course cause they are less important for begginers.

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    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner Subito's Avatar
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    Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    Quote Quote:
    I also don't have any program that I can use to put kanji into a translation site to get a more accurate translation.
    Wait, what? I think this is your biggest problem. If I read it correctly.
    So you're saying you can't type in Japanese on your computer...? (But you seemed to be able to before...whatever.) I can't help you if you have a Mac, but for Windows, you just need to go under Control Panel>Regional Options>Keyboards and then slap a Japanese keyboard on there. I'm sure Google can help there you too.

    Quote Quote:
    What I do is translate the the Kanji first and then translate the hiragana on the internet.
    That obviously doesn't always work, or you wouldn't have made this thread, right? It's like everyone else has said--it doesn't work because words don't always end with kanji. End of kanji =/= end of word. 起 is not a word. 起 is NOT a word. Therefore, you can't translate 起. 起きる IS a word. 起こる is a word. 高い is a word. 芯・足・杖・風邪・流行 are all words. But 起 is not a word.

    Quote Quote:
    Also my Kanji dictionary is not a typical Japanese to English dictionary
    Yes, it sounds like a kanji dictionary. That's not really a Japanese-English dictionary. Get a normal Japanese-English dictionary, or better yet, go monolingual and use a Japanese-Japanese dictionary.
    Kanji dictionaries would list 起, because it is a Chinese character. Doeeeesn't make it a word.


    First, get your computer set up so it allows you to type in Japanese. THEN look words up. With their hiragana tails. If you're really struggling with the tails, get rikaichan and use the lookup bar.
    fly on, little wing

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member Syphilias's Avatar
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    Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    Quote Originally Posted by Subito View Post
    Wait, what? I think this is your biggest problem. If I read it correctly.
    So you're saying you can't type in Japanese on your computer...? (But you seemed to be able to before...whatever.) I can't help you if you have a Mac, but for Windows, you just need to go under Control Panel>Regional Options>Keyboards and then slap a Japanese keyboard on there. I'm sure Google can help there you too.



    That obviously doesn't always work, or you wouldn't have made this thread, right? It's like everyone else has said--it doesn't work because words don't always end with kanji. End of kanji =/= end of word. 起 is not a word. 起 is NOT a word. Therefore, you can't translate 起. 起きる IS a word. 起こる is a word. 高い is a word. 芯・足・杖・風邪・流行 are all words. But 起 is not a word.


    Yes, it sounds like a kanji dictionary. That's not really a Japanese-English dictionary. Get a normal Japanese-English dictionary, or better yet, go monolingual and use a Japanese-Japanese dictionary.
    Kanji dictionaries would list 起, because it is a Chinese character. Doeeeesn't make it a word.


    First, get your computer set up so it allows you to type in Japanese. THEN look words up. With their hiragana tails. If you're really struggling with the tails, get rikaichan and use the lookup bar.


    MAC OSX (at least) can use Japanese Input also. I forgot how to set it up but with a little poking around in config you'll find it really fast.


    OMG THANK YOU! I've actually been trying to find a monolingual dictionary for YEARS without having to actually buy one. My only question is I don't actually know how to use a Japanese dictionary. I'll do some looking around but generally what is the format? From what I've seen it looks like this is the basic rundown, but I may be wrong...


    おこる 2 【起(こ)る】 <- kanji showing which form is used

    * (動ラ五[四]) <- ??? stroke count/classify?
    *
    o (1)物事・事態や動きが新しく生じる。おきる。 <--- I don't know if this is showing context or what... It kind of doesn't help because if I don't know those kanji, then how am I supposed to read it? This is my main question to how to use a Japanese dictionary. How does it help you if you don't know the other kanji?
    o
    + 「事件が―・った」 <----- showing different kanji it can connect with?
    + 「摩擦で静電気が―・る」
    + 「突然、喚声が―・った」
    + 「ぜんそくの発作が―・る」
    *
    o (2)ある感情や欲望などが心の中に生ずる。
    o
    + 「いたずら心が―・る」
    + 「悪心が―・る」
    *
    o (3)勢いがさかんになる。
    o
    + 「国が―・る」
    *
    o (4)それまで静かだったものが立ち上がって行動を始める。
    o
    + 「山の人、―・りののしりしかば/栄花(暮待つ星)」









    I'd really like someone's expertise here, I'm dumbfounded as to how a native Japanese speaker looks up a word without ANY ENGLISH?


    SUMMARY OF POST:

    "How do you define a Japanese word in Japanese?"


    http://alyks-rant.blogspot.com/2009/01/monolingual.html

    This kind of helped... SO basically the point of the monolingual dictionary is to see the word in context rather than give a clear-cut definition. This way you can come to your own conclusions of the word.

    That's what I love about Japanese! It's so open ended, and it allows you to be so poetic by choosing words that can be interpreted a certain way...
    Last edited by Syphilias; December 27, 2009 at 02:29 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  13. #13
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner Subito's Avatar
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    Re: Hiragana at the end of Kanji

    So it seems like you figured out how to use a Japanese dictionary?

    Although in case you're still not sure,

    Quote Quote:
    * (動ラ五[四]) <- ??? stroke count/classify?
    I dunno, I just ignore it that stuff.
    Quote Quote:
    (1)物事・事態や動きが新しく生じる。おきる。 <--- I don't know if this is showing context or what... It kind of doesn't help because if I don't know those kanji, then how am I supposed to read it? This is my main question to how to use a Japanese dictionary. How does it help you if you don't know the other kanji?
    This is your definition. "Things, conditions, actions etc newly arise. To occur."

    Quote Quote:
    + 「事件が―・った」 <----- showing different kanji it can connect with?
    + 「摩擦で静電気が―・る」
    + 「突然、喚声が―・った」
    + 「ぜんそくの発作が―・る」
    These are example sentences. the long dash "―" is substituted for whatever word you're looking up. For example, the first sentence is "事件が起こった" or "an incident occurred".

    Quote Quote:
    (2)ある感情や欲望などが心の中に生ずる。
    Second definition.
    Quote Quote:
    「いたずら心が―・る」
    + 「悪心が―・る」
    Example sentences for the second definition.
    Quote Quote:
    (3)勢いがさかんになる。
    o
    + 「国が―・る」
    *
    o (4)それまで静かだったものが立ち上がって行動を始める。
    o
    + 「山の人、―・りののしりしかば/栄花(暮待つ星)」
    You get the idea, right?

    Quote Quote:
    I've actually been trying to find a monolingual dictionary for YEARS without having to actually buy one. My only question is I don't actually know how to use a Japanese dictionary.
    >__> Here.
    Japanese Google is your friend. Don't let English Google try to convince you otherwise!

    Although you really might want to buy a paper dictionary. The one I bought is pretty awesome--it has furigana and is made for grade school kids so it's (usually) really easy to understand. Plus there are all these little sections on culture and word usage and stuff... and you've gotta admit that it's just awesome slapping some book with crazy foreign characters all over it on your table. I think it cost me about $40 with shipping and everything. Definitely worth it. The only points I'm not totally satisfied about are the lack of "hard" kanji (but it's a kid's dictionary, what do you expect) and how it seems not to include repeated words/uncommon 擬態語 (which are apparently called "mimetic words" in English). But it'll still carry you a long, long way.
    fly on, little wing

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