Sunday, October 10, 2010

Language: The Lack of "The"

A quick post tonight... sometimes people ask how you say "the" in Japanese. This one is easy: there is no "the" in Japanese. There's also no "a" or "an".

"The dog" = "Inu"
"A dog" = "Inu"

How do you tell the difference? Context is your biggest ally in figuring out if the person is talking about a random dog or a specific one.

While this can be tough for English speakers to get used to, it's better than the opposite case, like in German!

In German everything is male, female or neuter so "the" could be, depending on the grammar, one of five or six (it's been awhile since I've studied!) possibilities.

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