Eikokurai

Studying Japanese through Sumo

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(This belongs in the Japan-Japanese section but for some reason I can only start a poll there, not a thread. Mods, if you can help me move this, that would be great.)

I’ve recently started studying Japanese again more seriously after a very long break. I’m a classic false beginner in that I studied it for about 9-10 months in 2007 but can’t consciously recall very much of it. So I have a foundation in the language and as part of my new study approach I’ve decided to focus on learning to talk about what interests me: sumo. I thought I’d start a thread in case anyone else on the forum is interested in joining in.

Basically, the idea is to study Japanese as one normally would in terms of grammar patterns and the like, but use sumo as the context for practice sentences. For example, to practice making comparatives I’ve written the following random sentences:

の方が B より () Adj (です)

A is (much) more Adj than B.

大相撲の方がMMAより面白いです。Ozumo no hō ga MMA yori omoshiroii desu.

Sumo is more interesting than MMA.

 

本場所の方が巡業よりも大切です。Honbasho no hō ga jungyo yori mo taisetsu desu.

Tournaments are much more important than regional tours.

 

関取の方が取り的より強く、上手いです。Sekitori no hō ga toriteki yori tsuyoku, umai desu. 

Sekitori are stronger and more skillful than non-salaried wrestlers.

 

曙の方が舞の海よりずっと背が高く、重いでした。Akebono no hō ga Mainoumi yori zutto sei ga takaku, omoi deshita.

Akebono was much taller and heavier than Mainoumi.

 

吊り出しの方が押し出しよりも珍しい決まり手です。Tsuridashi no hō ga oshidashi yori mo mezurashii kimarite desu.

Frontal lift out is a much rarer kimarite than frontal push out.

 

砂被りの方が自由席よりうっと高く、得難いです。Sunakaburi no hō ga jiyuseki yori zutto takaku,  egatai desu.

Ringside seats are much more expensive and harder to come by than the unreserved seats.

And so on.

 

Anyway, if any of you are also students of Japanese and think a thread about “sumo Japanese” would be of value, I’d love to have you contribute here. Also, if you’re a native speaker, please jump in with corrections of my inevitable mistakes! 
 

It doesn’t matter how good you are, I think it would be cool to have all levels, even if all you can say is “Hakuho ga suki desu.” I’d like to learn how to talk about what interests me instead of just doing the same old thing of ordering food, asking directions and buying subway tickets.

 

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Posted (edited)

Your sentences might be useful for writing in a special sumo context, but you could also try to train natural spoken language ones, the average Japanese would understand.

Edited by Akinomaki

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16 minutes ago, Akinomaki said:

Your sentences might be useful for writing in a special sumo context, but you could also try to train natural spoken language ones, the average Japanese would understand.

Thanks. I know they’re not natural as spoken language, but as they say you have to learn things right before you can get them wrong. They’re just for mastering that particular sentence pattern.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

砂被りの方が自由席よりうっと高く、得難いです。Sunakaburi no hō ga jiyuseki yori zutto takaku,  egatai desu.

Ringside seats are much more expensive and harder to come by than the unreserved seats.

 

I wanted to pick up on a couple of things that I've seen in your sentences and this sentences highlights both points. I'm not a teacher of Japanese, but I (used to) speak it at a fairly high level. I'll therefore be going on what I "feel" sounds better from my exposure to the language, but might not be able to give an accurate description of why.

1. I'd use もっと motto to mean "much more" rather than zutto. The latter gives the impression of something that continues through until the end or through a period of time, whereas motto is about an increase in something (level, amount, etc).

2. The second point is about the 'and' when using more than one adjective (for an -i adj) or adjectival phrase. In this case, you'd say 高くて 'takakute' and avoid the comma.

 

So, I'd write the sentence as: 

砂被りの方が自由席よりもっと高くて得難いです。

Sunakaburi no hō ga jiyūseki yori motto takakute egatai desu. 

Edited by Sasanishiki
I can't write in Japanese on my work laptop So edited with Japanese script later

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2 hours ago, Sasanishiki said:

I wanted to pick up on a couple of things that I've seen in your sentences and this sentences highlights both points. I'm not a teacher of Japanese, but I (used to) speak it at a fairly high level. I'll therefore be going on what I "feel" sounds better from my exposure to the language, but might not be able to give an accurate description of why.

1. I'd use もっと motto to mean "much more" rather than zutto. The latter gives the impression of something that continues through until the end or through a period of time, whereas motto is about an increase in something (level, amount, etc).

2. The second point is about the 'and' when using more than one adjective (for an -i adj) or adjectival phrase. In this case, you'd say 高くて 'takakute' and avoid the comma.

 

So, I'd write the sentence as: 

砂被りの方が自由席よりもっと高くて得難いです。

Sunakaburi no hō ga jiyūseki yori motto takakute egatai desu. 

Thanks. Appreciate that.

RE point 2. That is what I’ve always thought too, and originally wrote, but I removed the “te” after reading a description on pages 86-87 of “The Handbook of Japanese Adjectives and Adverbs” by Taeko Kamiya. It says there that adjectives are listed using both -ku and -te forms, with the difference being that the -te form has the nuance of the first adjective “causing” what follows in some way. When I ran the sentences through a translator to check the translation included ‘because’ when I used ‘-te’ and didn’t when I removed it. The translation without it more accurately matched my intended meaning, but of course translation tools aren’t always reliable. 

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