Saturday, June 10, 2006

About the dictionary

The other day, I watched NHK news in English. Then I learned some interesting phrase"Sweet six-teen".I was very surprised at hearing the phrase!! because NHK run a telop "seisyun".Please look up a "seisyun" word in a Japanese-English dictionary. According to the dictionary, "seisyun" is translated youth, adolescence,spring and so on.But native American use "Sweet six-teen".
Of course, "seisyun" has several shade of meaning.But, I think the case suggest the dictionary doesn't give actual English that native speaker speak.

5 Comments:

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Maruchan said...

Hi, Gakusei!
I don't know about it.
So I'll check it later.

 
At 12:23 AM, Blogger JH said...

I will have to look up the word too!

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger happy days said...

Hello, I'm happy days. I didn't know about it since until I read your blog. I actually tried to look up "青春", but as you said, there wasn't "sweet six-teen". However, I have been warned that Americans don't always use the expression in Japanese-English dictionaries. So, I want not to depend on the dictionaries.

Thanks,
happy days

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger gakusei said...

happy days,thanks for commenting.
I'll try not to depend on the dictionaries.

 
At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Cunty McFuckwit said...

"Sweet Sixteen" is an (originally American) term for a girl's 16th birthday.
The origin, I theorize, comes from America not having debutantes to celebrate a girl being ready to be a part of society, but still wanting to say this girl is now "on the market". Debutante balls were promient in English and European society marking a female's transtiton into adulthood and being available to be married. It is very similar in idea of the misuage of a maiko becomming a geisha.


On the topic of "trusting" your dictionary, they are not infaliable. The big one that always drives me crazy with Japanese-English dictionaries in Japan is koala. I'm not sure about the electronic dictionaries, but most of the physical dictionaries list it as "koala (bear)". A koala is not, never has been, and never will be, a bear!!!

Anyway, good luck with your English!

 

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