"名前"

Translation:Name

June 12, 2017

74 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarknessOf2

Namae... Take off a... Which gives us Name! :-) Coincidence isnt it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shaykevichd

If it's Kanji, most likely it is a coincidence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlirezaDhb

i don't think it's a coincidence , coz also in persian we have something similar (nām) which means name and persian countries are located between japan and english countries


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DoomBom

Persian is proto-indo-european language, so it has common roots with English. Japanese is not PIE language, I think it is just a coincidence. sometimes it happens :) Etymology of the word "name"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IonutBarbuc11

Here in romania is "nume"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatheVM

In Portuguese is 'nome'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amun_Ra_

In swedish it's namn.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PokeHugo

spanish: nombre


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Estonian_kiddo

In Russian it's имя (imya), and in Estonian nimi


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/verrens2

We have "nama" in indonesia (and malay) which means name


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vortarulo

That is a loanword from Sanskrit nāma ‘name’. Sanskrit is related to English, but Indonesian is a different language family.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Akshat71643

In hindi we also say name as naam (nām)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dan3s2020

And Nume in Romanian, Nombre in Spanish. What coincidence? The planet didn't started with humans all over the world


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nobby_

name in german is also Name


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ivanoacosta

Name in Spanish is nombre


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tanmay29460

A lot of languages have similar sounding words for "name". In addition to all other comments, in Odia we say name as "Naa".

I wonder why. The word for mother is also similar in many languages


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CosmosGatito

maybe really basic fundamental concepts like name and mother formed very early on and stuck with the roots of human language as they evolved and changed


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leejieung

But our middle korean also similar! (nireum->ireum)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thetdw2000

Reminds me of Mbabaram, the word for dog is dog.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vtopphol

It's not a cognate, if that's what you are claiming by "coincidence". Wiktionary has an article describing the origin of the word (if one should trust such sources). But it's popularity today is very likely due to similarity to the Indoeuropean words for name. According to the wiktionary article, the word appeared in writing a few hundred years ago, but became popular around the 1860's and 70's.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HorseLuisCodep

It's not a coincidence: "nombre" in Spanish, "nom" in French, "nome" in Italian. It all comes down from Latin which influenced all these countries even England. Alexander Magnus' empire reached many parts of the east of Europe reach in many parts of Asia so probably it's an influence from then.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tyg_13

It sounds like it, but not quite. 名前 contains both 名, meaning name (pronounced in chinese like 'ming') and 前, meaning before. Put it together, and you get before name, or first name.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vortarulo

No. The Persian nām, the Latin nomen, the English name, the Sanskrit nāma, and the Russian imja are indeed all from the same Proto-Indo-European root word. The Persian word is directly from PIE, it's not borrowed from Latin or anything.

The Japanese word is a coincidence, it does not derive from PIE or any of its daughter languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mouzafarzar

maybe an influence of Sanskrit


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dan3s2020

You are wrong my friend.. Not everything started from Latin... Go back 2-3000 years more


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flypirat

I have two questions. 'mae' (前) was taught separately from 'namae' (名前). First question, what does 前 mean on its own, and what does 名 mean on its own? Same goes for 'gaku' (学) from 学生. What does 'gaku' mean on its own in that case? And what about 生 and 先?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

I hope you're prepared for another long answer ;)

Before I discuss each of the kanji you asked about, let me put out a disclaimer. While each kanji on their own will mean something that usually informs us about why the kanji combinations (i.e. compound kanji words made of 2 or more separate characters), you should remember that the actual meaning of the combined word is distinct and separate from the meanings of the individual kanji.

Ok, let me go through them in order:

・前(ゼン、まえ)is commonly used on its own as a preposition (both temporally and spatially), which can take many meanings depending on its use, including "in front (of)", "before", "ago", or "previous".

・名(メイ、ミョウ、な)on its own can mean "name", but I think you only really see that usage on forms and paperwork, as a shortened version of 名前.

It also carries the meaning of "reputation" or "distinguished". I'm definitely not an expert in linguistics, but the combination of 名前 could be referring to "the thing that precedes your reputation".

・学(ガク、まな.ぶ)is a kanji that is barely used on its own anymore, but it does appear in many kanji combinations. It means "learning", "study", or "science".

・生(セイ、ショウ、なま、う.まれる、い.かす、い.きる、は.やす、etc.)has a lot of different meanings, as you can tell from its many readings. On its own, it can mean "raw" or "genuine", but the kanji also carries the meanings "life" and "birth".

Putting this together with 学, i think the idea is of "someone who is in the studying part of their life". (Again, just my guess.)

・先(セン、さき、ま.ず)is confusingly similar to 前, in that both are commonly used as prepositions meaning "previous", but 先 also refers to "ahead" or "future". I believe that, in the cases where 先 means "previous", it is referring to "the thing that came ahead".

Putting this together with 生, I think it refers to "the person who has lived ahead of you", and presumably has more experience and knowledge which they can pass on to you.

Obviously, I'm not going into too much detail about what other possible meanings these kanji have; you'll get a feel for it from the kanji combinations you see them in ;) If you're interested in kanji, I suggest doing some reading about "radicals" which can help you guess the meaning of kanji you haven't seen before.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BiChan13

ありがとう!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BatmanAoD

If nothing else, those hypothesized derivations are good mnemonics!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alwaysluna

In Chinese 生 could mean person as well . So 学生 is actually a person who studies. And 先生 means Mr. or teacher(no matter male or female ). It's just a two-character-word . But maybe its oringin is what you explain. P.s. I only explained what these characters mean in Chinese, I'm not sure if they mean the same in Japanese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShitakiHero23

I'm pretty sure 生 is being used as a phonetic component in 先生 and 学生.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

In Japanese, every kanji is being used simultaneously as a phonetic and semantic component. If a Japanese person wanted to include a purely phonetic component, they have an entire syllabry reserved for doing just that, hiragana.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/9intend0

It gives two different pronounciations... Which is correct? Which syllable is accented?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

I'm not sure what you mean by "giving two pronunciations", but I'm going to disagree with what the others have said so far. Stressed syllables are very subtle in Japanese, but they do exist. Perhaps the most well known example is the pronunciation of はし hashi, with HAshi (with a downward inflection) meaning "chopsticks" and haSHI (with an upward inflection) meaning "bridge".

In this exercise, I actually think the recording is incorrect. As far as I can tell, the correct pronunciation should be namaE with a slight upward inflection, whereas the recording sounds like naMAe causing the downward inflection. All in all, it doesn't affect the meaning but it doesn't sound natural. My guess is the audio generation software recognizes 名 and 前 separately and pronounces them accordingly (前 on its own is pronounced MAe with a downward inflection).

Also, the pronunciation of certain syllables does depend on the syllables around it. The most common one people have noticed on Duo so far is the kind of "crushed" su at the end of です and ます, causing them to sound like des and mas. Other common "crushed" syllables include し in して (sounds like shte) or つかう (pronounced tskau). I think there must be some kind of rule that describes how and when this happens, but I don't know it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LordOfTheAndain

On stress: English, and most European languages, has a stress accent, which means that the accented (stressed) syllable is marked in three ways -- it is pronounced with a changed pitch, with a longer duration (speaking time) and often with a slightly higher volume. Japanese, on the other hand, has a pitch accent, which means that the accented syllable is marked only by the change in pitch. For a person used to stress accents, this can be hard to pick up, and is different enough that it is technicaly correct to say that Japanese does not have stress. It does, however, as you say, have (pitch) accent.

On "crushed" syllables: In most (but not all) dialects of Japanese, the vowels u and i are devoiced (or "whispered") when they are between voiceless consonants, as well as at the end of a word after a voiceless consonant (the voiceless consonants in Japanese are p, t, k, h, f, s, sh, ch, ts). However, if you have two such vowels in a row, the second is normal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SwampDawn

That's good to know!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Itakawa

Underrated comment


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harbingerofsorow

As the others say, although many (most) European tongues will want to put a stress on a particular syllable (like the second to last on in Spanish words and how to tell different words in English (see project)), Japanese has no such stress, and every character (mora) should be pronounced about the same length (mostly).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vortarulo

The same length yes, but not the same frequency. Depending on the particular stress pattern of the word, different morae can be pronounced high or low.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChristosZhu

As I understand so far, accents are not much of a thing in Japanese. Please correct me if I'm wrong though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamenDutchman

You're right! Every syllable (every kana) is pronounced as a new word, to say so!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vortarulo

No. Accent is very much a thing in Japanese, it just works differently from European languages. It has pitch accent (Wikipedia can explain it better than I can, now).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pizzaa5555

I don't really understand kanji, but there is a movie called "君の名は" (your name) which only uses "名", is there a difference between using "名" and "名前 " for name?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

I believe that is more of a poetic usage, since 名 has connotations of reputation. However, you generally only see it on its own like this on forms and paperwork, as a shortened version of 名前.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lasbury

I was just about to ask this! I'm still not sure why


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alliechow

what is the difference between 名前 and といいます?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

名前【なまえ】is a noun which means "name". When you introduce yourself using 名前, you usually say 私の名前は「name」です which means "my name is 「name」".

On the other hand, といいます is actually a sentence fragment made up of と, which is the quotative particle here, and the verb いいます (same as 言います) which means "to say" or "to be called". When you introduce yourself using といいます, you usually say 「name」といいます, which translates to "I am called 「name」" or "「name」is said (when talking about me)." (Except the verb here isn't actually in passive voice; it's the only natural-ish way to translate without resorting to imperative voice.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robin539971

名前 is Name and といいます is more like "Call me". So when it says マリア といいます it's more like "Call me Maria".


[deactivated user]

    naMAE its not namaE


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kokoro33

    family name is wrong?!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Yes, family name or surname is 名字 (みょうじ) in Japanese. 名前 typically refers to either full name or only the first/given name. First/given name is also called 下の名前 (したのなまえ) for clarity.

    Confusingly, on forms and other paperwork, surname is usually abbreviated to 姓 (せい), while first/given name is abbreviated to 名 (な).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vortarulo

    Yeah, it doesn't mean family name.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wubiii

    The 名 kanji means also "ming" in chinese


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TJLlamo

    Did Name come from Namae?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdiegosuarez

    The two words are unrelated, it's just a coincidence.


    [deactivated user]

      That's what people in the evolutionary linguistics community would call an etymological impossibility, haha


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vortarulo

      Well... we usually call this a "false cognate", actually.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Song-of-Sunlight

      Just to clarify, does 名on its own also mean name? The drop-down hints say that 前 means first, or before, so does that mean that 名前 specifically means first name? Or does it just mean name in general?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tigermink

      You can type Namae when you have to translate 名前, and itll say you jiat have a typo in your awnser


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hope592093

      Lol it took along time for them to grade my answer "Name" eventhough its correct


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vidushiw1

      'Namae' sounds a lot like 'Nama' in singalese which also means name. Probably something about the root langauge.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vortarulo

      In this case it is a coincidence. The Singhalese word is from Proto-Indo-European, and the Japanese is a compound of na ‘name’ and mae ‘front’.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ray681652

      Im kinda confused how is "name" a senrance?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beanie314159

      You can just edit it


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brandon683751

      I dont have a question, i just wanted to say that I love the way she says "namae." Its so sing-songy. Way better than her "ne" and "wa"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/w4lbdpyg

      One word: one meaning. Slowly build like that to full sentence. That is correct way of teaching a new language.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeWhiteout

      名前 is a false cognate. It is not related to "name" in English. It is just a coincidence. Just like ありがとう an obrigado in Portuguese are not related. A lot of people are confused about this.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaustuvCha3

      I swear the voice pronounciation sounds like the lady is barfing.

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