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  5. "さむくないですか?"

"さむくないですか?"

Translation:Isn't it cold?

June 18, 2017

27 Comments


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

In my experience, it means "why are you wearing a dress with no sleeves/please don't wear that dress with no sleeves to work/oh no, i feel embarrased that you are actually wearing that dress with no sleeves to work"


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

On the other hand, kids in elementary school gotta wear shorts no matter how cold...


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

寒くないですか


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

Im pretty sure this would more accurately translate to "Is it not cold?" or "It's not cold?" as opposed to "Isn't it cold?" which has a slightly different meaning. (Asking if it isn't cold vs confirming it is cold)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlueRaja1

No, this is wrong. "Isn't it cold?" is the best translation. Just like in English, Japanese use the negative sometimes to confirm the opposite belief ("Isn't it cold?" = "I'm cold, you're cold too, right?")

I spoke to a Japanese linguist friend about this. This is what he said:

寒くないですか?
"(I'm cold,) aren't you cold?" / "Isn't it cold (there)?"
You think it's cold and are looking for confirmation that they think so too.

寒くないんですか?
"You're not cold?" / "It's not cold (there)?"
You expected they'd be cold, but they are clearly demonstrating that they think it's not.
You'd use this with someone who's wearing shorts in Winter, or someone who's just implied that Iceland has a mild climate.

寒くないでしょう?
"It isn't cold, is it?" / "You're not cold, right?"

寒くないですよね
"It isn't cold.... right?"
Basically the same as above, but you'd use it when you're already 95% certain it's not cold.


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

I'm not sure about what BlueRaja1 has said, since my experience is exactly the opposite of his, but I believe, as do several contacts that speak Japanese, that you are right.

Coming from someone living in Japan currently, if someone asks: 寒くないですか。 You say "はい" if you're comfortable and "いいえ" if you're actually cold.

In english, if you ask "aren't you cold?", you'd say "yes" if you are cold, and "no" if you're comfortable, which is the opposite of the japanese response desired. A better english translation would be "are you not cold", which "yes" means you're comfortable and "no" means you're actually cold.


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

Really? Because I've actually experienced just what BlueRaja1 said in Japan!

Perhaps this is dependent on where you go, I've only really seen Kyoto and only for a few months to be frank.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardF.5

Isn't it cold ... is as much a statement as a question ! ... !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brian6499

There is not really any English translation for this.

"Isn't it cold?" means "さむいですね" and not "さむくないですか"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Edikan2

さむいですね means "it's cold, isn't it?" implying that you want who you are talking to to agree that it is. さむくないですか means literally something like "is it not cold?"


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

Thats right, but by saying "isn't it cold", you're implying that you want who you are talking to to agree that it is, which is the opposite of what the Japanese question is asking. Thats why the English translation shouldn't use "isn't" but should use "not cold", since that gives the same repsonse in english as it does in Japanese in order to preserve the same meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex425703

It means something like: Is it "not-cold", right?


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

Does it mean 'is it not cold?'


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

Yeah, but "is it not" = "isn't it"


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

Depends if you colloquialize "is it not ..." vs "isn't it ..." More often than not, "isn't" is colloquialized to have the opposite meaning, while "is it [not ...]" is asking wether or not [not cold, bright, etc] is a true statement, which preserves the negative connotation. Some people do colloquialize "not ..." To literally ignore the "not" portion of it, meaning when they ask "is it not cold" they're asking "is it cold", which I find illogical. It's bad enough "isn't" no longer holds its negative connotation in that instance, when when you draw out and specifically say "not...", it drives me insane for people to ignore it. Perhaps that's the logical side of me though.


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

Haha @Helenzie. I know what you're talking about. #altlife


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

obviously Japanese is constructed differently, but i think a good analogue would be similar to what one of the first commenters implied:

you see someone going outside wearing shorts, but you're pretty sure it's freezing.

"oh... i could have sworn it was cold. 寒くないですか。 Is it not cold?" or "isn't it cold?" (implication being 'is it not cold, or is it actually cold and you're just dressing crazy?')


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

"is it not cold?" and "isn't it cold?" are 2 completely different questions. If i asked "is it not cold?" and you said "yes", that means its warm, but if I ask "isn't it cold?" and you say "yes", you're agreeing that it is cold. The Japanese 寒く more closely follows the "is it not cold" rather than "isn't it cold" version, which means DL has it incorrectly translated.


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

It's probably not unique to English, but intonation can slightly change the meaning on this. I think this matches the English translation well if you imagine the emphasis on the word 'cold'. The implication is, 'I thought it was cold, am I wrong?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/animatrix1490

Would "It's not cold, is it?" be an acceptable answer?


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

It should be the correct answer, and "isn't it cold" should be wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlannaD396

If someone asked me "is it not cold" and I knew it was snowing outside lets say, I'd respond with yes. To me that sentence implies they thought it was cold and they want confirmation that their belief was correct. So this writting structure and comment thread is kind of melting my brain a bit... I'm just going to try translate it as "it's not cold, yeah?" (Even thought i know thats not what it literally says) so that I can wrap my head around it.


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

So, I've actually had a lot of discussion with people around this, and it turns out it's colloquailized differently by everyone, in both Japanese & English. In your scenario, I'd say "No, it's not (not cold)" but that's because I don't colloquailize the sentence, but rather treat it as an equation.

Weather == not(cold)?

No: Weather != not(cold)

This create a double negative: it's not not cold, meaning it is cold. That's my hyper logical way of thinking, but many people colloquaize it just like you do. This ends up ultimately meaning that there is no "yes/no" answer that can be given, and you have to say "yes, it's cold" or "no, it's cold", to clearly get across that it is indeed cold.

Don't worry too much about it. It took me a while to wrap my head around it as well, and more so once I figured out it changes person to person. Find a way to rationalize it in your head, then stick with it.


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

In my experience this is a statement that says "are('nt) you cold?".


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

I heard the most perfect textbook conversation using this grammar in the teacher's room in my school in Japan today.

Today, a kid came in wearing short sleeves and a t-shirt. Our school is in Hokkaido. It's currently below freezing outside and everything is covered in snow.

Vice-principal (looking at the kid and thinking, "It's definitely cold. You're cold, right?"): 寒くない? (samuku nai?)

Kid (definitely not cold because he's 道産子, born and bred in Hokkaido): はい、暑いです。(hai, atsui desu)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach78353

"Cold, isn't it" also works


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardF.5

Isn't it cold ... is as much a statement as a question ! ... !

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