"みじかくないですか?"

Translation:Isn't it short?

June 25, 2017

52 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/HikariTennyo

Now I know how foreigners feel when we use these types of negatives in a sentence. I'm frustrated.

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
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I see that the English formula “Isn' it short? = Is it not short?” doesn't really help here. Enough blah blah blah… and still not a clear elaboration about the actual meaning of the Japanese sentence.

My question is — Do you say this Japanese sentence in only these three situations below, and/or else?

1) You really do not know whether it is “not short”. You may not have seen the object.

2) You think it is short, and you ask for confirmation.

3) You think it is “not short” (or long), and you ask for other opinions. (similar to 1)

I don't mind whether Duolingo's translations are correct or not. Please tell me the actual interpretation without fiddling with “isn't it”. Thanks in advance.

Update (2019-03-01): So it seems (2) is the only intent. Then what are the best ways to express (1) and (3), with negative form of みじかい? My guess is:

  • (1): dunno :P
  • (3): みじかくないですね?みじかくないだろう?
July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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The speaker would use this sentence when referring to an item that is short and they are appealing to the listener/s to back them up/concur with their opinion that the item is rather short.

August 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
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Is this the only possible intent?

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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Yes.

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan553966
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Strange thing about Japanese, what is implied is often more important than what is actually said. "Is it not short (said politely)?" can mean, "Wow, that is really short!" or "Is that long enough?" The grammar and literal meaning are not the problem. It is knowing what might be implied in context.

October 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Drunken_Sailor
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Why do bother yourself making things simple into "complex stuff"? You have a verb in negative form and a question particle, the best you can't do is to translate it to "isn't it something". Maybe in some contexts you will change it a little bit if you want to translate it, but the important is to understand the phase and I'm sure you understood that.

August 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
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Well, I have very little experience in Japanese and I'm not just satisfied with a quick answer without any concrete context. Opinions from native speakers would be great and new comers will benefit from my question. When I feel confident I will come back and answer my own question.

August 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamScott794079
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That's what she said

July 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jay.hammer
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Haha, I was looking for this comment!

October 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alex76659

I get it.

January 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/FonzieSquirrel

WHY ARE YOU BEING DOWNVOTED?!

I LOVE YOU RANDOM PERSON FROM THE INTERNE!

July 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamScott794079
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Missed the "T" on internet there.

July 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alex425703

*there

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamScott794079
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Muphry's law.

July 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sod_off

*Murphy's

July 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Falcon198016

短くないですか?

August 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/GinMorgWireless

The answer was "Isn't it short?" is "It's not short, is it?" really incorrect?

August 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BlackwaterMimi

I have this same question. In English "Isn't it short?" feels more like a statement of one's own opinion and asking for confirmation; it could even be very judgemental depending on the context. "It's not short, is it?" feels much more concerned/more iterested in the other person's opinion. Which would be the more accurate sentiment in Japanese?

September 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/N1chope
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I'd say for this sentence it's the first one. And I think you got the nuances of the different sentences right

September 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/N1chope
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"Isn't it short?" means that you think that it's short and you're asking if you are wrong

"It's not short, is it?" means that you think that it's not short and you are asking if you are wrong

So in both sentences you are asking for confirmation of what you think, but they express opposite opinions. If it doesn't feel too clear for you, just look at the questions: the first one is asking "isn't it short?" and the second one is asking "is it short?", so they are asking the opposite thing

September 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hollt693

I want to say that "it's short, isn't it?" would read more like, みじかくないですか? That way there's the statement of non-shortness, and also ですか, meaning "is it?" Other people, what say you? Yea or nay?

November 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/N1chope
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Well; if you take "it's short, isn't it?" to have the same meaning that "isn't it short?", then yea. Although "it's short, isn't it?" seems to indicate a stronger opinion on the speaker, which I guess would correspond better to the sentence 「みじかいですね(?)」, where the ね would stand for "isn't it?" (="right?", which is the function that ね usually does)

November 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/wonderfulakari

"Isn't it short" and "it is not short" do not mean the same thing in english. Isn't it short would be "Mijikai desu ne?"

June 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alcedo-Atthis
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No, "mijikai desu ne" is "it is short, isn't it". There is a difference, in that the speaker has a stronger opinion in case of the latter.

July 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinDono3

"Isn't it" is the contraction of "is it not".

Isn't it short = Is it not short

Isn't it short =/= It is not short

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TiaCobourn

I reported it. I feel it should be " It isn't short " or "It is not short"

July 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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But it's a question so you would translate it into English in the form/word order that a question takes.

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/asdf358065

English can have questions that keep the same word order as the non-interrogative form but an explicit question mark is needed in writting and a rising tone is needed in speaking to tell it apart.

July 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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But the speaker in the original sentence is saying that they think something is really short - in the same way if you saw something that you really wanted to buy but then balked at the price and said to a friend - WOW!! Isn't that EXPENSIVE??!! The speaker isn't saying that they think something isn't short they are strongly stating their opinion that they definitely think something is short and they're appealing to their friend or others to agree with them. You have misunderstood the meaning of the sentence.

October 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jason157031

It could be that. Its a perfectly correct way to phrase a question.

October 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Theresa280444

I was thinking the same thing.

July 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan553966
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It might be helpful to remember that the positive answer to the question is, "Hai, mijikaku nai desu" (Yes, it is not short) and the negative answer is, "Iie, mijikai desu" (No, it is short). Japanese is different from English.

October 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Natto591178

Judgy.

September 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Hedwigechouette
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so is this a rhetoric question?

December 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Drunken_Sailor
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Rhetoric questions use ね intead of か in the most of times.

August 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/1036832929
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So this being the case for this sentence, would we say "Watashi ha mijikakunai desu ka" if we were to speak about ourselves?

June 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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Please read Alcedo-Atthis' response to a similar question directly below.

June 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Austin_Bzqhsgdqr

This makes no sense to me.

みじかくない means "not short", right? So why isn't it "Is it not short?" (Asking is something isn't short, for example, asking if it's long)

July 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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The speaker is saying - isn't it short?!!!?

Meaning - wow, that's really really short!!! Don't you agree that it's really really short?

Also, the speaker is expecting the answer to their question to be positive ie. They are expecting the listener/s to respond something like - wow, you're right! That IS really really short!

January 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Kanjuisun
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oh! so is that the only meaning possible in japanese? :o

January 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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Yes. Also English does this too.

January 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Austin_Bzqhsgdqr

Asking if*

July 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kanjuisun
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exactly! I thought the same, but you're the only one who's asking that question, and no one seems to give a single answer to that :(

January 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/headchop
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"Aren't you short?" was not accepted. Why not?

September 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alcedo-Atthis
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みじかい isn't used for people, only things. So if you'd say this to a person, you're basically calling them an inanimate object. "Aren't you short?" would be 背(せ)が低(ひく)くないですか (literally: isn't your back low").

September 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ASleepingRock

キミはストームトルーパーにしては短くないの?

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ASleepingRock

...and I realized the errors of my ways on mobile without edits. Well, flip. Let the inevitable downvotes come as they may...

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/helloiamdavid

It's short isn't it? Is not accepted. Why?

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alcedo-Atthis
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Because the statement "it's short" is not in the Japanese sentence. みじかくない = "it's not short". There is also no implied request for confirmation by the listener, like "isn't it?". です is just added politeness (no added meaning) and か = "?". I.e. 短くないですか = "is it not short?"

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Brian_Jean

Well, he is Japanese ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

October 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/celcius_01
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( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

November 30, 2018
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