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  5. "I read an interesting book."

"I read an interesting book."

Translation:面白い本を読みました。

July 5, 2017

27 Comments


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

I'm pointing out that "read" can be read as both present and past tense in English, making how to translate it into Japanese ambiguous.

Present tense in English is a little awkward, but the japanese translation of it isn't.


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

Indeed, but I think in English you would always use "I'm reading" instead of "I read", even though you're not doing it at the exact moment you're talking. Plus thanks to the words bank you would be able to deduct they expect the past tense.


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

True. The singular indefinite "an" here is the clue that it's past tense


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

More likely to be, yes. But you could be describing things you typically do on your days off, for example.


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

read is also a homograph for the noun and the verb


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

面白い本を読みました


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dtUyaD
  • 1504

What are the first 2 kanji? Face and white?


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

MASK and white. Cover おも and しろ respectively.


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

面 is primarily FACE, though it can indeed also mean "mask", as well as "surface/plane" or "side", depending on context and attached kanji.

Not sure if this is etymologically sound, but I suspect "white face" came to mean "entertaining" thanks to actors/performers and geisha.


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

The following answer is from Japanese Stack Overflow by Teno

According to 語源由来辞典 ( http://gogen-allguide.com/o/omoshiroi.html ), 「面白い」 is originated from 「面白し」. 「面」 used to mean "a sight/view" (the source says the front of eyes) and 「白い」 used to mean "bright and clear." Then 「面白し」 later came to mean "a light/bright sight/view" and then later "a beautiful sight/view". It further came to mean "fun" or "comfortable", which represents a pleasant feeling.


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

Isn't おもしろい not for past tense?


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

Think of it as "I read a book that is interesting."

If you wanted to say "I read a book that used to be interesting", then you could use おもしろかった本を読みました.


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

You're misunderstanding the grammar pattern. おもしろい is the base adjective. The only times you would conjugate it for past tense are, yes, when making the descriptor itself past tense (implying that it used to be interesting), or when preceding です.

この本はおもしろかったです。 This book was interesting. It still is, but the tense suggests rather that it was an interesting read.

このおもしろかった本。This once-interesting book. An adjectival which precedes a nominal (noun), no matter what tense that adjectival is in, always describes that nominal.

この本はおもしろいでした。 NEVER do this. A past-tense い-adjectival immediately preceding the predicate (です) is always conjugated as ~かった(です).


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

おもしろい doesn't need a tense - it's modifying the noun 本. The verb, 読みました gives us the tense for the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pikachu025

Note the ambiguity in the English sentence.

The word "read" can be pronunciated as "reed" or "red", which signify the present tense and past tense respectively.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabriel514935

Can 面白い and楽しい be used interchangeably. Cause i kearned that Tanoshii was fun and omkshiroi is interesting.


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

The answer is both yes and no. There's s lot of overlap, especially because they're both subjective. But 楽しい translates more often as "fun," with a more active sense (楽しかったです could mean both "It is fun" & "I'm having fun." Too often Japanese people translate it as "enjoy/able," which doesn't work well as a translation, but adds to 楽しい's sense portfolio. Additionally, 楽(らく)に means "relax/ing." Meanwhile 面白い is "interesting/entertaining/funny." 面白かったです "It was interesting," "I found it to be interesting."


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

Isn't 面白い used to describe something that is funny rather than interesting? I used it once to describe someone's drawing and they got a bit ofdended...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofia701655

I think of おもしろい as meaning "out of the ordinary"; it could be out of the ordinary interesting, out of the ordinary funny, out of the ordinary weird... Maybe that person thought you were calling their drawing weird :P


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

From the usage I hear in anime, 面白い really means "interesting". In French (and I think in English also) "interesting" could be heard as ironic, which is maybe also the case in Japanese?


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

"Ironic" would imply you really thought it wasn't interesting...in English it's often used as a polite euphemism for "not to my taste" or "a bit weird" usually pronounced in drawn-out fashion. But I wouldn't call it ironic/sarcastic the way other adjectives are often used (like "smart move, ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤"). Either way, I haven't seen any evidence of it being used that way in Japanese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IWannaLearn3

What's the difference between 読む and 読み?


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

読み [yomi]: (P, n) reading (noun)

読む [yomu]: (P, v5m, vt) to read, to count (now mostly used in idioms), to guess, to predict, to read (someone's thoughts), to see (e.g. into someone's heart), to divine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lloyd76445

Omoshiroi hon wo yomi mashita.


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

Would "面白かった本を読んだ" actually be wrong? How would you specifically say "I read a book that was interesting"?, even though you may not think it's interesting now (or it may not exist any more!). A google search does suggest it's not that uncommon.


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

How can a book be interesting in the past and not today? Adjectives used before a noun aren't conjugated as far as I understood so I don't think your sentence is grammatically ok.


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

Haha, well, tastes change ... a lot of books I read while younger are no longer interesting to me now ... Your grammar point isn't wrong, but also...

昨日読み終わった本はどう? 面白かった本だ!

I think this makes sense ... ?

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