Translation:What did you do the year before last?
If this year is 2017.
おととし=2015 きょねん=2016 ことし=2017 らいねん=2018 さらいねん=2019
Sometime when you typed the answer what did you do the year before last.. its marked as wrong answer and show you the answer should be year before last year... but sometimes when you typed year before last its marked as wrong answer again and show you the year before last year..wow..i am so confused now..which one is the correct answer..
I would say "what did you do two years ago". >.<
to be fair, "the year before last" is a correct translation and would convey better this Japanese notion of time.
@vngdhuyen <What did you do two years ago? > Thank you! ありがとう！ （＾∇＾）
can someone please give me the breakdown of おととい and おととし?
おととい/day before yesterday きのう/yesterday きょう/today あした/tomorrow あさって/the day after tomorrow
おととし/Two years ago? きょねん/last year ことし/this year らいねん/next year さらいねん/the year after next?
Y'know... though it's pretty useless for today's language, English used to have words for 一昨日 and 明後日. These were the words "ereyesterday" and "overmorrow" ("ere", once meaning "before", being pronounced like "ear"). They were used quite commonly up until the 18th century, but then on they fell out of usage because... well, I don't know why. Because we're weird. Though some other languages related to English still do have their equivalents of these words, such as in Dutch, where they're "eergisteren" and "overmorgen" (gisteren being yesterday, and morgen being tomorrow).
Though, as for year words... There is this word, "yesteryear", which one would think would be an equivalent of 去年, but it's almost exclusively used poetically, to mean metaphorically "in the days long gone" or "many, many years ago", especially in a way that sort of idolizes them. You could also probably guess that "ereyesteryear" would be an equivalent of 一昨年, but that word has never been used in the entire history of this language. Ever. Like, it's not even on Wiktionary.
Similarly, around Shakespeare's time:
これ、これら、ここ = this, these, here
それ、それら、そこ = that, those, there
あれ、あれら、あそこ = yon, yon, yonder
But then that and those ate yon, and there ate most of yonder but not entirely. A few dialects, like those in the south of the US, still use "yonder".
And there's also the famous second-person pronoun "thou" which warrants its own entire Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thou
thou/thee/thy/thine = friendly singular 2nd-person
ye/you/your/yours = plural or polite singular 2nd-person
My point is, in the words of Dinosaur Comics, we had so many good words, yo.
@Alexolas Thank you for your explanations. Very interesting story.
really? its wrong because I said "year before last" instead of "THE year before last"?
There should be a 年 in this sentence, yes? Otherwise, I assumed they were asking what I did "the day before yesterday".
おととし is the pronunciation of 一昨年 (the year before last).
一昨日 (the day before yesterday) is pronunced おととい.
Doesn't accept the kanji '一昨年' for 'おととし’ on the listening version of this question and there is no option to report as 'my answer should be accepted'. :(
tanoshi japanese gives a different pronunciation for 一昨年 = いっさくねんhttps://www.tanoshiijapanese.com/dictionary/entry_details.cfm?entry_id=55556&j=一昨年 Can anyone explain?
The English translation must be revised. おととし means the year before last year / 2 years ago. It sounds weird when the answer is only 'the year before last'. Last what? Please revise thw translation. Thank you
"The year before last" is a perfectly acceptable and natural phrase in American English.