Saturday, April 21, 2012

Simple "YES" & "NO" Hard for us Japanese

Mainly, I have hard time explaining for two things when I teach English especially to junior-high-school students. I mean besides the grammar and all.
One, I have already posted herelink about "Japanese name order". And the other is "Differences of "YES" and "NO" between English & Japanese".  You might not belive me saying this as I can guess how you feel; so I would like to write about the differences and what is the confusing point,
The trouble arises with the negative questions; and the Japanese concept will be really hard for English speaking people. Here is the example conversation I made for you to figure out better, which I translated literally from Japanese.

A;  Don't you know the news about Tsunami?
B;  Yes, I don't know about it  because I was really busy today.     ("Yes" means affirming not knowing.) 
     Or, if you knew about it,    
B;  No, I knew it from the news. What a terrible thing happened.     ("No" means denying not knowing.)

Firstly, we affirm or deny what we were told and then answer for what was asked.  I am sure that this mixture of denial and affirmation for an answer sounds quite funny to you all. It is also hard for Japanese students to grasp your idea; you just have to answer the truth "which it is". And I find it very sensible.

This is I scanned from the textbook. The added illustration for interpretation won't be much help to them (^^;)

Thank you very much for reading and I am happy if I could make myself understood with my explanation.

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