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 All You Need to Know About Know

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Onikyoushi
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Posts : 150
Join date : 2014-06-04
Age : 46
Location : Cheney, WA

PostSubject: All You Need to Know About Know   Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:16 pm

あまり 長く ごぶさた して しまって、今から とつぜん また レッスン を のせる の は ちょっと 恥ずかしい の です が、…

I recently tried to explain the difference in usage between Shiru (to know) and Wakaru (to understand, but often translated as "to know") to my third-year students.  I got to thinking about how potentially confusing it can be.  Sometimes it seems that either would be okay, and yet there is still at least a small difference in connotation.  Most of the time only one will properly fit the situation.  If you are talking about understanding something, it's most likely going to be 'wakaru' that's required.  But when you're looking for the Japanese equivalent of "to know" it could go either way.  How can one know which 'know' is needed?

The best answer to that question is to listen to Japanese natives speak -- watch anime, etc.  But I think I've come up with a pretty good set of guidelines that also includes some warnings of potentially offensive usage.

It appears to me that this is a topic about which not very much has been written online, so even my higher-level students -- like the ones most likely to encounter this post -- might possibly get something out of this.  At the very least, it was helpful for me to organize my thoughts on the subject.

If you do read this, let me know what you think.  Did I leave anything out?  Or get anything wrong?  Do you have an analogy or something to offer that might add further clarification?  I would greatly appreciate your input.

I hope all is well with you in your world.  Hiromi and I are now empty-nesters, but we still really enjoy each other's company -- perhaps it's more like I enjoy hers and she tolerates mine.  I still have over 100 kids a day to look after, and Hiromi does a lot of helping behind the scenes.

Anyway, keep safe, keep healthy, and remember that life is great even when it isn't.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!  (See attached "Wakaru vs Shiru" lesson below picture.)

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