David Witt
Japanese grammar correction problem misunderstanding. 日本語文法訂正問題を分かりません。 I am having a little trouble understanding a recent mistake I made. I wrote the sentence "I want to write in this notebook a lot, but right now I don't really think I have anything to say." in Japanese as "私はこのノートを沢山書きたいですけど、今にちょっと話せないと思います。" I understand that ちょっと isn't the best use there, but I have multiple people tell me that the sentence is contradictory. It made me start thinking of the differences between "don't" and "won't" and how they would be expressed in Japanese. 話せない rather than 話さない should imply what I wanted to say right? Would anyone who has a deeper understanding of both languages that I do please help me out here? Thank you.
Aug 17, 2018 1:35 PM
Answers · 5
Thanks for all the feedback! I didn't even consider that the contradiction feedback I was hearing about would be in regards to 話す so that really helps! Also I appreciate everyone's detailed breakdown of what could be improved.
August 18, 2018
"私はこのノートを沢山書きたいですけど、今にちょっと話せないと思います。 I personally think this line is wrong in grammar and word usage, but don't think contradictory. "I (私は)want to write(書きたい) in this notebook(このノートに) a lot(たくさん), but (しかし)right now(今のところ) I (私は) don't really think (本当に、思わない)I (私は)have(持つ) anything to say.(何か言うことを)" → 私はこのノートにたくさん書きたい。しかし、今のところ、私は、私が何か言うことを持っているとは、本当には思わない。 → I would say: ノートにいろいろ書きたいとは思う。でも今は特に言うべきこと(※)もない(だから書かない)。 ※ or can be said 言いたいこと I personally think this Japanese line has nothing to do with the difference between "話せない(cannot speak)" vs "話さない(don't speak)" , which is not one between "won't" and "don't". One thing which could be "contradictory" is that you are using the word "話す". if you use "話す", you have to actually say/speak/utter something while if "言う", you don't necessarily have to. e.g. OK:オレは世の中に言いたいことがある。だから本を書いたんだ! NG:オレは世の中に話したいことがある。だから本を書いたんだ! I believe it makes little sense, or contradictory, if a person who wants to "たくさん書く" says "今ちょっと話せない(I cannot talk/speak for now)", .
August 18, 2018
The reason why the Japanese consider your sentence contradictory is that they sometimes use "話せない" when they are unwilling to say something. The Japanese culturally tend to say something indirectly. On the other hand, "話さない" has a strong negative nuance like rejection. Therefore, they prefer using "話せない" to "話さない" when they don't feel like saying something. In my opinion, ちょっと is not a bad choice, though it sounds a bit casual. If I were you, I'd say like below: ノートブックをたくさん書きたいのですが、今はあまり(or ちょっと)書くことが思いつきません。 I recommend you to stop translating literally. You should learn phrases that native speakers frequently use and imitate them.
August 17, 2018
I'm sorry, I accidentally posted twice X(
August 17, 2018
If you mean "I want to write in this notebook a lot, but right now I don't really think I have anything to say.", it can be literally translated「私はこのノートブックで多くを書きたいけど、今はちょっと話すことが思いつきません。」. In this case, you could say ”ちょっと" as the meaning of "really". ”話せない” means "can't say(speak or talk depending on the context)". → This implies "possibility". (ex.) I can't speak English. (私は英語を話せない) "話さない" means "don't say(speak, talk)" → This implies "fact" or "intention". (ex.) Most Japanese people don't speak English.(ほとんどの日本人は英語を話さない)<fact> (ex.) I don't talk about her.(私は彼女については話さない)<intention> It can be challenging for you to use Japanese particles properly just as I'm always struggling with prepositions in English. I really understand why you struggle with Japanese. When I started studying English four years ago, I had no idea how to say or what to say in English. It was actually a pain in the neck. Anyways, keep up your good work. If you have more questions, feel free to contact me.
August 17, 2018
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