TokyoB wrote:Interesting how culture and language together imply things that make translation difficult. I guess you can't translate all the concepts that are behind one phrase or sentence.
Japanese is an interpreted languge, not a literally translated one. Hence the awful and often funny machine translations you see. Other than for basic sentences, you often need a "bigger picture context" to understand the specific choices of words. And with the rather heavy use of colloquialisms, you almost have to grow up in the culture to understand how things are often expreessed.
TokyoB wrote:Are you a fluent Japanese speaker?
No... very far from fluent. I can "get by" when I am in Japan.... probably like you, "basic conversation". The kinds of "deep" conversations that I would LOVE to be able to have....... no joy. I read Kana and understand some but way too few Kanji. In a ceramics workshop I have the vocabulary and colloquialisms down pretty well though. The "total immersion" factor at work. .