Monday, October 20, 2008

Toshiba Satellite A200-10x

money (our money) okané (Argent)

The operation of the prefix o- in Japanese is often poorly explained. They say it adds to the word respect. Indeed, this is not fake, but this is only the first use. How can we understand お 尻 ( Oshiri ) then? The word means buttocks. The Japanese do they respect the buttocks? Perhaps, but this is not the case. This prefix o- is used in this case to soften the dry character, even vulgar, the word. The job comes from the custom of women in the imperial court at the origin (女房 ことば, nyôbô -kotoba).女 房 (に ょうぼう) ことば (the words of women) is now used by everyone regardless of gender. We can probably say that this prefix exorcise the bad side of the word. (The prefix is not "productive" for this purpose. You can not invent new combinations, while you can add o- loosely when it comes to compliance.)
o The front- the word money okan (お金) must be understood in that sense. It is true that the Japanese contemporary commercialism is exaggerated, but it's fair to say that the Japanese add this suffix to show their deep respect for money. We must rather believe that the money was a dirty character in Japanese imagery.
However, the use of this word okan can not be universal. One feels vaguely that comes from the suffix-kotoba nyôbô . Is not it a little inappropriate to use a word when talking about women seriously economics? Yet the word Kané without o- now felt too dry and rough for the Japanese completely accustomed to the words of women.
Therefore, they resorted to their usual trick. We borrow the word of English! Thus, one hears the word virtually money (マネー), when TV and radio talk about the international economy. In other cases, we use words of Chinese origin which mean "money" or "capital" to the context. Japanese students may conduct investigations on the question: How do people "serious" avoid using the word okan when they talk about the economy?


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