Monday, April 13, 2009

food make

Learners of the Japanese language will know that just as Japan is a high-context culture, the language itself is highly implicit and contextualised.

To read a sentence on its own may lead to misunderstanding. Therefore, to properly interpret the meaning, the scenario in which is it based on needs to be understood first.

In a typical sentence, the subject is often not explicitly mentioned. The main words may consist of just the verb and the object. For example, this afternoon while I was having lunch, Watanabe-san happened to be in the kitchen when he said "料理作る".

Ryouri tsukuru literally translates to food make.

There is no mention who will make the food. But it is safe to say the subject is the speaker himself.

There is no mention when it will be made, though it is usually assumed make in this case means will make.

There is no mention if he is making food for himself, for someone else, or for the hearer.

The last time when he said something like that, I had to ask who he was cooking for. Some people can be perasan or blur and simply ask if he's cooking for them.

This time, since I happened to be in the kitchen when he was chopping vegetables, I found out that his good friend Sasaki-san would be dropping by to practice English with him, and they would have a meal together after that. He even told me what time their lessons would begin, and when the dinner would commence.

Then he proceeded to show me the sauce in which he would use to cook his dish, and asked if I would be around in the evening.

Then only did I know whom he was cooking for.

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