2015年4月29日水曜日

Every day is "mai nichi", but every child is NOT "mai kodomo".

The sakura season went by quickly and the weather has been unstable in Tokyo since then. We often have rainy days and sometimes have windy days too. Spring weather changes a lot. Did you enjoy the sakura this year? 

Today we are studying “mai” and “every”. “Mainichi” or “maishu” appear at the beginning of Japanese textbooks since they are easy and useful words. However, it isn’t always the case that “mai = every”. Advanced learners have probably already noticed this.
mai: something always happens at a certain time
every: regular occurrence at specified intervals
Only when these two definitions coincide is it possible to translate “mai” as “every” and vice versa.
As you know, “mai” is prefixed to another word when it is related to time, such as in “mai nichi” (every day), “mai asa” (every morning), “mai toshi” (every year), “mai kai” (every time) and so on. Other examples include “mai shoku” (every meal) or “mai shiai” (every sports match). These have the meaning of “every time”, so you can use “mai”.

Also, "every five minutes" is “go fun goto” in Japanese. This usage can be applied to other time-related words as well.

What about other cases? Let's study some definitions and examples from an English dictionary (Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary).
every: refer to groups of three or more which are seen as wholes
I think “subete”, “zenbu” or “minna” work well in this case. I will translate the following sentences. (Keep in mind that these are my own translations and there may be other ways to translate this text as well.)

  • Every child in the class passed the examination. (kono class no kodomo tachi wa minna shiken ni gokaku shita)
  • I've got every record she has ever made. (kanojo ga ima madeni tsukutta (dashita) record o subete motteiru.)
You can also say “dono ________ mo”.

  • class no dono kodomo tachi mo shiken ni gokaku shita.
  • kanojo ga dashita dono record mo motteiru/ kanojo ga dashita record wa dore mo mottieru.

What happens when “every” takes on the meaning of “each”?
every/each: every person, thing, group, etc., considered individually
I would say sorezore” or “ichi X ichi(one X one X).

  • He enjoyed every minute of his holiday. (kare wa yasumi no ippun ippun wo tanoshinda.)
  • They were watching her every movement. (kare tachi wa kanojo no ugoki o hitotsu hitotsu miteita.)
  • Each of us has a company car. (watashi tachi wa sorezore kaisha no kuruma o motteiru.)
  • He gave us 5 pounds each. (kare wa watashi tachi hitori hitori ni go pondo o kureta./ kare wa watshi tachi ni go pondo zutsu kureta.)
maitoshi haru ni saku sakurawa nihonjin ni totte taisetsuna mono des. 
sore wa tada no hana dewa naku, toki no nagare ya jinsei no henka nado o tsuyoku kanjisaseru mono des.
hitotsu hitotsu no chiisai hana wa jinsei no ichi byo ichi byo ni mo niteiru to watashi wa omoimas.
sakura wa nihon ju no dono machi ni mo uetearu node, doko ni sundeitemo, nihonjin wa sakura to tomoni seicho shitieru no des.

(Sakura, which bloom every spring, are important to Japanese people. 

They are not just flowers: they strongly remind us of the flow of time and the changes in life. 
I think every small flower represent a second of our life. 
Sakura trees have been planted in every town in Japan, so Japanese people grow up with sakura wherever we live.)

I should have posted this earlier. The Golden Week has just begun today!  Happy Golden Week, everyone in Japan !!