Thursday, October 04, 2007

みんなのしつもん (questions)

My answers to some questions asked in class today...
  • Weren't there any restaurants in Japan before?
    • I think レストラン refers to a place where Western-style dishes are served. Since Japan had been closed to foreign countries until the late 19th century, I suppose there weren't any レストラン... We have words like 飲食店(いんしょくてん)and 料理店(りょうりてん)which I think are Japanese equivalents of レストラン. The first one means "a store where you drink and eat" and the second "a store of cooking."
  • My high school friend said ヤニ-something means "to smoke"...
    • I looked it up in an online dictionary and found that ヤニる is a slang for "to smoke." ヤニ is cigarette tar, and people started to use it as a synonym of たばこ in colloquial speech. Then, る, a suffix that verbifies a noun, was attached to ヤニ to make it a verb "to smoke."

1 comment:

Erich said...

I am always curious about the etymology of words in any language. It struck me as odd that there was a borrowed word for "restaurant" and that certainly is a good explanation.