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-sai what does it mean in Japanese?


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#1 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 13 July 2004 - 07:59 AM

i've scoured the internet (Google) and can't find the meaning or function of this ending. well i did find that it's used for counting but that's not what i'm looking for. in words such as battou-sai, juroku-sai. Can someone please help me unravel this mystery? edit: as was corrected before, juroku-sai is a number and a number counter... bad example [Edited by - Alpha_ProgDes on July 13, 2004 2:48:46 PM]

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#2 TangentZ   Members   -  Reputation: 403

Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:26 AM

Hmmm... The two "sai" are completely and totally different.

Battousai is just a title/name/whatever. Like John, Peter, Steve.

"Battousai" is "The Guy Who Kills With His Sword", a title
given to Kenshin due to his former profession.

*shrug*

Juuroku is the number 16. Juuroku-sai is 16 years (old).

Anata wa juurokusai desuka? (Are you 16 years old?)

神はサイコロを振らない!

#3 Cibressus   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:29 AM

while were talking about japaneese, whats desu mean?

#4 bastard2k5   Members   -  Reputation: 238

Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:31 AM

desu is approximately is/am
edit: example
boku wa yonnensei desu(I am a 4th year student)

#5 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2133

Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:31 AM

God I swear I knew its meaning, but now I have forgotten...

#6 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:47 AM

it must mean something....

"-sai"...
yeah i should have caught that juroku-sai.
i think the missing "u" threw me off [smile]

anyway... anymore suggestions.

"battou" is a noun that means "draw of the sword".
so the "-sai" must mean something to give it a new(er) meaning.

#7 wendigo23   Members   -  Reputation: 512

Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:48 AM

desu... from what i know, it means 'insert your chosen verb here'... really it means anything you want. Japanese like to leave out unecessary details, so 'desu' is the short form for whatever verb they don't feel like using. that's my take on it.

edit: also, it is a contraction of 'de gozaimasu', if i recall...

#8 twix   Members   -  Reputation: 636

Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:56 AM

Apparently, 'battousai' is 抜刀斎. Make of that what you will. [grin]
Quote:

desu... from what i know, it means 'insert your chosen verb here'... really it means anything you want. Japanese like to leave out unecessary details, so 'desu' is the short form for whatever verb they don't feel like using. that's my take on it.

What? Desu is not a generic verb-replacer, it's the copula (aka "is"). When used directly after an -i adjective, it's more of a politener without any actual meaning.

#9 bastard2k5   Members   -  Reputation: 238

Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:00 AM

actually, you are going more towards politeness levels. Although I think desu is somewhat short of ~de aru, considering that if you say something isn't x you can say x de wa arimasen. Although as I said earlier, it is completely dependent on context, in most informal speech, desu is dropped completely.

#10 twix   Members   -  Reputation: 636

Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:02 AM

Quote:
Original post by bastard2k5
actually, you are going more towards politeness levels. Although I think desu is somewhat short of ~de aru, considering that if you say something isn't x you can say x de wa arimasen. Although as I said earlier, it is completely dependent on context, in most informal speech, desu is dropped completely.

That's right. It's a funny contraction of the literary-sounding 'de aru', and 'de gozaru' is the honorific form.

#11 Cibressus   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:13 AM

so in aikedo gonzaru yokimidu sensei is just a title?

#12 Arek the Absolute   Members   -  Reputation: 350

Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:15 AM

As I understand it sai in battousai is the same as sai in kensai. A kensai is someone like Miyamoto Musashi: a swordmaster of the calibur of legend. Ken is sword, sai is master, or something similar. Battou is drawing the sword, sai is master. Master of sword drawing.

Actually, I looked up the kanji that is used for sai in kensai and I guess I'm mistaken. Kensai seems to be 剣神, while battousai is 抜刀斎. (Battousai I know as a fact, kensai I'm trying to judge off of kanji that's a bit small to read)
-Arek the Absolute"The full quartet is pirates, ninjas, zombies, and robots. Create a game which involves all four, and you risk being blinded by the sheer level of coolness involved." - Superpig

#13 twix   Members   -  Reputation: 636

Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:18 AM

Quote:
Original post by Cibressus
so in aikedo gonzaru yokimidu sensei is just a title?

Huh? It's hard enough to figure out what you're trying to say when you misspell English, don't start doing in in romanized Japanese. [grin]

#14 Dave Astle   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 2307

Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:46 AM

I believe that -sai serves the same purpose that -sa or -ja do in Korean, in which case is basically means a person, so a person who does whatever -sai is suffixed to.

#15 Tha_HoodRat   Members   -  Reputation: 143

Posted 13 July 2004 - 11:18 AM

Quote:
Original post by Arek the Absolute
As I understand it sai in battousai is the same as sai in kensai. A kensai is someone like Miyamoto Musashi: a swordmaster of the calibur of legend. Ken is sword, sai is master, or something similar. Battou is drawing the sword, sai is master. Master of sword drawing.

Actually, I looked up the kanji that is used for sai in kensai and I guess I'm mistaken. Kensai seems to be Œ•_, while battousai is ”²“Ö. (Battousai I know as a fact, kensai I'm trying to judge off of kanji that's a bit small to read)
Its not Kensai but Kensei, Musashi is refered to as the Kensei " Sword saint".

#16 Arek the Absolute   Members   -  Reputation: 350

Posted 13 July 2004 - 11:34 AM

Quote:
Original post by Tha_HoodRat
Its not Kensai but Kensei, Musashi is refered to as the Kensei " Sword saint".


That would explain it, wouldn't it? Hey, it's not exactly a common use japanese word though, so I don't feel all that bad about it. [grin] I'd heard the saint thing before, but I figured using that translation would probably confuse more people than anything else... I figured it was easier to explain it in terms of master than anything else. Ah well, I stand corrected, and thanks for setting me straight.

[edit] Seems a pretty common mistake too... Wikipedia's article on Musashi does the same thing. NOW I feel better. hehe
-Arek the Absolute"The full quartet is pirates, ninjas, zombies, and robots. Create a game which involves all four, and you risk being blinded by the sheer level of coolness involved." - Superpig

#17 Taulin   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 15 July 2004 - 06:01 PM

TangentZ had a good answer. To expand on it:

There are many uses of "-sai", but not really any rules in the sense of "-desu". The main one is age. But mostly, it is just the ending of many words; ex. Kudasai (please). It is traditionaly used as the ending of certain 'types' of words, but again, not as a rule. Festival names is one case in which they end in '-sai'.

Hope this helps. :)

[Edit] Minus points to Rhino for comparing Japanese to Korean.

#18 bastard2k5   Members   -  Reputation: 238

Posted 15 July 2004 - 06:28 PM

I always figured, that you needed all of kudasai, considering it is actually a modification of kudasaru(as listed here).
It basically is just something that says "please give me the favor of doing..." whatever you have before kudasai, usually a verb in its 'te-form'.

#19 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

Posted 15 July 2004 - 06:31 PM

Japanese is so intringuing (sp?... so it is english :P)

#20 valderman   Members   -  Reputation: 512

Posted 15 July 2004 - 08:42 PM

Christ, I sure hope Japanese turns out to be easier than you guys are making it sound when the time comes for me to take Japanese classes... =\




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