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Alpha_ProgDes

-sai what does it mean in Japanese?

27 posts in this topic

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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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?)
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desu is approximately is/am
edit: example
boku wa yonnensei desu(I am a 4th year student)
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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.
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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...
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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)
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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]
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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.
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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".
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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
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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.
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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'.
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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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battousai (no - as far as i know)

is a made up word, is sort of a nickname, since kenshin is a expert in battou

IIRC the author even mentions that in one of the manga volumes
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We used -sai to suffix ages, like juu-roku-sai or juu-nana-sai. I'm sure it does have other uses though. Desu is (is/am/are).

Ame o kudasai!!! (please give me a piece of candy)
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The grammatical patterns aren't that difficult, since they are, for the most part, guided by rules. There are also verbs that are always exceptions, and there are numbers, that always are odd with certain counters(like 20 years old- hatachi, eight years old- hassai, etc..) The best thing to do, is what I am not currently doing: practice, and practice a lot. Use flashcards if that is useful, I know of Japanese majors who still make flashcards to pick up no vocabulary and kanji. Although one thing still somewhat remains, romanization sucks, learn at least kana, since blueEbola's sentance can also mean please give me rain. Just like you can say, "I ate with chopsticks", and "I ate with a bridge" using the same romanization.
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Quote:
Original post by Valderman
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... =\

Most of it is very simple. More than any other language I know, there is a sort of underlying order in the chaos, so that you can understand almost all of the grammatical constructs in terms of a few simple core rules.

The only real problem I've had with the grammar is the goddamn number system. Worst. System. Ever.
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it is such a complex language.
i think i'm gonna be taking a couple of years of Japanese.
learning on my own is not progressing as i hoped.
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