Interesting Language Tidbits

On my previous post Understanding Spoken Japanese, I talked about how Japanese is highly dependent on context, and I used the word 行きます as an example of this.  A nice commenter pointed out that in many cases, a different word would be used, signifying “I’m entering now” rather than “I’m going now”.  This commenter agreed that both could be used, but pointed out that one would be used over the other in most cases.

This got me thinking – what is the difference between these two phrases?  Both have essentially the same meaning in that context – 行きます implying going towards something, and 入ります implying coming from somewhere and entering something, and it feels to me like one phrase is more negative than the other.  I think the woman who I was referring to used the phrase 行きます because she was rather dreading entering the building (she had to ask for something a little embarrassing).  Perhaps “here I go” would be a better translation, but I’m learning that translators really don’t seem to pick good translations half the time.

I wonder why that is.

Thanks to the nice commenter, an interesting thing to think about, and a new word to learn.

In english, I think there are similar structures, but we don’t really think about them.  “Here I go” is more negative than “in I go!”, I guess.  Each phrase has a different flavor.  But we just choose the one that fits best.  But if I only had one?  I guess it’d work just fine.

I wonder if I’ll ever know enough to be able to actually choose words and phrases.

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