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JINSEI WA GEIJUTSU DE ARU (was: Getting started with a newborn lang)

From:M.E.S. <suomenkieli@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 5, 2002, 12:13
--- J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...> wrote:
Oh, no no... LOL! Again, non-native me speaking, but I think the style here is quite amusing. That _de aru_ form derived from the copula _da > desu > *de gozaru > de gozaimasu_ is a literary form and not common even in writing today - unless you intend to sound quite rigid. Don't get me wrong, it *is* used still (and even common in some business situations I've found myself in) but it's definitely rigid, and to say "life is art" with that rigid marker sort of contradicts the meaning to me. Speaking of this phrase, _jinsei = geijyutsu_ seems to convey another meaning than the intended "life is art". I wish Hiroshi Kato were on to give his opinion, because somehow it gives me this feeling that "life, at least, is [some sort of] artistic skill" and not necessarily this idea of "art". For instance, if you mean "life is art" as in to convey that life is "beautiful and colorful", then why not go with a better translation IMHO such as "jinsei ga utsukushisa da" (lit. "life is beauty" and the fact I use particle _ga_ goes to emphasis the subject "life" instead of convey the nuance of contrast that _wa_ can convey). Or, perhaps not as direct but something else like a definition "jinsei to iu mono wa, kinchou na geijyutsu to ieru deshou" (lit. "one can probably say that 'life' is a precious artform"). Bottomline: I, for one, have serious reservation on the use of _jinsei wa geijyutsu de aru_ to convey the meaning of "life is art"... Any Japanese (or Jpn-speaking foreigners) willing to opine? M.E.S. __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Try FREE Yahoo! Mail - the world's greatest free email!