Ask-a-Teacher: What does SEIKAKU JANAI KANA really mean?
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Question to Teacher: What does SEIKAKU JANAI KANA really mean?
Course 4 Lesson 8: A Strange Day! (Mini Conversations)
Post Date: 2020-07-18 23:40:26
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2015 Dec 22
In this mini conversation , the explanation is :
I wonder if it is his character(behaviour)
I don't understand the じゃない part . Can we just say :
彼の性格によるのかな Instead of usingじゃんあい .
Or it is Japanese culture of not speaking of a person's bad behaviour directly ?
Thanks a lot.
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JFZ Teacher (Kanako)
Post Date: 2020-07-21 01:12:45
2003 Mar 03
せいかくじゃないかな。(SEIKAKU JANAI KANA)
= Maybe it is his personality. / I wonder if it is his character (personality).
If you translate this sentence word for word as below, it is hard to understand what it really means.
せいかく = personality; character
じゃない = is not (negative form)
かな = I wonder if / maybe
This sort of problem will pop up when you study Japanese.
In this case, it would be better to memorize “(noun) + じゃないかな” as a set phrase, which means “Maybe it is (noun).”
1) おかあさんのじゃないかな。(OKAASAN NO JANAI KANA)
= Maybe it is my mother’s.
2) あしたじゃないかな。(ASHITA JANAI KANA)
= Maybe it is tomorrow.
3) いもうとはいま、がっこうじゃないかな。(IMOUTO WA IMA, GAKKOU JANAI KANA)
= Maybe my little sister is at school now.
The sentences above are not negative even though じゃない is used. They actually sound natural and conversational.
かれの せいかくに よるのかな。(KARE NO SEIKAKU NI YORU NO KANA)
= I wonder if it depends on his personality./Maybe it depends on his personality.
Your sentence is grammatically correct, but it may not be suitable for the context.
Keep up the great work!