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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More translation problem words

Everyone know that 属する is belong, 取る is take, and 集める is gather, right?

Well, not exactly. Here are some common mistakes I hear in class:
  • I belong to the finance division of my company.
The word "belong" means 誰かのもの, as in "This pen belongs to me." So unless you are talking about slavery, a person cannot be the subject of "belong." You should use "I work in the financial division" instead.
  • I took lunch at a cafe.
The word "take" indicates that the subject is doing something. But if you order lunch at a cafe, you are receiving the food, not making it. So "I got lunch" is better, and "I ate lunch" is best.
  • I gathered my friends at the baseball stadium.
Using "gather" as 自動詞 (集まる) is better here: "My friends and I gathered at the stadium." But "I met my friends at the baseball stadium," is even better. You can use 他動詞 "gather" if you are picking stuff up, as in "We gathered shells on the beach."

Please use English well!