802 - という ([NOUN] called...)

If you've been keeping up with our lessons, then I'm guessing that you already know that the verb 言う (いう) means "to say" or "to tell."

You'll probably first encounter it in a textbook-like sentence like this:

田中さんは「こんにちは」と言いました
たなかさん は 「こんにちは」 と いいました。
Tanaka-san said, “Hello.”
Literally: “Tanaka-san + は + hello + と + said.”


Here we see being used as a "verbal quotation marker," followed by 言う, the verb for "to say."

We saw lots of examples of this type of thing in these two lessons:

- [NDL #637] - JLPT N4: と ([direct quotation])
- [NDL #638] - JLPT N4: と ([indirect quotation])


In other sentences, we see と言う (という) being used to point out what things are called.

Like this:

この食べ物は「茶碗蒸しと言います
この たべもの は 「ちゃわんむし」と いいます。
This food is called “chawan-mushi.”
Literally: “this + food + は + chawan-mushi + と + says / is called.”


Here's a picture of chawan-mushi, by the way:



Try ordering it the next time you visit a sushi shop in Japan.

Anyway, we had the pattern:「NOUNと言う」...and it was translated as "...called NOUN" (e.g. "...called chawan-mushi").


With me so far?

If so, we can dive into this lesson's topic...

 



JLPT N4: という ([NOUN] called...)

In the JLPT N4, you're likely to come across this pattern:

NOUN 1 という ...NOUN 2
NOUN 2 called NOUN 1

The NOUN 1 will be attached to という, and NOUN 2 will come after it.

We use this pattern when introducing the name of something that is not well known.

An example:

これはラフレシアという世界最大のです。
これ は ラフレシア という せかい さいだい の はな です。
This is a rafflesia, the largest flower in the world.
Literally: “this + は + rafflesia + という + world + largest / maximum + の + flower + です.”



(Source: Wikipedia)


rafflesia という ...flower
flower called rafflessia


Pretty straightforward, yeah?

How about a couple more examples, then?

 



去年、スペインとフランスの間にあるアンドラというに行ってきました。
きょねん、 スペイン と フランス の あいだ に ある アンドラ という くに に いって きました。
Last year I went to Andorra, a country located between Spain and France.
Literally: “last year, + Spain + と + France + の + space (between) + に + there is + Andorra + という + country + に + go (and) + came.”


沢田さん、春麗さんというからお電話です。
さわだ さん、 チュンリーさん という かた から おでんわ です。
Sawada-san, you have a phone call from a Ms. Chun Li.
Literally: “Sawada-san, + Chun Li-san + という + person ([polite]) + from + phone + です.”


Exciting revelation: The kanji for Chun Li (yes, the Street Fighter character) is 春 (="spring [the season]") 麗 (="pretty; lovely; beautiful").

Seems fitting:


(Image Source)

 



In spoken language, という becomes っていう

韓国の「マッコリっていうお酒、知ってる?
かんこく の 「マッコリ」 っていう おさけ、 しってる?
Do you know the Korean alcohol makgeolli?
Literally: “Korea + の + makgeolli + っていう + alcohol, + are knowing?”


You can also just say って

韓国の「マッコリってお酒、知ってる?
かんこく の 「マッコリ」 って おさけ、 しってる?
Do you know the Korean alcohol makgeolli?
Literally: “Korea + の + makgeolli + って + alcohol, + are knowing?”


↑ This is the form that I find myself using most often.

They say makgeolli is a rather healthy alcohol, by the way. One of Rei's mom's friends gave me some homemade makgeolli when we visited South Korea a couple of years ago. Yum!

 



All done, yo.

Not much N4 grammar left now...



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