Nov 28, 2014

The Japanese verb 'suru', to do.

This was in the newspaper. The specific article is the one with the bar graphs and it discusses how many people are starting to abbreviate suru to just ru attached to a noun. The examples given in the bar graphs, reading from top to bottom are chin-suru,  a cash register making a noise; jiko-ru, having an accident; not sure of the pronunciation but probably koku-ru, to proclaim your love; and taku-ru, to ride in a taxi. The red areas are the percentage who use the form, the yellow are the percentage who have heard the form, and the grey is the percentage who have never heard the form.

In language school I learned these as chin-suru, jiko-suru, koku-suru (although not used) and takushi-suru. Actually in language school these all required the particle wo between the noun and suru but this is omitted in casual conversation.

This is just one more example of how the Japanese language has been rapidly changing since after WWII. Forms are being reduced (suru to ru) and many restrictions are being removed. For example, in school about 40 years ago I learned that zenzen, meaning not at all, had to be followed by a negative verb. However, when I got to Japan I found that a few people were using it with positive verbs to mean all or every or completely. Now, most college students do not even know that there used to be such a restriction on the use of zenzen.

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