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Author Topic: "and/or" in Japanese  (Read 3387 times)


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"and/or" in Japanese
« on: February 11, 2012, 05:21:04 pm »
Is there an equivalent to the English conjunction "and/or" in Japanese?

I know that a list of objects connected with "to" is understood to be limited explicitly to the list of objects, whereas a list connected with "ya" is understood to include other objects not listed, but do either of them convey the sense of "and/or" ?
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Re: "and/or" in Japanese
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 05:33:37 pm »
"ka" is similar but not equivalent.

"Aか Bか..." means something like "whether A is the case, or whether B is the case..." .

The English "and/or" has a stronger feeling that the set of items is limited to only the list which is presented, whereas the Japanese has the sense that other things are simply not part of this discussion (but may exist).

There is also "to ka", but this has a much more casual feel to it, and implies a set of things which is not restricted to the list presented.  More like a slangy list of examples, rather than a proper set of things.


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Re: "and/or" in Japanese
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 05:58:37 pm »
There is 〜および、または〜 (also written with the slash) and there a few phrases equivalent to “either or both ___ and ___”, but these constructions are unnatural and wordy (respectively), and so they are best avoided when possible. Fortunately, it usually is.

Don’t forget that 、 is also a vague conjunction in Japanese :)
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Re: "and/or" in Japanese
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2012, 06:01:38 pm »
I've seen cases where ・ is used as a conjunction - a bit of research reveals that where English Yu-Gi-Oh! cards use "and/or," the original Japanese tends to use the dot.
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Re: "and/or" in Japanese
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 05:51:57 pm »
The dot, ・, is analogous with / in English. It is even on the same key on a Japanese keyboard.

I personally like "to ka"  I mean, it is like と for "and" and か for "or" put together, just like and/or! [/kidding]. but really, while a decent approximation in meaning, I feel the situations in which one would use "and/or" differ from the situations in which one would use とか. (formality)