Phrases don’t at all times translate to precisely the identical factor throughout languages, and typically a sentence is greater than the phrases it incorporates.
The Japanese phrase 何だよ (nandayo) is a superb instance of this.
What does 何だよ (nandayo) mean?
The expression 何だよ (nandayo) actually means “what’s [it].” 何 (normally なに however pronounced なん right here) is the phrase for “what,” だ is the (mainly is or are) and よ is the sentence-ending particle used to emphasize one thing.
The phrase “it” is in brackets as a result of it’s the topic, which is implied and can very primarily based on the context of the dialog.
Though this can be a literal translation, a more in-depth English equal of this phrase might be “What the heck?”
In Japanese, 何だよ is admittedly solely used if you find yourself stunned, upset or aggravated by one thing.
It can be utilized in the same method to the English expression “What’s your drawback?” or “What is it with you?”
If the topic isn’t an individual, “What’s up with [topic]?” could be extra correct. In some instances, 何だよ may even mean one thing like “Actually?”
The components of 何だよ
On the face of it, this phrase is fairly easy.
The primary character is the kanji 何, which implies “what.”
When utilized by itself, 何 is pronounced なに (nani). When mixed with different phrases, nonetheless, the “i” sound is usually dropped, leaving us with なん.
Subsequent up is だ, the “informal” type of the copula です. (Sure, meaning if you’d like to sound like a samurai you possibly can say 「何でござる？！」 as an alternative.)
It’s past the scope of this text to go into what the copula is, precisely. For our functions right here, it is going to suffice to word that it’s related to “is” or “are” in English.
Lastly we now have よ, a sentence-ending particle used for emphasis and maybe the best a part of this phrase.
Put all of them collectively and we now have 「何だよ」.
Though it could be tempting to simply translate this as “What is it,” that may not be a fantastic translation.
The important thing to understanding 何だよ has little to do with the meaning of its particular person items and all the things to do with how it’s used.
As a result of だ is informal speech and よ emphasizes what the speaker is saying, including だよ on the tip of this phrase makes it casual and excited.
In apply, meaning it comes throughout as a little bit impolite more often than not.
Right here, although, the tone you employ will have an effect on how what you say is known.
For those who’re clearly upset or offended about one thing, this phrase will completely be thought of impolite.
However, if you happen to’re laughing earlier than you say it likelihood is good it is going to be taken in a extra relaxed method.
The opposite phrases that you simply pair with the phrase, or any context surrounding what you’re saying, can even play a task.
Which means that it’s pretty simple to make positive you’re not misunderstood as being offended if you happen to’re actually simply stunned.
The best method to actually perceive 何だよ is to take a look at these numerous contexts.
何だよ by itself
When stated by itself, 何だよ positively will rely in your tone of voice and facial features.
This will likely appear complicated, however it actually isn’t any totally different from the phrase “What?” in English by itself.
For instance, you may shout “What?!” in response to somebody asking you questions time and again till you snap.
You may also snicker about one thing ridiculous you’ve seen and say “Whaaaat?” in a disbelieving tone of voice.
The potential meanings of simply this single phrase are virtually infinite.
For that reason, it’s best to make positive you’re inspecting context to correctly perceive it when others are utilizing it.
何だよ with folks
何だよ is incessantly used to mean one thing like “What’s your drawback?” or “What’s his drawback?” It may even be used to refer to the speaker themselves, if paired with a pronoun for “I” or “me.”
Mainly, in case you are stunned or upset by one thing another person has achieved and wish to specific that you simply’re mad, you should utilize this phrase.
A phrase of warning, although. Saying 何だよ to somebody is fairly obnoxious, and if the individual is especially inclined to violence they could be thought of combating phrases.
At least, this can be a sort of powerful man posturing usually unsuited for normal dialog.
In cases once you do hear this used to refer to folks, the phrase will normally be adopted by a pronoun or another private reference.
One neat factor about this phrase with folks is that the kind of pronoun used may give you a clue to the meaning.
Right here, the very impolite てめえ (“you”) is the pronoun. This individual is tremendous mad and possibly prepared for a battle. He’s in all probability male, and could also be drunk.
“What’s the president’s deal anyway?”
It is a a lot softer expression. The individual might be on the lookout for gossip, fairly than a fistfight.
何だよ with issues or occasions
One widespread method Japanese folks will use this phrase is in reference to issues or occasions.
If 何だよ is preceded or adopted by a reference to a particular subject, the individual talking isn’t actually asking “what,” however fairly one thing nearer to “Why is [topic] like this?”
For instance, if the reference is to a bus, the query shouldn’t be translated as “What is that this bus?” however one thing like “What’s up with this bus?”
“What is that this?”
Once more, the sentence order is reversed from written Japanese in a method that’s pretty typical of colloquial speech.
これは (that is) comes on the finish of the sentence, with the particle は makes it clear that これ is the subject.
For references to issues or occasions, tone of voice will play a big position in figuring out the English translation.
If the individual saying that is clearly offended, the meaning might be nearer to “What the hell is that this?”
“What’s that individual’s drawback, anyway?”
The phrase もう is usually utilized by ladies, so that is unlikely to be delivered in too offended of a voice due to Japanese social norms. (Though in fact, that doesn’t mean it’s unattainable!)
Right here there isn’t a subject particle in any respect, one other pretty typical behavior of colloquial spoken Japanese.
All the identical, it’s pretty apparent that あいつの問題 (“that individual’s drawback”) is the subject of the speaker’s disgruntlement.
“Oh, what? Is that what that was?”
In contrast to a few of the different examples, the place the tone of voice will play a big position in figuring out the meaning, it’s arduous to think about somebody saying this whereas offended.
The brief あ (“Ah”) signifies gentle shock, whereas それだったっけ (“Is that what that was?”) can also be a reasonably relaxed-sounding expression. The っけ (-kke) suffix particularly implies a really informal self-questioning tone.
Right here, the speaker has in all probability simply had one thing which occurred to them earlier and which they didn’t perceive defined.
Possibly they have been having bother with a math drawback which a classmate confirmed them how to do, or another related state of affairs.
When not to use 何だよ
Though 何だよ is a reasonably versatile expression, there are some conditions the place you positively shouldn’t use it.
For probably the most half, this phrase ought to solely be utilized in an off-the-cuff conversational setting. For instance, in case you are hanging out with buddies or chatting with somebody in a bar or another casual setting.
If you’re at work or talking with somebody the place you want to use extra formal language such because the guardian of a scholar you educate or a buyer at a retailer the place you’re employed, you must positively not check out this phrase.
At best, it is going to give the individual to whom you’re speaking a poor impression of your social expertise, and at worst it could actually offend somebody.
In these extra formal conditions, you’d sometimes be anticipated to specific no shock in any respect.
For those who completely want to say one thing to an individual about their habits in a proper setting, the very meek 「あの、すみませんですが。。。」 will do the trick.
Though this phrase technically means “Excuse me,” it’s a widespread method for Japanese folks to specific that somebody is doing one thing sudden and unappreciated.
After all, if the individual you’re speaking to is offended, chances are you’ll very effectively hear them say 「何だよ？！」 in response.
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