Teach Yourself Japanese
Subject: Re: 〜に越したことはない
From: Brandin (chaotic_thoughtyahoo.com)
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 16:13:48 GMT
References: 1, 2
> I have the same feeling as you about this. The possibilities I see are 1) the dictionary didn't do a very good job defining the phrase (I find this unlikely), 2) the dictinoary is slightly out of date in its definition (possible), 3) the person who wrote that sentence was sloppy, perhaps not proofreading what they had written (likely), and 4) the person who wrote that sentence doesn't understand what に越したことはない means (possible).
> It's certainly frustrating learning a foreign language when you've got native speakers disagreeing with each other over what a word or phrase means or how it's used, but such is the way of things. I've had similar encounters, most memorably with a use of 〜来 that I think isn't quite right (or at least isn't consistent with the definition in 大辞林).
Can you enlighten me on this issue? What is 〜来？ I can't find this suffix in the dictionary. When used at the end of a word it seems to be read mostly as らい、き、く and some others.
> > My translation (Revisions/commentary appreciated):
> > 英語ができるにこしたことはありませんが、それより大切なことは相手に対する気持ちだと思います。
> > (There's nothing like being able to speak English proficiently, but I believe it's even more important to understand the other person's feelings.)
> The translation of the に越したことはない phrase is good, but 相手に対する気持ち is "feelings towards (your) counterpart." It's a comment on your feelings, not the other person's.
英語ができるにこしたことはありませんが、それより大切なことは相手に対する気持ちだと思います。（There's nothing like being able to speak English proficiently, but I believe it's even more important to understand your feelings toward the other person.)
But now that I read it, I'm still a bit foggy about what the author is actually refererring to. She's saying that when we speak to people (in another language), we need to have some kind of feelings about the other person? For example, in a foreign language I may not "understand" the words another person means in a certain situation, but I may "feel" that he meant to pay me a compliment. So I can respond by saying "thank you" for instance, based only on feeling.
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