Na な – yeah

Last night there was a funny TV show on about this young couple who had 10 kids.

They were both divorcees and brought several sprogs with them from previous marriages and then also made about 3 or 4 of their own. Their lived in this mad house in Osaka, toys and crap everywhere. Unbelievably they also had about 10 cats and a few dogs, including one huge vicious looking one. All the kids were between newborn and 6 years old. It was insane.

Anyway, one little bit of Japanese I picked up from it was the use of ‘Na’. The Dad kept ending every sentence with ‘Na’ as he was scolding the kids. You can use ‘Na’ in a very strict way to tell someone not to do something (in this case “Na” is a bit like “don’t”), however he was using it more like you would use “Ne”. So I looked into it and it seems that “Na” is like the masculine version of “Ne”. Most foreigners use “Ne”, not “Na” which perhaps shows how much time foreigners spend around Japanese women compared to Japanese men.

So “Na” is just a useless redundant thing you add to the end of a sentence, much like ‘yeah?’ or ‘right?’ or ‘OK?’ in English.

2 responses to “Na な – yeah

  1. I often drink with my father-in-law, so I started using 「な」 rather than 「ね」 from him years ago.
    But I live with my wife and our three daughters…so I have to consciously avoid picking up feminine Japanese :)

    Anyways, I like the idea of you blog.
    I just wrote a post about Japanese idioms…here:

    http://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/japanese-idioms/

  2. Oh, I forgot to mention…
    I saw that show too.
    Their house was mad!

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