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Thread: Is there no translation for (logical) "argument" ?

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Question Is there no translation for (logical) "argument" ?

    How can we express the meaning of "argument",in the sense of a set of reasons given to support or prove something - e.g. an argument for (or against) death penalty ?

    I have checked several dictionaries and asked some Japanese explaining exactly what I meant, but there doesn't seem to be a single word in Japanese that means "argument".

    I have found these translations, but they do not mean the same kind of argument.

    議論 => argument in the sense of discussion or dispute
    論争 => controversy, dispute, debate
    口論 => argument in the sense of quarrel or dispute
    論点 => main topic, major issue, point in question (at issue)
    論拠 => the ground(s) of an argument
    理由 => reason, cause; excuse, pretext

    I kanji 論 itself coneys the idea of logical argument, but also of theory, doctrine, opinion, discussion, dispute, controversy, discourse, debate, essay, treatise or comment.

    How could I for instance say the sentence : "find 5 arguments for and 5 arguments against death penalty" ?

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  2. #2
    Manga Psychic PaulTB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    How could I for instance say the sentence : "find 5 arguments for and 5 arguments against death penalty" ?
    Hmm, how about 論拠. (Stuck 'arguments' into WWWJDIC examples search )

  3. #3
    ロマンチスト CorDarei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulTB
    Hmm, how about 論拠. (Stuck 'arguments' into WWWJDIC examples search )
    From Goo:
    ろんきょ 論拠


    the basis of [grounds for] an argument.
    〜薄弱だ Your argument has poor foundation./ You are on tenuous ground with that argument.
    Sounds good to me.

  4. #4
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    The easiest rendering would be something like this, although I'm not sure it makes clear there are to be five arguments for each side. Or for that matter how natural the 5 arguments part is itself....

    死刑制度を(に対する、対して)支持と反対の5論拠を捜 してください。  
    Last edited by Elizabeth; Dec 18, 2004 at 02:40.

  5. #5
    ロマンチスト CorDarei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth
    The easiest rendering would be something like this, although I'm not sure it makes clear there are to be five arguments for each side. Or for that matter how natural the 5 arguments part is itself....

    死刑制度を(に対する、対して)支持と反対の5論拠を捜 してください。  
    I did a quick Google search and came up with the following two examples:

    3つめの論拠

    (論拠) 5章

    I don't trust the second one too much, but the first might support 死刑制度に対して支持と反対の論拠を5つ捜してくださ い。

  6. #6
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    If 論拠 means "grounds for an argument" (which for me isn't the same as simply "argument"), how would we say then : "The grounds for your second argument are not valid" ? The grounds is 論拠, but what becomes of the "second argument" part ? Still no translation I guess.

  7. #7
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    If 論拠 means "grounds for an argument" (which for me isn't the same as simply "argument"), how would we say then : "The grounds for your second argument are not valid" ? The grounds is 論拠, but what becomes of the "second argument" part ? Still no translation I guess.
    Yeah, I was concerned about that as well, my only consolation coming from Google and a dictionary reibun "He presented an argument for (against) the war." 戦争に賛成(反対)する論拠を述べた。

    For grounds in the sense of reasoning based or rooted in fact, etc well, .... there may be something to that -- 論拠は実際に基づいている。

  8. #8
    Manga Psychic PaulTB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    If 論拠 means "grounds for an argument" (which for me isn't the same as simply "argument"),
    It just happens that in English 'grounds for an argument' means the same as one of the meanings of 'argument' in English.

    how would we say then : "The grounds for your second argument are not valid" ? The grounds is 論拠, but what becomes of the "second argument" part ? Still no translation I guess.
    But 二つ目の論拠 IS "The second grounds for your (argument/position)".

  9. #9
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulTB
    It just happens that in English 'grounds for an argument' means the same as one of the meanings of 'argument' in English.
    I don't think so. Here is the appropriate Merriam-Webster's definition for "ground(s)" :

    a basis for belief, action, or argument <ground for complaint> -- often used in plural b (1) : a fundamental logical condition (2) : a basic metaphysical cause

    The "ground(s)" is the basis for the argument, but not the argument itself. For example, if someone says that death penalty should not be legal because "it is immoral" (the argument), I will ask them on which grounds they find it immoral. The answer could be "as a Christian, I consider that killing is immoral" (the part in green is the ground), which is different from the argument itself in blue)

  10. #10
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I don't think so. Here is the appropriate Merriam-Webster's definition for "ground(s)" :

    a basis for belief, action, or argument <ground for complaint> -- often used in plural b (1) : a fundamental logical condition (2) : a basic metaphysical cause

    The "ground(s)" is the basis for the argument, but not the argument itself.
    It may help to think of "Argument" as the debate over capital punishment itself, the "grounds" being particular reasons (arguments 1-5, if you will). On the grounds of, on the grounds that, grounded in....then becomes 根拠 or 理由 or whatever in each particular case. Clearly these concepts are translatable, and distinctive enough to have their own set of words associated.
    Last edited by Elizabeth; Dec 19, 2004 at 02:28.

  11. #11
    Manga Psychic PaulTB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    a basis for belief, action, or argument <ground for complaint> -- often used in plural b (1) : a fundamental logical condition (2) : a basic metaphysical cause

    The "ground(s)" is the basis for the argument, but not the argument itself. For example, if someone says that death penalty should not be legal because "it is immoral" (the argument), I will ask them on which grounds they find it immoral. The answer could be "as a Christian, I consider that killing is immoral" (the part in green is the ground), which is different from the argument itself in blue)
    But if you look at the definitions of argument you will see (among others).

    A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood: presented a careful argument for extraterrestrial life.

    A fact or statement put forth as proof or evidence; a reason: The current low mortgage rates are an argument for buying a house now.

    You are only considering 'argument' as the second of those while the first can have several 'grounds for the argument'. It is clear from context and example sentences that the Japanese 論拠 is based on the first definition of argument and each 論拠 is what you would call an argument.

    Anyway if you really want to know how to say something in Japanese why are you nitpicking over the English?

  12. #12
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulTB
    But if you look at the definitions of argument you will see (among others).

    A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood: presented a careful argument for extraterrestrial life.

    A fact or statement put forth as proof or evidence; a reason: The current low mortgage rates are an argument for buying a house now.

    You are only considering 'argument' as the second of those while the first can have several 'grounds for the argument'. It is clear from context and example sentences that the Japanese 論拠 is based on the first definition of argument and each 論拠 is what you would call an argument.
    Isn't it what I mentioned at the beginning of this thread ? "Argument" as many meanings, but there is one of them for which I cannot fin a translation.

    Basically I want to know the original meaning of "argument" as it is in other Latin languages (the word "argument" does not have the meaning of "dispute" in Latin languages). In your two definitions above, the first one would be expressed as "argumentation" and not "argument" in Latin languages.

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    Bits from my dictionary:

    (…への)賛成[反対]論《for, in favor of...; against...》
    (賛成[反対]を示す)論拠,理由;論点《for...; against...》.
    立論の方法,論法;論証: I was unable to follow his 〜.彼の論法にはついていけなかった.
    《文語》(特に文学作品の)主題,テーマ;要旨,梗概(こうがい),筋: the central 〜 of a book 著述の中心テーマ.

  14. #14
    ロマンチスト CorDarei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Isn't it what I mentioned at the beginning of this thread ? "Argument" as many meanings, but there is one of them for which I cannot fin a translation.

    Basically I want to know the original meaning of "argument" as it is in other Latin languages (the word "argument" does not have the meaning of "dispute" in Latin languages). In your two definitions above, the first one would be expressed as "argumentation" and not "argument" in Latin languages.

    How about 論拠の根拠 as a "basis or grounds for the argument"? I got 5 Google hits, that's good enough for me

    [edit] Just realized that Elizabeth got there first... oh well

  15. #15
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulTB
    But if you look at the definitions of argument you will see (among others).

    A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood: presented a careful argument for extraterrestrial life.
    The debate (argument in Japanese) over capital punishment :
    死刑についての討論 

    Arguments/Reasons for and against (grounds in the Japanese context under discussion here)
    論拠

    Basis for those arguments (grounds for/on in English)

    (論拠)の根拠

    Clear enough to everyone ?

  16. #16
    rebmem yzarc a Pox's Avatar
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    "find 5 arguments for and 5 arguments against death penalty"
    死刑制度に対しての反対"意見"・賛成"意見"をそれぞれ 5つ見つけてこい。

    "The grounds for your second argument are not valid"
    君の二つ目の主張の"根拠"はおかしい。



    文脈がもうちょっと れば、少し違ってくるかも・・・ 。
    文脈によって適当に訳すしかないんですかね。

  17. #17
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pox
    "find 5 arguments for and 5 arguments against death penalty"
    死刑制度に対しての反対"意見"・賛成"意見"をそれぞれ 5つ見つけてこい。

    "The grounds for your second argument are not valid"
    君の二つ目の主張の"根拠"はおかしい。
    どうも りがとうPaxさん。役に立つことばかり言って 諱B

    それと、”  ”の中の「意見」が、 るとないとでは 、
    意味は分かっても微妙なニュアンスが伝わりませんか?  

  18. #18
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CorDarei
    How about 論拠の根拠 as a "basis or grounds for the argument"? I got 5 Google hits, that's good enough for me
    Yeah, sounds reasonably good after all.

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