Thursday, February 01, 2007

Problem with sinuses

As you may know, there are some (actually lots of) words that is very difficult to translate to another language.
In my experience, the most difficult English word for translating is “sinus”.

One day, maybe three years ago, my British friend asked me to go to a drugstore with him.
He had a problem with his sinuses and wanted to buy a medicine for that.
It was my first time to hear the word “sinus”.
He explained a lot about “sinus” , but I had no idea.
Finally we looked for a dictionary.

In my dictionary (my dictionary is named “Genius” which is the most famous dictionary in Japan.) there are some translating.

(とう ・ tou)
(ろう ・ rou)
湾曲(わんきょく ・ wankyoku)
湾曲部(わんきょくぶ ・ wankyokubu)

… I still had no idea.

We gave up and went to the drugstore and showd the pharmacist the translation.
But! She had no idea either!!

The interesting point is that we don’t have the “idea” of sinus.
Of course we sometimes have a problem with our nose, throat and ears, but we don’t think the organ “sinus”.

Ask your Japanese friends if they know sinus and if you find a good Japanese translation, let me know please!


  1. Akiko-san,
    お久しぶりですね!Glad that you're back to blog again. Missed reading your blog.
    It's interesting that there's no direct translation of the work "sinus". Will ask my Japanese teacher to see if she can come up any other word. Get back to you soon. :)

  2. Sorry. It should be "word" instead of "work" at line 4.

  3. >Jiyujin

    Thank you very much for your comments.
    Yes, I'm back now! :)
    Hope you enjoy my blog again.
    If your teacher knows any other words, let me know please.

  4. Happy your blog is back Akiko!

    Yes I think this is the interesting problem of translation. Even if there are some words which we can use, if the 'idea' isn't prevalent in the culture then people won't understand.

  5. >Tom

    Thank you for your comments! ^_^
    Since I knew the word "sinus", I sometimes have a problem with the sinuses... (*_*)
    If you know any other words like "sinus", let me know!

  6. Akiko-san,

    I asked my Japanese teacher last night. She taught me another word on top of all those mentioned in your blog. It's 鼻腔(びこう). What do you think about it?

    Have a nice weekend ahead!

  7. Oh wow! This is a really great site! I saw it off mixi and I wish this had an RSS link so I could watch it more closely~!

    Please talk more about idioms. When I read manga, sometimes, I don't understand what they are saying, and they turn out to be idioms. ^___^


    As for sinus. lol. I don't think 'kaze' captures it. But a sinus is colds too... ^^;;

  8. >jiyuujin

    About the translation 鼻腔(びこう), actually I thought about the word at first, too.
    But 鼻腔(びこう) means "nostril, right?
    I think that's not enough for "sinus".
    What do you think?

    I went to Mt.Takao yesterday.
    The weather was not so good, but I enjoyed climbing the mountain!
    Have you been to there before?

    Hope you had a nice weekend, too. (^o^)


    Thank you very much for your comments!
    Since I found your comments, I serched about RSS on internet, but I'm not sure about the system...
    Do you think it's not difficult to set up for my blog?

    > But a sinus is colds too...

    Yes, that's right!
    When I went to the drug store with that British friend, eventually we bought a medicine for かぜ. (^_^;)

  9. Akiko-san,

    I'd never been to there. How's the scenery? Thought it's fantastic, right? :-)

  10. Actually, I couldn't see almost anything because it was clouded.
    Also they did some constructions on the top of the mountain.
    So, the scenery was.... (^ ^;)

    Anyway, it was nice that I noticed it's good to climb a mountain in cold season! (^_^)v

  11. Hello Akiko-san,

    this is Tom's friend, Mat (we met once at his party this time last year). I had a sinus problem and my local 耳鼻科の医者 who has funny but very kind and understandable English told me I had 副鼻腔炎 and the pronunciation was usually ふくびくうえん so I guess that without the 炎 it's just ふくびくう。。。かな?! 

  12. Hello Mat!

    Thank you very much for reading my blog.
    I was very glad to find your comments! (^o^)
    副鼻腔 seems best word for sinus.
    I'll try to use this word when I go to the doctor with sinus problem next time.