There exists no 1:1 mapping between words in different languages. This can be seen in basic translation between words, such as the shift that occurs between the Japanese word yasashii and the English word slutty, which in a conceptual map looks like so:

gentle :: yasashii :: simple :: easy :: slutty

Of course, no Japanese person calling someone yasashii would be outright implying that the person was of loose morals, but a poor understanding of the conceptual groupings behind words often leads to these misunderstandings.

Interestingly, this lack of mapping exists beyond the level of definition and meaning. In the Japanese language, there is a blur between adjectives and verbs.

For example, take the words ano hito, "that person", and taberu, "eat". The phrase "ano hito ga taberu" would translate as "That person eats." The phrase "taberu hito" would translate as "The person who eats" or "The eating person". While this seems a little pedantic, when the Japanese verb is used as a describer, it undergoes no change in form nor addition of suffix or prefix.

Further reinforcing the phenomenon is the perception that the Japanese language often is spoken in what English speakers would consider sentence fragments. "Ano hito ga yasashii!" can be seen in direct translation as "How gentle, that person!" The English language framework would want to more naturally place desu, or da, afterwards to make "Ano hito ga yasashii desu.", or That person is gentle. However, given the incredible proliferation of such seemingly incomplete phrases, it is more likely that on a native speaker's level, the adjective standing alone is sufficient to complete a meaningful utterance.

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