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"amaeru"

English translation: avail oneself of another's kindness

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22:44 Apr 25, 2000
Japanese to English translations [Non-PRO]
Tech/Engineering
Japanese term or phrase: "amaeru"
I've been asking this questions to whoever understands Japanese culture and has a background translation, yet I haven't really been satisfied with any of the answers.

I almost feel that there is no compatible word in English that would translate and would explain every aspect of this word; In Japanese, this word is not interpreted as a negative one, whereas dictionaries usually translate it to "fawn" or "(be)pambered".

You might be the most creative one. Help me!
Hipposan
English translation:avail oneself of another's kindness
Explanation:
It depends on the context.
It can be "to behave like a spoilt child", or "a dog fawning on his master", or "she spoke in a coquettish tone".

Or, you can ignore "amaeru", considering it as a kind of filling word, and just express in a polite "would" form.
Selected response from:

Hirohisa Suzuki
Japan
Local time: 02:59
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
nato indulge a person's dependency needs, to be so indulged
Harold Slovic
nathere is no "real fitting" translation
Thomas Blasejewicz
na(choose/allow one's self) to be dependent upon
Henry Dotterer
naavail oneself of another's kindness
Hirohisa Suzuki
na1. behave like a spoilt child, fawn on (its master) 2. be too dependent on one痴 kindness, presume oxxxYUMIKO


  

Answers


1 hr
1. behave like a spoilt child, fawn on (its master) 2. be too dependent on one痴 kindness, presume o


Explanation:
in No.2 case,殿maeru

xxxYUMIKO
Local time: 02:59

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2 hrs
avail oneself of another's kindness


Explanation:
It depends on the context.
It can be "to behave like a spoilt child", or "a dog fawning on his master", or "she spoke in a coquettish tone".

Or, you can ignore "amaeru", considering it as a kind of filling word, and just express in a polite "would" form.

Hirohisa Suzuki
Japan
Local time: 02:59
PRO pts in pair: 11

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3 hrs
(choose/allow one's self) to be dependent upon


Explanation:
It is indeed difficult to come up with a single translation that captures every aspect of the term 'amaeru.'

For me, the common thread throughout the meanings is a sense of surrendering control to someone else. Sometimes there is a positive nuance to the usage--as in when one relies upon a more experienced person's judgement for leadership. Other times, there is a negative sense--as in when one wants to be 'babied'.

Other attempts at a generalized translation:
-place one's self in another's hands
-give one's self up to

Henry Dotterer
United States
Local time: 12:59
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4
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3 hrs
there is no "real fitting" translation


Explanation:
"amaeru"
This refers to a whole concept specific to the Japanese society. Most attempts at translating this into single words or phrase are more or less destined to fail. That means, it is either not possible to capture the nuances of the words meaning, or the English translation elicits a set of associations completely different from what Japanese people would in any particular circumstance associate with the term.
Trying to put in general terms "amaeru" refers to a highly specific form personal interaction, where the person, who is "amaeru" somehow counts on and is looking for "forgiveness", "generosity", the "right to indulge", which have to be bestowed by the person who is "amayakaseru", i.e., allowing a person to benefit from his/her generosity etc..

I am afraid, this whole interaction will remain a mystery, as long as you are not familiar with the specifically Japanese human relationships.
A person called Takeo Doi has even written a whole book on this theme: "The anatomy of dependence" (I believe this was the title), which is available as an English translation of the Japanese original. Maybe, you could refer to this book.
And please forget the idea of translating "amaeru" as one fixed word or phrase.
Sorry, I cannot be of more help.
Thomas


Thomas Blasejewicz
Japan
Local time: 02:59
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 33

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159 days
to indulge a person's dependency needs, to be so indulged


Explanation:
Dear Hipposan,

In my understanding, the word "amaeru" is a Japanese verb meaning "to indulge a person", in the sense of anticipating and fulfilling their various needs, whatever they may be, physical, phychological, social, etc. The difinitive meaning and explanation for this word can be found not in a dictionary, but in a very profound and important book written by the famous Japanese psychoanalyst, Dr. Takeo Doi, called "Amae no kouzou" (The Anatomy of Dependence). In this book, Dr. Doi discusses the deep-seated need for Japanese people to feel they can depend on others to "indulge them"--when these intimate personal relationships no longer function in the way a person expects them to, neurosis and/or psychosis can develop. This is an excellent example of how a seemingly simple word can have truly deep and profound meanings. This book is a "must read!" for anyone who truly wants to understand the complex unverse of meaning of the words "amae", "amaeru", etc. Hope this is useful. Haslov


    Takeo Doi, "The Anatomy of Dependence" (Amae no Kouzou)
Harold Slovic
Local time: 09:59
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 4

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