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what does Zen Zen mean?

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what does Zen Zen mean? 2012/9/6 03:37
not to be confused with the buddhist practice, is it something like "completely"
"total" or "all encompasing".


by peter (guest)  

Re: what does Zen Zen mean? 2012/9/6 08:15
I thought it meant "nothing", as in "zenzen"
by Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: what does Zen Zen mean? 2012/9/6 08:16
Yes, it's something like that :)

"zenzen" is one word, and is often used to add emphasis, "...at all," traditionally combined only with the negative (not.... at all) as in:
- Eiga wa zenzen omoshirokunakatta. (The movie was not interesting at all.)

...but young people nowadays use it in combination with the affirmative too.
- Zenzen daijoubu desu. (It's totally OK.)

by AK (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: what does Zen Zen mean? 2012/9/6 08:26
Whoops, my "yes, it's something like that" was in response to peter's initial question.


To Pious,

In its more recent colloquial use, it may be used like that, but by itself it does not really mean "nothing."
If you ask someone if they have some question, and the person might answer "zenzen," meaning "(I have no question) at all." They omitted the part in parenthesis actually.

by AK (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: what does Zen Zen mean? 2012/9/6 10:06
So...
Iam either confused, dumb or both.
How would one say I totally don't understand ? I'm trying honest!
by peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: what does Zen Zen mean? 2012/9/6 11:36
peter,

"I don't understand" would be "wakarimasen" or "rikai dekimasen," right? So if you want to say "I don't understand at all," it would be:

- Zenzen wakarimasen.
- Zenzen rikai dekimasen.

by AK (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: what does Zen Zen mean? 2012/9/6 11:40
zenzen wakarimasen.
by ay (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: what does Zen Zen mean? 2012/9/6 12:32
ok
now I understand.
thank you AK. So zenzen is a term that enhances the central meaning.
thanks.
by peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: what does Zen Zen mean? 2012/9/8 12:19
So zenzen is a term that enhances the central meaning.

Yes.
I suppose that even nowadays, "zen-zen" is combined mainly with affirmative phrases meaning "no worries" or "no problem" or so, in addition to negative phrases, not with every affirmative phrase.

AK:
traditionally combined only with the negative
but young people nowadays use it in combination with the affirmative too.

It seems to be a misconception that "zen-zen" traditionally appeared with the negative only.
- http://www.nhk.or.jp/bunken/summary/kotoba/kotobax3/pdf/010.pdf (in Japanese)
Presumably due to postwar language education, some people consider "zen-zen" as a negative emphasizer. However, the fact seems to be that its affirmative use is not a wrong use both traditionally and recently.

by omotenashi rate this post as useful

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