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Don't know and don't understand "wakaru"' 2015/7/6 07:38
Hello everyone, I just wanted to know how can I use or know the difference when "wakaru" means "don't understand" and "don't know". when speaking to a native Japanese person and I use "wakaranai" they assume it means "i don't understand" but I want to use it as "I don't know".
For example:

Japanese person: すし好きですか? (sushi ga sukidesu ka?)

non Japanese person: わからない (wakaranai)

Japanese person: do you like sushi?

Here, the non Japanese person meant to say "i don't know" but the Japanese person took it as "I don't understand" because the non Japanese person does speak Japanese well so he switch to English think he didn't understand. How can you separate "don't know" and "don't understand" in japanese using "wakaru"

by Kisukeyo  

Re: Don't know and don't understand 2015/7/6 12:29
In that case wouldn't it be

しりません (shirimasen) or しらない (shiranai)
by daai maou (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Don't know and don't understand 2015/7/6 13:05
In this context (being asked if you like sushi), わからない for I don't know is correct.
But just saying わからない is rather vague, and one wonders whether you do not understand what he/she asked, or you cannot tell if you like sushi or not.

わからない means not be able to understand, not be able to tell (as you do not know) while しらない means you do not know (you do not have a knowledge of something).

In this example, if you add the reason for わからない, you can avoid misunderstanding.
e.g. 食べたことがないのでわからない。
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Don't know and don't understand 2015/7/6 14:30
Yes, in this context, "wakaranai" was the right choice of the word. I agree wih the ".(guest)" that it was just too vague, the listener cannot tell if you meant to say "I don't know/I can't say (if I like it or not)" or "I don't get (your question)."

Since the answer came out so short, the other person might have assumed that it was the latter. As the above poster said, if you added some additional comments like:
- 食べたことが ない ので、わからない (I don't know because I have not eaten it.)
- まだ 1回しか たべてない ので、わからない。(I don't know because I've eaten it only once.)
- まだ 良さが わからない (I haven't understood yet what's good about it.)

..then the meaning would have been clearer :)
by AK rate this post as useful

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