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 Post subject: Japanese names for different types of moves
Post #1 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:37 am 
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In response to a question on my study journal, I thought it might be helpful to provide a list of common Japanese names for different types of moves. This is not an explanation of how each one works nor a discussion of their pros and cons either tactically or strategically, but simply as far as possible one-word translations to help you along. One thing that helps, in my opinion, is knowing how they're pronounced: "kosumi" is not so much "ko-su-mi" as "kossmi", and it trips off the mental tongue easily.

Here we go:

ate - atari
kosumi - diagonal
tsugi - connection
kaketsugi - hanging connection
hane - bend
nobi - stretch
oki - placement
warikomi - wedge-in (such as playing between the two stones of an ikken tobi)
keima - knight-shaped move (it helps if you play chess!)
ogeima - keima+1
daigeima - keima+2
sagari - descent
sashikomi - insertion
nozoki - peep
kiri - cut
taneishi - seed stone (leaving a stone behind that may grow future possibilities)
suteishi - sacrifice stone
hourikomi - throw-in
hai - crawl
kake - press
de - going out (emerging)
tsuke - attach
hiki - draw back (as in the (infamous?!) tsukehiki joseki)

I shall try to add some more if I recall any that I think might be useful.

Nb. I've amended the definition of taneishi in light of John's comment below.

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Last edited by Tami on Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #2 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:37 am 
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The famous go writer Mihori Sho was much concerned with the art of communication in his day job - he was a senior executive in both newspapers and radio. He therefore had a special penchant for go terms. In one of his columns he showed a position which he had seen Shinohara Masami (then 7-dan) present at a lecture, pronouncing the correct term for each move in a Taisha variation. Mihori made the point that pros can easily communicate a game to each other on the phone by use of technical terms but amateurs would find it too hard. He invited his Japanese readers to try. He did not reveal how many succeeded but he did say that he expected few people would get Shinohara's sequence right from beginning to end.

In 1985 Kido offered a similar exercise, but in much more depth, and in reverse. Its Japanese readers were invited to try to play over a complete game from the terms given. It was classed as difficult.

I have presented these exercises before. They were, for example, in the GoGoD Encyclopaedia. You can try them here yourself. In the past western readers have without exception scored very low, often below 10%. There are some extra difficulties for western readers, of course. The obvious one is that some Japanese terms are misunderstood or even misused in the west. For example, atari is relatively rare in Japan compared to ate, which has the meaning westerners attach to atari. Another problem is that terms like hane and tsuke are catch-alls in the west but Japanese people generally add qualifiers (e.g. hanedashi, shita-tsuke). A more insidious problem is that pros will often disagree on what is the best term.

THE TAISHA
Give the Japanese names for each move - answers shown under "Show".



1. mokuhazushi
2. hikigakari
3. oogeimagake
4. tsukekoshi
5. hanekomi
6. ate
7. tsugi
8. shita-tsugi
9. kiri
10. nobi
11. osae
12. hai
13. oshi
14. nobi
15. nobi
16. keima
17. oshi
18. nobi
19. oshi
20. nobi
21. kake
22. hane
23. osae
24. tsugi
25. sagari
26. tobi
27. osae
28. hai
29. keima
30. niken-tobi
31. nobi
32. hai
33. nobi


FULL GAME (135 moves)
This you can do in the original fashion, by opening up the "Show/Hide" button and trying to reconstruct the game, or you can just do it in the same way as the Taisha example.



1. Hoshi in top right
2. Komoku in top left
3. Hoshi in lower right
4. Komoku in lower left
5. Ikkentakagakari
6. Shita-tsuke
7. Osae
8. Hiki
9. Kata-tsugi
10. Keima
11. Hiraki
12. Wariuchi below the star point
13. Ikkentakagakari
14. Nikentakabasami
15. Ikkentobi
16. Ikken-uke
17. Uchikomi
18. Burasagari
19. Boshi
20. Kosumidashi
21. Keima
22. Katatsuki
23. Kosumidashi
24. Atekomi
25. Tsugi
26. Tobitsuke
27. Ikkentobi
28. De
29. Ikkentobi
30. Hane
31. Keima
32. Shita-tsuke
33. Osae
34. Hiki
35. Hane
36. Tsukiatari
37. Osae
38. Warikomi
39. Ate
40. Tsugi
41. Tsugi
42. Ategiri
43. Tsugi
44. Kiri
45. Ate
46. Nobi
47. Kaketsugi
48. Nozoki
49. Kosumi
50. Kado
51. Ikkentobi
52. Nozoki
53. Soi
54. Keima
55. Mimi
56. Tsukiatari
57. Nobi
58. Tsugi
59. Kosumi
60. Tsugi
61. Nobi
62. Kosumi
63. Osae
64. Ago
65. Kosumi
66. Oshiage
67. Ikkentobi
68. Nobidashi
69. Kosumi
70. Osae
71. Katatsuki
72. Oshiage
73. Nobi
74. Tsukegoshi
75. Saegiri
76. Kiri
77. Kata-tsugi
78. Mage
79. Kakae
80. De
81. Sagari
82. Osae
83. Niken-tsume
84. Kake
85. Guzumi
86. Nozoki
87. Nuki
88. Atekomi
89. Tsugi
90. Katatsuki
91. Oshi
92. Oshiage
93. Nobi
94. Tsuke
95. Nobi
96. Nobi
97. Osae
98. Keima
99. Ikken-uke
100. Tsuke
101. Kakae
102. Atekomi
103. Tsugi
104. Hane
105. Osae
106. Hasamitsuke
107. Sagari
108. Guzumi
109. Tsugi
110. Tsugi
111. Burasagari
112. Yokotsuke
113. Kosumidashi
114. Tsuke
115. Osae
116. Hane
117. Kado
118. Kado
119. Nuki
120. Oshi
121. Osae
122. Keima
123. Kosumitsuke
124. Hasamitsuke
125. Osae
126. Kakae
127. Hane
128. Hanazuke
129. De
130. Osae
131. Hanedashi
132. Kiri
133. Tsugi
134. Oshi
135. Tsukidashi


Tami: Taneishi are not sacrifice stones (that's suteishi). Taneishi are seed stones that have the scope to grow into something substantial. Typically they are one or stones that nominally cut an enemy position in two. They may be weak at present but are to be nurtured as they can have huge strategic implications if the separation can be confirmed. Conversely, there is a proverb that tells you (as the cuttee) to try to find a way to turn taneishi into kasuishi - trash stones.


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese names for different types of moves
Post #3 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:13 am 
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Thanks, John! I was indeed uncertain about taneishi, and now you mention it I seem to recall reading the word 捨て石 before. I need to go back to Japan for some linguistic refreshment. I've not lost the ability to speak and understand Japanese, but I feel my version of it is getting more and more like some kind of personal "カーライル弁" by the day :lol: I do admire people, like you, who have real expertise in languages. I just hack my way through!

I tried the exercise. I did better than 10%, but I found that I had forgotten the word "hai" (no, not that hai). I remembered "kake", but found myself weirdly adding "keima" to it as a qualifier. Anyway, it was a fun exercise.

I made the above list because as I was saying on my study journal, I found it somewhat helpful, when doing tsumego, to use names for the moves in my inner monologue instead of my old way, which was kind of "black, white, black, white".

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Post #4 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:12 pm 
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A few months ago a complete beginner dropped by our Go club.
She knew nothing about Go, and after the basic rules and some capture-Go, she'd like to just watch. So I began to review a game with a member. Some 30 to 50 moves into the review, she said, "I was wondering why you keep calling him honey."

捨て石 and ko:
When they say 捨て石 su te ishi, I keep hearing "stay-shee...", like "station". :)


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Post #5 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:53 pm 
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Warning to Winnie the Pooh:

There is death in the honey.

;)

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Post #6 Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:43 am 
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By the way, what is the Japanese name of the technique viewtopic.php?p=234387 ?
It looks like oshitsubushi, but slightly different?

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Post #7 Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:19 am 
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jlt wrote:
By the way, what is the Japanese name of the technique https://lifein19x19.com/viewtopic.php?p=234387 ?
It looks like oshitsubushi, but slightly different?


The move in the solution could be called either oki or nobi.

Shortage of liberties is damezumari.

Oiotoshi is a case of damezumari where a group under atari cannot connect to safety because the other group itself only has one liberties.

I don't know what oshitsubushi means.

Incidentally, I wanted only to list the Japanese names for move types, not techniques and concepts. The reason being, as already stayed elsewhere, I've noticed that for me, at least, it seems to be easier to keep track of one's reading if they're used in the inner monologue rather than "black goes here, white goes there". YMMV.

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Post #8 Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:37 am 
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Sorry if I was off-topic, my understanding was that a "type of move" refers to the shape that we get after the move. I wasn't sure if oshitsubushi falls into that category.

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Post #9 Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:34 am 
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jlt wrote:
By the way, what is the Japanese name of the technique viewtopic.php?p=234387 ?
It looks like oshitsubushi, but slightly different?


If you are talking about the atari to prevent White from making a bulky five, I don't know of any more specific term than atari for the play and damezumari for the condition.

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Post #10 Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:54 am 
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Quote:
Sorry if I was off-topic, my understanding was that a "type of move" refers to the shape that we get after the move. I wasn't sure if oshitsubushi falls into that category.


jlt: it was indeed an oshitsubushi, which means squeezing to death, as when Monty the Python turns a parrot into a dodo. But I don't think your query was in any way off topic. I can see why Tami is making a distinction between a descriptive move and a concept (like oshitsubushi), but I think it is worth exploring the connection.

My thinking is as follows. Every move has (or should have) a form and a function. We choose to label some words with a form word (e.g. keima) and some with a function word (e.g. tsugi = connect). This means that if we step through a game by using the specific term for each move, we are, more often than not, often automatically forced to think about both form and function together ("cut" is a good example).

There are cases where the function is obscured by the term. Keima is opaque, and the function of kosumi is not much clearer, despite deriving from a verb (i.e. a function word). And while nobi hints at a function, it's not always quite clear what that function is. Nevertheless, in Japanese, the vast majority of go terms do express both form and function. This is not necessarily the case in English. Is that a handicap?

The reason the Japanese terms are so efficient is that almost all are verbal nouns. That is, they are nouns and so are capable of describing a thing (or state), but they retain the verbal idea and so express a function.

We have something similar in English. Strictly, we could say we have an identical form, as in "cutting," but in practice we dislike such forms and gravitate instead towards achieving the same effect by a double use of the base word. e.g. "turn," "cut," "stretch" or "block" can be both a verb and a noun.

Even where we have no simple dual-use term we can approximate the same effect, e.g. extend/extension.

But several questions arise. Is the dual-use phenomenon actually useful? I'm sure it is. Is it in wider use in Japanese? I suspect it is, in which case do they have an edge? Do the different forms in English produce a different effect?

The last question I think is a good one to ponder. When we say "extension" do we subconsciously think rather more about the state or shape then the function ("extend") than the Japanese do with the dual-use verbal noun (hiraki)? I think we do, and I think you can tell that from the way the thinking typically goes after that (to me, commentaries devised in English have quite a different feel from those devised in Japanese - and e.g. those in German feel different from both).

We can borrow Japanese terms, but surely a term such as "kosumi" poses great problems in English. It offers no sense of function, and so we use it entirely as a descriptive word ("diagonal move"). Terms such as warikomi and sashikomi and atekomi fall into the same category. However, a Japanese person would glean a strong sense of the function (-komi denotes "in" and the other parts of the words have a clear meaning). It is true that kosumu as a verb would baffle most Japanese people, as it is almost exclusively a go term, and even go players who just see it in kana (as is usual nowadays) would not sense the function. But at some point they will probably see the kanji and then realise it's something to do with pointing with something sharp and so has some idea of directionality. In any case, such problems (opaqueness of function) are rare for a Japanese, but common for English speakers.

What I think follows from this is that Japanese players (and, mutatis mutandis, Korean and Chinese players) can step through an entire game with a close to completely unified feeling of form and function working in tandem. In English we can do this only patchily, and with less precision. By "less precision" I mean e.g. using hane when a Japanese would say hanedashi, hanemakuri, hnekomi, hanesagari, hanetsukeru, etc - all of which both flesh out the function and add descriptiveness.

If we accept this combination of form and function as desirable, then does it not follow that we should be trying to extend the vocabulary in some way? After several decades of trying that, I'd say it's futile - most western go players seem not to want to listen. But if I'm wrong or too cynical - and I hope I am - and there is an appetite to extend the vocabulary, Tami's insight and injunction are worth highlighting. I personally would lean towards combining form and function at once, simply because even if we have a relative lack of such terms we are already familiar with them, e.g. block. But there is much to be said for taking the apprentices' route of learning the basic descriptive words first and then adding the more complex words as mastery and appreciation of the beauty of go develop.

Even "Auld Nature" achieved her greatest wonders that way, as Burns reminds us and as Tami, being from Carlisle, will, I'm sure, easily recall:

Her prentice han' she try'ed on man
An' then she made the lasses, o.


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Post #11 Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:16 am 
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An interesting test case: what I have always called an "attachment" now seems just as likely to be called an "attach". I am not sure whether this is just standard English evolution or whether it's a result of imperfect English usage by people for whom it is not a first language being imported into the wider community. I wonder if the connotations have changed at all.

It is far out of my area of expertise but I get the sense that the study of haengma implies more of a verb feeling than a noun feeling to the placement of stones. I look forward to being corrected. :)

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Post #12 Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:32 am 
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Yes dfan, it seems that the oriental articulation is more dynamic (verb) than how we tend to translate it statically (noun). At least this has been a pattern in what I thought to understand from contributions by John Fairbairn and Charles Matthews.

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Post #13 Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:11 pm 
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dfan wrote:
An interesting test case: what I have always called an "attachment" now seems just as likely to be called an "attach". I am not sure whether this is just standard English evolution or whether it's a result of imperfect English usage by people for whom it is not a first language being imported into the wider community. I wonder if the connotations have changed at all.


Sounds like English (and Chinese) to me. In English something may be a go; in baseball you can hit a run. :)

Quote:
It is far out of my area of expertise but I get the sense that the study of haengma implies more of a verb feeling than a noun feeling to the placement of stones. I look forward to being corrected. :)


On its face the Korean haengma has a sense of motion that the Japanese katachi does not. But, as I argued ad nauseam at Sensei's Library, you really need to understand shape dynamically. Besides, we talk about the flow of the stones. :)

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Post #14 Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:00 am 
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Quote:
Yes dfan, it seems that the oriental articulation is more dynamic (verb) than how we tend to translate it statically (noun). At least this has been a pattern in what I thought to understand from contributions by John Fairbairn and Charles Matthews.

Quote:
On its face the Korean haengma has a sense of motion that the Japanese katachi does not. But, as I argued ad nauseam at Sensei's Library, you really need to understand shape dynamically. Besides, we talk about the flow of the stones


Bill, Knotwilg: I have harped on in the past about what I see as westerners (especially those brought up on Japanese terms) ignoring the dynamic aspects of play, and have suggested, for example, the formula haengma = katachi + suji. I still think that is very important but I'm not convinced that that is what we are talking about here. I think it risks muddying the waters. I was therefore at great pains to use form and function here as opposed to static and dynamic. I believe it is also highly beneficial to understand technical terms correctly, and this is where Tami's initiative can pay off.

As I see it, S/D is mostly bipolar and relates mostly to tactics or local situations. In its crudest form, we see players making shape moves because they look pretty or like something they've seen before: pure katachi. But if they can learn to spot the dynamic elements their play can improve greatly. To give a couple of examples of the reasoning behind this, if they understand what the follow-up moves are in a given position, they can choose one possible shape over another and so have more control over the game as a whole. At a different level, understanding that ponnuki is not a diamond shape but a verbal noun (capturing with a satisfying "pon" sound [and it can apply to capturing more than one stone]) is helpful in understanding efficiency. Just making a diamond shape with four stones is not "worth 30 points" as per the proverb, but capturing to produce that shape can be worth 30 points because you have used a net three stones, not four, and you can't get much more of an efficiency gain than that. Understanding terms properly like that also produces efficiency gains in the mind more valuable even than those on the board.

But, as I say, that is a local or tactical issue. I think what Tami is hoping to achieve is something at least as valuable, but different. It is exemplified in the two examples of reading through game moves I gave above. As the first step, Tami wants to be able to go through a game while attaching the correct term to each move. In itself that is not specially useful - not much more than a party trick, really. It's exemplified by the Shinohara example. But if you go through this apprentice stage you can move on to a much more interesting approach where (as in the Sakai/Fujisawa example as originally intended) you can develop your strategic awareness. At this level someone could call out the name of the next move and you play it on the board. That is far from trivial. If someone says "block" or "contact play" (I suspect it might work even better if you use properly understood Japanese terms but it works well enough in English) you have to think about which block or attachment is intended, because the odds are that there is more than one possible block or attachment. You therefore have to think about the whole board, to focus on the active elements of the game, to read the game, or the direction of play. This is what I mean by "strategic" here, i.e. not purely local.

In military terms I see haengma or tesuji or katachi+suji as resembling learning to fight hand to hand or to shoot accurately. But reading the game through terminology is like being the general watching the battle from a hill top, yet able, through giving precise and well understood commands (go terms) to influence each hand-to-hand fight as much as if he were in the thick of the melee.

Obviously tactics and strategy can never be truly separated. At some point, therefore, the S/D approach and the Tami approach merge - but synergistically. At the risk of creating the confusion that I am painfully try to warn against here, I'd like to give an example of how this can apply in a game.

Here is a position from a Genjo-Chitoku game.



White has just started operations in the lower left and his last move was the triangled one (White 76). Takagawa criticised this heavily as a slack move. The commentary was done in the form a conversation with another pro, Kamimura Kunio, so their words are directed at each other rather than at the reader. In other words, they are reading through the game in a terminological way à la Tami.

Takagawa condemns 76 because it allowed Black to play a "perfect" kakoi move at A (= 77) next. 77, being gote, may superficially be regarded as just as static as 76, perhaps, but it secures an awful lot of profit and sets up a strong attack on the White group.

Kamimura, who at the time was quite a bit weaker than the Honinbo Takagawa, suggested a construction move (kamae) instead. The editors helpfully added a symbol to show this meant B. This is better than the game move, Takagawa said, but is still unsatisfactory. It looks more dynamic but is still basically just a shape move (it has elements of being a "furl out the flag" kind of move that uberdude has been talking about elsewhere) and it is still basically local.

Takagawa suggested instead a fumikomi move. If you understand this you know exactly where he meant, but much more than that it instantly changes your feel for the whole game. It is truly dynamic in that it changes the whole game. It adds a strategic element that the kamae missed, but I think it is better to see it as adding a "function." The term means "barging in" and refers to a play at C. The significance of it is that if Black answers at D (i.e. accepts being forced), White can then go back to 76 (the triangle) with a much better shape than in the game, and a better shape than the simple kamae move of Kamimura - the flag has been furled out further. The end result has been a tactical exchange but one controlled by the general on the hilltop.

If Black rejects being forced and cuts at E instead of defending at D, White moves into purely strategic mode and plays at D himself, attacking the two Black ikken-tobi stones on the left while being prepared to sacrifice his stones around E (for forcing moves or other aji).

To go off at a little tangent of my own, the kind of play Takagawa is talking about, making miai points for the opponent, is a largely unappreciated skill that was still not fully developed in Edo times. Shuei was probably the first to show true mastery of it. It is especially interesting because, while it creates miai for the opponent it is surreptitiously creating miai for yourself, but in a dynamic way, not the plodding, static way in which amateurs make miai purely for themselves.

At any rate, I think Takagawa's comments show the value of thinking about all these elements in an integrated way, with the use of the correct terms enabling clear thinking and focus, making full use of both tactics and strategy.

Our task is to move towards that goal by breaking down the learning process in a controlled way. Which means avoiding confusion and learning to use terms in an agreed but precise way.

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Post #15 Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:31 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
To go off at a little tangent of my own, the kind of play Takagawa is talking about, making miai points for the opponent, is a largely unappreciated skill that was still not fully developed in Edo times. Shuei was probably the first to show true mastery of it. It is especially interesting because, while it creates miai for the opponent it is surreptitiously creating miai for yourself, but in a dynamic way, not the plodding, static way in which amateurs make miai purely for themselves.


I don't understand about making miai for the opponent vs. oneself.

Isn't making miai for yourself also always making miai for the opponent? For example, in the classic splitting-the-side in the opening, you give the opponent two sensible follow-ups - approaching the splitting move from either side - and you have an answer for both moves. So it seems there is miai for both players.


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Post #16 Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:52 am 
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To be honest, my ideal would be able to read sequences by "watching" the flow of stones in my mind's eye. When I can do it, it is instantaneous. This is my mental computer or System I at work (see my remarks elsewhere about The Chimp Paradox).

However, I sometimes find that I get stuck in a loop, so that the same two or three plays repeat over and over, so that I cannot see the rest of the sequence. In such cases, I have no choice but to do it the other way, i.e., by thinking step by step. It seemed to me that doing it in Japanese was a bit better than using English because of the compactness of the language (John talked above in more detail about this) and because, with Japanese being a second language, the terms are relatively "pure" in my mind (if I hear "stretch" then I think of someone doing calisthenics, but if I hear "nobi" the first meaning that comes to me is, well, a go nobi).

When applied to tsumego, then this must be a kind of deliberate practise that will then upgrade to automatic execution at a later point. (For example, a hand problem having put paid to my guitar endeavours, I switched to the organ: to play the pedals, you have to find the notes by sticking your feet between the black notes, which requires a great deal of deliberate effort; but little by little this process begins to happen on its own.)

I hope very much that in the future I won't have to say "kosumi - keima - tsuke - nobi" so often, because I would like to be able to read go sequences just as well as I can read music.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese names for different types of moves
Post #17 Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:25 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Quote:
Sorry if I was off-topic, my understanding was that a "type of move" refers to the shape that we get after the move. I wasn't sure if oshitsubushi falls into that category.


jlt: it was indeed an oshitsubushi,


Thanks, John! :)

John Fairbairn wrote:
Nevertheless, in Japanese, the vast majority of go terms do express both form and function. This is not necessarily the case in English. Is that a handicap?

The reason the Japanese terms are so efficient is that almost all are verbal nouns. That is, they are nouns and so are capable of describing a thing (or state), but they retain the verbal idea and so express a function.

We have something similar in English. Strictly, we could say we have an identical form, as in "cutting," but in practice we dislike such forms and gravitate instead towards achieving the same effect by a double use of the base word. e.g. "turn," "cut," "stretch" or "block" can be both a verb and a noun.

{snip}

But several questions arise. Is the dual-use phenomenon actually useful? I'm sure it is. Is it in wider use in Japanese? I suspect it is, in which case do they have an edge? Do the different forms in English produce a different effect?

The last question I think is a good one to ponder. When we say "extension" do we subconsciously think rather more about the state or shape then the function ("extend") than the Japanese do with the dual-use verbal noun (hiraki)? I think we do, and I think you can tell that from the way the thinking typically goes after that (to me, commentaries devised in English have quite a different feel from those devised in Japanese - and e.g. those in German feel different from both).


Where we do have verb/noun pairs, such as enclose/enclosure, I think that the noun lacks much dynamic feeling, and that lack can be a hindrance to English speaking go learners.

Quote:
We can borrow Japanese terms, but surely a term such as "kosumi" poses great problems in English. It offers no sense of function, and so we use it entirely as a descriptive word ("diagonal move"). Terms such as warikomi and sashikomi and atekomi fall into the same category.


Here I disagree. The tendency in English to use a word as both noun and verb comes to the rescue. Most English speakers may say diagonal move instead of kosumi, and may not use any of the -komi words at all. But those who do will either use the Japanese verb, such as kosumu, or simply use kosumi English style, as both a noun and a verb. Hane is a good example; so are atari and tenuki.

Quote:
If we accept this combination of form and function as desirable, then does it not follow that we should be trying to extend the vocabulary in some way? After several decades of trying that, I'd say it's futile - most western go players seem not to want to listen. But if I'm wrong or too cynical - and I hope I am - and there is an appetite to extend the vocabulary, Tami's insight and injunction are worth highlighting. I personally would lean towards combining form and function at once, simply because even if we have a relative lack of such terms we are already familiar with them, e.g. block. But there is much to be said for taking the apprentices' route of learning the basic descriptive words first and then adding the more complex words as mastery and appreciation of the beauty of go develop.


When I came back from Japan I taught people Japanese terms, unless there were already English terms that I knew. I got a little resistance, but I took the attitude that these terms were go jargon, not Japanese per se. Chess has mate, check, en passant, Zugzwang, fianchetto, etc. Bridge has finesse and winkle. But go, I realized, has many terms to learn, and that is a burden on the beginner, even while the terms are also an aid to understanding. New English terms have arisen, such as kick and footsweep. Temperature has been adopted from combinatorial game theory, with a change in meaning. We are gradually building an English go vocabulary, but it will take time. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese names for different types of moves
Post #18 Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:49 am 
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Would it be useful to know their etymologies, to help avoid misconceptions in english translations?

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