Cuttings: 勉強 - Straining Studious Strength 勉強 - Straining Studious Strength | Cuttings
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November 29, 2013

勉強 - Straining Studious Strength


Pushing through learning.

Text

勉強

Meaning / Translation

  • Literal: “Exert strength”
  • Idiomatic: “Study”
  • Reading: べんきょう (Benkyou)

Source: 語源由来辞典:

勉強は「勉め強いる」で、本来は気が進まないことを仕方なくする意味であった。

商人が頑張って値引きをする意味の「勉強」は、学問や技芸を学ぶ意味の「勉強」よりも古く、江戸時代から使われている。
明治以降、知識を得るために努力することが美徳とされるようになったことから、「勉強」は「学習」とほぼ同じ意味で使われるようになり、一般的に「学習」を意味するようになった。

“勉強” originally meant pushing through things that you were unwilling to do, in a similar way of straining or compelling yourself through it.

The (prior) meaning of 勉強, i.e where traders buckle down to give discounts, has been in use since the Edo era, and pre-dates the meaning of seeking knowledge or learning the arts.

After the Meiji era, perseverance in the acquisition of knowledge was seen as a virtuous act. From this, it came to a point that “勉強” was used almost interchangeably with ‘learning’, hence generally coming to mean the same.



 

 
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