Meaning of 真逆, how it is different from 逆


[真]{ま}[逆]{ぎゃく} (not [真]{ま}[逆]{さか}, which is an interjection standardly used) is another 若者言葉, or an expression that is used mainly by young generation (with low education level) that makes me feel uncomfortable.

is a polarity notion; Something can be either the original (), or the opposite (). There is no intermediate values like "half-way opposite", hence no room for quantitative/qualitative notions like genuine () or fake/quasi () to come into play. I have no idea what meaning is adding to . How is 真逆 different from ? How would you justify the addition of to ?


Posted 2012-03-16T18:13:20.500


2I always thought it was something similar to adding 真っ to 逆さま and 正 to 反対... the reading of まぎゃく sounds awkward to me though. – None – 2012-03-16T18:20:32.387

3Just another thought: does slang have to be justified? – summea – 2012-03-16T21:04:07.577

1An analogous argument to yours seems to deny the difference between 反対 and 正反対. In fact, I have been assuming that まぎゃく is a slang for 正反対 and so far it seems that this assumption has been good enough to understand the intent of the speaker. – Tsuyoshi Ito – 2012-03-16T23:59:19.713

1I agree with Chocolate and TsuyoshiIto that the same argument applies to 真っ逆さま and 正反対. And I actually do wonder the same thing with these examples, although it is true that I do not feel discomfort with these examples as I do with 真逆, and am wondering why I feel different. – None – 2012-03-17T02:21:25.793

4Perhaps you dislike it because (a) it is new, and associated with a sociolect you dislike, and/or (b) it is a (native) Japanese prefix attached to a Sino-Japanese morpheme, which is not unheard of but less common than other patterns. – Matt – 2012-03-17T09:20:51.343

@Matt I think you are right. – None – 2012-03-17T15:08:37.267

Could it be that the expression comes from wilfully mis-pronouncing the (somewhat rare) kanji spelling of まさか? In fact, when I read your post, I assumed you were talking about 真逆【まさか】until I saw comments referring to まぎゃく. Anyway, まさか is standard Japanese (afaik), and まぎゃく roughly means the same... So it would make sense to me, but maybe I am completely missing the point. – Dave – 2012-03-19T00:46:23.003

@Dave Yes. I was referring to まぎゃく. When it is read as まさか, it is like an interjection, and means a different thing. – None – 2012-03-19T02:23:02.293

@sawa: Yes, I got that from the comments... But precisely: while I'm not very familiar with まぎゃく, its meaning seems to be "exact/very opposite", whereas まさか means something along the line of "by no means!, never!" (basically, an exclamation of denial)... Although they serve very different grammatical functions, I don't see their meanings as so different (and it could have explained how the slang term came to be). But that was only an observation and a wild guess... – Dave – 2012-03-19T02:54:33.390



真逆 seems very similar to the expression "total opposite" in English.

I think we can take here to be an intensifier/emphasis rather than something that affects the meaning. It emphasizes that something is not just 少し違う, but in fact .

I'd even say that not even 真逆 requires you to be absolutely precise. Let's say someone wanted to head east (0°). West (180°) would be . If you saw them going in essentially entirely the wrong direction -- almost due west -- you might want to use 真逆 to emphasize how badly they're going wrong, even if their true course isn't exactly 180°.

It's an abuse of terminology, technically, but I think this is how the language is used.


Posted 2012-03-16T18:13:20.500

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