The Dichotomy of the Japanese Language

Japanese is a dichotomous language. For instance, a Japanese father may refer to his son as "idiot" and his son may not take the word literally, because the word "idiot" may mean "young." Imagine a Japanese father calls his friend's home to ask for his son who is visiting the home and his question is, "Is my idiot son still bothering you?" This question can mean, "Is my son still in your home?" The words "idiot" and "bother" are usually interpreted as "young" and "visit" in this context. The dichotomy of "idiot and young" and "bother and visit" is practiced as normal part of everyday life in Japan. - NS

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