Saturday, May 15, 2010

Out of my league

Just a few seconds ago, I realized a rather unfortunate mistake that the Japanese in my circle of friends and family had let slip by (which tends to happen quite a bit, I guess out of fear of shaming me and my poor Japanese).
In trying to emphasize that my cooking skills couldn't compare to my wife's, I was saying 比べるものにならない (くらべるものにならない). What I should have been saying was 比べものにならない.
Granted, this is a small mistake in the eyes of many Japanese learners. But coming from the perspective of someone (like my in-laws) who never really have the chance to hear Japanese coming out of the mouth of a non-native speaker, well, it must be pretty daunting for them to get the gist of what that person is trying to say. Judging from the expressions on their faces, even a tiny mistake such as this one certainly must throw them off.
Anyhow, back to the word: 比べものにならない

比べものにならない (物を比較して優劣を競うこと): X is nothing to Y; X not in the same class as Y; X isn't in the same league as Y; X can't hold a candle to Y. Clearly, this means that X (the topic) isn't as badass as Y. もの is often writen in hiragana.

You get the picture. Basically, the most common expression goes a little something like this:
  • AはBとは比べものにならない
    There is no comparison between A nd B.
  1. 例文1: 昔のDodgersは現在のとは比べものにならない
  2. 例文2: 値段からして、この機械は例の機械とは比べものにならないと思っていた。


Blue Shoe said...

Good to know. Out of curiosity, which JLPT level would this fall under - 1 or 2?

Jesse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JLJZen said...

Well, I reckon either the new 2 or 3. It's not such a high-level construction considering if you know the meaning of 比べる, you can pretty much infer the rest...