Why を instead of の (名前を変更)? - Mac OS options

Hi all,

after about 3 months of self-study via Lingq, I decided it would be a great idea to immerse completely :smiley: and switch my Mac OS to Japanese. “Struggle” is an understatement when describing every working day but I am slowly making progress; taking a lot of screenshots, using Jisho on my mobile phone and saving lots of phrases into my Notepad.

I have come across this in my Finder options:

名前を変更 (“Rename a file”)


Since 変更 is a noun, why is it not written as 名前の変更? Why did the programers choose を, like it is an “object” of the sentence, which would then require a predicate (verb, perhaps “to change”?) which never comes?

Is this a peculiarity of the language or did Apple not have enough space to properly name all the operating system options?

ありがとうございます and じゃね、またね! :slight_smile:

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Hey Alex, I see no one has responded to this. Yes, in some written Japanese, verbs/copulas/endings are abbreviated in this way. Sometimes there is a phrase dropped. It happens often in writing where space is at a premium, such as headlines, internal business reports, bullet lists etc. I don’t really know why :slight_smile:, but my presumption is for efficiency of space and time.

Some examples from Asahi Shinbun headlines right now:
ウクライナからの食料輸出協定、ロシアが延長反対 トルコなどに通知
「日本病」を恐れはじめた中国 足踏みする消費、不動産不況も抱え
親台湾派で知られた安倍氏 妻が台湾を訪問、蔡英文総統らと会談へ
熱中症リスク、授業中にも 識者「断熱改修、文科省が予算化を」

You don’t need to understand all, but you can see that they abbreviate.

I think you could use 名前の変更 as well. In my gmail account, it has 新しいラベルを作成 as a menu option for creating labels, but ラベルの管理 as the option to manage the labels. :man_shrugging:

Reading my post back I feel like it may be a bit unclear. The 名前を変更 is an abbreviated sentence and sounds active because there is an assumed abbreviated verb completing the sentence. It literally means “Change (file)name”. 名前の変更 would be like “Name change”, a nominal phrase.

In the example I gave, I can see why they used
新しいラベルを作成 for “Create a new label”
where ラベルの管理 would be “Label management”

Still you could say 新しいラベルの作成 for “New label creation”
and “ラベルを管理” for Manage labels.

Hopefully that makes sense.

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