|Kanji in this term|
- to understand
- Hai, wakarimashita.
- Yes. I understood.
- to tell (one thing from another), to distinguish
- to recognize, to realize
- I've got it! / I know!
- to become known, to turn out
The Japanese verb wakaru is most often glossed as to understand. However, wakaru is intransitive, and it takes the thing that is understood, distinguished, or recognized as the subject (usually marked by particle が (ga)), and not the object (usually marked by particle を (o)). Strictly speaking, wakaru is thus closer to English to be understandable, as the verb wakaru describes the thing itself, unlike English to understand, which describes the action of the person doing the understanding, distinguishing, or recognizing.
- Fukuzatsu de mo, (watashi ni) kono jijō ga wakaru.
- Although it's complicated, this situation is understandable (to me).
Compare the difference in usage of transitive verb 知る (shiru, “to know”).