Is it fine or is it sunny?
How do you know if it is a sunny day or not? Is it really so simple? I want to know others’ opinions because I am tired of Japanese equating brightness on the ground with “sunny-ness” despite the fact that the sky is cloudy when I look up. Japanese do not look up at the sky. They seem only concerned with how bright (or not) it is right in front of them.
For me, there are two main ways to determine if the day
is sunny or not:
1) Can I see blue sky above, or not? How much blue sky can I see? My mother used to say that the day was a fine day if there was enough blue sky “to make a Dutchman’s pants.” I still don’t know what that means, unless - unknown to me - Dutchmen traditionally had very large trousers.
2) Even if it is cloudy or a little cloudy above, how intense are the shadows on the ground? If strong and distinct shadows are easily evident on the ground, then I am inclined to call it a sunny day even if there is no visible blue sky above, or less than enough to properly clothe a Dutchman.
Another thing is the propensity of Japanese to say “fine” when what they mean “sunny.” I think it is a relic of their junior and senior high school English classes when they were taught that “It’s fine,”means “It’s sunny” as an answer to the “How’s the weather?” question. But for me, any kind of weather is “fine” if it’s the kind of weather that you like. If you like cloudy cool weather, like in October, then that is fine weather. If you like heavy snow, then a blizzard is just fine as well.
When I ask Japanese people how the weather is, and they say “fine,” or “It’s fine,” I immediately have to ask, “Do you mean unny?” just to be clear.