私は昨日大きな魚を釣った。 For the English translation of "I caught a big fish yesterday", the Japanese I believe that the Japanese should be " 私は昨日大きな魚を捕った。" See the entries on Jim Breen's site for "魚を釣った" and "魚を捕った".
I hope that is helpful,
「釣る」～ to angle, to fish
「捕る」～ to take, to catch
If you angle a fish with a rod you still catch it, I reckon.
I think "catch a fish" could mean "魚を釣る" as sharptoothed mentioned.
"魚を獲る" has wider meaning, it shows to catch a fish with hands or a net or a trawl or a spear. It often indicates to fish with a rod as well. 釣る is mostly used when we fish though.
However, what you've pointed out is right. I'll add 魚を獲る as an alternative translation.
It is interesting to see your comments. I do not speak as an expert. It was just that when I was looking up on Jim Breen's dictionary and saw the sentence upon which I commented it did not seem to match the dictionary entry; namely:-
釣る 【つる】 (v5r,vt) (1) to fish; to angle; to catch; (2) (See 釣られる) to lure in; to tempt; to attract; to entice; to allure; (P)
Although "to catch" does appear in the meaning and is included in other dictionaries, the predominant concept of "釣る" seems to be in the mode of the luring and the attracting aspect of things. Thus predominantly, the fisherman tries to lure in the fish to his hook and if he is lucky [maybe skilled] and the fish bites, the fisherman has a catch. Now if I read the following:-
I would not, myself at this stage, know whether that meant "someone went fishing" or "someone caught a fish" unless I had some wider context to help me, perhaps for a silly example:-
魚を釣って魚を釣りませんでした。 [someone went fishing and they did not catch a fish].
That sort of oddity, unless it is normal for Japanese speakers, would not arise if the text was:-
I suppose that if the fisherman was carrying the fish that were caught, then the first example would be understood [i.e., context], but if he was not carrying any dead fish, then the listener may wonder what was meant by a statement [魚を釣って魚を釣りませんでした。] which could presumably mean "someone went fishing and did not go fishing", but there would be no confusion if the text was:-
魚を釣って魚を捕るりませんでした。 [only perhaps sympathy like "I know the feeling!"]
The text which triggered my search [as a novice] in the first place was the following:-
Which I took to mean "Someone went fishing up stream", however, if it means "Someone caught a fish up stream", then I am as bewildered as ever.
Maybe in the context of “someone went fishing”, perhaps the quoted sentence above should read:-
川上で、魚を釣っていきました。 [I hope that I have that right!]
Also, maybe the luring concept of "釣る", when expressed in the past tense, could well mean that "someone was lured" and thus in effect "caught". In which case, I suppose that one has to fall back onto idiom and its odd usage for the novice non-native speaker.
I hope the above is helpful in demonstrating why I made the comment in the first place.
I don't quite understand what you mean. What is your point?
As I see it, Francis wants to say that it's impossible to tell if 「魚を釣りました。」 means "Someone went fishing" or "Someone caught a fish" without additional context. And he tries to illustrate why he think so.
I think 「魚を釣りました。」 can't mean "Someone went fishing". It would be rather 「釣に行きました。」
Thank you for telling me your point of view. :)
I think 魚を釣りました。could imply "someone went fishing" or "someone caught a fish" even without a context. People usually go somewhere when they want to fish. When they say 昨日魚を釣りました。we would assume they went fishing even if they don't mention where they went. Of course it doesn't exactly mean "went fishing", I just want to tell you what we feel. Needless to say, 釣りに行きました is the most common for "someone went fishing".
In other words, 「昨日魚を釣りました」 means and feels something like "Yesterday, I [went fishing and] caught a fish." Did I get you right? :-)
Yeah, that's right. :)
Well, I did not think that my initial comment would get such an interesting debate!
After reading all your comments, I had a look in Kenkyusha's little dictionary [I am travelling around]. Under the entry for "取る" it states "[捕獲] catch (fishes)". Under the entry for "捕獲 [ほかく]" it states "捕獲する capture, seize".
So perhaps on that basis the catching of fish should be "魚を捕獲する".
However, Jim Breen's dictionary does have:-
魚を捕る 【さかなをとる】 (exp,v5r) to catch fish
as well as
捕獲 【ほかく】 (n,vs) capture; seizure; (P)
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