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Meaning of や in this sentence

Japanese Language Asked by user3856370 on December 24, 2020

美人だときく友藏{ともぞう}もヒロシも身を乗り出した。
When? they heard that she was a beautiful women both 友藏 and ヒロシ leaned forward.

I have no idea what the や in bold is. It seems like it ought to be とき, but I’ve never seen や used to mean ‘when’.

2 Answers

I think this や is closer to the phrase "as soon as" than "when". See the first definition (classified as 接助 = conjunctive particle) in this link. http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/220994/meaning/m0u/%E3%82%84/

And this usage of や is very literary. I have not ever heard that in conversation. 

Correct answer by Yuuichi Tam on December 24, 2020

や is short for やいなや which means "as soon as", "no sooner than".
http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/je/4173/meaning/m0u/%E5%90%A6%E3%82%84/

So the translation becomes:
美人だときくや
As soon as they heard that she was a beautiful woman

Answered by hisao m on December 24, 2020

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