Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Here's an example.


Who was scared, the speaker, or the maid?

share|improve this question
It depends on the verb. The question is just a translation request, I vote for closing. – Axioplase Oct 23 '11 at 5:05
I don't think it's just a translation request, because I made it general. – language hacker Oct 24 '11 at 22:49
up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is context-dependent. It could be the speaker that was frightened, but it could just as easily be the most recent subject (e.g. person) being discussed prior to this sentence. Without more context, it's really impossible to say for certain. In any case, though, someone or something was frightened by the maid.

share|improve this answer

Just for short answer:

Maid was scared.

Maybe she saw something and it might scare her. I can't tell exactly because there is no particular reason that scares her.

=== Similar examples ===

I am sorry to have troubled you.

This problem is too difficult for me.

In this case, には means for.

I hope this helps.

share|improve this answer
Why was this answer downvoted? – language hacker Oct 23 '11 at 3:39
The downvote was not from me, but this answer is wrong. Even translation.babylon.com/japanese/to-english does a better job ... – Lukman Oct 23 '11 at 4:02
The information in this answer is useful, but I can't upvote while it interprets the sentence in the question wrongly. Hoping for an edit... – Hyperworm Oct 23 '11 at 5:00
“(The) maid was scared” would be メイドはびびった. As Lukman stated, メイドにはびびった has a different meaning. – Tsuyoshi Ito Oct 23 '11 at 22:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.