Words, forms and expressions used only in non-formal spoken language.

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18
votes
4answers
1k views

Commonness of casual phrases like “あたし” and “ちっちゃい”

I came across a Japanese girl in Germany who talked using words like あたし instead of わたし, or ちっちゃい instead of ちいさい. When I asked her, she said that these words or usages of words are more common in ...
17
votes
3answers
826 views

Is it ok for non-japanese to refer to themselves as 僕{ぼく} and if not why?

Grammatically speaking it shouldn't be an issue, but I have heard from some people that a non-japanese using 僕{ぼく} sounds really weird. Has anyone else heard this? And if so, is there a reason?
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Who decides what katakana will be used to form English loan words?

I love katakana, mostly because of how the characters look. But I am constantly baffled by why certain loan words from English are constructed using certain katakana sounds. For example, if someone ...
15
votes
3answers
372 views

Can I end sentences with ん?

One friend of mine told me when she was living in Japan, she liked to end her sentences with ん (maybe instead of の). Examples: 明日学校にいくん? 明日学校に行かないと思う…風邪引いたん。 Actually I've never seen it! But my ...
15
votes
3answers
736 views

「~たじゃない」 expression in spoken Japanese

I noticed in an anime I watched, one of the characters said something like below: さっき食べたじゃない。 And what I think the meaning is: Didn't you just eat a few while ago? From what I have learned in ...
13
votes
4answers
650 views

Where does なう on Twitter come from?

If you follow any Japanese speakers on Twitter, you'll almost certainly see them use なう at the end of a sentence, to say "I am in this place/doing this thing now". Where does this use come from? Who ...
12
votes
2answers
343 views

What does とな mean (and how do I use it)?

I came across this on Twitter, it seems to be mostly a question but sometimes an exclamation. Is it とは, or maybe とか? How do you use it? My dictionary has a とな as word that come at the end of a ...
11
votes
2answers
621 views

What is the Japanese term for a gamer?

As in "some one who plays video games". Could I just use ゲーマー?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Usage of ~じゃん (~じゃない)

I'd like to know if I can put ~じゃん at the end of every adjective, if there are any exceptions to that usage, and if it's different from ~じゃない. Adj (na) + じゃん 便利じゃん 便利だったじゃん 便利じゃないじゃん ...
11
votes
2answers
259 views

Colloquial Contraction Confusion

This is taken from one of the mindless pop songs I shouldn't even be listening to: なんてったって ラッキー! I know what なんて and ラッキー mean, of course, but I can't figure out in a way that makes sense to me ...
10
votes
4answers
687 views

How commonly are “あたし” or “[僕]{ぼく}” used?

My friend and I are learning Japanese. For a time, all we knew was 私, but after we learned more words, she started to use あたし when referring to herself, and I began using 僕. What I'm wondering is, how ...
10
votes
3answers
380 views

What are the rules for substituting の with ん?

I've noticed that sometimes the hiragana の can be shortened to ん. For example, 部屋のなか → 部屋んなか (inside of the room) 俺のうち → 俺んち (my house) 俺のところ → 俺んとこ (my place) (More examples can ...
10
votes
1answer
223 views

Contraction of particle の to ん before nouns in colloquial Japanese

I am familiar with contraction of の to ん before です (and variants で, だ, でした etc) but I noticed that の is also contracted before 家 in spoken set-phrases like あたしんち and おれんち. Are there any other ...
9
votes
4answers
229 views

Meaning of: イベントの前ふりをば。

A colleague is organizing an event and sent everyone an email beginning like this: 田中イベント担当の田中です。 イベントの前ふりをば。 ... (explanation about the event) The first line is a funny intro (the guy ...
9
votes
1answer
447 views

Is it true that にしたって is the colloquial form of にしたところで?

I've been thinking if it is true that にしたって is the colloquial form of にしたところで. In other words, are the bottom two sentences identical in meaning and nuance? 1) ...
8
votes
6answers
559 views

How to say “What's it to you?” in Japanese?

What would be appropriate expressions or idioms to convey the typical English response: What's it to you? (in a sense that goes somewhere between "None of your business" and "This is not your ...
8
votes
2answers
160 views

What is the meaning of かい and き in Google's Summer Solstice Doodle?

I was wondering what the meaning of かい and き is for the Google Summer Solstice Doodle pictured here: I'm guessing it has some relation to summer, but what?
8
votes
2answers
404 views

Origin of onsen term “wani”

Why was "wani" (crocodile or alligator) chosen as a term for a gawker at a konyoku (mixed gender onsen)? Was it because of the animal's ability to stare, the fact that it is a predator, or was it ...
8
votes
1answer
239 views

can we use ねー as a question?

I've read that people usually change ない to ねー to make it more manly, like: したくないよ becomes したくねーんだ So basically i often heard questions ending with ない but have not heard anyone end a question with ねー ...
7
votes
3answers
316 views

How to sound more manly when sneaking popcorn into the cinema

OK, really esoteric question time: So I went to the cinema with a female friend on the weekend. I was going to buy some of the horrendously overpriced popcorn there, but then she said: 持ってきちゃった! ...
7
votes
2answers
173 views

About cutting the sentences short

I've been told during my Japanese classes, and I've also observed in anime and Japanese dramas & movies, that sometimes when talking Japanese people tend to stop halfway and omit the end of ...
7
votes
3answers
281 views

What is the meaning of もんな

Reading "プラチナデータ" by 東野圭吾. Not clear on the meaning of: "俺、何度も彼女を殺しそうになったもんな" - "I often almost killed her ... (monna?)" What is "monna"? I suppose "mono nara" ("if that thing"), but then I don't ...
6
votes
3answers
672 views

In actual Japanese society, how often are second-person pronouns used?

My Japanese professor (I'm in first-year Japanese) advised us to primarily avoid the use of second-person pronouns like あなた or 君 or おまえ throughout the year, and essentially treated their utterance as ...
6
votes
2answers
180 views

Anti-causal/Non-causal relationship

How do I form a sentence of these patterns "X does not arise from Y", "X not due to Y", "X not because of Y", "There are other reasons for X". Since obviously I cannot simply slap ない onto から or ので to ...
6
votes
2answers
151 views

Difference between って and は as topic marker

I often see って being used to mark a topic, such as in the sentence 新宿ってどこ? I'm aware that this is more colloquial compared to the topic marker は. Other than the formality aspect, are って and は ...
6
votes
1answer
323 views

Colloquial contraction of だろう into ろ after past tense verb (e.g. 言ったろ)

I noticed in many anime I watched that 「言っただろう」 is often contracted into 「言ったろ」 in conversations between friends and families. I'm guessing this contraction is both colloquial and standard (as in, ...
5
votes
2answers
260 views

Colloquial use of「〜て〔い〕ない」, maybe instead of 「〜なかった」

It's not the first time I hear it, but I've found it in this scene. I understand that, as in 知る or 始まる, a started action whose consequence remains is expressed in continuous form. However, I thought ...
5
votes
2answers
154 views

Help to understand the ending verb “動かねーんじゃね”

Original sentence: アドビやら、お絵描き系のアプリは、誰かが実証しない限り、動かねーんじゃね? I can't understand the structure of the last verb. So far I understood that 動か(conjugated form) + ねー(negative particle) + んじゃ(???) + ね(question ...
5
votes
1answer
501 views

What is な-particle doing in `ってなわけで`?

I noticed that ってなわけで is commonly used as a substitute for というわけで in colloquial speeches, but what exactly is the purpose of the な-particle in that phrase? Does it make the context that the phrase ...
5
votes
2answers
434 views

How can I say “make a big deal [about/out of/of] X”?

See title. I'm looking for idiomatic ways to say something like this - over-emphasizing something, worrying about it overly much, etc. Bonus points if a literal 大 (whether read as だい or おお) is ...
5
votes
1answer
291 views

Meaning of last “te” of saki ni itte te (先に行ってて)

I always hear poeple saying     先に行ってて which means 'go ahead' But I don't really understand the meaning of the last て. I know it's the abbreviation of いて but if I translate it to English, I ...
4
votes
1answer
332 views

Is 暖かった standard Japanese?

I know Google hits aren't necessarily reliable, but I nonetheless searched for the following two forms: 暖かかった - 約 2,770,000 件 暖かった - 約 2,810,000 件 The numbers are much further apart if I search ...
4
votes
1answer
157 views

Does 被【かぶ】る have any relation to “cover”?

Topic. I've heard/seen somewhere that 被【かぶ】る was "gairaigo-fied" (?) from the English word "cover" (similar to ダブる or デモる), and then presumably given ateji from 被【おお】う since the meanings overlap so ...
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Is ネコでも分かる・サルでも分かる idiomatic?

I heard the expression ネコでも分かる... mentioned in a TV drama as title for a (fictional) book, in the sense of "...for dummies". A quick search on Amazon brings up a few (real) titles ネコでも分かる... or ...
4
votes
2answers
362 views

What is that expression used to generally mean “…is what I would say, but…”?

Forgive me if this is a bit anecdotal, but I often hear a sentence pattern in speech which basically is of the form "[statement]...is what I would/want to say, but..." I usually hear this when the ...
4
votes
1answer
421 views

Why does 微妙 become “sucky” in slang usage?

Technically the word 微妙 means as per WWWJDIC: (adj-na,n) (1) delicate; subtle; sensitive; (2) difficult; delicate (situation); complicated; (3) doubtful; questionable; dicey; However, last ...
4
votes
1answer
282 views

What is the よっか in はじめよっか?

I'm still playing Game Boy Wars Advance 2, and I keep running into colloquial forms I'm unfamiliar with. Here's one I haven't been able to look up: じゃ、さっそく、はじめよっか。 My guess is that はじめよっか is a ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

What is this colloquial / dialect form? 〜たるけんね

I'm still playing Final Fantasy VI, and I came across this bit of dialogue: マリアの頭にオモリ 落としたるけんね。 I understand it up to 落とし. Orthros is going to drop the weight on her head! I can't make ...
3
votes
2answers
845 views

Which is more colloquial for “I have a headache”?

Yesterday my (also non Japanese) friend had a headache and we had to buy medicine in Japanese. So I looked up how to say "headache" and add it to my vocabulary. I found the word 頭痛{ずつう} and I ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

How would you express “pausing to think” in Japanese?

I was wondering how would you express pausing to think in Japanese. So for example in English it would us be said as "hmmmm...". I believe あのう。。。 can be used but are there anymore ways to do so? I ...
3
votes
1answer
362 views

What is the usage of 「つー」, what does it mean and what other ways are there to express the same thing ?

I've seen this many times in mangas, here's one example: アンタなんかが手にしていいお金じゃない*っつーの*!!! Context: A girl catches a thief that stole today's takings at the shop she's working at. Thank you! ...
3
votes
2answers
184 views

Usage of “~だぴょん”

A fair while ago someone said something like 嘘だぴょーん! in a comment. But what kind of a connotation and usage does ~だぴょん have? Can it be used in a kind of humorous sort of way? Edit: Realized it was ...
3
votes
2answers
345 views

What does なのね at the end of a sentence mean?

A certain character in an anime series I watch would literally end each sentence with なのね. What does this imply? He was a pretty flamboyant character who was supposed to be Italian, if that offers any ...
3
votes
2answers
338 views

How does the addition of のか to the end of a sentence affect the meaning?

I've always had trouble understanding か (question particle) in casual speech. I read that in casual situations, か can be used to give the sentence an exasperated or sarcastic tone. Like in: 負けっかよ! ...
3
votes
1answer
274 views

Trying to translate 遊ばにゃ損なってなもんだろうがおう!

I'm reading a manga and have run into a tricky phrase, so I am asking for help and some explanations: ...遊ばにゃ損なってなもんだろうがおう! 遊ばにゃ (or にや) - can't understand what the verb form is used here... 損なって - ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

Potential form for godan verb: register's/dialectical differences?

According to all standard book and webpage I consulted, godan verb's potential form are produced by first changing to え (e) form, and then add in る (ru). But a native Japanese speaker (who is also ...
2
votes
1answer
240 views

やってもた → やってしまった? What is the grammatical rule behind this?

I recently saw 「やってもた」 used in a Japanese conversation, I don't remember the context exactly, it was something like: 久々にやってもた。 After asking my Japanese friend, it turns out to be some kind of ...
2
votes
2answers
250 views

Enthusiastically accepting an offer or invitation

In English when somebody offers you something or invites you somewhere you can just say "yes" or you can answer more enthusiastically in a pretty standard colloquial manner like this: Would you like ...
2
votes
2answers
212 views

Using な or ね when addressing a mixed-gender group?

I have the basic understanding that ね is generally more formal/feminine and な is generally more informal/masculine. I was told that you tend to use ね as an emphasis if you are a) a female yourself or ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

The -jai sentence ending particle

I'm not sure if I'm just imagining things or if I remembered things wrong, but is there some kind of colloquial dialect where sentences end in "-jai?"