The precise meanings of Japanese words or phrases.

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6
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4answers
1k views

森 vs 林 for forest

According to A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters, 森 (38) is woods and 林 (75) is forest. But some material I've found online related to Japan seems to indicate 森 is the more correct Japanese ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

“Ikkigomi”? Single comment in Japanese

At least that's what I think is being said, "ikkigomi". It means like "single comment" or "impressions" or something, but I don't know how it's written in Japanese. If someone could enlighten/correct ...
6
votes
1answer
396 views

Use of する to describe one's colour

From Japanesepod101: 象は灰色をしている。 The elephant is gray. The meaning of the sentence is not in doubt but I've been trying to figure how する is being used here. Checking a dictionary, definition ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

What does かなり actually mean?

I'm attempting to learn some basic Japanese vocabulary through a set of Anki flash cards, but one of the cards has the word かなり on it. The definition provided says "fairly, rather." This implies to me ...
3
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2answers
125 views

How would you translate ボタンを掛け違う?

I am new here and very happy that I found this webpage, where everyone can ask questions concerning Japanese. ^^ I am studying Japanese in my 2nd year now and in my free time, I love to translate song ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Differences between words for “optimistic” and “pessimistic”

I've been confused for a long time about how certain Japanese words map onto the meaning of "optimistic" and "pessimistic" in English. Specifically, what is the difference between (Optimistic) ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

Difference between 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり}

Both 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり} are nouns and mean "anger". Even the kanji are the same! How can we distinguish these two?
5
votes
4answers
422 views

Meaning of という when it doesn't mean 'call', 'be called', or 'say'

I'm having a little trouble parsing the usage of 「という」 when it it has meanings other than to call, to be called or to say. I often see sentences like 「いざという時, ということだ」 and 「これという問題はない」. The dictionary ...
1
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1answer
325 views

meaning of ギッタンギッタン with reference

I tried to add a definition for ギッタンギッタン to JDIC using references on the Internet. http://www.edrdg.org/jmdictdb/cgi-bin/entr.py?e=1907714&svc=jmdict&sid= They're slow to add it (or reject ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

What is the English equivalent of ストーリー総監修?

I'm confused as to the meaning of this cinematic term found in the credit of a movie. ストーリー総監修? Story Total Supervising Editor?? I'm not sure what this means. Is there any English equivalent to this ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Aren't がる and たがる the same thing?

In my JLPT practise book, it has two different entries, one to explain がる and one to explaining たがる. It offeres these example sentences to differentiate them: うちの子{こ}は新{あたら}しいものを見{み}ると、すぐほしがる。 ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

What's the meaning of ナーミンナイト in this song lyric?

These are the last 4 lines of the lyrics for the song はっぴぃなんちゃら なごりおしいけど そろそろさよなら ときめきナーミンナイト ときめきナーミンナイト ナーミンナイト(イェイ!) What does ナーミンナイト (narmin night) mean here? Especially narmin.
6
votes
2answers
2k views

のか - Particle “lamenting reflections on the preceding statement”. What?

I've come across this sentence in my manga. そ そうか そういう疑いを持っているのか It's actually fairly easy, but the particle at the end has confused me. I thought it was the two particles の and か, but then I ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

What is 林家パー子ばり?

What is 林家パー子ばり? A colleague used it in a complex context, but I have found many another occurrences, including this one in the very simple context of a self-presentation: ...
3
votes
2answers
109 views

Is マラソン always 42.195 km?

ALC translate the Japanese マラソン into the English "marathon", which the English Wikipedia says has an official distance of 42.195 kilometres. Is マラソン always 42.195 km? Or has the Japanese word a ...
5
votes
2answers
112 views

what is the difference between [法度]{はっと} and [法律]{ほうりつ}?

To add a bit more to my question, I'm wondering if the words are used interchangeably, or if 法度 has more a sense of law that is set up to ban or prohibit something? Is 法度 a commonly used word?
3
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4answers
770 views

Random meaning of 結ぶ

結ぶ means to connect, tie, or bind things together, either physically or metaphorically. And then it has the seemingly random phrase [実]{み}を結ぶ meaning "to bear fruit". How does this meaning derive ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

What does 金 have in common with triggers/guns?

I read the word 「引き金」and the definition is: 1 小銃・ピストルなどの、指で引く発射装置の金具。 2 ある事態を引き起こす直接の原因。きっかけ。「授業料の値上げが―となって大学紛争が起こった」 起因(きいん)  ⇒類語辞書で詳しい使い方を調べる 誘因(ゆういん) 動機(どうき) モチーフ But why is 金 ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

What does 熟合する mean?

A passage from the textbook I quoted in this question contains the following sentence (emphasis added): それでは助動詞に続かず不便なので、のちに、それを補うために、連用形のあとにラ変動詞「あり」をつけて、「高く+あり→高かり」のように熟合させたのが活用表の左の系列の活用である。 I ...
3
votes
1answer
523 views

Does「いとこ違い」mean “first cousin once removed” in Japanese?

In Japanese, how do I refer to my mother's cousin? She and my mother share the same great-grandparents. My mother's cousin's mother was the older sister of my mother's father (my maternal ...
4
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1answer
714 views

The different meanings of “life”? 生気/生活/ライフ/生命/一生/人生/命

I was looking through a dictionary and came across 生活. My original question was Is this the difference between 生気/生活? 生気 would be like an idea of life. more abstract 生活 would be ...
6
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1answer
173 views

Implication of a Japanese sentence [duplicate]

I was wondering if there is any context implied by a sentence like "6時に起こしてください。" I have read it translated as "Please wake me up at 6." But is "me" implied? Could it also mean "Please (will you) ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

「やる」Uses and definition [duplicate]

Ok, I see the word やる used in a lot of different contexts, meaning anything from "to kill" to "have sex with" to "make a vehicle go faster" to "give to someone of lower status". I am constantly ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

What time of day does [後]{のち} cover in 天気予報?

Often the weather forecasts will say something like 晴れ [後]{のち} 所により曇り → Sunny/Clear; later Partly Cloudy In English, most weather reports use more precise with time ranges, like (early/mid/late) ...
0
votes
1answer
180 views

Trying to lookup word or expression てんとてん

I can remember hearing this combination of sounds several times, and the way it's used makes me think that it's a part of a common phase or saying. Particularly I can point to two cases where it was ...
0
votes
3answers
397 views

What does ぴろーん mean?

This appears to be some kind of adult slang term, or maybe it's internet slang, whatever the case may be I can't find a definition in any dictionary. Is it an onomatopoeia?
5
votes
1answer
239 views

what does てやる mean when it is not used for giving?

Okay, according to the (monolingual) dictionary that I use it is used to indicate "doing something with strong will or determination" (my translation) e.g.飛び降りてやる! But this definition seems a little ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Is 結構くせ related to 結構人?

I recently came across the word 「結構くせ」. Haven't found any entries for it in the usual places (zokugo-dict, WWWJDIC, etc.) According to kotobank, 結構人 is a synonym for お人好し. Is 結構くせ the (negative) ...
5
votes
1answer
195 views

Should I use 通訳 or 翻訳?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but 通訳 is used for translating conversations(interpreting) whereas 翻訳 is used more for translating documents, right? I have a document that I had a Japanese friend translate ...
3
votes
1answer
273 views

the difference between 世界 and 世

Sometimes I see a character say この世 and I'm not sure why they don't just say この世界? Is it just an old way of saying it or is there a specific reason?
7
votes
2answers
222 views

Interpretation of 注意する: to warn or to be warned?

I'm uncertain about the usage of 注意する in this sentence from Japanese the Manga Way, Chapter 25 page 198. The context is that a woman has noticed the following message written on the back of her ...
12
votes
2answers
287 views

How do I know when to read the kanji 抱 as 「だ・く」, and when to read it as 「いだ・く」, or even 「うだ・く」?

This sentence was in a grammar textbook: 彼{かれ}は同僚{どうりょう}にライバル意識{いしき}、ひいては殺意{さつい}すら抱いていた ... it means: "He regarded his colleague as a rival, even to the point of considering murder." My ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

What's the difference between 限界, 限り, 制限 and 限度

While 制限 seems rather straightforward, the others don't seem as easy to pinpoint to me. What are the differences, and in which cases should I one over another?
5
votes
2answers
265 views

What's the difference between [勝負]{しょうぶ} and [試合]{しあい}

I've seen both refered to as "match". Is there some secondary usage or perhaps a connotation or nuance that separates the two?
3
votes
2answers
208 views

What's the difference between these two instances of “yearning”?

I have these two sentences in my JLPT practise book. They are in different sections, so the book isn't making a deliberate comparison, but I couldn't help but wonder about the similarities. ...
2
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2answers
175 views

What is the use of the particle “の” and “ある方”?

I am a bit confused about this sentence I came across while studying: 質問のある方はどうぞ。 "Please feel free to ask any questions." I'm not sure about the "のある方" part of the sentence. My guess is that it ...
3
votes
2answers
439 views

What exactly does 捉え直す mean?

The term 捉{とら}え直{なお}す has come up in three different essays in my JLPT practise book, and I can't determine exactly what it means. My understanding of 捉{とら}える is that it means "to catch, to capture", ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

What does 直打ち mean? also whats the reading?

Can someone help me understand this 直打ち, as used in the following sentence: URLを直打ちしてアクセスされた可能性があります。 (this is an error message in a log file) My dictionaries have no idea what this word means. As ...
3
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2answers
222 views

Does 凝{こ}る mean “absorbed in” or “artistic” in this sentence?

My JLPT textbook gives me this example sentence to explain the meaning of 凝{こ}る: 釣{つ}りに凝{こ}る The book provides a translation, which is, "be absorbed in fishing." Later, in a test question, ...
13
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4answers
817 views

Does 髭 refer to the beard or the moustache?

My dictionary lists 髭 as moustache / beard, but from the example sentences in WWWJDIC, it seems like 髭 is more often used to mean "beard" than "moustache" ? So for example, in this sentence: ...
5
votes
2answers
289 views

How do I differentiate all these terms for “illiterate”?

I looked up the word "illiteracy", and was offered many different possibilities. Here they are, with my personal take on the nuance behind their origins: 活字{かつじ}離{ばな}れ ("removed from printing"?) ...
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vote
1answer
166 views

What is the difference between こんにちは and もしもし?

I will be in Japan in a few weeks and I am trying to learn the basic to be as polite as possible. One of the first things I did was try some basic stuff with Google Translate but I feel lost already. ...
6
votes
1answer
197 views

Definition of ブラコン when discussing musical preferences

A Japanese person told me that they have ブラコン。I looked it up on Wikipedia and it said something like an emotional attachment to one's brother. But they said that it meant something like someone who ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Does “敬語” (keigo) just mean “politeness” or is it a technical term specifically relating to Japanese grammar?

What is the difference between the Japanese term "敬語" (keigo) and the English term "politeness" (Specifically regarding language)? I assumed politeness is more general covering things like "please" ...
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3answers
2k views

Does “おつまみ” (otsumami) mean “snack” or “rice crackers” or “crunchy snack” like chips and peanuts, or something else entirely?

This is a word I learned by reading and not by studying or in conversation with Japanese. After learning the kana years ago I had occasion to fly with JAL and the pre-meal snack was a little packet ...
7
votes
1answer
189 views

What's the difference between 平行 and 並行?

They both seem to mean "parallel". In my プログレッシブ dictionary, it seems to point to the former being the more mathematical sense of the definition (two co-planar, non-intersecting lines), while the ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

What does コミュニケーションがとれる mean?

I tried looking up what 「コミュニケーションがとれる」 means, but from the examples that I've seen, all I can understand is that it just means "to communicate". Is there something more to this phrase that I'm not ...
7
votes
2answers
224 views

What does 不可とする mean?

On the subject of real-time OS's, I read this sentence: 割り込みを一時的に不可(マスク)とする。 Where 不可 apparently means "to mask". I can understand that "割り込み masks something", but I can't understand "不可とする" ...
13
votes
2answers
375 views

What is the meaning and root of 意味くじピーマン?

Recently a friend of mine threw the term 意味くじピーマン (imi kuji pi-man) into a story she was telling, and it totally threw me off. At first I thought, because I wasn't sure how to parse the くじ part, it ...
7
votes
1answer
207 views

Is “かいしゅん” a valid reading for 買春?

I have seen the words 売春 and 買春 pronounced "ばいしゅん". From my understanding 売春 is taken from the perspective of the "seller" whereas 買春 is taken from the perspective of the "buyer". However, when I ...