定義. The precise meanings of Japanese words or phrases.

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6
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1answer
174 views

What is the difference between キャリアウーマン, OL, and ビジネスウーマン

When I come across the titles キャリアウーマン, OL, and ビジネスウーマン, I seem to have a difficult time picturing what their position is or what they do. I'm wondering if anyone can elaborate on how they are ...
6
votes
1answer
236 views

Which つける do I use?

So I looked up つける and saw it can be written as: 付ける 着ける 附ける And they all seem to have the exact same definition: to attach, to join, to add, to append, etc. So are these "spellings" ...
6
votes
2answers
138 views

What's the difference between 同然 and 同様?

As in the title, what is the difference between these two? dictionary.goo.ne.jp says: 同然: 同じであること。また、そのさま。同様。 同様: 同じであること。ほとんど同じであること。また、そのさま。 and on the 類語 page these two are listed under ...
5
votes
3answers
283 views

What does つまづい mean?

What's the meaning of つまづい in this context? たとえ何があっても つまづいても迷っても
5
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3answers
3k views

Wait… えらい means also means “terrible”?

For over a decade of speaking (poorly) and listening to Japanese, it seems to me that I have almost exclusively heard the word えらい in the sense of meaning "admirable". For example, I'd mention ...
5
votes
2answers
331 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"?) ...
5
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2answers
119 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?
5
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2answers
375 views

What really is 人身事故?

What really is 人身事故【じんしんじこ】 (jinshin-jiko) we often hear at train stations? Some say that it always means that somebody just threw him/herself onto a train track and got killed. Others say that it's ...
5
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1answer
1k 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 concrete....
5
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2answers
119 views

What does the word 性故か mean?

I found the word 性故か while reading. I tried to look at the dictionary but found nothing. Here is the entire sentence: それとも逆らえぬ性故か I don't really understand, please help!
5
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1answer
214 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
404 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?
5
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1answer
120 views

What is koshinashi?

I can't find コシなし defined in any dictionary. It looks like it might have something to do with udon noodles.
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4answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
373 views

Does ところ mean the exact same thing as こと in this sentence?

Consider the following sentence: お金じゃないところが好きだから一緒にいるの 【おかね じゃない ところが すき だから いっしょに いるの】 I think it means "I'm with you because of the parts of you that don't have to do with money". I'm ...
4
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4answers
904 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 ...
4
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2answers
169 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
234 views

人前{ひとまえ} and 人前{にんまえ}

I have been conviced for a long time that both 人前{にんまえ} and 人前{ひとまえ} existed. Which is backed by this wikitionary page. Recently, I just wanted to warn another Japanese learner about this pair of ...
4
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2answers
245 views

What does it mean to be “over a law”?

I was a little confused after reading this on Wikipedia article for 宇部港, a harbor in Ube, Yamaguchi: 港湾法{こうわんほう}上の重要港湾...に指定されている。 I'm really not used to reading very technical writing, so there ...
4
votes
1answer
219 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?
4
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2answers
278 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. 彼女{...
4
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1answer
273 views

How do I read the kanji in this ad for mascara?

On the train yesterday, I came across this ad, which is just for some mascara or whatever: Sorry it's a little blurry. The text is 凛{りん}と際立{きわだ}つ艶ロング。 I'm just a little unclear on a couple of ...
4
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1answer
249 views

What is おもぴろかった

Saw this on twitter: @Daigo19780408 昨日はお疲れ様でした!おもぴろかったです♪( ´▽`) What does おもぴろかった mean? I find words like this all over the place on the net, but I can't figure out what it means, and I can't find ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Does ''脅しじゃねえぞ'' mean ''not a threat''?

I'm confused in this page from a manga the character says odoshi ja nee zo while hes having someone at gunpoint did he mean ''not a threat''?
4
votes
1answer
117 views

柄にもない and its connotations

I came across 柄にもない once while reading and since the immediate look-up didn't feel like a full explanation of the phrase, I've been motivated to try and understand it connotations better. In a quick ...
4
votes
1answer
130 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: おもしろそうな場面には必ずカメラを持って「...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

混信 and 干渉 difference in terms of communications and computing?

I read an article that had the sentence 1.9GHz帯を使うため、ZigBeeやWi-Fiで使われている2.4GHz帯の機器と干渉しないことが特徴。 I previously learned that 混信 means "interference" or "jamming". I saw this word used often. I'm ...
4
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2answers
153 views

What is the nuance of 解{げ}す?

Today in my JLPT text book, I came across the word 解{げ}す. I know that the kanji 解 means "unravel", and it can be read 解{わか}る, and with that reading it's synonymous with 分{わ}かる, "to understand". When ...
4
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1answer
100 views

Differences Between 蘇生する and 蘇る

I'm trying to understand the difference between 蘇生する{そせいする} and 蘇る{よみがえる}. My research thus far tells me that 蘇る is intransitive and can be used for recalling memories in addition to the mutual ...
4
votes
1answer
231 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
306 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) ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

What is the meaning of へりくだった態度?

I am somewhat confused about the meaning of へりくだった態度. The へりくだる means being humble. So I'd assume that へりくだった態度 means humble attitude. However, most of translations I found give the condescending ...
4
votes
1answer
174 views

What is 我が身 and how is it justified in this sentence?

First off, I tried looking at the explanation here. However, the reasons for 我が家 don't seem to apply to 我が身. Here is the excerpt that doesn't seem to apply from Jesse Good's post: The above also ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

difference between 連載 and 順次

I usually see the word 連載 pertaining to articles or books in a series. However, when I read 順次 I was confused (I saw this is a technical article). They seem to both hold the meaning "serial" or "...
3
votes
2answers
148 views

Is 東西二つ idiomatic?

I came across this sentence about a traditional festival in Japan: 阿月の神明祭は、阿月地区を東西二つに分けて行われる災厄除けや病気除け、豊作を祈願して行われる。 (link) The general meaning is clear, but what I don't fully understand is this ...
3
votes
1answer
174 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
2answers
688 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
2answers
191 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
181 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?
3
votes
1answer
684 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 grandfather)...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

What's the difference between 国家 and 国?

They both mean country don't they? I saw this phrase: 国家公安局部長。 When I looked it up 国家, the definition was just "country". So I'm not understanding the nuance between the two words.
3
votes
1answer
243 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
2answers
320 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
1answer
321 views

What is a シドギャ? ギャ doesn't mean girl, does it?

At first I thought ギャ meant girl, but after doing some googling, that doesn't appear to be what it is. What is シドギャ? シドギャ is related to the band シド, the most popular Visual Kei rock band in Japan for ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

Meaning of 運動神経が良い

I just got told: 背高いし運動神経良さそう Apparently 運動神経 means motor nerve: What does 運動神経が良い mean in this context? The conversation was about swimming, not something where reflexes are that important I ...
3
votes
1answer
423 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?
3
votes
2answers
289 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
260 views

What does ぐぎぎmean?

I'm totally puzzled as to what this means, and I couldn't find any helpful hints when I searched through multiple websites. Does anyone else have a clue?
3
votes
2answers
675 views

Is there a difference between these words for “hero”?

I've learned that hero could be translated as: ヒーロー えいゆう ゆうしゃ けっし Aside from ヒーロー (which seems just to be roumaji version of hero), is there any usage difference among them?
3
votes
1answer
475 views

What's the difference between 理系{りけい} , 理科{りか}, and 科学{かがく}?

In my dictionary, 理系{りけい}, 理科{りか}, and 科学{かがく} are defined simply as "science". What, if anything, differentiates them? Especially in terms of the feeling or nuance when used in everyday ...