The precise meanings of Japanese words or phrases.

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5
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2answers
99 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
votes
4answers
706 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
144 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
79 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
410 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
votes
1answer
503 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
votes
1answer
143 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
46 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
165 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) ...
2
votes
2answers
187 views

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

I'm having a little trouble parsing the usage of という when it it has meanings other than 'to call' and so forth. 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 I use gives ...
0
votes
1answer
176 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
360 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?
4
votes
1answer
208 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
73 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
180 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
205 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
192 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
247 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
112 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
228 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
178 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
votes
2answers
138 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
316 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
127 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
votes
2answers
195 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
votes
4answers
587 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
248 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"?) ...
1
vote
1answer
146 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
188 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
1k 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" ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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
171 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
98 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
192 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
347 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
204 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
447 views

what do the words OG and OB mean?

In my JLPT workbook, I have the sentence: 就職活動で携帯電話を重用する学生が増えている。OB, OG訪問で約束を取り付けたり、採用担当者から面接日の連絡を受けたりするのも、常に持ち歩いている携帯の方が確実とみられているからだ。 I'm not sure what OB, OG訪問 means.
3
votes
1answer
126 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.
7
votes
2answers
290 views

Where does the phrase 「ノリが悪い」 come from and what is the meaning?

What is this phrase 「ノリが悪い」? I've seen it in a few places, but I haven't been able to find it in a dictionary yet. I had first thought it meant that "the seaweed was bad". What is the meaning of ...
4
votes
1answer
130 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

What is the difference between 流体 and 液体?

I'm unable to understand the difference between 液体 and 流体. Both sound like "fluid" to me, while the latter sounds like "flowing fluid" (if that makes sense). I had thought there was only 気体、液体、and 固体. ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

what does 自己PR mean?

I keep coming across this word often 「自己PR」when looking at applications. I'm not sure what the "PR" part means in Japanese, but in English it usually means "public relations". What does this word ...
7
votes
1answer
290 views

What does the word ゆける signify?

I have the sentence: この国に生まれ老い、良かったと死んでゆける高齢化社会。 This is the first time I've seen 「死んでゆける」 or 「ゆける」. What does it mean? Is this a grammatical form? I also tried looking up more examples with ...
13
votes
2answers
379 views

What's the difference between 今日{きょう} and 本日{ほんじつ}?

I also see both in different examples. As in : 今日は暑い。 本日はおめでとうございます。 Both are translated as "Today", but when and how should I use either one? Can we say : 本日はあつい。 And 今日はおめでとうございます。?
12
votes
3answers
549 views

Fun with synonyms - “eternity”

What are the differences among the following two-kanji words that seem to mean "eternity": 永遠 {えいえん} 永久 {とわ} 永世 {えいせい} 永代 {えいたい} 永劫 {えいごう} 永永 {えいえい} 久遠 {きゅうえん} 悠久 {ゆうきゅう} 恒久 {こうきゅう} 恒常 {こうじょう} 長久 ...
2
votes
1answer
219 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?
2
votes
2answers
298 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?
6
votes
2answers
363 views

Does the kanji 妾 still get used by women to refer to themselves?

In this answer, the kanji 妾 was defined as "mistress". I'm not so familiar with this kanji, so I looked it up, and it seems to have about four readings and two definitions. Although I think some of ...
6
votes
1answer
151 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
158 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" ...