A set phrase used commonly in the Japanese language

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4
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2answers
239 views

What does 形から入る mean?

What does 形から入る mean? What contexts may it be used in? I can't find the phrase in my dictionary. I ran across this in an anime. Transcription of the relevant parts: [麻]{ま}[音]{おん}の父さん ...
6
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2answers
216 views

最終講義・懇親会の出欠連絡の葉書に、伝統的にどんなコメントを書くべきですか。

去年の3月まで所属していた大学講座から、「最終講義・懇親会」の案内が来ました。 欠席・出席を返答する葉書が入っていました。一番下のところに、「コメント欄」があります。そこに、「特に行けない人は、コメントを書いて欲しい」というようなことが書いてありました。 ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

I was told to do X if Y

I have no idea how to translate this sentence pattern into Japanese. If I try with basic grammar, it sounds very wrong and overly complex. What is the most natural way of expressing this? If there is ...
2
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0answers
108 views

“A Hen in the Wind”?

I just watched the 1948 film "A Hen in the Wind," directed and co-written by Yasujiro Ozu. I'm guessing the title is a reference to a Japanese proverb or traditional metaphor. Does anyone recognize ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Meaning of “gkbrです”

I have noticed the usage of gkbrです in sentences not related to the G insect: 田中さんに掘り返されたことでgkbrです。 恐怖でgkbrですが続きテツヤ待機。 Does it mean "I am afraid and want to crawl under the furniture"?
2
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1answer
120 views

What does として mean in 「ペットとしてしいくするのはかんたんです。」?

I'm reading a JLPT N5 graded text (to practice reading with kanjis) and I understand all of it except for the following sentence: ペットとしてしいくするのはかんたんです。 I don't understand the として in that ...
4
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1answer
78 views

Meaning of タッグでやる

According to Wikipedia, a tag team is a two-person team of which only one person plays at a time. Speaking of a long-length work project, 小林 says: 田中とタッグでやる。 Is there any nuance difference with ...
6
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1answer
663 views

What is the meaning of あいつはあいつで?

I encountered the phrase in this line: あいつはあいつで、きちんとバイトしているらしい。 I think I can intuit the general meaning but I was wondering if anyone had a full explanation.
3
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1answer
93 views

What could the expression “ナンパされた” mean in english?

ナンパ - seducer, ladies' man, playboy された - passive form + past tense of する
5
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1answer
109 views

How would you say something is like something else?

I know something similar to this has been asked before: Saying something is like/not like something else I'm just wondering if there's a phrase to express 'like-ness' using senses, for example, "this ...
5
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2answers
199 views

What is the difference between すみません and すみませんでした?

What is the difference between すみません and すみませんでした (or すまない and すまなかった)? If it is what the 「でした」 suggests and すみませんでした is the past form and used to apologize for things done in the past, then what I ...
10
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3answers
513 views

What is the difference between 出来る限り and 出来るだけ?

EDICT gives almost the same translation for these two expressions: 出来る限り; できる限り 【​できるかぎり】 (n) as ... as one can できるだけ 《出来るだけ》 (exp) (uk) as much as one can; as much as possible; if at all ...
5
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1answer
118 views

Is 忝い(かたじけない) used in current language?

I'm currently watching Rurouni Kenshin, and Kenshin says 忝い(かたじけない) a lot to express his gratitude. I looked it up a little and based on this it seems like it's old Samurai language, but I wonder if ...
7
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1answer
95 views

Meaning of ~と言われればそれまでだが、…

I have found this sentence: 好みの問題と言われればそれまでだが、私はこの店の内装はなんとなく好きになれない。 To my poor understanding it sounds similar to: 好みの問題と言われても、私はこの店の内装はなんとなく好きになれない。 If it is completely different and I ...
3
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1answer
223 views

How emotionally loaded is 会いたい【あいたい】?

I'd like to ask how emotionally loaded 会いたい【あいたい】 is. For example, if I were to (neutrally) convey the sense of "I'd like to meet you" by using 会いたい, would it carry an emotional expectation in the ...
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1answer
187 views

Translation to Japanese: “The test will determine which university I will go to.” [closed]

How do you say "The test will determine which university I will go to." in Japanese? I only can figure out the first part of it, which is 「あのテストは…」 Can anyone here help me complete it?
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2answers
162 views

What does 「かけようかどうしようか」 mean?

The sentence below is taken from a light novel. 声をかけようかどうしようか迷っていたら、ほんの一瞬風が止んだ I don't understand what 「かけようかどうしようか」 means. Is it an expression? This light novel sometimes omits kanji and I'm ...
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2answers
290 views

What are valid responses to the expressions 「はじめまして」 and 「よろしくおねがいします」 used in introductions?

I came across a learn-Japanese book from the 1980s and wanted to know what you guys think. The book gave a general formula for introduction and here is how it goes: Someone says their name with any ...
7
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1answer
217 views

Does 換骨奪胎 have negative connotation?

In the book ロボット学論集 by 瀬名 秀明, I saw this sentence (not exact since I'm solely depending on my memory) 2004 年公開の映画 "I, Robot" は,Isaac Asimov の同名の小説を換骨奪胎した別物である. I looked at several online ...
2
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1answer
194 views

What does 馬鹿も一芸 mean in English? [closed]

I'm wondering how 馬鹿も一芸 should be translated into English. EDICT-based dictionary sites list this phrase with the following translation: 馬鹿も一芸 even a fool has a talent Is this translation ...
4
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2answers
317 views

How to use に限って【かぎって】 correctly

I came across the expression に限って but not too sure how to use it. It seems to mean "especially/of all the/only" and has to be used in a negative manner. However, I am confused with the following ...
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1answer
431 views

What does 窓という窓 mean?

What does 窓という窓 mean? I found it in this sentence in Harry Potter: 木の扉に寄りかかってホグワーツを見上げると、窓という窓が夕日に照らされて赤くキラキラ輝いている。
2
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1answer
148 views

How to write the passive form of the potential form?

I am curious about the passive form(受動態) of the potential form(可能形). I thought about using (先生に)褒められられる but it seems awkward, and there are no search results in Google for it. So is (先生に) ...
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0answers
94 views

Kanbun reading of this expression

I was wondering if someone could help me with the kanbun reading of this text: 這箇是誰誰是我. (It is an expression used by Dôgen in Eihei kôroku 9, 55). I figured one possible reading might be: ...
5
votes
1answer
177 views

Is using 笑 to mean “lol” feminine or gender-neutral?

On Facebook, you see 笑 getting used a decent amount to mean "lol". To my American eyes, using something that literally means "smile" - and even looks semi-subconsciously kind of like an advanced ...
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4answers
338 views

How to say farewell in 敬語?

Is just さようなら acceptable as a 'goodbye' in 敬語, or is there a more formal version?
4
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1answer
74 views

How to interpret “自分への戒め”?

How should I understand the expression 自分への戒め? The first part is quite clear (自分への), but what is the right interpretation for 戒め (since it has so many meanings)? This really seems like an expression ...
4
votes
1answer
316 views

How to interpret “ダメな時はダメ”?

So, I would like to better understand the expression: ダメな時はダメ I usually see it used practically alone, in a no-good situation. Is it something like: "Impossible is impossible"? More to the ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

「健全なる精神は健全なる身体に宿る」のなる [duplicate]

Is the なる in 健全なる精神は健全なる身体に宿る just the normal 成る? I don't think I understand how 健全なる精神 means "a healthy spirit"- I would think to say 健全の精神, I think. Can someone explain how saying 「健全なる精神...」 came ...
3
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4answers
812 views

“Oh no!” - How do the Japanese express feelings of negative shock towards bad news?

Person A : "I am sick today" Person B : "Oh no!" How do the Japanese express feelings of negative shock towards bad news? What would Person B say in Japanese?
3
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3answers
328 views

How does one give directions in Japanese (e.g. to a cab driver)?

I already know some things, like 「最初{さいしょ}の道{みち}を右{みぎ}に曲{ま}がって」 and the like. However, unless one knows the exact moment to shout 「止{と}めて!」 then one would need to know how to say things like "it's the ...
5
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3answers
3k views

how can I say “what about…?” in Japanese?

I was writing to my japanese friends, and I got some doubts. Hope it wasn't asked here before. How can I express "what about ..." in Japanese? Particularly: What about having some breaks? What ...
5
votes
2answers
944 views

How to say don't tire/wear yourself out?

I guess there is a slight/subtle difference between the two, but also wondering what is the preferred/acceptable way to express this to someone who is a good friend (not just an acquaintance). Ideally ...
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vote
1answer
293 views

Why do Japanese people 'teach' others their phone numbers?

One of the common mistakes that Japanese people make when speaking in English is to translate the expression "電話番号を教えて" directly into English - "to teach a phone number", which can confuse native ...
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2answers
426 views

What is the etymology of お陰で/おかげで and how does the expression relate to the kanji?

If おかげで / "okagede" is an expression that means thanks to ...;  owing to ...;  because of ...; and the correct (?) kanji that this expression derived from is 陰 as in お陰で which by ...
3
votes
3answers
454 views

Is there a way to express “I'm lost” (in a metaphorical sense)

For example, you're talking to someone and he's trying to explain something to you, and you have no idea what he's going on about. You could just say "I don't understand", sure, but is there something ...
2
votes
4answers
154 views

について Usage and Honorifics Subject

I have the following sentence to translate. 父母や教師達は、もっとよく子どもの教育について、考えていただきたいものだ。 So far I have the following. Parents and teachers "do something" better with children's education and they want ...
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1answer
161 views

このままで: translation

Translating songs to improve my Japanese, I have quite often come across the expression: このままで The phrase should mean "in this condition", kono = this, mama = condition, state (shinjitai 侭 or ...
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1answer
278 views

Is それが人生{じんせい} , 仕様{しよう}が無{な}い, or something else the most natural equivalent to “that's life”, “c'est la vie”, etc?

For years I have been saying それが人生{じんせい} in Japanese to mean "such is life" / "c'est la vie". In fact English has a few other ways to express the same thing, and so do the other European languages I ...
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2answers
226 views

Is there a “right” or “best” way to write this Okinawan expression for “cheers”?

When I was still in Okinawa I learned how to say "cheers" / "乾杯{かんぱい}". You can either say just karii or you can use the extended version I pefer karii sabira. My question is how to write it? I have ...
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2answers
492 views

How to say “Is it worth a visit?”

What's a natural way of saying "Is it worth a visit?" in Japanese? Something like 「訪れ価値がある?」?
9
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8answers
792 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 ...
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vote
1answer
122 views

All the uses of わけ?

Ok, I've come across a few expressions involving the word わけ (訳)such as わけではない, to indicate that something differs from a notion the listener may have; わけがない, to indicate that there is no sense in ...
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2answers
424 views

How to say “open Pandora's box” in Japanese?

How to say "open Pandora's box" in Japanese? Ex.: When I asked Jane about her problems, I didn't know I had opened Pandora's box. What kind of Pandora's box do we open if we decide not ...
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1answer
100 views

Opposite of 歯止め?

According to WWWJDIC, 歯止め is used as follows: 歯止めをかける; 歯止めを掛ける (exp,v1) to curb; to halt; to apply brakes; to put an end to The English translations have a pretty good correspondence with the ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to thank somebody for their hospitality?

Having been on the receiving end of Japanese hospitality quite a bit in the past week, I'd like to know the best way to thank people for it in Japanese. I've found several words for "hospitality" but ...
13
votes
1answer
965 views

How should one respond to “お大事に”?

I came across a situation where I went to a volunteer class wearing a mask since I have a cough. My sensei told me "お大事に", and I did not know what to reply. In this case, should I just say "はい"? Or ...
3
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1answer
164 views

How would you use 化かす?

The dictionary says that it means 'To bewitch.' Could you please give an example of it's use and when you'd use it? Thank you immensely!
3
votes
1answer
444 views

Is there a Japanese equivalent of knock-knock jokes?

For those (non-natives, etc.) who maybe aren't familiar, knock-knock jokes are one of the lowest, most basic forms of American "comedy". They follow this format: A: Knock, knock B: Who's ...
5
votes
3answers
470 views

What does 「ハイきた。」 mean?

Also seen as 「ハイきたぁ~!」. Maybe it's used between young people. It seems to express the idea that you have achieved your expectations, or something like that. I hope someone can explain it better. ...