A set phrase used commonly in the Japanese language

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
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
82 views

How would you use 気持ちを込める?

Could you please give me an example of the expression '気持ちを込める' and when you would use it? Thank you in advance! :)
6
votes
1answer
116 views

How do you use 「どうか」 to mean please?

Sorry for the beginner question! I came across the vocabulary 「どうか(ください」. Could you please give an example of it's use? Thank you in advance!
3
votes
2answers
178 views

What is the 目 in 境目 and 分かれ目?

What is the connection between eyes and boundaries (the etymology of those phrases)?
7
votes
1answer
244 views

Is "あら” a feminine expression? Can I use it as a guy?

あら as in the expression of surprise like "oh my".
3
votes
1answer
272 views

Expressing the acceptance of defeat and helplessness

しょうがない (See: This blog post, and Wikipedia) Like "Japanese people", I am often placed in situations where no matter how hard I try, I can't change the outcome/fate. The only thing I can do is accept ...
7
votes
1answer
184 views

こんにばんは as a greeting

I just had someone say this to me. I'm pretty sure I know what it means already but I came here to confirm if I'm correct or not. こんにばんは is a combination of こんにちは and こんばんは. こんにちは is what you would ...
6
votes
3answers
753 views

Japanese equivalent of “Thanks anyway.”?

In English, "thanks anyway" is a common way of acknowledging the other person's effort/attention even though the end result wasn't satisfactory to the person doing the thanking. For example: ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Meaning of 言いだしっぺとして

I stumbled upon the following sentence: 言いだしっぺとして、10人がんばります! Context: a person is told to invite 10 persons, and seems to answer "言いだしっぺとして, I will try my best to get 10 persons!" What does the ...
4
votes
1answer
399 views

How Do You Say “I read it wrong” in Japanese?

How Do You Say "I read it wrong" in Japanese? Is there such a word like 読み間違え or something like that in Japanese? Thanks!
5
votes
1answer
201 views

Is わくわく waku waku a feminine expression?

I tried using this expression but a friend of mine who lives in Japan said it is feminine. I tried searching about this online but couldn't find any indication that it is. Is it really feminine? if it ...
6
votes
2answers
577 views

“Boo” equivalent in Japanese?

Is there a disappointed or sad "boo" equivalent in Japanese? Kind of like: Person 1: "Hey man, can I borrow 10 dollars?" Person 2: "Nah I don't have any change." Person1: "Boo, now I don't have ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to playfully scold someone?

I haven't heard from a good friend for a while, I would like to reproach him playfully, but have no clue what the appropriate thing to say would be. Would 恥を知れ! be appropriate if said in a funny ...
6
votes
3answers
518 views

Sorry, I wasn't listening

What is the Japanese expression for: Sorry, I wasn't listening For example, for when you're asked a question and realize that you have no idea what it's about as you've been thinking about ...
3
votes
1answer
581 views

What's the difference between どうして and どうやって?

I've read on Stack Exchange that どうやって can be used to mean "what did you do in order to x" どうやってお医者になったか? — What did you do in order to become a doctor? This definition makes a lot of sense to ...
2
votes
1answer
181 views

Alternate meaning of 見えない when used as an expression?

I've always learned that 見えない means "unseen" or "invisible". However, lately I've been seeing quite a few Japanese people in online games that, upon failing to complete some (usually very difficult) ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

What does ホイっと mean?

in a manga I was reading this expression appeared. It was about a lazy girl, who was thinking about getting herself a boyfriend (so that he can do the house chores for her), and then her friend ...
7
votes
2answers
455 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

“How did you know?” and “how do you know?” in Japanese

As explained in this question on the English site, there is a distinction in English between saying "How did you know?" and "How do you know?" When someone makes an assertion, the distinction ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

〜くてform from a verb

I ask here my question because I couldn't find anything on internet. My problem is about 〜くて form for a verb. I asked to a japanese friend what does mean "会いたくて" for example. She told me that there is ...
9
votes
2answers
446 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
443 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
votes
1answer
1k views

Is いったい (ittai) a “rude” expression?

The expression いったい (ittai), as in 君はいったい何がほしいの I translated as "What on earth do you want?" with the help of good ol' GT. 1) Is that correct? 2) Is the expression いったい which GT translated ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water

A recent post about translation reminded me of the following saying: Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water. It is said to be coming from zen ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

What is the nuance and feeling of the expression 愛の営みをする?

If 営み/いとなみ/itonami is a noun meaning: work;  life, then is 愛の営みをする a literary way of saying "to make love" ? What feel does this expression have? Does it sound perfunctory or passionate? 愛の営みをする to ...
3
votes
1answer
324 views

Etymology of ごちそうさまでした [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: About ご[馳走]{ちそう}: two “runs” would give you “a feast”? ごちそうさまでした gochisousamadeshita 【ご馳走様でした · 御馳走様でした】 expression: That was a delicious meal (said after meals);  ...
3
votes
1answer
329 views

Definition and use of やれやれだ

Can anyone explain the expression やれやれだ/やれやれだぜ ? I saw it in a written journal entry to mean "Thank heavens!", and on further investigation have seen it translated as "Good god!" as well as "Sigh." ...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

Questions about this sentence

"当時の関係者何人かにあたって記憶を確かめてみたが、人の記憶の欠落部分というのは、捏造で補われる仕組みになっているらしく、共通の体験が、しばしば、お互いに矛盾する記憶になっていることに驚かされた。" What does "にあたって" mean there ? "驚かされた" is referring to what/whom exactly ? Does "関係者何人か" mean ...
9
votes
1answer
342 views

How do you express “try”?

I know that -てみる can mean "try", but my understanding of it is that it means "try it and see what it's like" or "give it a try". But is there a way of expressing "try" that emphasizes that effort was ...
11
votes
6answers
653 views

Greeting a person over the internet

So I was wondering, how do japanese people greet each other when they are, for example, writing on a blog or recording a video? My doubt comes from the fact that their greetings will be directed ...
8
votes
3answers
305 views

Explanation of the expression 気が済まない

A: 百均に入ると、何もいらなくても何か買わないと気が済まない人っているんだよね。 B: いるいる。僕だよ。 A: At the dollar store, there is always somebody who has to buy something even if they don't need it. B: Yes, yes! That's me. ...
4
votes
2answers
215 views

Meaning of 気負わずに奮ってご参加ください

What does 気負わずに奮ってご参加ください mean? Is it like 気軽にご参加ください? Context: an event information page announcing pre-requisites for attendance: 前提知識 ...
5
votes
1answer
274 views

What nuance brings “ですな”?

I often see ですな used in social text posts. Examples: こんにちわ、あついし、ひまですな。 いいてんきですなw A Google search for "ですな" does not show me any explanation. Here is how I understand ですな in such context: ...
1
vote
1answer
710 views

[plain form]-んじゃない

When I was first learning Japanese, I learned that the explanatory form, -んです is always constructed by conjugating the verb in short form and adding -んです, and that the です part is never conjugated. But ...
7
votes
1answer
391 views

Translation of 「そんなことない」

What is a correct translation for 「そんなことない」 and when can it be used? I understand the "this is wrong"/"this is not correct" general sense but is this considered either as harsh or a gentle way of ...
7
votes
1answer
426 views

must/need [必要]{ひつよう}がある vs. なくてはいけない and [必要]{ひつよう}だ vs. [要]{い}る

This is a two part question, both pertaining to expressions involving "必要". What is the difference between 必要がある and -なくてはいけない/ -なければならない? The difference between the latter two expressions is ...
7
votes
1answer
132 views

The expressions 後へ引く and 後を引く

What is the logic behind the similar sounding expressions 後へ引く and 後を引く? Are they idioms? Apple dictionary lists these examples: 後へ引く もう後へは引けない 'It's too late to turn back now.' 'We're in ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How and when to use せや and its variants in Kansai-ben?

Here in Kansai I hear せや, せやねん, and せやな everywhere. I was wondering if anyone could clarify the meaning and usage of these, as well as their equivalent in more standard Japanese? Additionally, are ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

What's the difference between にかけてand にわたって?

It looks like にわたって has just one meaning, "over (a period of time)" whereas にかけて means "over (a period of time)" and also "until". Is that correct? Can they be used almost interchangeably?
0
votes
1answer
217 views

Using だということ to mean “that”

I was helping to translate this passage on the website Lang-8.com: Lang-8をやって良かった点は、どんな間違いをしても恥をかかないようになったという点と、ネイティブの人でも英語を話すときに同じような間違いをするんだということに気付いた点です。 The great point about having used ...
5
votes
1answer
280 views

Does the expression 抱えて生きている always imply a situation with negative aspects?

I was studying the expression 抱えて生きている (literally "living while holding"?), and have found the best English equivalent to be "having to live with." In the English expression, the "thing" that one has ...
9
votes
2answers
192 views

How would one express an opinion from the perspective of an inclusive group?

Often times, it is common for a speaker to make an assertion or opinion based upon a (ethnic or social) group to which they belong. In English it is common to use prefixes like "we" or "us" to ...
7
votes
1answer
404 views

What is the literal meaning of  ”いいかげんにしろ!”?

Some translations for the expression いいかげんにしろ! are: that's enough!;  cut it out!;  get a life! If the correct kanji of this expression is 好い加減, what is the literal meaning of both 好い and 加減 in ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Can you say “half hour” or must you say “30 minutes”?

I know that to say an hour and a half you can say 一時間半, but is it possible to express simply half an hour even though the counter comes before 半? Or would you just have to say 三十分? If both ways are ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

What would be a proper definition and adequate natural translation for the term 替え歌王?

My friend wrote this sentence about these videos: "これは日本の替え歌王だよ。" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtjxrf2Vg7g&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEeELyiLDKg I'm not ...
7
votes
1answer
220 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
449 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
562 views

Meaning of ありじゃないかなぁ

I was asking if something is possible or not, and received the "ありじゃないかなぁ" answer below. I had never heard this expression, is my translation correct? Q: 独習×ゲーム的なソーシャルウェブサイトは可能ですか? A: ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

When to use 早速ですが

I usually hear 早速ですが used as a phrase in the office. After looking on examples in the net, it somehow mean "Well then" in English. Is the phrase just the same as "じゃ" or "では"? For example: ...
7
votes
2answers
270 views

Is ほんの一瞬【いっしゅん】だけ redundant?

When using the phrase ほんの一瞬, I somehow feel compelled to insert だけ afterwards. This seems to be somewhat common (over one million hits for "ほんの一瞬だけ" on Google), but does it seem silly in terms of ...