Tagged Questions

A set phrase used commonly in the Japanese language

learn more… | top users | synonyms

14
votes
1answer
396 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
892 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
132 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
250 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
219 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
129 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
328 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
554 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
277 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
200 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
238 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
676 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
289 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
370 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
130 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
132 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
198 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
236 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
191 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
318 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
125 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
204 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
415 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
514 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
260 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
510 views

What exactly does この通{とお}りmean?

I know that その通り can mean "Exactly" or "That's right". But I was watching an anime (Samurai 7) and heard one of the characters say "この通り" and something else right afterwards which I didn't catch. For ...
4
votes
3answers
589 views

How does だからって usually work?

馬鹿だからって知らないわけじゃない I translated this sentence as "It's not like I don't know that I'm stupid," while my friend who wrote it translated it as "I'm stupid, but I know that." So I feel I understand ...
8
votes
4answers
426 views

word search: voluntary pause between desire and action

Some years ago, I read that Japanese has a word (or idiomatic expression) that means roughly: The action of voluntary interposing a pause between the moment you desire something and the moment you ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Meaning and spelling of1対1で対応

In a recent email conversation, an acquaintance used the expression: 1対1で対応するそれは、大変だね。 Although I can vaguely infer the meaning of the expression 1対1で対応する (いちたいでたいおう), I am having a hard time ...
6
votes
1answer
200 views

How can I express “you make a…/you'd make for a…”?

Do you know the English expression, "you make a"? It's pretty simple: You make a fine wife. It might be more correct as You'd make for a... but they're tenses are different then. I could ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Meaning of この延長線上にこそ、

Does X。この延長線上にこそ、Y。 have the same meaning as XなのでY ? Context: 今回、時間の制約が大変厳しい状況にありますが、[...]自動的なチェックのしくみを実現したいと考えます。この延長線上にこそ、新しい世代のより低コストな技術を安定的に評価できる体制が実現可能となります。
5
votes
3answers
369 views

Is it normal to use ただいま in situations other than ただいま戻【もど】りました?

By itself, I would say that 「ただいま」 means something like "just now". I've used it a few times in sentences like this, but it feels somewhat awkward, as I am always reminded of ただいま戻【もど】りました. So, for ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between 「いけない」 and 「いかない」?

I've just learned that ~わけにはいけない as in 断{ことわ}るわけにはいけない ("I can't refuse") apparently isn't valid but ~わけにはいかない is, even though I've been using the former frequently. But what is the difference ...
7
votes
1answer
447 views

Correct usage of ばかり

On a certain online correction site, my sentence: 正直に言うと、最近アメリカのドラマを観ていたばかり。 Was given many possibilities. Some people crossed out 「ばかり」 like 「観ていたばかり」 in the following sentences so I'm inclined ...
13
votes
1answer
254 views

What's the difference between 「この辺{へん}」 and 「この辺{あた}り」

What's the difference between 「この辺{へん}」 and 「この辺{あた}り」? I used to always read 「この辺{へん}」as 「この辺{あたり}」 as I thought it would be confused with 「変{へん}」 but it apparently is different.
13
votes
1answer
645 views

What's the difference between 「うまく」, 「上手に」 and 「よく」?

What's the difference between 「うまく」, 「上手に」 and 「よく」, all seemingly meaning "well" in English? Someone said that I should use 「よく」 rather than 「うまく」 in the following sentence. Can anyone explain why? ...
6
votes
2answers
459 views

My friend said she says “やる時やる.” a lot. What's the translation to english?

やる時{とき}やるじゃん! (Yaru toki yaru jan!) I think the meaning is something like "When you want to do something, you do it". Or maybe, "When you are about to do something, you just do it." This is a ...
5
votes
3answers
424 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
727 views

What are the different ways of saying to agree or disagree with a person?

There seems to be many different ways of saying either to agree or to disagree with a person. Which words are there, in what circumstances should they be used, and are there any relevant examples of ...
0
votes
2answers
330 views

“にすぎない” vs “だけ” and “にかぎらない” vs “だけじゃない”

I am having difficulties to make sense of にすぎない, which is translated by EDICT to mean "no more than that; just; only". Is it not simply equivalent to だけ? Can I use にすぎない as substitute for だけ? Also, ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

What are the different ways of saying to agree or disagree with a person?

There seems to be many different ways of saying either to agree or to disagree with a person. Which words are there, in what circumstances should they be used, and are there any relevant examples of ...
10
votes
1answer
519 views

How to use ~に同意する to agree or disagree with a person?

A couple of times I've tried to say "I agree with..." or "he agrees with..." but I don't know whether I'm using 同意{どうい}する correctly. In what ways should に同意{どうい}している be used? Also, which particles ...
3
votes
2answers
685 views

Does anyone know which おり this is?

彼女は表情が生き生きとしておりとてもかわいい。 was translated awkwardly on ALC as She is very pretty for the liveliness of her expression. Which おり is this? I think I know it from the polite しております but is it here ...
4
votes
1answer
261 views

What is the harshness of についてとやかく言う?

あなたの私生活についてとやかく言うつもりはありません。 I don't give a damn about your personal life. I have also seen についてとやかく言う translated as "quibble over". Could another translation of this sentence be: ...
2
votes
1answer
565 views

Difference of 「なんとかなる」 vs. 「だいじょうぶ」

are 「なんとかなる」 and 「だいじょうぶ」the same? 大丈夫か? なんとかなるか? 大丈夫よ。 何とかなるよ。 大丈夫さ。 なんとかなるさ。 だいじょうぶだった。 なんとかなった。 大丈夫じゃない/だいじょうぶじゃなかった。 なんとかならない/なんとかならなかった。 ... thanks sorry if ...