A set phrase used commonly in the Japanese language

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96 views

What are the ways to express someone's condolences?

All is in the title, what are the ways to express someone's condolences when somebody died. I know お気の毒に but is there something else? What can/should you say to friends? To collegues? To bosses? etc.
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197 views

Modal expressions in “He must be Japanese” - に決まっている and ぜひ・きっと・必ず

"He must be Japanese", if translated to idiomatic Japanese according to the standard concept, should be: 彼は日本人に決まっている。 What about the following alternatives? 彼はぜひ日本人です。 彼はきっと日本人です。 ...
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132 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 ...
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2answers
232 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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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) ...
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1answer
59 views

“Even a crab” - Japanese proverbs (?)

Coming across these kind of constructs: カニでもわかる+名詞句 カニでもできる... カニでも使える... etc. What does it mean? How is it used? In general, what main associations would a "crab" create from a Japanese ...
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1answer
206 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 ...
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1answer
150 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
837 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 ...
2
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1answer
238 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 ...
2
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1answer
729 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 ...
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1answer
75 views

How is 情けは人の為ならず used?

Is it used in the positive sense "you should do good things for others! good things will happen to you as well" or rather, negative "good things are rooted in selfish motivations", or something else?
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81 views

childish manner of speaking

I've heard that this phrase: 王様のベッドで寝ちゃおっと is spoken in a child-like way. The full translation is "let's sleep in the king's bed", and the portion that is child-like would be 寝ちゃおっと (let's sleep). ...
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1answer
315 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
184 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
122 views

How to ask if others want to do something?

In the Japanese language, if the speaker wants to express the will he himself wants to do, 'たい ' is usually used. For example: I want to buy this book. わたしはこの本を買いたい。 I want to go back ...
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135 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 ...
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1answer
193 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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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 ...
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183 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
124 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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104 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: ...
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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 ...
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1answer
70 views

i have a question about japanese expression [closed]

I once  heard one japanese said " あなたに伝えことがあって" ,which means i have sth to tell you.  but what makes me puzzled is that why not say 'あなたに伝え伝えことがありあす「ある}.  Beside, if we want to let others see sth, i ...
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2answers
362 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, ...