A set phrase used commonly in the Japanese language

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“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?
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3answers
245 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
414 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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1answer
224 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
396 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 ...
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3answers
295 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 ...
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4answers
137 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
85 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
238 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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166 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
257 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?」?
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8answers
697 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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1answer
97 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
308 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
93 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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3answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
905 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 ...
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1answer
158 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!
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1answer
268 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 ...
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3answers
405 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. ...
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1answer
481 views

Temperature abbreviations?

A certain dialog in my book has a man describing the symptoms of his cold to the doctor. It reads thus: 医者:熱はありますか。 ...
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1answer
190 views

How do you say 'to die from…' in Japanese?

For instance, I'm trying to say 'I would die from boredom' and the best I can come up with is 死ぬのから退屈だ However, I strongly suspect this isn't correct. It would also be useful to have the phrase "I ...
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2answers
317 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, ...
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2answers
164 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)?
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1answer
64 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! :)
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1answer
278 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 ...
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1answer
79 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!
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3answers
683 views

When and to whom should I use the expression ご苦労様 (gokurousama)?

In what context and relationship wise to who can I safely say ご苦労様 (gokurousama)? I often defer to using otsukaresama since I'm not sure if I'm talking down to someone by saying gokurousama. Please ...
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174 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".
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149 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 ...
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3answers
493 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: ...
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1answer
169 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 ...
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1answer
103 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
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1answer
227 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!
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1answer
159 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 ...
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2answers
394 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 ...
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2answers
686 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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3answers
388 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 ...
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1answer
154 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
179 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 ...
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1answer
167 views

Does 換骨奪胎 have negative connotation?

I looked at several online dictionaries, all of which didn't seem to me that the expression doesn't have negative sense by definition. However the book I'm reading makes me feel the author implies ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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3answers
808 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 ...
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3answers
949 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 ...
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1answer
286 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。
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1answer
707 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 ...
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1answer
808 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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130 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 ...