A set phrase used commonly in the Japanese language

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117 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 ...
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3answers
469 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 ...
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1answer
96 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
63 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
212 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
182 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
133 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 ...
4
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2answers
163 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
208 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 ...
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1answer
179 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
312 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
404 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
142 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
83 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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1answer
144 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
307 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
71 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 ...
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1answer
307 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 ...
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1answer
151 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 ...
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4answers
592 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?
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3answers
291 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
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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
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2answers
697 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
270 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
414 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
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3answers
396 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
147 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
133 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
264 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
206 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
397 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
760 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
112 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
393 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
99 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
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 ...
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1answer
943 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
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
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1answer
417 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
429 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
592 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。 ...
3
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1answer
273 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
339 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
167 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
76 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! :)
3
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1answer
395 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
100 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
948 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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1answer
202 views
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187 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 ...