The meaning of words or phrases within certain contexts, especially when it does not seem to match the standard definition.

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5
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1answer
527 views

What does セレブ mean these days?

There appears to be some disagreement/confusion about the precise meaning of セレブ - some dictionaries claim that セレブ means the same thing as English "celebrity", while others claim that it just means ...
7
votes
1answer
202 views

What are the differences between すぐ、もうすぐ、すぐに?

As far as I am aware, すぐに means "immediately", but in which contexts can you use もうすぐ and すぐ? 
4
votes
2answers
634 views

How is「第3位を四捨五入」deconstructed to mean “round up to 2 decimal places”?

小数第2位未満に端数が生じた場合は、小数第3位を四捨五入する I initially translated this sentence to: If a fraction with less than 2 decimal places is generated, round off to 3 decimal places. So: 2.1 ≈ 2.100 It felt ...
8
votes
2answers
216 views

What nuance does ガールフレンド have?

Does ガールフレンド have a meaning of a female friend (like girl friend), or a female romantic partner? Someone told me it had the former meaning, and I should use "彼女" for a romantic partner. However, the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What does 臨海学校 mean?

I ran across 臨海学校{りんかいがっこう} in a manga (ときめきトゥナイト) and I'm unsure what the exact meaning is. All the online dictionaries I've checked translate it as "seaside school", which doesn't quite make sense ...
6
votes
1answer
220 views

Other uses of “imperative prohibition” form eg わかるな ・すわんな

I saw a film where in two separate scenes the characters seemed to use the "imperative-prohibition" to invite the opposite action: 1.In one scene a father after explaining something to his son ...
3
votes
1answer
527 views

Sentence ending in かも・・・ what is the meaning?

I am translating a guidebook for a Legend of Zelda game, for study purposes. I'm finding a variety of new phrases and words, but this one has me stumped. This is in the introduction to a section ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

How does one express “late” or “lateness”?

So I know that おそい, ちこく, and おくれる all can mean late. But I don't know what context to use which in. Can I just swap おそくなります, ちこくする, and おくれる at will?
2
votes
2answers
149 views

Isn't ずらっと並んでいる redundant?

I have this sentence in a practise JLPT question: サッカー選手{せんしゅ}がずらっと並{なら}んでいる。 According to the dictionary I referenced, ずらっと means to "be in a line", and 並{なら}ぶ means "to line up", so wouldn't ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Difference between かおり and におい

In a TV show I am watching (孤独のグルメ, perhaps many of you have heard of it) the gentleman is about to drink some coffee but pauses to savour the aroma. He says いい かおり だ Which I translate as "good ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Meaning of お願い出します

Recently I've been listening to some Japanese radio stations online. I heard somebody say お願い出します a couple of times. I'm now hearing it sometimes in other places. Can somebody tell me what it ...
0
votes
2answers
188 views

Clarification on a Translation

After all this time I think I finally have my translation of "Walk your own path. Let People talk." But before I put it in my CAD program, I would like to get an opinion on the word usage and grammar. ...
3
votes
0answers
222 views

What does the name Chacha (チャチャ) mean?

I always wondered about the meaning of this name in Japanese, but couldn't find much on google. Can someone tell me what it means? UPDATE: Cha-cha (茶々) was a concubine to Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Meaning of ~するとみる and よくばる in this sentence

I don't get what するとみた and よくばって means in this sentence : よくばってかなり時間オーバーをするとみた。 As for the context : the speaker is waiting for someone to get out of a room. He just said : ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Meaning of と and 少しでも in this sentence

I don't get what 少しでも and と mean in this sentence (from a manga) : 人々の多くは少しでもターゲットになりにくそうな僻地に身を隠そうとムダな努力を始めていた。 I remember reading that the conditional と couldn't be use with the volitional ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Run-in with an odd use of kanji 「供膳」

I'm currently working on a translation of a song ("故" by Gremlins) and I have run into something quite strange... While it is not unusual for Japanese lyricists to use kanji with a different meaning ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Meaning of ~つもりではいる in that sentence

I don't understand the meaning of ~つもりではいる in this sentence : そしていちおう手加減してやるつもりではいるが殺されてしまっても負けとなる。 And, although I'm planning on going easy on you, you will also lose if you happen to get ...
5
votes
1answer
177 views

Usage (correctness) of だと after verbs

I've noticed だと showing up after verbs for a while now in various forms of media, such as blogs, anime, regular TV shows & also when speaking to Japanese people. However, I was originally told ...
10
votes
2answers
472 views

が and に interchangeability and difference in meaning

Consider these sentences: だれ{が・に}これが出来るか だれ{が・に}日本語が分からないか When both が and に are acceptable, what is their difference in meaning and practical usage?
3
votes
1answer
228 views

What do young Japanese mean by セクハラ?

What do Japanese young people exactly mean by 「セクハラ」? Do they think it is negative, or only slightly negative, or not negative? I've often heard Japanese university students throw around the term ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

What does の頃【ころ】 mean in this sentence?

I don't know what の頃【ころ】 means in this sentence. I know ころ means 'about' or 'around' but I still don't understand its use here. ロンドンに来たばかりの頃【ころ】、私は「Chip Butty」を知りませんでした。 My best translation: I've ...
4
votes
2answers
404 views

Making sense of 「出てったって待ってて」

I'm reading Murakami Haruki's ノルウェイの森 and, although I've come across many sentences I haven't been able to grasp too clearly, I recently came across one that was also funny to pronounce. Can anyone ...
5
votes
2answers
114 views

Meaning of 「神様、仏様、X様」

I was recently watching a few videos about 橋本環奈{はしもとかんな}, and I came across an introduction (if it can be called that?) that I've never heard before. Whenever she introduces herself, she finishes ...
1
vote
1answer
318 views

How to read this kanji? (see image)

All the methods I know failed. My count is 7 strokes, but may be wrong. I think the key is the bottom part, but no radical matches its shape. The rest of the word, including particle, is: きながらでも ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

Meaning of させてもらう + 事にする in this sentence

The sentence is taken from a manga in which the character kills people at a TV station in order to threaten the world : おはよう世界の諸君...これからほんのわずかな時間だけ... Hello (ladies and gentlemen of the) ...
8
votes
2answers
160 views

どうしますか vs 何をしますか

I always interpreted 何 as "what" and "どう" as more of a "How or How about?" and thus was under the impression that if one wanted to ask "What will you do?" or "What did you do?" you would say 何をしますか ...
4
votes
2answers
453 views

Meaning of それだけ in this sentence

Here is the sentence : 人数が多ければそれだけお前達が有利になる。 I've difficulties finding information about this word. From the examples I read, it seems to me that, when used after a clause ending in ば its ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Meaning of “[気張]{きば}らずゆっくりやっていこうね”

気張らずゆっくりやっていこうね 'ゆっくりやっていこう’ means "I'll keep on going slowly", right? But what is 気張らず?
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Sentence structure and meaning

here is an extract from a manga that gives me troubles : (|| = column breaks in the manga) ただし||お前達の相手は||私一人でいい||一対一で闘い||私が勝ったら||次の者が||また 私と闘うのだ... First : can you confirm that there are 2 ...
4
votes
3answers
211 views

Meanings of ちゃんと

I always thought ちゃんと meant "properly" or "exactly", but I begin to think that its meaning is broader, more like "as it is supposed to be" or "as you're supposed to do" because in some sentence it ...
0
votes
1answer
186 views

Can anybody tell me what this means?

I have an ornament, the picture, and I do not know what it means. I'm not even sure if it's Japanese but any help would be gladly taken.
10
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2answers
2k views

What does さあ (saa) mean?

I have seen this term used a lot in many different ways. 「さあ、忘れましょうその未来が」 saa, wasuremashou sono mirai ga — in this sense, I assume it means "come". But I have also seen it used as 「でもさあ」 demo saa — ...
2
votes
1answer
187 views

Why use 分 in this question?

I have come across the following sentence : そのダンボ-ルゴミに出す分ですか? I understand it means something like "Are you throwing out this cardbox?". But what does 分 mean in this context and why is it at that ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

What does ぶつまね (ぶつ真似?) mean?

I'm just wondering what does the word "ぶつまね" (or also ぶつ真似 as turned up by a google search) mean? I tried guessing from the context of some 10 example sentences but still can't come up with the ...
4
votes
1answer
358 views

Could somebody please translate this and show me what I'm missing?

Just for a little bit of context: There's a flyer about a Japanese church's beach retreat that's been sent around, and I'm trying to translate it for practice. That being said, the flyer has been ...
13
votes
2answers
895 views

Meaning of ぬ added to 連用形 / masu-stem, as in 風立ちぬ

What does the ぬ at the end of 立ち specify? I can't find a verb that is just 立ちぬ, is this some kind of special form? Can this be done with other verbs as well? 風立ちぬ, for reference, is Miyazaki's new ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Meaning of という when it doesn't mean 'to call' 'to be called' or 'to say'

I'm having a little trouble parsing the usage of という when it it has meanings other than 'to call' and so forth. I often see sentences like いざという時, ということだ and これという問題はない. The Dictionary I use gives ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

What's an オウンキー? Why does the term exist?

In the context of real estate, what is an "オウンキー"? I understand that it literally translates as "own key", but having a word for that seems to be like needing a word for people with only one head. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Using を/に+伴う and meaning of 後接させる (+ 現場指示 and 文脈指示)

Here is the sentence (from the 日本語文法ハンドブック : 疑問詞が 「が」 「を」 以外の格助詞を伴う時はその格助詞の後にそのまま 「も」 を後接させます。 My guess : When the interrogatives are accompanied by a case-marking particle other than "が" ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Help with phrase: えらく[愉]{たの}しい[事]{こと}[続]{つづ}きなんだ

I'm having trouble with the following: えらく愉しい事続きなんだ I don't know the meaning of えらく as I've never seen that word before.
5
votes
1answer
216 views

Meaning of として in this sentence

I don't get why として is used instead of を in this sentence, as it doesn't seem to fit with the "as" sense that I know. 品詞と無関係にコソアドとして一括して扱うのが一般的です。 What I understand is this: Treating コソアド as ...
11
votes
2answers
943 views

How do I “understand” kaomoji? (Japanese smilies)

When I see something like this: ヘ(´∀`ヘ)ヘ(´∀`ヘ)ヨイヨイ(ノ´∀`)ノ(ノ´∀`)ノヨイヨイ♪ I think some voodoo demon wants to say something to me. o_O My Japanese friends often use kaomoji. But, when they add (´▽`) ...
4
votes
2answers
307 views

Under what circumstances is でたらめ used?

(だれかこの単語の使いかたを説明してくれますか。辞典にはたくさんの意味が載っているようです。) Can someone explain the usage of this term 出鱈目{でたらめ} to me? It seems to have a lot of meanings.
13
votes
2answers
458 views

Ups and downs: かみ・しも vs うえ・した

So, we have the kanji 上・下 which can be read as either かみ・しも or うえ・した, and as I understand it, those two are antonym pairs. But what are the differences between the two? The thesaurus isn't very ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

What's the difference between 舟 and 船?

They both mean "ship/boat". Are they completely interchangeable? Do they signify boats of different sizes or uses (people, cargo, etc.)? Is only 船 used in compounds to describe metaphorical "boats" ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

How to translate standalone noun + a ます verb (in a heading)

I would like to know how to translate something like this: ドロボー、つかまえます where there is a noun followed by a verb in masu from without any other details. Is it something like "Burglar, I('ll) ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

Does 両目 have a special meaning or is it just a mistake?

Today I found this sentence on my Japanese textbook (みんなの日本語中級I - 本冊 pg. 70) And it didn't make any sense to me. 前から2両目の電車を降りたところで待っています。 I looked for 両目 on 電子辞書 and it says it means both eyes. ...
2
votes
2answers
251 views

Meaning of 員 - Heisig vs world

I'm studying the kanji on the Heisig's book "Remembering the Kanji" and yesterday I came across the number 56: 員 which is translated in the book as "employee". I also have a subscription on ...
2
votes
2answers
213 views

なってきています and なっています

What´s the difference between なってきています and なっています? For example: お隣の人達、大丈夫? ヤバくなってきているよ。 Would it´s meaning change significantly if it´s changed into: お隣の人達、大丈夫? ヤバくなっているよ。
0
votes
3answers
369 views

What does ぴろーん mean?

This appears to be some kind of adult slang term, or maybe it's internet slang, whatever the case may be I can't find a definition in any dictionary. Is it an onomatopoeia?