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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
1answer
390 views

Why does きいろ mean yellow rather than green?

I know that most of "why" questions don't make much sense as far as linguistics are concerned but I'll ask anyway. I know that き means a tree. いろ means color. It doesn't take a genius to guess that ...
4
votes
2answers
156 views

What does 工夫(する) mean?

I am aware of the generic English translation: In this case, "device" or "to devise" in English, but this does not really help me out. In what context would you use this word? 例文 would really be ...
-1
votes
1answer
159 views

Meaning of 伝わる and AよりもB, 温かい, and て-form+から+でも

I need help understanding some Japanese sentences. All the sentences are connected except the last one. 今も手紙はたまに書きますよ。 mailよりも気持ちが伝わるんです。 I know that the first sentence means "people also ...
8
votes
2answers
468 views

What does “ちるの、びるの” mean?

Context: 織次{おりじ} the protagonist is trying to buy back a set of drawings from his father's friend, who is mysteriously evasive about the matter. ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

Meaning of 話になんない

I have a quote from this anime, FLCL: 「とにかくさ、バット振んなきゃ話になんないよ」. In the official translation it's translated as "nothing can happen until you swing the bat". Now my japanese is pretty rusty, as I ...
1
vote
2answers
155 views

What does “自己修養” mean, in western terms?

I am looking for something that expresses the concept of self-cultivation, especially in the sense of "practicing self-cultivation through traditional japanese arts" (see also this book, which I don't ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

what does the とは mean in this phrase?

Hello pretty new to Japanese and I have a question. So I know this is supposed to be something like "he differs from his former self" but I can't really make sense of what the とは is supposed to mean ...
2
votes
1answer
367 views

How to say “I have class now”

When said in English, this sentence means that you have class in the near future, despite using now. Is it okay to omit から in the sentence below, or does that change the meaning? ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

What kind of organisms can be covered by 益虫, 害虫 or 虫?

I came across someone describing a Nihon yamori / gekko as a 益虫, and using "useful insect" in English. Gekkos aren't insects, but it made me curious what it actually does mean. jisho.org only ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

Talking about people

first time asking a question on here. What is the difference in meaning between 人々、人物、人、人類、人間 and if you know any others it would be nice to include those too. How do you use them properly?
1
vote
1answer
342 views

What is the difference between the two kanji pairings for 'jellyfish'?

I am aware that animal names are generally written in katakana (although sometimes hiragana), but kanji is sometimes used. I stumbled upon the Japanese word クラゲ, meaning jellyfish. The dictionary said ...
1
vote
3answers
343 views

What does '今よ' mean?

What does 'よ' do when placed after a single noun like '今'? 今よ Would it be considered a question, like "Now?" ?
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Is there a background to the phrase 「熊出来てる」?

I was watching a TV drama, and one line was: 「熊出来てる」 I would translate it as "seems like a bear is coming out". In context, it seems to refer to a person who has rings under their eyes, due to not ...
8
votes
2answers
418 views

Making sense of transitive usage of 行く and 来る - 「を行く」 and 「を来る」

I think it's known that some intransitive verbs can take を particle and be used as transitive verbs such as for example 「私のことを分かってくれない」. While using 分かる transitively would require specific scenarios ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

What is the difference in usage of [実行]{じっこう}する and [実施]{じっし}する?

So at my office i see both [実施]{じっし}する and [実行]{じっこう}する used a lot to mean "carry out" a task. Any time I ask a Japanese person they tell me "they are the same". Can anyone tell me any differences ...
6
votes
3answers
222 views

What is a 丁寧 food?

When eating ramen, a Japanese person commented on how the ramen of this shop are 丁寧. What does 丁寧 means in the context of food? 丁寧 means polite in social contexts, but I am not sure it the same ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

Sake? Nihonshu? [duplicate]

Is it true that in normal conversation, "sake" means alcohol generically? Not sake specifically? And sake specifically is "nihonshu"? The story is, I learned some Japanese 40+ years ago in Australia. ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

What does さすがお尻マイスター mean?

When one of my girlfriend asked her friend, if he is in Osaka now, he said "yes, that's right" (in japanese) and then "さすがお尻マイスター". I didn't understand it, but I didn't ask her or him back either. ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

How is “しかい” used in this sentence?

I'm a bit confused about how "しかい" is used in this sentence I came across while studying: そこには私一人しかいなかった。 "I was the only one there." My guess is that it is an ending to "一人", but I couldn't find ...
-1
votes
1answer
118 views

Kanji for Hirohito [closed]

I cannot find the kanji for hito, as in the name Hirohito, in my Modern Reader's Japanese-English Character Dictionary (Andrew Nelson). When I searched online I found that the hito was shown as a four ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Meaning of vb-たかった + しまいました

I am currently in my third year of japanese studies, and in lesson 29 of 皆の日本語, we learned to use vb-て+しまいます or しまいました to emphasize the action or its completion, or the embarrassment, regret of the ...
1
vote
1answer
151 views

What does ピグ mean? (Not pig.)

I was reading http://helps.ameba.jp/faq/pigg/5301/post_362.html, and it said "ピグ", I can't for the life figure out for the life of me what it means (Unless it means pig, and contextually that makes no ...
3
votes
1answer
152 views

Meaning of どこの ( + noun)?

I found Shimazaki Touson's work 'shiawase', and read the first few lines: 「幸せ」が色々な家へたずねて行きました。だれでも幸せの欲しくないひとはありませんから、どこの家をたずねましても、みんな大喜びでむかえてくれるに違いありません。 My question is how I can translate ...
5
votes
1answer
166 views

What are some translations for 後は無い?

Does it have a less literal meaning that "nothing left behind"?
3
votes
1answer
119 views

What does 直打ち mean? also whats the reading?

Can someone help me understand this 直打ち, as used in the following sentence: URLを直打ちしてアクセスされた可能性があります。 (this is an error message in a log file) My dictionaries have no idea what this word means. As ...
5
votes
2answers
319 views

What does おめでとう煜ございます mean?

At first I thought it was a typo, but inserting the character 煜 into birthday wishes or the like seems to be common, e.g. おめでとう煜ございます おめでとうございます煜 おめでとう煜ございます煜 I have several problems: What ...
3
votes
3answers
250 views

How can I translate けど in this sentence?

I don't get these sentences; the first one ends with けど (plus I don't get why there is the use of !? at the end) Here the sentences: 俺モデル! 顔命なの です けど!? んなに 硬くねーだろ> I know that けど ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Is this word slang? アメテ

I can't find a definition for this word アメテ. Aside from sounding like an amateur, the word didn't make sense in the context. In the context, a character was flipping out. The entire sentence he ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

What does 用なんてなくっても mean?

Would it happen to be something roughly like "Even if I'm not busy"?
1
vote
1answer
91 views

関わらず, こうして, and “Titles”

My question concerns the middle part of this sentence. 宮さんは、僕がこうして敬称付きで呼ぶにも関わらず、 見た目十代前半くらいの少女なのだった。 How exactly does こうして affect the meaning of the sentence? What part of the sentence is 関わらず ...
7
votes
1answer
119 views

I can't find a translation for 言やいー

I would very much appreciate it if someone could tell me what 言やいー refers to. All I know is that 言 has something to do with speaking or words, but that alone doesn't help. Is it slang? The entire ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Use of ご and にね

In the following sentence, how are にね and ご used in that first clause. I'm baffled. They seem to have no meaning. で、そんなご身分にね、一年も経てばいよいよ引け目を感じますよ。 Thanks for your help.
2
votes
1answer
201 views

What's the meaning of とこに?

Pretty much I couldn't find this とこに in my dictionary so I was wondering what it means. Here the context to better understand: あんなとこにタオル落ちてる Also is あんな a slang for あのな? Thanks in advance c: I ...
1
vote
1answer
181 views

How do you be sarcastic in Japanese? [duplicate]

Especially in text, is there a clue in Japanese as to whether someone is being sarcastic, or is it as ambiguous as it is in English? And how do you form a sentence so as to make it obviously ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

What does やさぐれ mean?

I believe it has something to do with bullying. Also, I think I heard it as a verb: やさぐれる I can't seem to find much information about it. Is it slang?
1
vote
2answers
181 views

What does「散々人を待たせておいて最初の一言がそれか」mean?

I am unsure how to translate the following phrase: [散々]{さんざん}人{ひと}を待{ま}たせておいて最初{さいしょ}の一言{ひとこと}がそれか My guess as to how this phrase translates is: Is that the first thing people say to those ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

What does 彼のままだった mean?

In the following phrase:「時{とき}が過{す}ぎても彼{かれ}のままだった。」what does the「彼{かれ}のままだった」part mean? My guess is that I can translate this phrase into something like "He's the same" or "he didn't change", but I'm ...
1
vote
0answers
152 views

キリンとゾウ:どっちが大きい? [closed]

My Japanese colleagues are having a heated debate about which animal is the most 大きい : giraffe or elephant? Both sides have their arguments (height/volume), so is it entirely a matter of personal ...
1
vote
1answer
365 views

What is the meaning of “beta”?

Can somebody please explain what "beta" means in the following sentence: Tsugi no mokutekichi wa beta da keredo, Shikago.
3
votes
1answer
237 views

What does ヘニャッ mean?

The sentence is ヘニャッってなりたくなる. I can't find its meaning.
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does 今度【こんど】 mean “next time”?

The word 今度【こんど】, though its literal meaning is "this time" is in my experience used pretty heavily to refer to tbe next time or some unspecified point in the future. For example: ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

What does the 「っち」 in @「見守りっち」 translate into?

What does Verb in 「ます」form +「っち」 mean? What does the 「っち」 in @「見守りっち」 translate into?
3
votes
4answers
324 views

Parsing a specific sentence from a book

I have this following sentence:   横線――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれは、俺の生命の残量を可視化したものだ。 There are a few questions I came up with about this sentence: The first part of the sentence is: 横線―――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれ, ...
1
vote
2answers
238 views

What is the difference between 怖い and 恐い

As a follow-up to Would 私は怖い mean "I'm scared" or "I'm scary"? We know that 怖い can mean both "to be scared" and "to be scary to somebody". What about the difference ...
7
votes
1answer
961 views

Would 私は怖い mean “I'm scared” or “I'm scary”?

Or does it mean both? If so, is there any way to explicitly distinguish between "I'm scared" and "I'm scary"? If it only means one and not the other, how would you say the other?
5
votes
1answer
192 views

Why is topology called 位相幾何学?

Topology in English is called 位相幾何学 in Japanese; also, topological space is called 位相空間. But why is topology called 位相幾何学? What is the correspondence between topo and 位相? What is the origin of 位相?
2
votes
1answer
146 views

What does “僕が来る前からこーだったんですが?” mean?

Well, the title says it. The sentence is from a manga, where a boy lives together with her very lazy aunt, so the boy has to take care of laundry, cleaning dishes, cooking etc. while she's drinking ...
2
votes
1answer
147 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) ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

Is there a Japanese saying like その頑張りは、すべてむだというかそういう気持ちになる , related to the working conditions of doctors in a hospital?

On NHK NewsWatch 9 yesterday, they were talking about the shortage of emergency room doctors, and the resulting situations lately where hospitals were forced to turn away emergency patients. In many ...
2
votes
1answer
172 views

What is the meaning of 大奥婚?

This headline in today's zakzak news, related to actress Miho Kanno getting married. 堺雅人&菅野美穂、“大奥婚”! 電撃ゴールイン What is the meaning of 大奥婚? I know 大奥 and 婚 by themselves, but not together. I ...