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

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4
votes
2answers
240 views

What is this 10^40 thing?

While checking out "正" (as in 正坐, specifically) I found that apparently one of the associated meaning would be 10^40 (i.e. 10 elevated at the 40th power). Example -taken from Tangorin.com: sei 【正】 ...
10
votes
2answers
232 views

Why does 目 have a counting sense to it?

Why does 目 get used in situations like 二個目? How did it come about getting the meaning of eye as well as some counting meaning?
1
vote
1answer
110 views

The の in のに and なのに

I've heard that the の in のに and なのに is the general-noun の (I don't remember the word for it.). So why, in that light, does the meaning of the two make sense?
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Difference between 目覚める and 起きる

I searched for both they mean to wake up. When do I need to use 目覚める and 起きる.
3
votes
1answer
129 views

What is the difference between ~あろうが and ~あろうと?

I'm writing a report for a class, and at first I wrote:  […]どのような批判があろうが[…] But then I sat back and thought, maybe it should actually be:  […]どのような批判があろうと[…] But now I'm not sure if ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Do these two questions differ in any way?

There is a question in my Japanese book to translate a sentence. This is how I translated it: わたし の てがみ の うえ の つくえ を よまないで。 But, this is how my book translated it: つくえ の うえ の わたし の てがみ を ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

影 vs 形 vs 形状. What's the difference between them?

I've been reading a text and all three of these come up 影 vs 形 vs 形状. I know they mean shape/figure, but is there a more nuanced difference between them? I can see the logic of where they are in the ...
5
votes
2answers
199 views

What does 「なし」in 「問題なし」 mean?

I just started playing the video game Mother 3, and if you try to examine the trash can in front of his house, Lucas says, 問題なし. I expect this means something like, "no problem here", but I haven't ...
5
votes
2answers
340 views

What is the difference between それでいい and それがいい here?

As I understand it, それでいい means 'it is fine like this' and それがいい means 'this is fine', but what is the protagonist trying to convey here by first using それでいい and then correcting himself to それがいい? ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

突っ込む所 - is this what it means?

Would "私を見て突っ込む所はないか" translate to something like "Would you come take a closer look at me?" I've done a lot of context searching for 突っ込む所 but I can't quite pin down a solid meaning on it.
6
votes
2answers
154 views

What is “koto” used for?

I know "koto" means thing, but I've seen it used like this in my Self-Study Japanese book: Nihon no koto ga yoku wakarimasu ka. and Chiimu no koto o kangaete imasshita Does this mean Japan's thing ...
3
votes
2answers
488 views

What does よいではないか mean?

I saw the phrase よいではないか (yoi de wa nai ka) in a comic strip, and decided to look it up because its literal meaning of "isn't it good?" didn't seem to make any sense. My research indicated that it ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

Translating an interview, stuck on one part

I'm translating an interview with a manga artist, and there's a part that I don't understand. He's talking about the violence in his manga. 作家: ...
5
votes
1answer
117 views

Meaning of 玉ヒュン

What does 玉ヒュン mean? It seems to have something to do with not experiencing fear of heights. Context (posted on social media with a picture taken vertiginous height): 女だけど玉ヒュン!
6
votes
2answers
450 views

What does 側 at the end of a verb mean?

I haven't seen this very often at all, so this has got me stumped. Here's an example with it showing up frequently: http://www.orenoh.com/knowledge/mensetu-shikaku.html The title, for example: ...
0
votes
1answer
145 views

Literal translation of the word シレジレ

I'm not sure how to translate the word シレジレ. Does it mean something like "perky, confident, opinionated, presumptuous"? If so, may シレジレメカコラム be translated as "All-knowing Mecha Column" or "Wise ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

「春じゃもの」の「じゃもの」はどういう意味?

What does the じゃもの in 春じゃもの mean? The phrase is a koto song title, so I can't give much context. I think my teacher said it meant something like "clearly", or "the essence of". But I can't remember, ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “田舎” a derogatory term?

I've heard about 田舎, or more likely the English word "inaka" derived from the Japanese word, being used in a pejorative way by assistant English teachers: Inaka (田舎 inaka) is a Japanese term ...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

Help with the meaning of 大絶賛 in this sentence

というわけで、俺は実家で只今大絶賛ひとり暮らし中である。 From what I can tell, the speaker is saying that for reasons mentioned he is living alone at home, but I don't see how 大絶賛 (which means very high praise) affects the ...
6
votes
1answer
183 views

ってんだ with imperative

To describe the context...Girl A and a boy arrange to go to an amusement park to find some clues about...something. Or that's what she says to him, but the girl is actually tricking the boy into going ...
-2
votes
1answer
122 views

Meaning of 指摘しない程度に

I do not understand this 「指摘しない程度に」 . It appears in advertisements and also I received a letter, an answer to my Q and I just don't get it: これで本人が力みもなくちゃんと演奏出来るのであれば、わざわざ指摘しない程度にきちんと構えられていますよ!
5
votes
2answers
401 views

Does なんて = なんと (いう)?

I know that なんて is a contraction of なんと, but has it also picked up the いう in its meaning? Because なんて means something, and I feel like 何という, which means "something called" (right?) could have just ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

準備が出来ている-Meaning and Explanation

Can anyone explain to me why 準備が出来ている means "It's ready?" I don't think I know exactly what 出来ます means, as we initially learned it as "able to"- but I've seen other uses like in saying "I have/got a ...
7
votes
3answers
487 views

Does さえ mean “even” in the following sentence?

I encountered the following on our daily reading. どのような企業{きぎょう}も、創業期{そうぎょうき}には全社員が昼食をとること さえ 忘れてしまうほど、忙しくフル回転していたものです。 In a business, a person was so busy that he forgot to eat lunch even ...
4
votes
2answers
215 views

出身はどこ vs. どこの出身

Does saying どこの出身 sound any different than saying 出身はどこ? More generally, does adnominally modifying a noun have some other feeling associated with in? That is, in comparison to just using a standard ...
9
votes
1answer
234 views

Difference between 書かないようになった and 書かなくなった?

Example sentences: ぜんぜん長い手紙を書かないようになった。 ぜんぜん長い手紙を書かなくなった。 My Translation: I never write long letters anymore. I believe they both mean the same thing but there's obviously some difference I ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Difference between してください and なってください in this sentence

Is there a difference in translation and meaning between these two sentences or are they practically interchangeable? ギターのボリュームを小さくしてください。 ギターのボリュームを小さくなってください。 My translation: Please can ...
4
votes
2answers
211 views

五年ぶり、ぶり返す、。。。What does ぶり mean?

Where does the ぶり in 五年ぶり (Five years ago?) and ぶり返す come from, does it have a kanji, and what does it mean?
2
votes
2answers
121 views

Meaning of よりまし in バンパー外すよりまし

A friend posted on a social network a picture of his Subaru car's bumper after an minor accident, and got this comment: 大丈夫!バンパー外すよりまし!笑 I guess it means "No problem! Removing the bumper will ...
6
votes
2answers
704 views

What does 「など」 mean in this context?

I have been translating articles from NHK News Easy for practice, and I've noticed they sometimes use 「など」in a way I'm not familiar with. For example, in an article about a train that's about to be ...
3
votes
0answers
39 views

Is 「出なくては。」 the same as 「出なくてはいけない。」? [duplicate]

I guess the novel I'm reading (「キッチン」 by 吉本ばなな) will be a source of many questions. The part I want to ask about now is the passage where the main character is thinking about moving house. The ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

小さな vs 小さい/大きな vs 大きい

Is there any difference in meaning between 小さな and 小さい / 大きな and 大きい? I know that they have different syntactical rules, but semantically is there any difference? I was once told that 大きな was more ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

「思う」 in 「その人を私のように 思う」:think v.s. feel

It seems that 「思う」 can both be "to think/consider" (actively) as in 「義父母を本当の親のように思うのは無理です」 and "to feel" (passively) as in 「母をなくした子をあわれに思う」. When reading an article in Asahi Shimbun, I bumped ...
6
votes
4answers
225 views

Why is coffee with shochu or awamori called コーヒー割{わ}り “split / divided coffee”?

About five nights ago I went out with a local friend to a traditional Okinawan club in Naha. We were of course drinking 泡盛{あわもり} (awamori) with water and ice. But the girl working there had a drink ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

Translation check and meaning help please

Would the following be a good translation of the text in the above two speech bubbles? "Everything in this universe is composed of atoms. Destroying something is equivalent to destroying the ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

Meaning of まんまと in this sentence

Here is the sentence : てめえの罠にまんまとかかってやる。 Does まんまと means that the speaker fell into the trap easily or voluntarily? Or is the idea that he is willing to fall into the trap only contained in てやる? ...
2
votes
2answers
334 views

What's the meaning of にあたって/にあたり? How can I translate it?

What's the meaning of にあたって/にあたり? How can I translate it? For example, how can I translate it in these sentences: 留学するにあたって受けた説明は、とても役に立った。 「討論を始めるにあたり、ちょっと注意をしておきます。」
4
votes
1answer
129 views

Meaning of となら and とやら in these sentences

I've encountered those two words in a manga I'm currently reading. Here are the sentences : きさまとならまちがいなく勝てるぞ。 I don't know if となら is a specific particle or if it is と+なら(ば) (and in that case is ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

What do ジャンルくじイラスト and デリケートなジャンル mean?

My circle (student club) at a Japanese university is preparing for the school festival. One option for participating is to draw and submit a 「ジャンルくじイラスト」. Does this translate to "genre lottery ...
5
votes
1answer
276 views

I am struggling with the sometimes conflicting uses of 先

Rikaisama's definition of 先 includes meanings like previous; prior; former; some time ago. However it also includes meanings such as front; ahead; the future; destination. I am struggling to make ...
3
votes
1answer
273 views

Structure and meaning of this sentence

The sentence is from a manga in which the character, after saying this : オレの細胞がてめえみたいなみにくいバケモノに使われているなんてショックだぜ。 What a shock that my cells were used for an ugly monster like you. Says this ...
4
votes
1answer
415 views

In concrete terms, what does 惣菜 mean?

I understand the dictionary definition of 惣菜: 日常のおかず。副食物。 Basically, "a thing you frequently eat as an accompaniment to rice; a [non-staple] side dish". Practically speaking, though, I don't ...
5
votes
1answer
553 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
257 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
649 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
223 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
230 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
560 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
139 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?