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

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2
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1answer
290 views

Can you use 持つ to mean 'to wait'?

パーティーに何か持って行きましょうか。 My translation – “Do you want to hold/wait on going to the party?” Is this translation correct basically? I wasn’t sure if ‘to hold’ could be used in the same sense as ‘to wait’ ...
4
votes
1answer
487 views

Does 鉄拳 mean “fist” or “iron fist”?

The kanji for 鉄拳 seems to suggest that the word means "iron fist". However, various dictionaries suggests that the meaning is simply "fist". For example, Edict shows that the meaning for 鉄拳 is ...
10
votes
1answer
461 views

How do 自他 triplets of related verbs work?

I thought this had been asked before (possibly by me), but I couldn't find it. I'm wondering why for certain verbs/words, instead of just a 自他 pair, there is a triplet (or possibly more) where two of ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

Don't undestand this particular use of ない form

This is the example sentence from one of my textbooks. 時間があるから、昼ごはんを食べて行かない? Textbooks translation - "We have some time so how about we grab a bite to eat and then go?" I don't understand why the ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

ソーラン節の「おとこどきょう。。。」と言った線

The line (線は違う?) in Soran Bushi that says 男度胸(おとこどきょ)なら 五尺(ごしゃく)のからだ どんと乗り出せ 波の上 チョイー what does it literally mean? I think I know the words, but I can't understand what they mean from those ...
4
votes
2answers
256 views

餌食 vs 獲物​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What is the difference between 餌食{えじき} and 獲物{えもの}? Both mean "prey", so how do we decide when to use which? What is the difference in their nuances?
0
votes
1answer
107 views

What is the meaning of しちまおう?

I'm playing a video game and in this scene the character is on a hill and says: このまま昼寝しちまおうか My guess is that it's a conjugation of する but it doesn't look close to する at all. What conjugations ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

When おばあさん is not really your grandmother

When native speakers of Japanese use おばあさん to refer to an older woman who is not that that individual's own grandmother, does their concept of the woman include any expectation that she would have had ...
3
votes
1answer
209 views

What does ちゃい in やっちゃいねぇ mean?

Context: おれはおれの信念に後悔するような事は何一つやっちゃいねぇ!これからもそうだ! What does the ちゃい in やっちゃい mean? I suppose it's not やっちゃう aka やってしまう...
0
votes
1answer
141 views

Do 親切な (taisetsuna?) really exists?

From a basic Japanese book I'm reading, I found that word in a vocabulary table. Now I'm having problems finding that word using Google, jisho.org, etc. I can find 大切な (taisetsuna) and that kanji ...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Exact meaning of 教科書をトピックに選ぶ

The following sentence is from a formal conversation. The student is talking to a teacher. 実は日本語のクラスでプロジェクトワークをしていまして、私は日本の歴史の教科書をトピックに選びました。 Can someone explain to me the EXACT meaning of ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

Meaning of そのままにする

I came across a sentence I don't understand. The essay it's from has a feminist theme about the roles of women in Japan. It's the second sentence below: それは尊敬すべき努力ですが、主婦はすべてそうするべきだというのには、賛成できません。 ...
0
votes
1answer
168 views

Is “besides, I think you already know” a correct translation of “なにせもう覚えったようなもんだから”?

なにせもう覚えったようなもんだから = "Besides, I think you already know"? Also, is 覚えった a misspelling of 覚えた?
1
vote
1answer
91 views

「~たのは」という文型は何という意味?

What is the meaning of ~たのは? For context, the song bluebird by いきものがかり says 目指したのは青い青いあの空.
3
votes
1answer
87 views

の意味は何 versus はどういう意味

What is the difference between の意味は何 and はどういう意味? When asking for the definition of a word, I've been told to use the latter, but I don't know why the former is incorrect.
3
votes
2answers
209 views

What's Neo saying?

In "The Matrix Revolutions", at the final showdown, there's a brief exchange: Smith: アンダーソン君 お帰り Smith: 会いたかった Neo: 今夜が最後だ That's what the subtitles say, anyway. The dub is almost ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Help with understanding なんだかこういうのって

I understand what なぜか and こういうのって mean in a rough sense, but I'm having a hard time grasping the meaning well enough to make a sentence out of it while translating something. The context is that ...
3
votes
1answer
264 views

Meaning of noun + だったりする

すごく背が低いけれど、いつも堂々とした態度で、颯爽とした雰囲気がある。 そして――‥‥彼女は僕の彼女だったりする。 What exactly is the meaning of "だったりする" here? I've read in A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino that when たり is ...
4
votes
2answers
197 views

Can you help me to translate this speech? 自分を理解してくれる者がいるというのは 心地よいものだよ

I'm trying to translate this text from a comic. I understood words, but the whole speech is difficult. 自分を理解してくれる者がいるというのは 心地よいものだよ。。。 一人というのは寂しかっただろう? 私もかつては自分を理解する者がいない 孤独に苛まれたよ。 I translated ...
5
votes
1answer
290 views

The meaning of “ぶん” in “見ているぶんには…”

The line I first saw it in is: 大げさなジェスチャーは小さいころからのクセだ。見てるぶんには面白いので俺はあえて注意しない。 A few other examples I've found: "遠目で見ている分にはいいけれど" "見てるぶんには可愛いけど…こびとづかんになりたくはない。" "Paris Photo ...
1
vote
1answer
134 views

I have trouble to understand the meaning of “もこれで” in a sentence

I'm having trouble to understand もこれで in a sentence. This is the sentence with もこれで: たったひとり、命がけのしゅぎょうもこれで最後だ. I will translate this by: "this is the conclusion of a solitary life-or-death ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Meaning of “ぶえっくしょ”

I came across this word (ぶえっくしょ) recently and tried looking it up on every site I knew. I assume it's slang. The line in which I first saw it is: 「あいつだって、いつも読んでないわけじゃ………ぶえっくしょ!!」. As I was ...
5
votes
3answers
322 views

What does the pattern “Past Verb + まま + N” mean?

The following sentence was in an N4 review test: 私の本棚には 買ったまま 読んでいない まんが が たくさん あります。 The meaning, as I grasp it, is "There are a lot of books that I bought in my bookshelf that are left ...
2
votes
4answers
352 views

What does 勉強にレジャーに忙しい毎日 mean?

I was doing some reading practice in a Japanese intro book of mine and I can't translate the second part of this sentence- ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

What does “mononoke” mean?

I would like to know what the meaning of the word mononoke is? Of course it's the name of the princess in Miyazaki's wonderful film Mononoke-hime, but what is the deeper and acctual meaning of the ...
5
votes
2answers
262 views

Scope of negation with 〜したくない

In English, we can distinguish between not wanting to do something, and wanting to not do something. It's not a distinction that we usually make, but it is possible: P = "do anything" A. "I want to ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

How does ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う work/mean?

A:藤原さんは、もちろん歌だよね? B:うん。わたしにはそれしかないから……ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う I don't get what the part ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う is saying. 全然 is an adverb but there's no verb after it but 思う, but that's separated by a ...
5
votes
2answers
236 views

How do the two が in もう止まらない あなたがあなたのことが恋しい work?

The following lyrics are from a song called "YOU": "もう止まらない あなたがあなたのことが恋しい" Mou tomaranai  anata ga anata no koto ga koishii I know that "mou tomaranai" = "no longer stops" and "anata no koto ...
-2
votes
1answer
208 views

What does おせわになってます mean?

あなたにいつもおせわになってますからね. What does the above sentence mean? I'm confused about the おせわになってます part.
6
votes
1answer
296 views

Is there a different meaning for ごちそうさま!

I have posted a "status" on Facebook: Dear santa, I would like for you to bring him for christmas My boyfriend commented: Your Wish is my command! And my Japanese manager (from our office) ...
3
votes
1answer
207 views

the difference between 世界 and 世

Sometimes I see a character say この世 and I'm not sure why they don't just say この世界? Is it just an old way of saying it or is there a specific reason?
6
votes
3answers
264 views

What does で mean when asked as a question?

I've come across several instances in manga where the simple question of "で?" is used. What could it mean? I'm guessing it means something like "Is that so?," but I'm not sure.
0
votes
1answer
131 views

授業- is it the class or class-time or more broadly?

http://kotobank.jp/word/%E6%8E%88%E6%A5%AD list this word in one line so it doesn't seems like it should have lots of nuances. Here some usage in my textbook. 出席 してこそ、授業の意味があるのです。 implies a sum ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

What is the difference between 物事 and 事?

・時々ばかな事を話す ・時々ばかな物事を話す I know the correct sentence is the former one, but both 事 and 物事 seem like "thing(s)". Why is the latter incorrect? What is the difference? Thanks in advance.
13
votes
2answers
875 views

What does using という add to a sentence?

This sentence is from a grammar website: 主人公が犯人だったというのが一番面白かった。 Why is という necessary? What does it add? And what meaning is lost in writing the sentence without it? For example, as in: ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Can someone explain the use of こと in these types of sentences?

Ok, still a newbie to Japanese. I've run across the word こと more and more recently. I'm having a hard time understanding what effect it's having on the sentence. For example, although I know the ...
0
votes
2answers
206 views

What is the literal meaning of 'マスコミにバラして'?

The sentence is, 'マスコミにバラしてもいいんですよ?' What does this mean, literally? Also, is this figure of speech frequently used? If it is, could you please give me some instances when it is used in daily life? ...
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
411 views

What does 何もいません mean?

I am trying to understand the dialogue 5:03 in this tutorial video. What I'm hearing is this: なにがいますか。 なにもいませんね。 あれ。ねこがいますよ。 え、どこに? あそこにいますよ。 The lesson is about how to say ...
0
votes
1answer
207 views

History and Meaning of Soran Bushi

Recently I've found several versions of Soran Bushi, and this puzzles me-I don't understand why it would be different in different places. Moreover, I don't understand some of the vocabulary in it: ...
6
votes
1answer
419 views

What does かの日 mean?

In my Japanese Bible, I've seen several passages that use the phrase かの日. Here are a couple. ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

Meaning of べた打ち

Does anybody know what べた打ち means, and what the kanji for べた could be? The context I heard it in was the upright playing style of taiko.
4
votes
1answer
242 views

What geographical scope does アジア have?

In English, the geographical scope of "Asia" and "Asian" depends on which dialect of English you speak. For example, in British English the terms often refer to the Indian subcontinent, whereas in ...
5
votes
1answer
193 views

Does 数独{すうどく} really mean “single number”?

I've never actually played a sudoku puzzle (I know, I live in a cave!). I just saw the word written in kanji somewhere, which rekindled my interest. Wikipedia states: The puzzle was popularized ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

What does “POP” mean in the context of charity/forms/information?

What does "POP" mean below? このたびのスペシャルイベントでも、オーディエンスのみなさんがサポートしたくなるようなプロジェクトについて、会場でPOPなどで紹介し、ドネイション(基金)を募りたいと考えています。 Also: 団体名と簡単な概要入りの共通POPはこちらで作ります。 Also: This PDF lists 共通POP一枚 as a ...
4
votes
2answers
307 views

Similar example sentences give different meanings

I was looking for the verb しゃべる in the dictionary, as it got me curious since I've only known 話す for a while. In the dictionary there are two example sentences which look the same, but the dictionary ...
5
votes
2answers
292 views

I am wondering if someone can shed light on this tweet from Japan?

A friend of mine recently translated a Japanese article from Japan's October issue of An An magazine and sent her a tweet in English telling her that it was completed. The author replied with the ...
6
votes
1answer
414 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
175 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 ...