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
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2answers
188 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?
4
votes
2answers
208 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
181 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
247 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
140 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? ...
4
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
239 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
290 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。」
3
votes
1answer
258 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
536 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
401 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
208 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
638 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 ...
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 ...
3
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1answer
539 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?
8
votes
2answers
219 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 ...
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
132 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
241 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 ...
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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
1answer
118 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 : ...
2
votes
1answer
88 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
96 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
241 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
120 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
115 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
407 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
143 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
166 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
217 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
92 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?
4
votes
2answers
458 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
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votes
3answers
217 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 ...
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1answer
188 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
votes
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
134 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
359 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
84 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
125 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
126 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
219 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
153 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" ...
5
votes
1answer
174 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
263 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 ...