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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2answers
151 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
123 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
139 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
189 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
266 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
119 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
99 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
93 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
136 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
182 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
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2answers
490 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
255 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
141 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
420 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
120 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
369 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
174 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) ...
9
votes
2answers
185 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
465 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
94 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
123 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
239 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
195 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
3k 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
205 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
137 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
366 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
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
87 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
133 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
130 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
225 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
989 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
343 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
470 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
171 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
192 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
183 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
298 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
246 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
378 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?
3
votes
3answers
162 views

Is 年寄り “neutral” or “positive”?

In English, we can refer to an old person using "elderly", or "aged person". Comparatively, "aged person" would be more neutral than "elderly", which carries positive connotations. As for Japanese, ...
3
votes
2answers
217 views

What does “タイプを分けるとパッション” mean?

So, I was playing the Japanese version of Akinator (cf. English version), which basically entails playing a sort of 20 Questions-like game - the basic idea is that you pick a real or fictional ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Differences between verb + の verb + か and -ます/-です?

Consider these two examples: 神{かみ}を信{しん}じるの? and 神を信じますか? To me, both mean 'Do you believe in God/gods?', with the first example possibly slightly more casual than the second. Other than that, are ...
5
votes
1answer
311 views

how did 公 (こう) come to be derogatory

My dictionary says this word means something like "official; public" - how does the word go from that definition to being used as a derogatory suffix for animals and people? One example the ...
17
votes
1answer
439 views

How did 革 “leather” come to mean newness?

How did the character for "leather" - [革]{かわ / カク} - come to also convey the meaning for "newness"? 広辞苑 lists one of the definitions (under かく) as あらたまること, あらためること, and we can see this in some of its ...
2
votes
0answers
85 views

What is the usage/meaning of ご馳走さま (lovey-dovey)? [duplicate]

Edict states that one of the meanings of ご馳走さま is "used after hearing something lovey-dovey". Does anyone know some examples whereby ご馳走さま is used this way? Specifically, how do we use "ご馳走さま" and ...
7
votes
2answers
928 views

How accurately can 使い be translated as “angel”?

On jisho.org, 使い is translated with words such as "errand", and the same holds true on translate.google.com. Neither site is offering "angel" as a suggestion. Yet in Matthew 1:20, the phrase:     ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

difference between きれい and キレイ

I was reading the lyrics of a song called 春先小紅 by 矢野顕子  There is this line that says: きょうはなんだかキレイです I was wondering why キレイ above is written in Katakana and not in Hiragana? Isn't katakana used for ...
5
votes
2answers
270 views

あれで for surprise - confusing example sentence

My book explains that あれで can be used to indicate mild surprise, and gives some example sentences. They all make sense to me except this one: ...