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
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
923 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 ...
3
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2answers
208 views

Meaning of という when it doesn't mean 'to call' 'to be called' or 'to say'

I'm having a little trouble parsing the usage of という when it it has meanings other than 'to call' and so forth. I often see sentences like いざという時, ということだ and これという問題はない. The Dictionary I use gives ...
1
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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
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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
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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
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1answer
217 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
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2answers
958 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
316 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
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2answers
459 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
152 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
191 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
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
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2answers
262 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
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2answers
221 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
370 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
160 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, ...
2
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2answers
210 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
134 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
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1answer
305 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
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1answer
411 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
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2answers
918 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:     ...
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vote
1answer
166 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
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2answers
257 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: ...
5
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1answer
154 views

Does this sentence using も twice say that the speaker doesn't have 女子力?

I am participating in a relay manga through a university student group in Japan, and the previous member's contributed pages to the manga about a 女子力バトル introduced a sole male character who seems to ...
2
votes
1answer
313 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
571 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
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1answer
479 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
97 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
57 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
257 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
112 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
130 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
240 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
149 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
347 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
159 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
126 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
223 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
98 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
91 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
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2answers
219 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
152 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
308 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
215 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
320 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
140 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
128 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 ...