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

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1
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1answer
179 views

What あらそう does mean?

I would like to know if someone can help me with the word あらそう. Dictionaries online translate it like "to compete" or "to oppose", but in the context of the whole sentence, this definition makes no ...
2
votes
2answers
256 views

忙しさもひと休みといったところだ。 [closed]

I found this sentence: 忙しさもひと休みといったところだ。 And I cannot make it out anyhow. Can anybody make it clear to me please?
4
votes
1answer
158 views

What does 腕が光る mean?

I've tried Googling for Japanese/Japanese dictionary definitions of this phrase, but can only find usages so far, which haven't helped. More context: "俺たち職人の腕が光る" I think from context that the ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

What does お察しいたします mean?

The context (manga) is that a family's son is about to die; I think the speaker is trying to express condolences. However, the dictionary meaning seems to be "I make a guess", and I don't think that ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Differences between 事実 and 真実

Both 真実 and 事実 means; fact,truth. So in Kanji Lesson I asked my teacher if there is any differences between them, he said yes but there was no time to explain.
3
votes
1answer
215 views

Why does 赤 have a negative connotation?

赤 is generally understood as meaning 'red' (which can explain combinations like 赤子 (red face of a crying baby)). However, I have seen some words with 赤 that have a negative meaning, 赤 possibly ...
3
votes
1answer
400 views

What is the meaning of ようで?

I think ようで means "to look/look like", but I'm having trouble understanding it in the context of this sentence: 感動に水を差すようで悪いのだが、さっさと爾子に乗ってくれ。でなくば、城とともに潰れるぞ。 Also, is でなくば another form of でなければ?
0
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1answer
190 views

What do these two phrases mean?

I need some help with translating this: 君の後ろ姿さえ 明日への希望に思えた日を 幻にしないように 瞼へと刻んだサヨナラ These two phrases are from certain Japanese song and I can't understand them. The parts I have difficulty with are: ...
16
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1answer
404 views

what is the difference between ごとに and おきに?

Both ごとに and おきに appear to mean "repeatedly at intervals". What is the difference between these two expressions?
4
votes
2answers
289 views

What does 母を恋はずや mean?

What is the meaning of 母を恋はずや in the film title? Edit: the meaning of "恋う" according to the dictionary is "romantic love" as in "koi suru". E.g. ...
5
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1answer
181 views

What does ドン引き mean?

While i was talking with my japanese friends, that word just came up they could't explain that. Can you tell me what does ドン引き mean?
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2answers
147 views

Can んだった and んじゃなかった be used like the past version of んだ and んじゃない?

I know that んだった and んじゃなかった can be used to say "Should have done" and "Shouldn't have done". I am wondering, however, if they can be used as a past version of んだ Take for example this conversation: ...
3
votes
4answers
324 views

Parsing a specific sentence from a book

I have this following sentence:   横線――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれは、俺の生命の残量を可視化したものだ。 There are a few questions I came up with about this sentence: The first part of the sentence is: 横線―――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれ, ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

Two definitions of けれども

In this dictionary I checked, there are two definitions for けれども. I also checked in my Japanese to English printed dictionary and there was only one definition, but in my Japanese to Chinese printed ...
1
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0answers
324 views

Help with name for boy (British and Japanese) [closed]

My wife will give birth to our son soon and I am trying to come up with a name for him. Does anyone have any suggestions for a name which can be written and pronounced in both English and Japanese? I ...
1
vote
1answer
295 views

Particle を between nouns

So there I am again, asking a question from the book "Sword Art Online 1". This time it's about the sentence: またの名を≪ソードアート・オンライン≫。   What is the meaning of を in this case?
1
vote
1answer
132 views

A question about the usage of ため and spacing

上下のフロアを繋ぐ階段は各層にひとつのみ、その全てが怪物のうろつく危険な迷宮区画に存在するため発見も踏破も困難だが、一度誰かが突破して上層の都市に辿り着けばそこと下層の各都市の≪転移門≫が連結されるため誰もが自由に移動できるようになる。 There were 2 things I didn't get in this sentence (or maybe a paragraph...?): ...
8
votes
1answer
258 views

i-adjectives that end in a 〜ない which doesn't seem to be 〜無{な}い

I noticed there are many 形容詞{けいようし} (i-adjectives) that end in 〜ない, where the な is not part of the kanji, and doesn't seem to have the meaning 無い. Examples: 危{あぶ}ない means "dangerous", while 危 ...
7
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1answer
255 views

Passive form - The exact difference between を and が

I've seen this question asked before, but i feel the answer didn't quite answer all my questions, so here goes. Now, I am rather sure that this: ケーキが食べられた Means: The cake was eaten. (by ...
4
votes
1answer
260 views

方 - also read ほう when referring to a person?

The following sentence is from "A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar": 留守番電話は、一方ではかかる方にもかける方にも便利な面もあるが、他方ではお互いに直接話が出来ないから、不自然な面もある "The answering machine is, on the one hand, very ...
5
votes
1answer
283 views

自分の vs 自らの when used for humans

What's the difference between 自分の and 自らの? Both can be used to mean "oneself", but is there a difference in their nuances / usages? (e.g. what would be the difference between あの子は、自らの命と引換に… and ...
4
votes
2answers
252 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?
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Where is the personal comparison in this phrase?

I was browsing a language exchange site and came across: 私のように明るく、前向きな方がいいです。 And the text under it (translation from the user who posted the entry) was: I'm hoping that you are cheerful and ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

勤め vs 役目​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What is the difference between 勤め and 役目? Both seems to mean duty (something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation), but what is the difference in their nuance and ...
5
votes
1answer
208 views

Does 寒気がする really mean “have a chill” or is it just cold?

Can the expression: 寒気{さむけ}が する really mean feel cold and also have a chill (as per many dictionaries)? To me, to have a chill/bug means to be sick from a virus/cold for a short period: have I ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

Payment types in receipts

If I find one of the following words on a receipt before the total sum: クレジット クレジット支払 クレジット支払額 クレジット計 クレジット売上 Can I conclude that the transaction was paid for by credit card? And what does it ...
5
votes
1answer
387 views

I don't understand the meaning of the 2 sentences. Can somebody help me?

This is dialogue (It's from magazine). A: 現実場面では気★いが山のように出て事件も死ぬほど起こしてて、タブー云々と言ってるうちに表現が現実に負けちゃってるじゃん、最近って。 B: 俺も別に[奇]{き}をてらってタブー演るわけじゃなくて. I absolutely don't understand the first part of the first ...
3
votes
2answers
321 views

Kanji reading: 一人KY、実?中

This morning I took this picture, finding the 一人KY poster amusing: QUESTION: What is the kanji before 中 ? In Gjiten I can't find it by combining the radicals of 止 and 残, nor by number of strokes ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

Difference between words that describe the idea of neighborhood/being close to something

Can somebody describe the difference between these words(physical distance and maybe politeness of these words, or any aspects that you think are important to understand these). Can all these words ...
4
votes
4answers
269 views

Can 猿 technically mean “ape”?

It has long been a pet peeve of mine when people talk about apes calling them "monkeys". Recently I've seen bonobos being called 猿 in an anime, so from that it's pretty clear that 猿 also refers to ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does 今度【こんど】 mean “next time”?

The word 今度【こんど】, though its literal meaning is "this time" is in my experience used pretty heavily to refer to tbe next time or some unspecified point in the future. For example: ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

The meanings of 写真{しゃしん}

I'm currently studying Japanese vocabulary following the JLPT programs. I'm doing the JLPT 5 and I've come across the word 写真. According to my dictionary, the meanings are: Photograph, photo. ...
8
votes
2answers
589 views

Japanese don't learn kanji meaning only readings? Does it make sense for a kanji to have a key meaning to identify it?

As I understand it works like this. By the time Japanese kids enter first grade they have more or less decent vocabulary of words they know. So when kanjis are taught I can't even imagine how to tell ...
6
votes
1answer
116 views

What is the difference between 家屋, 家 and 住居

I've found yet another word that's translated as 'home' which now makes it 3. Could you please tell me if these words have the same exact meaning or is there any difference between their usage?
8
votes
2answers
468 views

What does “ちるの、びるの” mean?

Context: 織次{おりじ} the protagonist is trying to buy back a set of drawings from his father's friend, who is mysteriously evasive about the matter. ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Interpreting 開ける when talking about 暇なとき

Earlier today I read the following excerpt from a message: 結局今日はゲームやらなかったよ! また、暇なときに開けよう The part I'm most unclear on is how to translate 開けよう. First off, let me mention that I'm currently ...
3
votes
2answers
314 views

Slang: What does テラス mean?

What does テラス means in the context of declining an invitation, like below? うううううう!!いきたい!けどその時間帯もろに仕事だ:::またやって!!テラスーーーーー I guess it is slang? I am familiar with テラワロス but it seems different in ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

What does うんたらかんたら mean?

I recently heard this phrase being told in a show, but I just couldn't make sense of what it means...And what really caught my attention was that the listener was really surprised to hear this phrase ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

Questions about this sentence

"当時の関係者何人かにあたって記憶を確かめてみたが、人の記憶の欠落部分というのは、捏造で補われる仕組みになっているらしく、共通の体験が、しばしば、お互いに矛盾する記憶になっていることに驚かされた。" What does "にあたって" mean there ? "驚かされた" is referring to what/whom exactly ? Does "関係者何人か" mean ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

Can't quite understand this sentence

この間、時間を見つけては、過去の歴史をひもといてみたのだが、再認識させられたのは、人間というのは、どれほど多くの涙とともに飲み下した教訓であっても、喉元を過ぎたとたんに忘れてしまう生き物であるということだった. Especially what "忘れてしまう生き物" is supposed to mean in "喉元を過ぎたとたんに忘れてしまう生き物であるということだった".
0
votes
1answer
335 views

What does it mean in Japanese? [closed]

What does the Japanese word 赤道 mean? A Russian site claims that it means philosophical teaching.
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0answers
166 views

What are some words with kanji/readings/meanings that don't match? [closed]

Maybe a hard to understand question, but for example, I love the word 百日紅 (さるすべり) because it's the name of a red flower and uses some very poetic kanji (one hundred days of red) but opts instead for a ...
3
votes
3answers
442 views

Is there a reliable translation of the kangxi radicals?

Inspired by the Wikipedia page on Kangxi radicals I decided to study the meaning and writing of radicals before I tackle the much more numerous kanji. But in working my way through the list, I started ...
6
votes
3answers
625 views

Is it true that the word “Omar” means “baby toilet” in Japanese?

I know it sounds funny, but my name is Omar, and one of my friends said that my name means "toilet for babies" in Japanese. I wanted to check if this is correct, because Google Translate did not help ...
6
votes
3answers
222 views

What is a 丁寧 food?

When eating ramen, a Japanese person commented on how the ramen of this shop are 丁寧. What does 丁寧 means in the context of food? 丁寧 means polite in social contexts, but I am not sure it the same ...
5
votes
3answers
220 views

Why use 数年 in あれから10数年?

My question is on 「あれから10数年」. My understanding is that this translates to roughly, "It's been 10 years since then." The dictionary says「数年」 means "several years" or "a number of years". How does ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

How to distinguish between the meanings of “quickly”, “soon” and “early” for 早く

At What is suffix 方 used for (when attached to a た-verb)?, I wrote that the 早く there means "early": 早く行った方が良かったでしょう。 It would have been better if (you) had gone early, would it not? But I'm ...
7
votes
1answer
160 views

Meaning of る in 問われたる

From the beginning of the novel "The Grove", what does the る mean in 検非違使に問われた る 木樵りの物語 問われた is the passive of 問う, but where does the る come from? Is it the short form of いる?
8
votes
2answers
274 views

What しかりだ does mean?

I need to know what しかりだ does mean. I couldn't find over internet a satisfactory meaning. It is from a manga called Saint Seiya. Here is the whole text: 黄金聖闘士 十二人とはいえ まだ幼い者が かなり多い シルバーセイント ...
7
votes
1answer
81 views

How is 発行 different from 刊行?

Also, how does 発刊 fit into all of this? Is it that 発行 can be used for magazines, newspapers and books while 刊行 can't be used for newspapers?