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

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2answers
338 views

Does がち mean “in excess”?

I have been reading a daily article during 朝礼. One of the sentence used the word がち. The sample sentence is: 長所{ちょうしょ}は見逃{みのが}してしまいがちです。 Abundant of misses. I tried to ask my colleague ...
5
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2answers
405 views

How is “誰も” used in this sentence?

I am a bit confused about a sentence I came across in an anki deck: 誰もその話を知らない。 I know that that 誰 means "who" and も means "also", but the translation it gives me is: "No one knows that story." ...
5
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2answers
172 views

What is the difference between すみませんが and すみません?

I'm still a beginner with japanese. Here is the example that I foud: すみませんが、さとうをとってください I'm not completely sure about the meaning of が in this sentence, since the teacher told me you can both use it ...
5
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1answer
232 views

Kanji for におい - when do you use 匂い and when do you use 臭い?

Could someone help me understand when which kanji is used? For example I have seen 臭い on a packet of cat sand. I can't remember where I've seen the other but I found the following example sentence on ...
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1answer
589 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 ...
5
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1answer
239 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 ...
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1answer
142 views

What kind of organisms can be covered by 益虫, 害虫 or 虫?

I came across someone describing a Nihon yamori / gekko as a 益虫, and using "useful insect" in English. Gekkos aren't insects, but it made me curious what it actually does mean. jisho.org only ...
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1answer
243 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 ...
5
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1answer
2k views

What does どうだ mean?

So, I have the sentence 礼儀のひとつも見せたらどうだね騎士殿 I am getting stumped on the どうだ part. If I am reading the slang dictionary correctly (and I can only find it in a non-English one), it seems to be ...
5
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2answers
178 views

What is different between 分かります and 分かりました。

What is different between 分かります and 分かりました。
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1answer
430 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 ...
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1answer
451 views

Why do ~なんてもんじゃないよ/~たのなのって=とても?

Both the following two expressions from my text book 完全マスター聴解N1 are explained as とても(高い/人が多かった): 高いなんてもんじゃないよ 人が多かったのなのって Could someone explain what they are based on/where they come from ...
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3answers
522 views

Relation between kanji readings and meanings

I understand that a kanji can have several possible readings and several (typically related) meanings. Furthermore, I've noticed that a single reading typically corresponds to some subset of the ...
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1answer
114 views

What is koshinashi?

I can't find コシなし defined in any dictionary. It looks like it might have something to do with udon noodles.
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1answer
112 views

Help for this expression: 猿は人間に毛が三筋足らぬ

I read this expression in a text. It seems to be an old proverb about monkeys. But I am not sure about its meaning. Why 筋, for instance? Does it means muscle? reasoning faculty? Why would they be ...
5
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2answers
735 views

If 鳥肉 is chicken meat, what is duck meat?

鳥 means bird or poultry. It's understandable that 鳥肉 would be chicken meat since chicken is the most popular "bird meat". But in this case where chicken has monopolized the meaning of bird, how would ...
5
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1answer
148 views

Exact meaning of も (maybe emphatic?) in a sentence

I read in a Japanese Grammar(*) written in French: 息子【むすこ】は元気【げんき】で,私達【わたしたち】も安心【あんしん】した. ~ "My son is healthy, and we feel reassured". (translation from the French translation given by Reiko ...
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1answer
190 views

What does ~たまえ mean exactly and how do you use it?

I've seen the verb 給え【たまえ】, usually written in hiragana and after the stem of another verb, ending a prhase. I'm not too sure on its meaning. I've read that it means "...please" but is that the only ...
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1answer
118 views

Meaning of どんだけお人好しなんですかって話ですよね

context(all same guy talking to himself while someone else is listening): 「銀行が住宅ローンの営業に熱心な理由ってわかります?」 「憧れの持ち家を手に入れた大切なお客さんの喜ぶ笑顔が見たいから…?」 「そんなわけねーです!」 ...
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1answer
122 views

Meaning of 玉ヒュン

What does 玉ヒュン mean? It seems to have something to do with not experiencing fear of heights. Context (posted on social media with a picture taken vertiginous height): 女だけど玉ヒュン!
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1answer
273 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 ...
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1answer
191 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 ...
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4answers
504 views

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

I'm having a little trouble parsing the usage of 「という」 when it it has meanings other than to call, to be called or to say. 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 ...
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1answer
318 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 ...
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2answers
446 views

What does ヘニャッ mean?

What does ヘニャッ mean in the following sentence? やっぱり甘えたいと思う時あいますよね。疲れている時とか、ヘニャッってなりたくなる 時。
5
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1answer
369 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 ...
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1answer
567 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 ...
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1answer
216 views

Help with this sentence fragment containing “思想統制”

I came across this example sentence for the grammar point ~にあって, which indicates that something is under a particular circumstance. 彼女は戦争中、思想統制下にあってなお、自由な精神を持ち続けた。 I understand the first and the ...
5
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1answer
179 views

しゅうと/シュート - The great equalizer

I was watching the movie Mr. Baseball the other day. Several times during the movie they talk about しゅうと which they describe as "the great equalizer". (Could possibly be しゅうとう, but their dialog does ...
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1answer
165 views

Can a cathedral be referred to as a 寺?

I was listening to a song Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame in Japanese (the intro, The Bells of Notre Dame or ノートルダムの鐘), and I noticed that they referred to the cathedral as a 「てら」. I thought that was ...
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1answer
403 views

Can もの be used to imply the value of something that is a こと?

I thought of this question and quickly realized that I already knew a possible example. Japanese band ZONE's most popular song is called 「secret base~君【きみ】がくれたもの~」. The lyrics can be read here or at ...
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2answers
122 views

開始三秒 - what does it mean?

I assume it's always a (vs)noun, so 開始三秒 must be a noun composed of 開始{かいし} and 三秒{さんびょう}? If that is true, does it mean "before 3 seconds have elapsed?" (it would seem so from the context), but given ...
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1answer
271 views

What's the meaning of 届けて

Can I ask a favour? I am trying to catch on the meaning of the song 涙をとどけて. I have caught everything except for the following 4 lines, which remain vague for me. 涙をとどけて 本当のこと 想いをとどけて 言えないこと ...
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1answer
221 views

Why is topology called 位相幾何学?

Topology in English is called 位相幾何学 in Japanese; also, topological space is called 位相空間. But why is topology called 位相幾何学? What is the correspondence between topo and 位相? What is the origin of 位相?
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1answer
172 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 ...
5
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1answer
176 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
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1answer
176 views

The meaning and parsing of “はっといた”

In the Kanzen Master N2 listening textbook, there's the following sentence: 女: 昨日、はっといたんだけど。 Of which in the answers the correct reply was specified as: 男: その壁に? Man: On that wall? (?) ...
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1answer
230 views

Meaning of 掛ける after ご面倒?

ご面倒をお掛けして申し訳ございません。 means "We are sorry for the inconvenience." but what is the meaning of 掛ける in this context?
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1answer
314 views

Usage of なんて in this sentence

”正直友達が死んだらこんなにへこむなんておもってみなかった”  I cant understand this sentence.
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3answers
220 views

What is the difference between 逃{のが}れた and 免{まぬが}れた?

What is the difference between 逃れた and 免れた? They both mean "avoided, escaped". When should I use each of them? I found the sentence in JLPT1 book, where you have to pick the right answer: ...
5
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2answers
178 views

usage of から at the end of the first sentence with the second part in the next

My question is on how to properly interpret utterances like the below. あれに正面から挑むのは中々に手間よ。どうするの? 下手な小細工が通じる相手じゃないからなあ。正面から挑むだけだよ Occasionally I'll see someone end the sentence with からな・からね ...
5
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2answers
227 views

Some questions about って

Here is a sentence from Dragon Ball : 一気にこれ以上修業したって意味はないって。限界までやったんだ。 悟空 says this to his son who's worried because they just chill out before a battle instead of training until the last ...
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1answer
236 views

Difference between 下る、下りる、下がる?

I cannot, for the love of my life, understand the difference between 下る{くだる} 下りる{おりる} 下がる{さがる} Don't they all mean the same, basically? Is there a difference, and if yes, how could I proceed to ...
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1answer
422 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 ...
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1answer
152 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 ...
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1answer
330 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
378 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

What does “気結び” mean?

According to a (non japanese, but he spent lots of time in Japan) Aikido teacher I know, this is supposed to represent "an obligation bounding student and teacher". To be honest, I am a bit ...
5
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2answers
209 views

Do 気が[付]{つ}く and 気[付]{づ}く have the same meaning?

If they both mean the same, is が optional?
5
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1answer
204 views

What does なんたらという mean?

What does なんたらという mean? I searched なんたら's meaning and it showed. The following oojah oojahkapiv oojamaflip oojar oojiboo I used eow.alc.co.jp to search. ...