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

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456 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
205 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 ...
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171 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
159 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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354 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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1answer
204 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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163 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 ...
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168 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 ...
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1answer
170 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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305 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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153 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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218 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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297 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 ...
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4answers
291 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 ...
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1answer
150 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 ...
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194 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?
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191 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. ...
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3answers
152 views

Meaning of 右端揃 in “これ右端揃うかな?”

I received this email from someone close, who has a deadline to finish a graduation thesis: 期日は20日です(>д<) これ右端揃うかな?笑 右端揃 means "right-alignment" but I don't understand what is the meaning of ...
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1answer
192 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 ...
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1answer
270 views

What does 身の縮む思い mean?

I found a phrase in one vocabulary book about the usage of 縮む. I am not clear on the meaning of this phrase: 身の縮む思い I think it can be the same meaning as 恥ずかしい. Is that right?
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2answers
381 views

Does なんて = なんと (いう)?

I know that なんて is a contraction of なんと, but has it also picked up the いう in its meaning? Because なんて means something, and I feel like 何という, which means "something called" (right?) could have just ...
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4answers
192 views

Meaning of 共同志向性

In the context of a personality quizz, what does 共同志向性 means? I feel it is something like the quality of being a good team-player, but not sure. Google does not know
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248 views

What does あらいだす mean?

What does あらいだす mean? I have been hearing it from my colleague and based on his explanation it means to identify. For example identify the problem. I tried to search the net and it only results to ...
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347 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 ...
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1answer
396 views

What does “随分仲” mean?

I've seen it in a number of places, mostly in contexts like this one: 彼氏と随分仲が良い For me, it feels like 随分仲 translates to "relationship". What worries me is that I have not found the exact pair 随分+仲 ...
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451 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 ...
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2answers
256 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?
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2answers
154 views

想い vs. 思い - Do Both Mean Feeling?

Do both 思い and 想い mean "feeling", and if they do are they used interchangeably? If not, what is their difference in meaning?
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219 views

What is this 10^40 thing?

While checking out "正" (as in 正坐, specifically) I found that apparently one of the associated meaning would be 10^40 (i.e. 10 elevated at the 40th power). Example -taken from Tangorin.com: sei 【正】 ...
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399 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 ...
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1answer
538 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 ...
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632 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 ...
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2answers
195 views

Meaning of 気負わずに奮ってご参加ください

What does 気負わずに奮ってご参加ください mean? Is it like 気軽にご参加ください? Context: an event information page announcing pre-requisites for attendance: 前提知識 ...
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3answers
402 views

what does 貸してもらえないかな mean?

This was from a test prep book: A: この間の本貸してもらえないかな。 B: ええ,明日持ってきてます I'm thinking that the V てもらえない form is often used for requests. My literal parsing of 貸して + もらえない is: 'Can I not ...
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2answers
502 views

How and when to use 「そうですね」?

I only know the 2 meanings of it as follow: Use when thinking - no meaning Use to agree with others - the meaning is like "yes, I think so" What else and what situation can it be used? If someone ...
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2answers
715 views

What does やい mean? [closed]

Someone ended their sentence with やいな. What dialect is this? What does やい mean? I assume that な means the same thing as in standard Japanese? Update: the original sentence was 「もう出来あがり?仕事はやいな~」.
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3answers
210 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
355 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 ...
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1answer
183 views

How does ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う work/mean?

A:藤原さんは、もちろん歌だよね? B:うん。わたしにはそれしかないから……ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う I don't get what the part ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う is saying. 全然 is an adverb but there's no verb after it but 思う, but that's separated by a ...
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224 views

Meaning of 話になんない

I have a quote from this anime, FLCL: 「とにかくさ、バット振んなきゃ話になんないよ」. In the official translation it's translated as "nothing can happen until you swing the bat". Now my japanese is pretty rusty, as I ...
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272 views

Meaning of でもない in this context?

While listening to the song "Yasashisa no Riyuu", I noticed the following sentence: 今は誰の名前でもない 輝きの彼方へ Which by the fansub is translated like this: Now it doesn't matter whose name it may ...
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130 views

How do specific characters get included in 囲み文字 and what are the meanings they convey?

I have this book 「図解でわかる 文字コードのすべて」 which lists many of the Unicode and JIS symbols that one can type. I noticed the section of enclosed alphanumerics (囲み文字). Not all kanji are included in 囲み文字 which ...
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2answers
488 views

壱, 弐, 参 vs 一, 二, 三

Can you tell me the difference between 壱 and 一, 弐 and 二, 参 and 三? Do these pairs have the same meaning? If yes, why do we use different Kanji? If no, what is the difference in their meanings? Can ...
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1answer
360 views

What does 叱ってやりたい mean in this context?

On twitter I saw this: なのに風呂掃除したら100円もらってたおれ…叱ってやりたい!笑 What does it mean? This is the previous tweet: 最近だなー。食ったらすぐ食器洗うのが習慣になったの。実家に居た頃は全部母親がやってたから甘えちゃってた。仕事もしてて家事も完璧にやってた母親、今更ながら尊敬します。
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163 views

What is the implication when a girl refers to herself using “うち”? Is it meant to be more or less feminine? Neutral? Tomboyish?

I realize it is a kind of Kansai-ben but how does it compare to the other forms of "I" in terms of how they want to represent themselves?
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1answer
397 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 ...
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1answer
137 views

Is this word slang? アメテ

I can't find a definition for this word アメテ. Aside from sounding like an amateur, the word didn't make sense in the context. In the context, a character was flipping out. The entire sentence he ...
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2answers
418 views

What is さすが when referring to oneself?

It means "as one would expect" when referring to others, and it's sort of a compliment. But you're not supposed to compliment yourself in Japanese. So does さすが have a different meaning when ...
4
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1answer
140 views

Meaning and translation of 「佃煮にするほど」

Today I found this sentence in one of the reading materials of my Japanese book: のみこむのに苦労【くろう】した日本語【にほんご】は、佃煮【つくだに】にするほどあった。 According to the book explanation ほど is being used here to adduce an ...
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1answer
94 views

Meaning of ひとつで自由に出せるように

The sentence is: ギャンブラーを名乗るなら、采の目ぐらい、投げ方ひとつで自由に出せるようになっておけ. MC is revealing a secret how to win every dice game. But I'm not sure the meaning of his words. Does it mean throwing dice one by ...