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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
213 views

the difference between 世界 and 世

Sometimes I see a character say この世 and I'm not sure why they don't just say この世界? Is it just an old way of saying it or is there a specific reason?
3
votes
2answers
97 views

Meaning of べた打ち

Does anybody know what べた打ち means, and what the kanji for べた could be? The context I heard it in was the upright playing style of taiko.
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Talking about people

first time asking a question on here. What is the difference in meaning between 人々、人物、人、人類、人間 and if you know any others it would be nice to include those too. How do you use them properly?
3
votes
1answer
99 views

How is “しかい” used in this sentence?

I'm a bit confused about how "しかい" is used in this sentence I came across while studying: そこには私一人しかいなかった。 "I was the only one there." My guess is that it is an ending to "一人", but I couldn't find ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

なにかと思ったら meaning

なにかと思ったら, I have come across this sentence a couple of times when talking to Japanese people, but I seem to struggle with the actual meaning. I translate it as "if I am thinking of something" but the ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

What's the difference between 程 and 程度?

What the difference between 程 and 程度? I haven't been able to find any using my dictionary.
3
votes
2answers
299 views

Is there a Japanese phrase equivalent to “crisis of faith”

I am wondering if there is a way to describe this concept in Japanese, or an equivalent phrase. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_of_faith it is a mostly western concept (if you ...
3
votes
1answer
196 views

What does そうべ mean?

It is in the title of a book named そうべえまっくろけのけ. How to split そうべえまっくろけのけ?
3
votes
1answer
136 views

How does one express “late” or “lateness”?

So I know that おそい, ちこく, and おくれる all can mean late. But I don't know what context to use which in. Can I just swap おそくなります, ちこくする, and おくれる at will?
3
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
89 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
votes
1answer
275 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

What does 直打ち mean? also whats the reading?

Can someone help me understand this 直打ち, as used in the following sentence: URLを直打ちしてアクセスされた可能性があります。 (this is an error message in a log file) My dictionaries have no idea what this word means. As ...
3
votes
1answer
135 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
335 views

What does なきや mean? [closed]

I assume this is some sort of idiom or verbal tic, but i'm not 100% sure. Anybody care to help me out? If you need context, this is the phrase: まだピチピチなんだからかんばらなきや
3
votes
4answers
286 views

What is this use of と辛い

In the sentence 友人に彼女ができると辛い I'm a bit unclear as to what と辛い is actually supposed to mean (or even if it's supposed to separately be と and 辛い). As far as my understanding goes: 彼女ができる means ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

What is the difference between ~あろうが and ~あろうと?

I'm writing a report for a class, and at first I wrote:  […]どのような批判があろうが[…] But then I sat back and thought, maybe it should actually be:  […]どのような批判があろうと[…] But now I'm not sure if ...
3
votes
1answer
112 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 : ...
3
votes
2answers
212 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Meaning of vb-たかった + しまいました

I am currently in my third year of japanese studies, and in lesson 29 of 皆の日本語, we learned to use vb-て+しまいます or しまいました to emphasize the action or its completion, or the embarrassment, regret of the ...
3
votes
1answer
284 views

What's the meaning of とこに?

Pretty much I couldn't find this とこに in my dictionary so I was wondering what it means. Here the context to better understand: あんなとこにタオル落ちてる Also is あんな a slang for あのな? Thanks in advance c: I ...
3
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

What is the difference between 「Adj-さと言ったらなかった」&「Adj-いと言ったらなかった」?

Could someone explain the difference between the following two expressions: 恐ろしさといったらなかった 恐ろしいといったらなかった I am struggling with the first which my text book tells me means とても恐ろしかった. Why is ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Tense of どういうつもりだ…

The full sentence is: 反撃の機会は幾度もあった… どういうつもりだ… "There were many chances to counter attack... what is your intention". But the event took place in the past so why is it not どういうつもりだった… "What was ...
3
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
123 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
229 views

What does 彼のままだった mean?

In the following phrase:「時{とき}が過{す}ぎても彼{かれ}のままだった。」what does the「彼{かれ}のままだった」part mean? My guess is that I can translate this phrase into something like "He's the same" or "he didn't change", but I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
171 views

Buddhist facilities

I am working on Japanese texts describing Buddhist temples in South-East Asia and there is quite a number of words I can't really translate in English. Here is a list with my tentative translations (I ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Does 諸元{しょげん} mean “Specification” or “Various”?

I am trying to name a library on a group of forms. The specification names the group 諸元管理画面. I tried to search and the dictionary says it means "various factors or elements". But on other examples ...
3
votes
1answer
124 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.
3
votes
3answers
256 views

How can I translate けど in this sentence?

I don't get these sentences; the first one ends with けど (plus I don't get why there is the use of !? at the end) Here the sentences: 俺モデル! 顔命なの です けど!? んなに 硬くねーだろ> I know that けど ...
3
votes
1answer
202 views

Dictionary entry and derived forms, were they equal at some point?

I will first state the dictionary entry, and then other formations that also yield the dictionary entry. Consider the following : 思える - to seem/appear, potential form of 思う - can think 合わせる - ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

Is 「出なくては。」 the same as 「出なくてはいけない。」? [duplicate]

I guess the novel I'm reading (「キッチン」 by 吉本ばなな) will be a source of many questions. The part I want to ask about now is the passage where the main character is thinking about moving house. The ...
3
votes
0answers
185 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
299 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’ ...
2
votes
2answers
234 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
98 views

Do these two questions differ in any way?

There is a question in my Japanese book to translate a sentence. This is how I translated it: わたし の てがみ の うえ の つくえ を よまないで。 But, this is how my book translated it: つくえ の うえ の わたし の てがみ を ...
2
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

What is the difference in usage of [実行]{じっこう}する and [実施]{じっし}する?

So at my office i see both [実施]{じっし}する and [実行]{じっこう}する used a lot to mean "carry out" a task. Any time I ask a Japanese person they tell me "they are the same". Can anyone tell me any differences ...
2
votes
1answer
257 views

Strange Japanese Character

here is the link for the picture (in case it doesn't show up): http://online.mangaraw.net/get/img/174/837.jpg In the last panel at the bottom of the page, she says "しょ__ -" I'm not quite sure as to ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Meaning of よりまし in バンパー外すよりまし

A friend posted on a social network a picture of his Subaru car's bumper after an minor accident, and got this comment: 大丈夫!バンパー外すよりまし!笑 I guess it means "No problem! Removing the bumper will ...
2
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Is there a Japanese saying like その頑張りは、すべてむだというかそういう気持ちになる , related to the working conditions of doctors in a hospital?

On NHK NewsWatch 9 yesterday, they were talking about the shortage of emergency room doctors, and the resulting situations lately where hospitals were forced to turn away emergency patients. In many ...
2
votes
1answer
357 views

Why does 古希 / こき mean 70 years old?

I found out that 古希 / こき can mean a 70 year old person, or the occasion of turning 70 years old. Apparently its etymology derives from an ancient song where this line occurs:七十古希 【しちじゅうこき】 which means ...
2
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
208 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
1answer
148 views

Is there a background to the phrase 「熊出来てる」?

I was watching a TV drama, and one line was: 「熊出来てる」 I would translate it as "seems like a bear is coming out". In context, it seems to refer to a person who has rings under their eyes, due to not ...
2
votes
1answer
147 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 ...