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

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236 views

Confusion with the の particle

I am currently learning basic grammar using the Tae Kim's guide to japanese. In one of his examples he roughly translates this sentence: こんなのを本当に食べる? as "Do you think [he/she] will really eat ...
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106 views

meaning of 詰めの甘さ

I wonder, what term 詰めの甘さ could mean? The whole sentense is: 三種の器に入れてもらえなかった詰めの甘さなのだろうか
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521 views

Sentence ending in かも・・・ what is the meaning?

I am translating a guidebook for a Legend of Zelda game, for study purposes. I'm finding a variety of new phrases and words, but this one has me stumped. This is in the introduction to a section ...
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231 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...
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267 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. ...
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527 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 ...
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2answers
183 views

What did 才六 and similar terms about Kansai residents mean?

While looking up the denonym for a Kansai resident (I've since found out it's 関西人{かんさいじん}), jisho.org described 才六, 贅六, 上方才六, 賽六 and 采六, with pronunciations (not necessarily in that order) of ぜいろく, ...
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205 views

What kind of butterfly is a 「ゼッコーちょう」?

In the video game "Tingle's Love Balloon Trip", a person asks the protagonist to catch a certain kind of butterfly. They want the dust from the butterfly's wings to use as a kind of fertilizer. The ...
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250 views

Structure and meaning of this sentence

The sentence is from a manga in which the character, after saying this : オレの細胞がてめえみたいなみにくいバケモノに使われているなんてショックだぜ。 What a shock that my cells were used for an ugly monster like you. Says this ...
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167 views

Meaning of どこの ( + noun)?

I found Shimazaki Touson's work 'shiawase', and read the first few lines: 「幸せ」が色々な家へたずねて行きました。だれでも幸せの欲しくないひとはありませんから、どこの家をたずねましても、みんな大喜びでむかえてくれるに違いありません。 My question is how I can translate ...
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236 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".
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130 views

Need help understanding a line from a song

The song Paragraph in question: 宙よりも高く 宙よりも高く どこまでも駆け昇っていくの 心は気高く 心は気高く そのまた先で感じていくの あの日描いた未来を わたしたちの理想論を 実現(させる) 踊る刃(やいば)達の祭壇へ line: そのまた先で感じていくの Can anyone explain how this line ...
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73 views

'Get on' a road

In English, when giving directions, there are two possible constructions you can use when telling someone which road to use for a given segment of the trip: 'take', which refers to the entire ...
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2answers
198 views

Meaning of 心が響いてくる

The line: 今のは心が響いてくるなんてレベルじゃなかった。流れ込む意識の奔流に一瞬、自我を奪われてしまっていた. Can anyone explain what the 心が響いてくる part means? Thanks.
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175 views

「思う」 in 「その人を私のように 思う」:think v.s. feel

It seems that 「思う」 can both be "to think/consider" (actively) as in 「義父母を本当の親のように思うのは無理です」 and "to feel" (passively) as in 「母をなくした子をあわれに思う」. When reading an article in Asahi Shimbun, I bumped ...
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158 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, ...
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95 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 ...
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217 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?
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98 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.
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167 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?
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100 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 ...
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114 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 ...
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133 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.
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301 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 ...
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197 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?
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113 views

what is the difference between 送る and 贈る?

I noticed that both are pronounced the same way and that both have approximately the same meaning "to send". Is there a slight nuance in the usage of both of these versions of "to send"? I'm thinking ...
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137 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?
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115 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 ...
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90 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.
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290 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 ...
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135 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 ...
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137 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.
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117 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 ...
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113 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 : ...
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214 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 ...
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131 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 ...
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307 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 ...
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318 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 ...
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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 ...
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195 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 ...
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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 ...
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100 views

Trouble with these sentences, subject-verb confusion and difficult words?

I'm a little clueless with these two sentences right here. 景気判断は前月のまま据え置き、消費増税後の駆け込み需要の反動減は「和らぎつつある」とした。ただ反動減が長期化すれば、「景気下押しのリスク」となる可能性を初めて指摘。 ...
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224 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 ...
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127 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 ...
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238 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 ...
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190 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) ...
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172 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
201 views

Reversing the clause pattern “~ほう~より”

Consider the two sentences below: (1) 私のほうが田中さんよりよく飲む。(I drink more than Mr. Tanaka.) (2) 私はビールより酒のほうをよく飲む。(I drink more sake than beer.) I think the pattern for the second one is a reverse ...
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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.