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

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10
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1answer
199 views

What is the significance of a large く character in literary texts?

I am currently reading an early story by Tanizaki Junichiro in Japanese. I have come across both the hiragana く and ぐ written twice the size they usually are, taking up the same amount of space on the ...
3
votes
1answer
336 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
5
votes
1answer
161 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?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of ~きて~ and ~しまいました in sentence

"あなたの本を車の中に置いてきてしまいました。" means "I left your book in the car." but what is the meaning of "きて" and "しまいました" in context?
10
votes
3answers
751 views

How can you figure out whether 鍵【かぎ】 means “lock” or “key”?

Recently, I forgot whether 鍵【かぎ】 meant lock or key, so I looked it up quickly on my phone's dictionary... And then I found out that it actually means both. What are the best ways to figure out if ...
9
votes
3answers
338 views

What is the difference between ~すぎ and ~すぎる?

When I was playing a video game a few months ago, I noticed that some of the characters (mostly young teen females, in case it matters) kept saying ~すぎ instead of ~すぎる. For example, when one of the ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

Understanding 〜たら良いか〜

The sentence 何と言ったら良いか分かりません means "I don't know what I should say." But what is the literal translation of this sentence? What is the purpose of the か in 良いか?
5
votes
2answers
813 views

How can 「うん」 be used to mean both “yes” and “no?”

I was told by my Japanese teacher that 「うん」 can be used as a casual way to say "yes" as well as "no." If this is true, how can you tell the difference, absent any additional information?
6
votes
1answer
175 views

Cohortative ましょう with and without the auxiliary construction ~てみる

In "何かしてみましょう。" meaning "Let's try/do something.", what is the literal translation of "してみましょう"? I've got "して" means "doing" and "みましょう" means "let's watch or let's?". How is "してみましょう" different ...
6
votes
4answers
225 views

Problem understanding a sentence

The sentence トムは私より身長が高いです。 means "Tom is taller than I me." but I'm trying to find the meaning of each word in order to understand the japanese sentence better. Here is what I have so far: トムは(Tom ...
4
votes
1answer
204 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
votes
1answer
169 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
969 views

What's the difference between いいえ and English's “no”?

In "Japanese for Busy People I" page 2 (kana or romaji edition) it says that いいえ is 'virtually the same as "no"'. It sounds like there are some differences, but they want to omit mentioning them for ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

What does チャラ mean?

What does チャラ mean? It was explained here that チャラ男 means light image. Does that mean cool image of a person? A cool person? ...
7
votes
2answers
442 views

What does “さ” means in 探偵さ?

I watch an animation called Detective Conan, which is about a detective. I read translations, but try to listen in Japanese. Sometimes, when he is asked "who are you?", the main character answers by ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
443 views

Does さえ mean “even” in the following sentence?

I encountered the following on our daily reading. どのような企業{きぎょう}も、創業期{そうぎょうき}には全社員が昼食をとること さえ 忘れてしまうほど、忙しくフル回転していたものです。 In a business, a person was so busy that he forgot to eat lunch even ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

the meaning of word 'yoko'

I really like how the word "yoko" is pronounced, and I'll like to use it in my bussiness. I think that my bussiness will be named "yoko garage". Do you know what yoko means? Does it have any bad or ...
3
votes
2answers
398 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
156 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Explain what はめになる is and give some examples

I heard that it means something like "to get stuck with something." Can you explain what this means and give some examples?
3
votes
1answer
219 views

The gender of 子

Is 子 ever used to refer to a boy, or is it always used for girls? Is 悪い子 used only for girls?
5
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2answers
305 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
892 views

What does using という add to a sentence?

This sentence is from a grammar website: 主人公が犯人だったというのが一番面白かった。 Why is という necessary? What does it add? And what meaning is lost in writing the sentence without it? For example, as in: ...
6
votes
1answer
732 views

What is the meaning of あるある?

I saw it used on Twitter several times, but googling around I couldn't figure it out. Here are some examples. "@mao_sid: 24あるある。シーズン2ぐらいから、あのちょいちょい入ってくるデジタル時計いらないなぁって思いだす。" "@mao_sid: ...
10
votes
1answer
506 views

Did standalone noun “好き” mean a person in classical Japanese?

In classical Japanese, did standalone noun “好き” mean a person who likes something? I do not think that it does in modern Japanese, although it sometimes means a person when used as a suffix (e.g. ...
3
votes
1answer
202 views

Is -はない just another way of saying -じゃありません?

In the sentence: 彼の論文には大した価値はない Is the -はない another way of saying -じゃありません or -ではない? And is it read as wanai or hanai?
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Can 国体 refer to “prefectural” as well as “national”?

If 国体 is used in conjunction with a prefecture name like 山口国体, does that mean "The National Athletic Meet that is being held in Yamaguchi", or the "The Yamaguchi Prefectural Athletic Meet"? The only ...
7
votes
1answer
258 views

What does 台 mean when proceeded by a number (of yen)

I came across this phrase in a news article about a budget reduction: ....6千億円台になる.... I was wondering what this use of 台 means. I did a Google search of 円台 and the amount of yen doesn't seem to ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

Understanding the grammar of 当て

I'm trying to understand the grammar behind 当て, and after a bit of investigation I still don't quite understand a could of points. The definition that I found for it is (n) depend on, expectations, ...
10
votes
2answers
431 views

が and に interchangeability and difference in meaning

Consider these sentences: だれ{が・に}これが出来るか だれ{が・に}日本語が分からないか When both が and に are acceptable, what is their difference in meaning and practical usage?
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Lunar Seas and Sun Hills at a sports park?

I was reading the introduction page for Kirara Memorial Park (a public sports park) in Japan, and one of the features they listed was a 「月{つき}の海{うみ}」. As far as I can tell, in both English and ...
-2
votes
1answer
126 views

attending court clerk in Japanese [closed]

What does 'attending court clerk' mean in Japanese? I can't find it.
1
vote
3answers
109 views

「鉄道関係{てつどうかんけい}の言葉{ことば}を書きなさい」- “Write words about railroads?” [closed]

This question appears on my homework above an empty box instead of lines as with previous questions. Am I being asked to "write words about railroads?" I came into this class about a week late, and am ...
1
vote
1answer
177 views

What is やっちゃるけんな?

This looks like やる in a colloquial form. Can someone clear up what this says?
5
votes
1answer
112 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.
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?
5
votes
1answer
344 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
199 views

[潔]{いさぎよ}い meaning

Can anyone tell me more about 潔い? I've looked in Goo, Alc, Kenkyusha, and Edict, and the definitions refer to "sportsmanlike", "gracious", or "take it like a man". However, I'm doubtful if these are ...
4
votes
1answer
300 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.
1
vote
4answers
280 views

Why did this pirate get angry when he was given a bottle?

I was reading this and it didn't make sense to me. This pirate wanted a drink, but the store was sold out. So one of the guys offered to give him an unopened bottle, but it only made the pirate mad. ...
6
votes
2answers
281 views

What is the meaning of お気の毒に and how is it used?

Although the there are several definitions in the dictionary: my condolences that's too bad my sympathies What does お気の毒に literally mean? I'm guessing that it might have something to do with ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Translation of 竜すらも恐るるに足らない

The full text is... この魔剣があれば… メルヴィンの言うとおり 竜すらも恐るるに足らない… Is this a double negative? "Even dragons to be not afraid is not enough" = "Even dragons are [will be] afraid".
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Meaning of この延長線上にこそ、

Does X。この延長線上にこそ、Y。 have the same meaning as XなのでY ? Context: 今回、時間の制約が大変厳しい状況にありますが、[...]自動的なチェックのしくみを実現したいと考えます。この延長線上にこそ、新しい世代のより低コストな技術を安定的に評価できる体制が実現可能となります。
5
votes
1answer
339 views

What does お土産持しててね mean? [closed]

I got a message from a friend, about to go on a trip, and it ended with: お土産持しててね I think it's basically "[I'll] bring a souvenir/gift/omiyage [for you]" but I'm not familiar with the 持してて part, I've ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

How do I interpret 理不尽 in this situation?

I was talking with my colleagues about work and my friend described the following situation: The boss asked my friend to make a report for a meeting that they had at the end of the day. He worked ...
4
votes
3answers
398 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
286 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." ...