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

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100 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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2answers
181 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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1answer
112 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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1answer
121 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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1answer
147 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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2answers
302 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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1answer
198 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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2answers
138 views

Usage and meanings of 十分

In English, "to have enough" has several different meanings. One of them is "to be fed up": If you have an argument and want to express that you're fed up and about to walk out of the room and you can ...
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1answer
108 views

What does this mean 先月 何日 会社を やすみましたか。

I come across the following sentence: 先月 何日 会社を やすみましたか。 I am confused about that this is actually asking. Is it asking: How many days of holidays did the company have last month? Which date did ...
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1answer
133 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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1answer
139 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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1answer
126 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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1answer
95 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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1answer
381 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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1answer
150 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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1answer
215 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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2answers
152 views

what is this usage of けど?

Very often I'll see a whole sentence said/written but then another sentence with けど at the end that is related to the previous sentence. e.g. ...
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1answer
182 views

Clarification of a sentence from a video game, 「~為」

As far as I understand, it generally says that the Area server did not respond in a certain amount of time. Can anyone give me some insight as to how accurate my understanding of this message from ...
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1answer
116 views

How to understand the meaning of 愛{いと}しさ

I know that from adjective we can make adjectival noun like: 高{たか}い -> 高さ - means high and hight. But how to understand/translate the word 愛しさ? I heard it in one of C-ute songs.
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1answer
135 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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1answer
259 views

小さな vs 小さい/大きな vs 大きい [duplicate]

Is there any difference in meaning between 小さな and 小さい / 大きな and 大きい? I know that they have different syntactical rules, but semantically is there any difference? I was once told that 大きな was more ...
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1answer
120 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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2answers
227 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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1answer
144 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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1answer
434 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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1answer
430 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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1answer
90 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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1answer
134 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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1answer
121 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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1answer
265 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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1answer
140 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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1answer
313 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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1answer
192 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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1answer
175 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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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 ...
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1answer
214 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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1answer
60 views

Usage of からな at the end of a sentence

どうした、反撃はしないのか? そう言うならさせてくれ! 冗談を言うな。お前は隙を見せると的確に狙ってくるからな さすがにずっと相手をしてるだけあってよく分かってるなあ。隙は見せてくれそうにないか。しかたない As we all know many a time in the Japanese language things are left out ...
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1answer
122 views

what's a ポッカリ (pokkari)?

context: I read this sentence in a childrens book (オー·スッパ). Judging from the pictures, animals are eating a lemon and go crazy because of the sour taste. The whole sentence is:  ポッカリ ういていたんです。
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1answer
132 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.
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289 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 ...
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1answer
215 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 - ...
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2answers
82 views

usage of ていた in 俺の一撃は、彼のもう一本の剣にギリギリで弾かれていた

I see this kind of thing occasionally, and by that I mean the usage of ていた forms: 俺の一撃は、彼のもう一本の剣にギリギリで弾かれていた in narrative where the た form: 俺の一撃は、彼のもう一本の剣にギリギリで弾かれた would have meant the ...
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0answers
39 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 ...
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1answer
92 views

The usage of 侮れなかった

This question is a mix between the usage of 侮れない and the usage of なかった instead of ない in the sentence 意外と、うちのカノジョも侮れなかった The usage of 侮れない like in the example below seems to refer to one who you ...
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1answer
334 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’ ...
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4answers
287 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. ...
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2answers
329 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 ...
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2answers
107 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 ...
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2answers
152 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
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2answers
122 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 ...