ニュアンス. Subtle differences between two seemingly interchangeable expressions.

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3
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4answers
314 views

This mother doesn't know her own child?

I have the following sentence in my JLPT practise book: 当時{とうじ}母{はは}がどんな気持{きも}ちだったのか、子{こ}どもの私{わたし}には知{し}るべくもないことだった。 My faltering translation is something like, "How did my mother feel at the ...
12
votes
3answers
373 views

Sentence structure/element order

In the textbook Japanese for Busy People I, the order of the elements in a sentence is always the same (subject - when - with whom - by what means - to where - verb) at least as far as I have made it. ...
12
votes
2answers
370 views

What is the nuance between 手数 and 手間?

I've found the dictionary definitions of 手数 and 手間, both that are translated to "time, labor": 手数 1 それをするのに要する動作・作業などの数。てかず。「―のかかる料理」 2 他人のためにことさらにかける手間。てかず。「お―でもよろしく」「お―をかけて恐縮です」 VS ...
10
votes
2answers
727 views

Addressing children in Japanese

Apologies for the very vague question. I'm unsure of how I'm supposed to address and talk to children - I imagine it varies a little depending on the social situation, and in general I should avoid ...
9
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3answers
1k views

What is the appropriate size of hiragana in proportion to kanji?

I remember being told that hiragana should be the same size as kanji when writing them by hand. However, there are times when I see handwritten kana that are much smaller than the kanji. Does this ...
9
votes
1answer
600 views

How the ~にあって form works - situations, places, times, what?

I finally started going through some JLPT N1 grammar the other day, and one of the ones I'm looking at has me a bit confused: the ~にあって・~にあっても form. The book describes its usage as such: ~...
9
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2answers
605 views

How to Pronounce 化学 “Chemistry”?

A Japanese teacher on Twitter posted that 化学 is pronounced かがく and means "chemistry". I double-checked it on tangorin.com and it lists that pronunciation but says that it's pronounced ばけがく to avoid ...
8
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2answers
776 views

When is it appropriate to use ごくろうさま?

I've seen お疲れさま and ご[苦労]{くろう}さま used to say "Thank you" after some had done work of some type. After reading the お疲れさま thread, I realize that the two are not interchangeable. So when do you use ご[苦労]{...
7
votes
2answers
571 views

What is the difference between 言うな! and 言ってんじゃねぇぞ?

1) What is the difference between 言うな! and 言ってんじゃねぇぞ!, in other words can we use them interchangeably at all times? 2) which is ruder?
6
votes
2answers
185 views

Difference in nuance between 証明 and 証拠?

I know that both of these words mean "proof", but I can't figure out what the difference is, or if there's any at all. Can anyone explain to me the difference in nuance between these two words?
6
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2answers
407 views

How is 「ように」 different to just 「よう」?

When writing or reading a sentence in Japanese, does the word 「よう」 have a nuance any different to using 「ように」? For example, sentences using 「ように」: 好きなように踊ってよろしい。 落第しないように一生懸命勉強しなさい。 ...
5
votes
2answers
464 views

What does the “~ておく” mean in “任せておく”?

Good afternoon all, From what I understand, "~ておく" basically has 4 meanings: to do something for a purpose / reason used as a softener (source) to do.. for now or for the time being (source, source)...
5
votes
1answer
494 views

How do I interpret this question that ends with よ?

In the 7th book of the awesome High School of the Dead, there's this page: The situation is that the main characters, a group of mostly teenagers who are surviving a zombie apocalypse, are walking ...
5
votes
1answer
602 views

How do you politely and gratefully reply to an invitation to be published?

Is there a set phrase for politely replying to an invitation to have your academic paper published as a journal article? I presented a paper at a Japanese academic conference, and I've received an ...
5
votes
1answer
446 views

Difference between なり (meaning 'either.. or…') and か (meaning 'or')

I came across the construction ~なり~なり (meaning either... or...) on JGram and I saw this example: ジュースなりコーラなり、お好きなものをどうぞ juice.. cola.. have whatever you like That made me wonder what the ...
4
votes
1answer
729 views

Difference between かおり and におい

In a TV show I am watching (孤独のグルメ, perhaps many of you have heard of it) the gentleman is about to drink some coffee but pauses to savour the aroma. He says いい かおり だ Which I translate as "good ...
4
votes
2answers
373 views

心配なく surely it should be 心配ない?

To outline the context, this is from a Legend of Zelda videogame guidebook I am translating. I'm pretty sure the meaning below is that you should not worry about not being able to control the ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

Different nuances in meaning for なら sentences

I've looked at previous posts made on conditionals but still have a bit of trouble with なら. I was hoping someone could tell me the differences in meaning/nuance between the following sentences. The ...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

Meaning of auxiliary ゆく/いく in this context

While translating a song, I've stumbled upon the following sentence: 落ちた希望を拾って明日に繋いでゆけば Which got me wondering what the difference between the following two is: 落ちた希望を拾って明日に繋いでゆけば ...
4
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2answers
117 views

Nuances with placement of time words

I have two sentences: このホールで時々コンサートがある (Kono hooru de tokidoki konsaato ga aru) このホールでコンサートが時々ある (Kono hooru de konsaato ga tokidoki aru) The former (provided by textbook) should mean "...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Is the expression 「だってある」 common?

I just stumbled upon this sentence in a book. とはいうものの、電気やエルクトロニクスの基本を知る価値だってある。 I can get the gist of what the sentence is trying to say, but this is the first time I encountered the expression ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

Can 彼 be used as an indefinite pronoun like やつ or 男?

気取らない彼が好きです。 I like him, who doesn't put on airs. My first reading of this sentence was to assume that 彼 was referring to the boyfriend meaning of 彼, and thus my interpretation was "I like an ...
2
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2answers
1k views

How should I write “ikigai” in shodō?

I'd like to use ikigai ("something one lives for; purpose in life; raison d'être") for a calligraphy (shodō) work. According to Tangorin there are three possible ways to write this: 生き甲斐 生きがい ...
1
vote
1answer
537 views

Exact meaning and usage of 「またこんど」

What is exact meaning and usage of 「またこんど」? I know that is like saying "see you later", but it's not very clear to me. Should we use Kanji in this phrase?
1
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1answer
110 views

Difference between ではダメ、いけない、ならない to end a sentence

This question came up from a previous SO post Katakana ダメ to end a sentence - emphasis? 全ての敵を倒す必要はないが、逃げてばかりではダメ。 It is not necessary to beat all enemies, but you can't run away all the time ...