Topics related to finding a phrase that fits a given context or meaning.

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4
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1answer
478 views

Is there a Japanese word or phrase for the chemistry in a relationship?

Is there a Japanese word or phrase for the chemistry in a relationship? And by "relationship", I don't mean a strictly romantic one. It could be the chemistry between best friends, or even the lack ...
4
votes
2answers
136 views

In Japanese, how do you say you will skip ahead past one section for time's sake while reading aloud to an audience?

How do you succinctly say that you are going to skip ahead past the next section or paragraph for time's sake and tell the audience which spot you are picking up again when reading a paper aloud at an ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Is there a Japanese word for “XY problem”?

Is there a Japanese word for "XY problem"? (The phrase comes from here and here) XY problem - asking about your attempted solution rather than your actual problem. Or should I write 「XYプロブレム」or ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

How do you write “translation mine” in Japanese for academic writing?

When you translate a quoted citation, how do you write "translation mine" in Japanese to let the reader know that it is your own translation rather than an official one (or, to contrast yours to the ...
0
votes
0answers
84 views

Is there a Japanese concept of “women's wisdom” to go with 「良妻賢母」?

In many cultures there is an idea of "women's wisdom," "wisdom of women," and the "wise woman." I'm having trouble finding a Japanese phrase that means "women's wisdom." Is this not a common concept ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

Can “yee ka ka desu ka” mean “how are you?”

I was learning Japanese a few years ago and a phrase I picked up (I think from the Pimsleur program) was "Yee ka ka desu ka" (or maybe the "Yee" was written as "ii" to pronounce as a short form of ...
3
votes
1answer
318 views

How to ask someone to do something for you

I'd like to know how to politely ask someone (as a question, not a statement) to do something for me in Japanese. I'm already aware of the basic "___をください" and "___をおねがいします" patterns, but I don't want ...
2
votes
3answers
360 views

What is the phrase used as a label on the food container to convey “No sugar added”?

I am looking for a pure fruit juice without sugar added for daily consumption in Japan. The box only says 100% bla bla bla but I am not sure whether or not there is sugar added. So my question is: ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Difference between the questions 「男じゃないんですか?」 and 「男じゃないですか?」

I was wondering if there is a difference if you add that ん. Is the first one correct and the second one not? 男じゃないんですか? 男じゃないですか?
5
votes
2answers
201 views

How do you say “I already can tell (understand) X”?

I want to say the equivalent of I can already tell (understand) that game X is (going to be) harder than game Y. For instance, I've already beat game Y. And even though I've only just started ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Is there such a thing as: tate ni naru?

So after reading the answer to this question, I did some searching and came across this website, which said, "A very common phrase is "yoko ni naru". (Become horizontal = lay down)." So I was ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

What is the Japanese proverb for “even a thief is right three times out of ten”?

Even a thief is right three times out of ten. I ran into this quote in a book about Taiichi Ohno, the creator of Toyota's philosophy. Does anyone know a phrase that corresponds with this ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

When to use XはYより vs XとYとどちらが……?

If I wanted to ask, Which is faster the red car or the blue car? I could phrase it as: 赤い{あかい}車{くるま}は青い{あおい}車より速い{はやい}ですか?  or 赤い{あかい}車{くるま}と青い{あおい}車とどちらが速い{はやい}ですか? But when would I use ...
5
votes
2answers
228 views

Greetings to use in email enquiries

As a potential customer, how should I start and end an email if I am emailing a business, for example, to ask about a product? How should I introduce myself? Would I need to use 謙譲語 and 尊敬語? ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Question about Japanese proverb

I came across to this sentence: The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family. The third face, ...
3
votes
1answer
323 views

Politely asking to stay at someone's home? お邪魔させてもらう、泊めてもらう、or 滞在させてもらう?

Which of the following is the most polite? Is any of them incorrect? Is there a more standard way to ask someone if you could stay with them while in town? ~ 8日から9日まで、あなたのお宅にお邪魔させてもらえませんか。 ~ ...
6
votes
3answers
277 views

Expressing a mild preference

I'm wondering how to express a very mild preference towards an option when being offered several choices in a conversation (e.g. when arranging a meeting time with a colleague). I am familiar with ...
5
votes
1answer
662 views

How to express “X sounds like Y”

How can I express the idea that one word sounds like another? As a concrete example, I wanted to say, 「フライアー」sounds like 「fryer」. Looking in dictionaries (wadoku/jisho) for "sound like" turns up ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How would you say “if you don't mind my asking”?

This is something that is often said in English to politely ask a question while avoiding sounding overly intrusive. For example, What do you do for a living, if you don't mind my asking? The ...
4
votes
2answers
989 views

how to say “does not make sense”?

I recently wanted to say "The Japanese counting system does not make sense." However, I could not figure out how to communicate the full meaning of "does not make sense". I don't want to say that it ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a Japanese term to express the concept of “Comfort Zone”?

According to Wikipedia, it would be "舒适区" IN CHINESE- I would like to know if this is valid and recognizable in Japanese, too, or if there are more specific/nuanced terms to convey the same idea in ...
9
votes
2answers
793 views

Is there a name for the promotional packs of tissues peculiar to Japan?

Anybody who has visited a Japanese city will have noticed that peculiar type of advertising not common elsewhere. Packets of tissues containing some promotional offer or even quite like a calling ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

“Automatic Doors Don't Open For Him”

I remember hearing this idiom which meant someone was so lowly, they were not even considered a person. I don't know the source, but remember it was referred to as a 'common Japanese idiom'. ...
7
votes
2answers
290 views

How to write about something in the future where something will have happened

How could I write about something in the future where something will have happened? That is, I'm writing from the perspective of the current time, about a perspective in the future where something has ...
7
votes
2answers
389 views

How to correct myself or somebody else when speaking

For example, if I were in a situation where I said something and it was misunderstood (maybe because of bad Japanese), what would be the best way to attempt to correct myself? In English one could ...
3
votes
2answers
967 views

How do you say “I worked for [X company].”?

The context is you're casually telling a person where you've worked in the past. I was thinking something like: IBMで働いた or IBMで仕事した. But it didn't seem right. In English, the conversation would go ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to thank somebody for their hospitality?

Having been on the receiving end of Japanese hospitality quite a bit in the past week, I'd like to know the best way to thank people for it in Japanese. I've found several words for "hospitality" but ...
6
votes
1answer
347 views

Is there a Japanese word for “area with a collection of izakaya stalls or booths”?

I know that the traditional Japanese style pubs that serve food as well as drinks are called "居酒屋". But once a few years ago in Yamagata city, and last night here in Kagoshima city, I ended up in a ...
2
votes
2answers
720 views

Enthusiastically accepting an offer or invitation

In English when somebody offers you something or invites you somewhere you can just say "yes" or you can answer more enthusiastically in a pretty standard colloquial manner like this: Would you like ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

Cartel, syndicate, anti-competitive practice

I've heard this story from several foreigners in Japan: I hired Japanese Company A for a service. I didn't like Japanese Company A, so I went to Japanese Company B in the same industry and tried ...
2
votes
2answers
224 views

Usual term for the topic of foreigners learning Japanese?

In English we can express in several ways the idea of foreigners learning English, or teaching themselves something. My title isn't totally clear so I'm looking for the name of the topic, not what ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

How to say “no thank you, I don't want / need it”?

Sometimes I am offered something but because I'm just a beginner I don't know what verb they used. I know the proper way to say "no" is to answer with the negative form of the verb the other person ...
11
votes
4answers
473 views

Is はじめまして only suitable for the first contact?

When I'm contacting a colleague for the first time and we're communicating online, I can use はじめまして as part of my greeting. Likewise, if I'm meeting someone for the first time and it is an in-person ...
4
votes
2answers
524 views

Distinction between “not everyone” and “no-one”

I recently learnt that だれも means "everyone" with an affirmative verb and "no-one" with a negative verb. So, the literal translation of the Japanese "No-one is here" would be "Everyone is not here". ...
6
votes
2answers
897 views

Is there a Japanese phrase equivalent to the English phrase: “Guilty Pleasure”?

I am at a loss of words to describing to my host family why I sometimes listen to "bad" or embarrassing music. Is there a japanese phrase that can help me tell them it's a "guilty pleasure" of mine?
3
votes
2answers
306 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
441 views

Appropriate “wishes” for pregnancy

What is the appropriate way to express your best wishes to a woman who is having a baby? (This is for a colleague, if there are different ways depending on different contexts please explain those, ...
2
votes
1answer
765 views

Fast Food Conversation - Any Practical Guides?

I looked up for fast food conversation but I could not find anything very practical. While most guide always emphasize on how to order, I never found it prepares one to understand what a fast food ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

a natural and short way to say I'm currently learning Japanese, and it isn't very good?

background: I'm playing Shogi 将棋 on a Japanese site since there are no good english ones, and every once in a while someone tries to open a converstaion with me. While I try to participate as much as ...
10
votes
3answers
867 views

How do you say “You have gotten better at X”?

I was just reminded on another site that "being good at something" is expressed as [上手]{じょうず}/[上手]{うま}い, not いい. How do you tell someone they "have gotten better at something"? Xさん, 料理することがもっと上手いですね。 ...
5
votes
1answer
672 views

Openings and Closings (Salutations and Valedictions) When Writing a Letter/E-mail

This question came to me because I am writing a personal thank-you letter to a friend's family who hosted me in their home over the holidays. What is the proper way to address the entire family? For ...
2
votes
2answers
705 views

ホワイトデー: use ハッピー or おめでとう?

When wishing a woman a happy White Day, would I say ハッピーホワイトデー, or ホワイトデーおめでとう, or are both ok? If both forms are used, do they have a slightly different nuance, such as "have fun on White Day today ...
9
votes
2answers
312 views

Just so you know

I'm looking for a good way to tell someone that I want to inform them of something, but I don't actually need them to do anything for me. Something like "Just so you know, the printer is broken." As ...
8
votes
4answers
639 views

What is the formula to say “I'm trying to do X regularly”?

I was trying to think of a way to say "I'm trying hard to read a news article every day" (in the sense that I'm trying to find the time to sit down and pay attention long enough to read, not ...
10
votes
2answers
331 views

Are we done here?

Today I was getting help from someone behind a counter and when I had handed in my form and shown my ID, I wasn't sure if I needed to do anything else, or if I was free to go. Usually in that ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Expressing “don't work too hard”

I've read at other sites that "don't work too hard" isn't something that's generally said in Japanese. Is there any truth to this? Are there any alternatives if that is the case? In which ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Expressing “not greater/less than” and “greater/less than or equal to”

I'm having trouble coming up with a way of saying "not greater than 0" and "not less than 0". Would the following sentences be natural/grammatical? If not, in what ways can the following be ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a form for “I have never heard of”?

Some examples of what I'm trying to convey: I have never heard that song before. I have never heard of Miyazawa Kenji I have never heard of that before? I've never heard of that store? ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What do you say when giving something to somebody?

In English when you hold out something to someone, sometimes a vocal prompt like "here" or "there" is said to indicate that you are giving it to the person. In Chinese (or at least in Singapore) we ...
6
votes
1answer
452 views

How to invoke God/spirits in Japanese

No, this is not about any Buddhist chant or mantra that can be used to call forth Japanese gods or heavenly spirits, but rather about any specialized words or interjections that attract attention of ...