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

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0
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0answers
47 views

How do we say: “This site is down for maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.” in Japanese? [closed]

I'd like to display a message that can notify Japanese users that a site is down for maintenance and humbly apologize for it. Note that I am not necessarily looking for a strict translation but more ...
2
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2answers
137 views

Apologizing with “sorry”

How would I say "Sorry, I don't understand" in Japanese? I know wakarimasen means I don't understand, but what's the equivalent of making it apologetic? Would it be something like wakarimasen ...
2
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2answers
150 views

A verb or noun for a 始発電車 arriving for passengers

Is there a name for a situation when a train departing from a source station (始発電車) arrives empty and waits for passengers? For example, is there a way to ask if the train is already waiting on a ...
1
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1answer
81 views

“Pour your heart out” [closed]

How would you say "pour your heart out" in Japanese? Is there a phrase for this? As in "I poured my heart and soul out to you" Thank you
5
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2answers
113 views

How to ask someone to repeat what they said

A recurring problem I have in Japanese dialogue is when I can't quite hear what someone said, attempt to ask them something to the effect of "excuse me?" or "what was that?" only for them to rephrase ...
7
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1answer
119 views

A phrase for a capable person with a critical view of himself

I am looking for a word, idiom or a phrase to describe an attitude when someone is able to and often publicly makes fun of one's own deficiencies. Having an objective, critical, maybe even cynical ...
8
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1answer
171 views

How to express the phrase “overrated” or “over-…”

What is the natural way to express the concept of 'overrated'? For example "this actor is overrated". The nearest I can think of is この役者はこうひょうかすぎる。But I don't know if this is even grammatically ...
8
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3answers
200 views

How would you say “for all I know” in Japanese?

The best I can think of is 僕が知る限り + fact + とは限らない. Does this work, are there better alternatives?
4
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1answer
231 views

What is the phrase for “the amount of time for paid activities”?

It might vary from company to company. When we work as a part-time employee, most companies usually pay only for the time we work. It means that we don't get paid for the break time in between. For ...
5
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1answer
161 views

Indicating a lack of surprise

How do you indicate a lack of surprise at something? For example, in response to someone noting that Cyprus had given 12 points to Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest. I tried using "本当に?" ...
1
vote
1answer
242 views

How to say “Can I take a picture of / with you?”

If I'd like to take a picture with someone, how do I go about asking them? And also, if I want to take a picture of someone, how should I ask them? Would it be something like 写真を撮ってもいいですか?
3
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1answer
482 views

How do you say “beware the cats” in Japanese?

The Italians have the famous phrase "Attenti ai gatti". Is there something similar in Japan? Would be good to have both the kanji and kana versions, since I am still a beginner. I can work out the ...
1
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1answer
48 views

How can you express to the creator that you enjoyed a book/performance/album?

Say I'm writing a message (on twitter) to an author of a book you read, or a message to an artist about live you went to or album you listened to. I want to talk/ask about something else, but I want ...
6
votes
1answer
749 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
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2answers
174 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
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1answer
164 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
405 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 ...
1
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1answer
165 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
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1answer
1k 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
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3answers
404 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
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1answer
157 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
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2answers
309 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
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1answer
78 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
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1answer
116 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 ...
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1answer
77 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
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2answers
310 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? ...
4
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2answers
7k views

Question about supposedly a 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
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1answer
490 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
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3answers
363 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
1k 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 ...
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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
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2answers
1k 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
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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 ...
10
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2answers
807 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
216 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
326 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
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2answers
582 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
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2answers
2k 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
367 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
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2answers
983 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
171 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
236 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
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3answers
9k 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 ...
12
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4answers
570 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
670 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". ...
8
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2answers
1k 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?
4
votes
2answers
311 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
626 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
949 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 ...