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

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4
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1answer
722 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

前 or 後 when placing an event in temporal reference to “now”

Consider this phrase:  今は(event)二十分前です。 Deconstruction of the above phrase yields: Now is twenty minutes before (event). (Q1) Can I reconstruct the statement using 後 in this manner?:  ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
493 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
248 views

How to get clarification in Japanese

I sometimes find that when Japanese answer my questions, their answers are too vague. For instance, I asked what つなぎ is in a given context. A Japanese person told me it is 作業着の種類, "a type of work ...
3
votes
1answer
431 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
533 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。 ~ ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

How do you say “a light read”?

What is a good way to say that a book is a light read? By that I mean writing that is basically created for entertainment, doesn't contain much drama and isn't particularly thought-provoking. ...
3
votes
1answer
987 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
234 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
416 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: ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
124 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
186 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
242 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 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 ...
1
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1answer
100 views

“Pour your heart out” in Japanese [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".
1
vote
1answer
370 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?
1
vote
1answer
51 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
79 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 ...
1
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1answer
160 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?