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

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1answer
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Master suppression techniques

"Master suppression techniques" also known as "domination techniques" are defined as "ways to indirectly suppress and humiliate opponents". Master suppression techniques are defined as strategies ...
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1answer
102 views

Does 「私は緊張してです私の日本語学習ついて」 read properly?

I'm trying to say, "I'm nervous about learning Japanese" or "I'm nervous about my Japanese learning." Does 「私は緊張してです私の日本語学習ついて」 communicate that? If not, how should I communicate it?
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4answers
11k 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, ...
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1answer
5k views

What is usually written at the end of a slides presentation to imply “Thanks for listening”?

I've seen this phrase a couple of times but couldn't read the Kanji so I don't remember it. Otherwise, what phrase would be good to include in the last slide to imply "Thanks for listening!"? For ...
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2answers
108 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. ...
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2answers
146 views

How to say “100% virus free”?

In English we put the following phrases below software we want customers to download to put their mind at ease (for example, a neat weather app). ✓100% virus free ✓Contains no malware ✓Contains no ...
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2answers
99 views

How to say “plunge into (studies)”?

Please, could you help me to translate the phrase in bold in the following sentence? I have plunged into my studies.
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2answers
93 views

Natural way to ask what project/work someone has been doing lately

What is a natural way or ways to ask about what project(s) or work someone is doing lately at a job? In English I'd say: So what project have you been working on lately? So what have you been ...
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2answers
180 views

How to ask someone to repeat what they said [duplicate]

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 ...
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2answers
241 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 ...
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3answers
2k views

“Strike while the iron is hot” - Japanese equivalent

Is there an equivalent expression in Japanese for "strike while the iron is hot"? I've seen a few questions on here with phrases and their equivalents. Does anybody know of a site where these are ...
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1answer
101 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".
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
129 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 ...
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1answer
206 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 ...
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3answers
244 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?
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1answer
237 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 ...
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1answer
539 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 ...
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1answer
442 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 ...
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2answers
196 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 ...
5
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1answer
170 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?" ...
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1answer
412 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?
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1answer
497 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
798 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 ...
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1answer
191 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 ...
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3answers
8k views

How do you ask for “the bill” at a restaurant?

This is probably a bit of a silly question, but what do you say in Japanese when you're asking for the bill in a restaurant? Or is it unusual to say anything at all? When I was in Japan I could never ...
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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 ...
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2answers
2k views

How should I start an email when requesting something from someone I don't know well?

In English, there is a certain etiquette to follow when writing a business letter. From what I've seen so far, the same seems to be true in Japanese as well. If I was making a business-related ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
5k 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
421 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: ...
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1answer
161 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?
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2answers
389 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 ...
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1answer
221 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'. ...
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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 ...
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1answer
128 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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2answers
352 views

Proportion and Rate

How do I form a sentence pattern for: The more/less X happens, the more/less Y happens E.g. The more you stir, the faster the salt dissolves. The colder the weather, the more ...
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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 ...
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2answers
344 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? ...
3
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1answer
545 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。 ~ ...
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3answers
385 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 ...
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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
2k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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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 ...