成句. Phrases with fixed words used as a single unit, such as idioms. For questions about a particular idiom, please use the tag "idioms".

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4
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2answers
102 views

What to say when answering the phone

I'm often unsure what to say when answering the telephone when I am the customer; people usually say their name and then wait for me to say something before stating their business. I'm guessing there ...
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1answer
113 views

What do these sentences mean?

Recently, I heard (in a song) these 3 sentences and I can't translate some words in them. I've tried various translators but I'm still confused, so I hope you can help me. Sentences are. 紡いだ日々もあるよ ...
2
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2answers
78 views

Farewell message - 悔しさをバネに

On my last day my co-worker told me this. I'm not sure what バネに means. I tried looking it up but didn't get anywhere. ここでの悔しさをバネに、次のとこでもがんばってくださいね
0
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1answer
95 views

'nihongo ga wakarimasen' vs 'nihongo wo hanashimasen' ga and wo usage?

I'm afraid this question might be basic knowledge, but for the life of me, I cannot figure it out: So most of us know the phrase 'nihongo ga wakarimasen' (meaning: I don't understand japanese) but ...
1
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1answer
83 views

ヤマトナデシコ七変化 translation

What is the meaning of this phrase? I understand the lady and kabuki references but overall, what is it trying to say?
4
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2answers
142 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
203 views

In Japanese, how do you tell the reader that a quotation is literally translated from the original when the original sounds strange?

In cases where the original wording of a quotation sounds strange, and thus the Japanese translation of it sounds unnatural, my advisor says I need to add a note each time in my academic paper to tell ...
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0answers
58 views

Does the term 大和撫子 predate WWII, or was there an equivalent term for the ideal Japanese lady?

Does the term 「大和撫子」for describing the ideal Japanese lady predate WWII, or was there an equivalent term before that? These sites here and here indicate that the term was co-opted for propaganda ...
3
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1answer
277 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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0answers
86 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 ...
5
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2answers
425 views

How to make comparisons using “like” in japanese?

So take the following (contrived) example in english. A: What does 'plane' mean? B: Which 'plane'? 'Plane' like 'the thing in the sky'? 'Plain' like 'hills on the ground'? Or 'plane' like 'a ...
7
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2answers
146 views

Is “俎板の上の鯉” related to the Vietnamese phrase “như cá nằm trên thớt”?

Is the Japanese phrase "俎板の上の鯉" - a carp laid on a chopping block related to the Vietnamese phrase "như cá nằm trên thớt" - like a fish on cutting board, either because Japanese got the phrase from ...
3
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1answer
121 views

How should the proverb “能ある鷹は爪を隠す” be understood?

The literal translation of "能ある鷹は爪を隠す" is “The wise hawk hides its talons.” But what should I understand the proverb as meaning? Is it just about humbleness, or about not letting your adversaries ...
2
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2answers
111 views

The usage of “性【しょう】に合う合わない”

I came across this sentence: 今後の自分には、そういった社交術が必要なのだと頭ではわかっていても、性に合う合わないというのはあるものだ。 Whats the meaning of "性に合う合わない" here? Does it indicate uncertainty or something like that?
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1answer
94 views

How do you indicate sections in a report if there are more than 5? (まず、つぎに、さらに、そして、最後に)

If you need to indicate more sections in a report than five (beginning each section with 「まず」、「つぎに」、「さらに」、「そして」、「最後に」 respectively), what word(s) should you use to indicate the start of the additional ...
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2answers
210 views

Why 'okane o haraimasu'?

In sentences such as: Jana will pay for the drinks. or Will the kids have to pay?. Why is it okane o haraimasu instead of ... o haraimasu? [Correct] Examples: Jana san wa nomimono no okane o ...
4
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2answers
294 views

What does 形から入る mean?

What does 形から入る mean? What contexts may it be used in? I can't find the phrase in my dictionary. I ran across this in an anime. Transcription of the relevant parts: [麻]{ま}[音]{おん}の父さん ...
4
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2answers
183 views

「周囲を取り囲む(ように)」, set phrase?

I encountered this phrase and after a bit of Googling, it seems to describe the action of crowding around a particular thing or object (people crowding around someone, trees crowding around a ...
1
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1answer
130 views

translation of 「あえて言えば、…」

What does the phrase 「あえて言{い}えば」 mean? What are a few example sentences? Is the following usage correct: 「好きな日本料理{にほんりょうり}はあんまりないが、あえて言えば 納豆{なっとう}ですね。」 "I don't really like Japanese food, but if I ...
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2answers
128 views

Origin and meaning of the proverb 死人【しにん】に 口【くち】 無し【なし】

The proverb 死人【しにん】に 口【くち】 無し【なし】 (the dead do not have a mouth) is listed e.g. here and I've also heard it from my (native) teacher. Here's what I'm wondering: From what I've heard so far, it ...
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1answer
113 views

What is the subject of「あけましておめでとう」?

「あける」、 regardless of the kanji, is transitive. Therefore: While the object is「新年」、 what is the subject of「あけましておめでとう」? Regardless of what the subject is, is 「あけましておめでとうございます」 a metaphor?
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1answer
103 views

Is there a preferred way to say “If you think about it..?”

What's the best way to say "If you think about it..?" i.e. "If you think about it, this way is better than that way..." Especially when promoting your suggestion as a logically superior suggestion ...
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1answer
125 views

Simple Phrases in Japanese [closed]

I was experimenting with these phrases to check if they could be used in a normal, everyday conversation in Japanese. Do these phrases make sense? Yoroshiku. (Nice to meet you.) Yoroshiku onegai ...
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1answer
189 views

Words ending in consonants [duplicate]

Using Hiragana, how would you write a word/transcribe a sound which ends in a consonant? Such as 'kon'. Relevant to this, I don't understand why 'hajimemashite' doesn't pronounce the 'shi' in the ...
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1answer
84 views

What's the difference between these two phrases?

I understand that both mean I have a newspaper but I can't see the difference. [僕]{ぼく}は一つ[新聞]{しんぶん}を[持]{も}っています。 [俺]{おれ}は一つ[新聞]{しんぶん}を[持]{も}っている。
3
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2answers
150 views

Is either 霊験 or あらたか used outside the phrase 霊験あらたか?

Is either 霊験【れいげん】 or あらたか used outside of the phrase 霊験【れいげん】あらたか "miraculous"? (I believe れいけん is also a possible reading of 霊験?) The goo辞書 entry for あらたか has 「霊験―な神」 as its example phrase, and the ...
4
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1answer
178 views

ムダ足だった == useless leg?

When I look up the phrase 無駄足だった, I see it translated as "It was a Wild goose chase." I found this bizarre, since it seems like it would mean "It was a useless foot/leg." is this some sort of figure ...
0
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1answer
81 views

Meaning of せっかく [duplicate]

せっかくだから、色違いでもう一つ買おうかな What is the meaning of せっかくだから here? I had the understanding that せっかく/わざわざ are used to express the notion of someone undergoing lot of effort/pain to do something for us.
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1answer
109 views

Using 無理 to empathise

無理 seems to be a part of some standard phrases whenever I would wish to empathise with a person who in unwell or in distress. Could someone help with examples of such phrases, and the context where it ...
0
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1answer
221 views

Equivalent of “That said, Carthage must be destroyed” in Japanese

"Ceterum censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam," the famous phrase with which Cato the Elder used to finish all of his speeches, no matter how unrelated the topic was. It was probably an effective ...
2
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2answers
113 views

Understanding a phrase - 必ずやらなければならないことを まとめてみた

I am trying to understand what looks like an expression, but seems too verbose. And I'm confused by the use of まとめてみた. To put it into context, the title of this page in my guide book is ひとめでわかる 攻略チャート ...
7
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3answers
563 views

What does “声が出る” mean?

When somebody uses 声が出る, what is the significance of saying it this way as opposed to using 言う? Is this used commonly and does it have some sort of special nuance I'm not aware of?
3
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1answer
165 views

“~において、…” vs. “~にとって、…” differences?

I'd like to ask about the difference between "~において、..." and "~にとって、...": example #1 アジア地域{ちいき} にとって は、日本{にほん}は超大国{ちょうたいこく}です。 アジア地域 において は、日本は超大国です。 example #2 中国人{ちゅうごくじん} にとって ...
2
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2answers
162 views

meaning of “目{め}に見えるほど、〜”

I wanted to say: "As best can be predicted, economic conditions will continue to worsen" I tried: 見{み}える ほど、景気{けいき}が悪くなっているようです。 分析{ぶんせき} できるほど、景気が悪くなっているようです。 推測{すいそく} できるほど、景気が悪くなっているようです。 ...
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1answer
151 views

Does また今度 imply concrete future plans in certain regions/dialects?

This question made me remember something I'd been wanting to ask. In general, また今度 seems to be understood as a farewell ("See you later") without a later time to meet defined. However, a Japanese ...
2
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1answer
82 views

Do 「AとしてのB」 and 「BとしてのA」have symmetry?

「AとしてのB」 might translate as "B as A"? 「BとしてのA」 might translate as "A as B"? Is there a meaningful difference between the two. I was just thinking about how to explain how to write documents in ...
3
votes
1answer
363 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
156 views

Which one is correct 会社名前 or 会社の名前?

I'm a beginner in Japanese language. In English, "Company Name" and "Name of Company" are basically the same. In Japanese, are those two the same or different? Which one should I use? 会社名前 会社の名前 ...
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1answer
165 views

why isn't “そなわち” in dictionaries? what does it mean?

I am pretty sure that I have heard the phrase "そなわち" used to begin sentences. Googling "そなわち" returns about 35,000 pages. Just like I remember, most use "そなわち" as a phrase at the beginning of a ...
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2answers
1k views

When to use “どうぞよろしくお願{ねが}い致{いた}します。” in a greeting?

Once the context is that we are about to part ways, when I want to say "goodbye" to someone in maximum 敬語{けいご}, I say「どうぞよろしくお願い致します。それでは、失礼いたします。」. Is that usage of 「どうぞよろしくお願い致します」 correct? Is ...
7
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1answer
812 views

Is「うそおっしゃい」to be taken literally here?

In the video game Ripening Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love, the protagonist Tingle meets a fortune teller who demonstrates her powers to him. She asks him, "You come from a far away town, right?" If ...
2
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0answers
41 views

difference between “田中さんのこと” and just “田中さん”? [duplicate]

I'd like to compare the meanings of: 田中{たなか}さんを尊敬{そんけい}している。 田中さんのことを尊敬している。 Are the following statements true? -#2 has a much broader meaning, right? Like, I respect Tanaka as a man, a ...
2
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1answer
159 views

The の in のに and なのに

I've heard that the の in のに and なのに is the general-noun の (I don't remember the word for it.). So why, in that light, does the meaning of the two make sense?
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3answers
628 views

Can you say “よい夢へ” instead of “よい夢を”?

I saw this message created by a native speaker:「よい夢{ゆめ} を 」. That seemed strange to me. I would have expected: 「よい夢 へ 」. My thinking right now is that: 「よい夢を」 is a straight contraction of ...
6
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2answers
604 views

Is there a special way of asking hypothetical questions?

I'm not really sure there is an equivalent for hypothetical questions in Japanese, but here's hoping there is. In English, hypothetical questions are generally prefaced by "What would you do if..." ...
9
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1answer
272 views

後で vs. 前に- Why not the same particle?

Why don't 後で and 前に both use the same particle (I suppose I would think に would be more appropriate). They both seem to be the same kind of statement, just with different times (before/after), so I ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

どういう in Place of Other Question Words

Related: の意味は何 versus はどういう意味 I was wondering why どういう is used in situations like asking for meanings of words, or in something like どういう状況, for "What's going on here?" Does anyone have a good reason ...
2
votes
1answer
182 views

On the two equivalents on maps of “you are here” (現在地{げんざいち} and 現在位置{げんざいいち})

I've noticed on my travels around Japan that on maps there are two ways of indicating the viewers position in the manner of the English "You are here": 現在地{げんざいち} is common on maps in Japan, and ...
13
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1answer
995 views

How should one respond to “お大事に”?

I came across a situation where I went to a volunteer class wearing a mask since I have a cough. My sensei told me "お大事に", and I did not know what to reply. In this case, should I just say "はい"? Or ...
5
votes
1answer
342 views

Is それが人生{じんせい} , 仕様{しよう}が無{な}い, or something else the most natural equivalent to “that's life”, “c'est la vie”, etc?

For years I have been saying それが人生{じんせい} in Japanese to mean "such is life" / "c'est la vie". In fact English has a few other ways to express the same thing, and so do the other European languages I ...