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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5
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2answers
405 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
140 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
votes
1answer
114 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
votes
2answers
100 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?
1
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1answer
81 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
173 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
votes
2answers
285 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
votes
2answers
181 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
vote
1answer
126 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
126 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 ...
0
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1answer
111 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?
3
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1answer
88 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
0
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1answer
80 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
147 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
votes
1answer
177 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
80 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
107 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
208 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
111 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
545 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
152 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
votes
2answers
152 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。 ...
1
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1answer
147 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
votes
1answer
79 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
291 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。 ~ ...
4
votes
3answers
151 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
159 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 ...
5
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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 ...
6
votes
1answer
797 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
votes
0answers
40 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 ...
1
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1answer
146 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
472 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
votes
2answers
575 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..." ...
8
votes
1answer
266 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
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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
170 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
985 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
307 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 ...
4
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2answers
153 views

Is there a way to say “crisis averted” in Japanese that retains its sarcastic meaning?

You know, as in situations that are clearly not crises. I've looked around but can't find an answer.
3
votes
1answer
524 views

Is there a Japanese equivalent of knock-knock jokes?

For those (non-natives, etc.) who maybe aren't familiar, knock-knock jokes are one of the lowest, most basic forms of American "comedy". They follow this format: A: Knock, knock B: Who's ...
5
votes
2answers
799 views

How can you express “as long as you want”?

I want to tell my friend that he can stay at my house as long as he wants. I was thinking: 泊まるのは何ヶ日でもいいです。 or 泊まりたい程泊まってもいいです。 What is the correct way?
1
vote
1answer
316 views

A word or short phrase for “Moving forward, taking the good things with, leaving the bad things behind”

Apparently there is a Japanese word for Moving forward taking the good things with you but leaving the bad things behind. Would any of you know what it is? Thanks in advance
2
votes
1answer
265 views

formality issues regarding the 「調子はどうだい?」 greeting

(1) ”元気なの?” and "調子はどうだい?" are pretty much equivalent in meaning and formality, right? The ”元気なの?” being a little feminine because of the "なの"? And, "調子はどうだい?" is rarely / never used by native ...
3
votes
1answer
422 views

End of semester farewell/thanks to teacher

We are approaching the end of this semester at my school. What is a good way to say thank you to my teacher? 「お世話になりましてありかとうございました。」 ? Other suggestions/additions? Thanks.
8
votes
3answers
365 views

Is there a set response to 『いらっしゃい!』?

So I was watching 女が階段を上る時 by Mikio Naruse late at night, and heard something that sounded familiar. Alas, I fell asleep and returned the movie before checking (yes there is still a rental store in my ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

What is the nuance of 鬼 in 「鬼十則」?

吉田秀雄{よしだひでお} created the 鬼十則{おにじっそく} while working for 電通: 仕事は自ら創るべきで、与えられるべきでない。 仕事とは、先手々と働き掛けていくことで、受け身でやるものではない。 大きな仕事と取り組め、小さな仕事はおのれを小さくする。 難しい仕事を狙え、そしてこれを成し遂げるところに進歩がある。 ...
8
votes
4answers
855 views

The という in things like 〜ということ・〜というの・〜という感じ・〜というわけ etc

I have been trying for ages to understand the reason という is used so frequently. In other words, what does it add to the sentence and what connotations does it have in Japanese? I understand the ...
2
votes
3answers
206 views

Can ことはない be used to express something other than 'you don't have to'?

I understand that ことはない is used to state that something does not have to be done, such as: 時間は十分あるから急ぐことはない。 However, I am currently translating a survey from Japanese to English for a friend and ...