音声言語(話し言葉). Words that exist in speech but not in writing. Also refers to things like contractions, omissions, or other verbal mechanisms characteristic of speech.

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27
votes
2answers
4k views

Where does “もしもし” (moshimoshi) for answering the telephone come from?

Does the term "もしもし" (moshimoshi) predate the telephone? Does it have any use besides answering the phone? Where does it come from, is it just a reduplication of "もし" (moshi) "if", and if so how does ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

全然 {ぜんぜん} with positive adjective / na-adjective

In Japanese classes, I was taught that 全然 can only be used with negative-meaning words/phrases/clauses, for example: 全然出来ません 全然だめです However, I've observed that, especially in spoken Japanese, ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Commonness of casual phrases like “あたし” and “ちっちゃい”

I came across a Japanese girl in Germany who talked using words like あたし instead of わたし, or ちっちゃい instead of ちいさい. When I asked her, she said that these words or usages of words are more common in ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

おっす! An abbreviation for … what exactly?

Going hiking here in Japan, you can hardly pass anyone without either saying お疲れさまです, おはようございます (I go hiking in the morning) or こんにちは. Some people (young males in particular) greet you with either ...
16
votes
3answers
908 views

Rules for emphasizing by lengthening sounds

Sometimes, sounds are lengthened for emphasis. For example, see "とっても versus とても". What are the rules governing this process? Are there restrictions on where lengthening can be inserted? とっても or ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

How does pitch accent work in Japanese?

My studies taught me there's two ways to say each mora in Japanese, with the way you normally talk and when you put a bit more emphasis on a mora, i.e. when someone says なつかしい, the word would be ...
14
votes
3answers
24k views

Using なるほど (naruhodo) and やっぱり (yappari) in the same situation

I know, since they are of different word classes, なるほど (naruhodo) and やっぱり (yappari) may not be used interchangeably within the same sentence, but can they be used within the same situation instead? ...
13
votes
1answer
6k views

What are the stereotypical characteristics of yakuza speech?

When people imitate yakuza speech, what are the major things they do to make it recognizable as such? If possible, how accurate is this compared to actual yakuza speech? I've seen mention elsewhere ...
12
votes
2answers
450 views

What do I do when I encounter “Written Japanese”?

I have read in grammar dictionaries some words/phrases that are labelled as "Written Japanese" and should not be used in normal speech. Let's take for example the sentence-ending こと indicating a ...
12
votes
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What to say at the cash register in the convenience store

I just came back from Japan, it is my first time, so I found myself in the situations, that I wasn't prepared for. At the convenience store I noticed natives tend not to say much to the staff at all, ...
11
votes
2answers
264 views

苦労せん is the contracted form of what?

I'm translating a manga in which one character use a very slangy or contracted way of speaking while the others talk more standard-like. I've already encountered the stem+ん as a short form the ...
11
votes
3answers
337 views

Do people actually ever say みょうにち?

I've heard people using あした (the common one) and あす (rather uncommon) to refer to "tomorrow". I was wondering does anyone actually uses the reading みょうにち ?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

In actual Japanese society, how often are second-person pronouns used?

My Japanese professor (I'm in first-year Japanese) advised us to primarily avoid the use of second-person pronouns like あなた or 君 or おまえ throughout the year, and essentially treated their utterance as ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Beginner miscomprehension of spoken Japanese - finding wrong word boundaries

As a beginner of Japanese, I very often I don't understand or completely misunderstand spoken Japanese - even if I know every word in the sentence, and may have recognized it in different context. ...
8
votes
2answers
486 views

“Arigatō” and “gozaimasu” combined into a single word?

In Japan for three years, and I've noticed that the locals often sound like they're combining the two words "arigatō" and "gozaimasu" into a single word, "arigatōzaimasu". Am I hearing things ...
8
votes
2answers
481 views

What's the substitute word for missing/unimportant part of sentence?

Sometimes there are situations when you'd like to describe someone saying something, but what exactly he says is less important than the rest of sentence and it can be easily ignored. Or in case when ...
8
votes
1answer
425 views

Do people use the ending ~まい?

I see the ending ~まい all over the place in the JLPT books and in example phrases but I can't actually think of an example of somebody saying it or writing in an email (from SMS style messages to work ...
8
votes
1answer
230 views

かかったためしない - how can this be translated?

I encountered the following sentence in a comic book which I could not make sense of. The comic strip depicts a character using a simple bird trap and saying: 「長年やってるけどかかったためしないなあ」 The first part, ...
8
votes
2answers
185 views

まあいいじゃん meaning

それじゃ遅い。遅すぎるよ、小夜子ねーちゃん。 喩えるなら…そう、後で買えばいいと思っていたものが、いざ欲しい時に売り切れていた…みたいな? 分かるような分からないような… あはは、まあいいじゃん。 In this case the speaker was trying to tell the listener why they want do ...
8
votes
1answer
302 views

can we use ねー as a question?

I've read that people usually change ない to ねー to make it more manly, like: したくないよ becomes したくねーんだ So basically i often heard questions ending with ない but have not heard anyone end a question with ねー ...
7
votes
2answers
367 views

Polite form of ~っけ

In my everyday conversations when trying to confirm an understanding or recall a piece of information I am sure I had heard before, I often use (そう)だっけ、だったっけ、and でしたっけ when speaking to equals or 目下の人。 ...
7
votes
2answers
208 views

About cutting the sentences short

I've been told during my Japanese classes, and I've also observed in anime and Japanese dramas & movies, that sometimes when talking Japanese people tend to stop halfway and omit the end of ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I spell “So! So! So! So! So!”?

I've heard people say "So! So! So! So! So!" (or possibly "Sou! Sou! Sou!" or maybe using "z" instead of "s" - I'm bad at hearing) when laughing in agreement. When middle-aged women speak Japanese ...
7
votes
1answer
164 views

How to say “I don't know you well”

I'm trying to tell someone the reason I don't want to do something is because i barely know them. I'm not even sure if the verb I'm suppose to be using is 知る。I feel that might be really rude to say to ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I speak in the local dialect and/or accent of an area? [closed]

I'm planning to go to Tohoku for at least a week, and Lonely Planet, Wikitravel and TVTropes all mention that Tohoku-ben is a bit different from how Tokyoites would speak. TVTropes also mention that ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Are times after noon expressed in military time?

How are times after noon expressed when speaking? I assume that if it's obvious from context that it's after noon, then people will just say 5時. But what if it's not obvious from context? My ...
6
votes
4answers
586 views

How do Japanese speakers transition from polite to plain form amongst friends?

When you first meet somebody, polite language is, on the whole, the most commonly used form of Japanese. Children may differ, and I understand that not everyone will use plain form, but regardless a ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Etymology of もん・もの

How do I make sense of the 終助詞 もん as in おいしいもん そうなんだもん Although I have only heard it in 時代劇 speak, I guess it comes from もの, which I think should be も + の. But what も can follow the 終止形 and ...
6
votes
1answer
352 views

Pronunciation of ううん

The pitch contour of the interjection ううん has been described as high, low, middle. Alternatively, it has been described as a falling-rising tone. In either case, this appears to be unique in ...
5
votes
1answer
214 views

How to hear the difference between て and で, た and だ, か and が, etc.?

How can I learn to hear the difference between て and で, た and だ, か and が, etc.? For example, when I people say "わたし", it sounds to me like "wa da shi" instead of "wa ta shi". The same things happens ...
5
votes
2answers
252 views

Counters for graphs in oral presentations?

I have to make a Japanese presentation and I'd like to say "I'll explain japanese demographics using three graphs", but then realized I didn't know the counter for graphs. Can someone help me out?
5
votes
3answers
181 views

Is it common to shorten 感じがする to 感じ?

Whilst it isn't always the case, I do occasionally see sentences that I think would be written out in full as 感じがする as opposed to 感じ. Take the following examples. お風呂って大好きなんです。心が休まる感じで ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

What does こういうの refer to in こういうのって天然が一番怖いのよ

どこまでドジっ娘なのよ、あの子 あはは…ま、まあ、わざとじゃないんだし こういうのって天然が一番怖いのよ context: あの子 forgot something back in her room that they need and is in the process of going to get it and the other two then begin ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Is “初めてです、広島は。” ok in spoken Japanese?

In the context of my actually being in Hiroshima, I think I could say すごいすごい。初めてです、広島は。 to mean "This is my first time in Hiroshima". Is this correct? Is that natural Japanese? Do the ...
5
votes
1answer
267 views

What does うんたらかんたら mean?

I recently heard this phrase being told in a show, but I just couldn't make sense of what it means...And what really caught my attention was that the listener was really surprised to hear this phrase ...
4
votes
2answers
127 views

Distinguishing between んな/な, んの/の, etc

I'm learning Japanese, but I'm still very early on in my education (Rosetta Stone, some books and a Japanese-speaking friend). I'm pretty sure I'm grasping the basic concepts okay, but I'm having ...
4
votes
1answer
273 views

Are 行きゃあ and 行きゃ both contractions of 行けば?

I started playing another old game, Game Boy Wars Advance 2, and I ran across this bit of dialogue: ま、どのみち、マクロランドに行きゃあ、 いやでも戦わなきゃなんねえんだ。 I think this is something like: ま、どのみち、マクロランドに行けば、 ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

The word いや - gender?

I've been told that いや (in its use similar to いいえ) is a mainly masculine word, but I've heard many female speakers use it, both as a filler and a content word expressing disagreement. Is it that young ...
4
votes
1answer
300 views

What is the よっか in はじめよっか?

I'm still playing Game Boy Wars Advance 2, and I keep running into colloquial forms I'm unfamiliar with. Here's one I haven't been able to look up: じゃ、さっそく、はじめよっか。 My guess is that はじめよっか is a ...
4
votes
1answer
259 views

What does 「やりい」 mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. たっぷりかわいがってやりい。 I guess it would mean 'to do' but I would like to know why it is written in this form.
4
votes
1answer
154 views

の意味は何 versus はどういう意味

What is the difference between の意味は何 and はどういう意味? When asking for the definition of a word, I've been told to use the latter, but I don't know why the former is incorrect.
4
votes
2answers
215 views

What does ムカつく refer to in this situation

Context: Two friends had a spar and one of them beats the other one. The following conversation then happens 「お前、ちょっとは手加減しろよ」 「俺とお前の腕に大した差はないよ」 「なんかムカつくな」 My question is to what is the ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

What does the 'あ' do in this sentence 「そいつあけっこうだね」?

I am not sure if the 'あ' being used instead of 'は' or there is a meaning in the word 'そいつあ'. In addition, is it possible that the 'あ' is a kind of particle or suffix?
3
votes
2answers
355 views

Meaning of だけども / ですけども

I was watching はじめしゃちょー on youtube, and I noticed that he keeps adding だけども / ですけども at the end of sentences. I fully understand the usage of けど, however I have never encountered も (or is it ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Polite form of って in 「なになに」って何?

How would you politely say that? When you talk to a stranger, and you don't know the word he just said. Say f.e.: 落札 I understand that you could just say 「落札」の意味は何ですか? but is there specifically a ...
3
votes
3answers
248 views

Why are words sometimes broken into syllables when said?

This occurrence appears to happen when the speaker is trying to sound cute, or is possibly under the influence of something... They break one of the words into syllables or characters, with pauses in ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

Is 隠れていなくて correct?

I found this in a phrase: 隠れていなくて. I can translate it simply as "aren't hiding" or "were hiding"? By the way, is it correct or is 隠れていません better? By the way, the whole phrase is ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

What does それ refer to in それでいい in this exchange?

「ええい、御託はいい!!それより流星。お前は見たくはないのか?嫁達の喜ぶ姿を。」 「嫁達の喜ぶ姿…」 「しかも温泉で!」 「お、温泉で…」 「…わ、分かった。嫁達の健康と笑顔には変えられん。」 「ふははははっ、それでいい、それでいいのだ、流星!」 In this exchange I'm a bit confused as to what the それ is actually ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

The meaning of モン in 上手いモンでしょう

The main characters younger sister showed him some scribbles she had done in her textbook and then said 「上手いモンでしょう」. My question is whether it is definition 5 here or whether モン refers to the ...