Questions concerning the terms (words and phrases) which may be used to cover specific concepts, fields, or phenomena.

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8
votes
1answer
961 views

What do you call brothers or sisters of the same age?

From what I can see people are forced to use the term of a younger or older brother/sister oneesan, oniisan, etc. But what do you call a brother or sister if they're the same age as you?
7
votes
1answer
838 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Is there a term for words that share the same kana spelling?

I would like to know if there is a word (in either Japanese or English) that describes pairs of words that are spelled the same in kana. For example, 橋 and 箸 would be "homo-kana" words, because they ...
3
votes
2answers
182 views

“Formal” Japanese and “honorific” Japanese, are completely different, right?

My understanding is that, strictly speaking, "honorific" Japanese 敬語{けいご} is completely different from "formal" Japanese 丁寧語{ていねいご}. Yet, I sometimes hear even native speakers conflate them: ex: ...
4
votes
1answer
320 views

Japanese 濁音 dyslexia

I'm wondering if there is a real type of dyslexia in Japanese with [濁音]{だく・おん}, where the person sees the word written, but mentally pronounces the 濁音 for a different mora. Not to diagnose myself ...
5
votes
2answers
152 views

Is there a name for this furigana convention

...where the furigana is a different "word"/"synonym" for the actual kanji in song lyrics, titles, etc.? A couple references to this: Why are some lyrics' words written in kanji whose usual reading ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

Etymology of grammar-related terms in Japanese

I've been searching up words like '~の近く' (near), '~の裏側' (behind), '~より先' (further away). Basically words related to the position of an object or thing. The term I've been using is 前置詞 in Japanese, but ...
7
votes
1answer
497 views

Is ない an “auxiliary verb”?

My dictionary says 助動詞{じょどうし} means "auxiliary verb". This sounds intuitively correct; 動詞 means verb, so 助動詞 sounds like a type of verb. But the 助動詞「ない」 looks like an auxiliary adjective, not an ...
2
votes
1answer
309 views

Is there a term for using conjugating verbs such that the sentence continues with another clause?

I'm referring specifically to using the て form to form a pseudo conjunction, and specifically the transformation of verbs in formal writing by using the verb stem instead of て form. For example the ...
4
votes
1answer
471 views

How to call a wait pointer in Japanese?

In Japanese, how to call a wait pointer? I am talking about a computer mouse pointer which becomes a spinning wheel or hourglass (depending on the OS) when the application is busy processing ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the difference between Ichidan/Godan and Ru/U verbs classification?

I've come across two different ways (at least, apparently for me) to classify verbs. Please note that this question is fundamentally different from Verb classifications by japanese learners. The ...
8
votes
2answers
289 views

Are numbers part of romaji? (i.e. 1, 2, 3 vs 一二三)

Romaji is when you use the Roman alphabet to write out Japanese. I.e. you use "abc" instead of "あいうえお". Taking that one step further, what do you call it when you use "123" instead of "一二三"? My first ...
5
votes
2answers
684 views

What is “kanji illiteracy” (kanji yomenai) in the context of native Japanese speakers?

In the context of native Japanese speakers (not non-natives), is there a concept that roughly translates as "kanji illiteracy"? If so, what are the Japanese terms for it? Also, what does it mean? Does ...
8
votes
1answer
467 views

Change of kanji like 大坂 to 大阪

Wikipedia says that Osaka used to be spelt 大坂, and is now spelt 大阪. Is there a term for what happened, and does it happen often? Related question: On the replacing of kanji obsoleted in the 1946 ...
5
votes
1answer
215 views

What do you call these words?

I'm trying to figure out what the term is that describes words that look like this: やっぱり; さっぱり; うっかり; こっそり; ひっそり; ぐっすり; すっきり They seem similar to 擬態語、義質語、and 擬音語, but I think they have a ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

Are most counter words made up of two parts? What are those two parts called?

When looking at counter words, there seems to be a part that has a number, and a part that stays more or less the same. For example, the counter words for hours of a day are ichi-ji, ni-ji, san-ji. ...
8
votes
3answers
291 views

What do we call things that are neither kana nor kanji?

I was wondering Is there a Japanese name (or term) for written stuff that are neither kana nor kanji? By that, I mean stuff like: ゠ (ダブルハイフン, for indicating the dash in foreign words) ・ (ぽつ, for ...
9
votes
3answers
422 views

How to call the phenomenon where a rectangle Ϳ is shown because font misses glyph?

Is there a name to describe the situation where a particular character is shown on a computer screen in a particular font, but this font does not have a glyph for this particular character? Usually, ...
10
votes
4answers
977 views

In what way is the negative form of a verb an adjective?

I was reading the wikipedia page on "predicate," where it mentioned that in Japanese, the negative form of a verb is an adjective. I thought that this was too expansive a statement to be true, but ...
13
votes
1answer
831 views

Are kanji characters made up of radicals only or could they contain strokes that are not radicals?

Inspired by this question of rounded or circular strokes in kanji, I got an idea to prove that there is no circular strokes in kanji by examining all kanji radicals, which is a lot less that examining ...
8
votes
1answer
396 views

How is 名 pronounced in computer terms?

For usernames, etc., you usually see like ユーザ名 or something similar. Or like on my Skype, it says Skype名. How is the 名 pronounced in these situations? I've never been able to conclusively find this ...
6
votes
1answer
294 views

Board / Card game expressions

I wanted to talk about a board game recently, and realized that I am missing all related vocabulary. Before you shout foul and throw dictionaries at me, these expressions are very difficult to look ...
4
votes
1answer
220 views

Clarification of hard to understand Japanese Mahjong rule

This one probably needs a Japanese and Mahjong expert to decipher: (3)全局を一ハン(飜)しばりとし、二ハン場とする。 This is the third rule about the basic game setup of (my version of) the official Japanese Mahjong ...
7
votes
1answer
349 views

Does Japanese have a term equivalent to “Engrish”?

It seems common enough for Japanese to attempt to use English, that we get some truly bizarre translations. Especially bad are older games that were non-professionally translated to what we came to ...
8
votes
2answers
293 views

How do you classify a word like “電子レンジ”?

This recent question introduced me to the concepts of 外来語【がいらいご】, defined as foreign words not originating from Chinese, and 和製英語【わせいえいご】, which are English constructions that were made in Japan. ...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

Term for English heading and Japanese body

There seems to be a tendency to have a heading (or emphasized text) in English, but the body of the text in Japanese. For example, Tokyo train stations have posters with Saving Electricity in ...
8
votes
1answer
268 views

Term for multiple foreign words sharing the same loanword in Japanese?

Is there a term that describes multiple foreign words sharing the same Japanese-language loanword? For example, Wikipedia's disambiguation page for フォーク (Romaji: foku) covers both the English word ...
8
votes
2answers
181 views

Software flashcards deck = 単語帳 or デッキ?

I maintain a flashcards app (called AnkiDroid), it is open source so various users contributed the Japanese UI localization. Unfortunately, for the term "flashcards deck" (a file containing a number ...
9
votes
2answers
224 views

Written resources for scientific and philosophic japanese?

In this Question about computer science jargon, most answers to date are electronic resources and that makes sense. But I would like to know if there are printed japanese/english or japanese/german ...
6
votes
1answer
192 views

Does “keigo” cover only the use of honorific/humble/polite elements, or does it cover the full range and choice of what to use and not use?

I'm having trouble putting this question into words, especially short enough to use as the question title, basically I'm confused about what the term "keigo" applies to: Is it just the addition of ...
6
votes
1answer
232 views

What are the Japanese terms for “character dictionary”? “漢辞海”? “漢字典”?

I'm looking for a cheap secondhand character dictionary in Japan but: I don't know if there is one or more kind of these, and I don't know what they are called. Two I saw had these on their spines, ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Japanese dictionary for mathematics/computer science jargon

I study mathematics and computer science, and I'm starting to learn japanese. Could you suggest me dictionaries/sites/etc where I could learn terminology on these subjects?
12
votes
4answers
369 views

Pronunciation of 閾値 : いきち or しきいち?

Last week I saw the word 閾値 and when looking it up in Gjiten I see two pronunciations, both marked as "popular": 閾値 (いきち) (n) threshold (amount, dose, etc.); (P); 閾値 (しきいち) (n) threshold (amount, ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an easily accessible list of terms in the Japanese grammar written both in Japanese and English?

I am a native Japanese speaker with a casual interest in languages. I sometimes have trouble explaining the Japanese grammar in English because I do not know the established English translation of ...