Questions asking for words or phrases to be translated.

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18
votes
3answers
4k views

The many ways to say “and” in Japanese

In English, we just have one word for the conjunction and which works just fine for many categories, but in Japanese, there are separate words: と joins nouns together in a closed list や joins nouns ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How is the “のです” working here?

目立つ事を恐れ、一緒でなければいけないという日本人が確実に減ってきているのです。 The strong feelings that Japanese have of being afraid of standing out and everybody having to do things together are starting to become less ...
17
votes
5answers
935 views

What does the final て in 待ってて signify?

In this scene a young girl, Yotsuba, drops in on her neighbors for some breakfast. The mother who's cooking breakfast says 「今お父さんの焼いてるからその次ねー。ちょっと待っててー」. So I guess she's preparing her husbands food ...
5
votes
3answers
184 views

Explain how 向{む}く “to face” can take “上{うえ}” as a direct object using を?

There's a famous old song that's actually the only ever Japanese language song to reach #1 on the US pop charts: "上{うえ}を向{む}いて歩{ある}こう". This is both the title of the song and a frequently repeated ...
4
votes
3answers
584 views

Is there a reliable translation of the kangxi radicals?

Inspired by the Wikipedia page on Kangxi radicals I decided to study the meaning and writing of radicals before I tackle the much more numerous kanji. But in working my way through the list, I started ...
8
votes
2answers
392 views

What does ぉ character mean in のぉ?

Can somebody explain the purpose of ぉ character in the end of the following sentence? What part of speech can be assigned to ぉ ? Can the ending の be glued up with ぉ? アドビにうまいことやられたのぉ。
7
votes
6answers
478 views

Shouldn't this phrase using だけのこと mean “just for that”?

In a grammar textbook I have, there is this phrase: 幸{さいわ}い日本{にほん}で日本語{にほんご}を勉強{べんきょう}して、かなり話{はな}せるようになりました。日本{にほん}に行{い}っただけのことはありました。 The translation given is: Fortunately, I studied ...
6
votes
2answers
209 views

Shop or Shop Owner

If you have the name of a shop plus さん, what possibilities are there for the translation? I get the sense that it can either be a formal way to speak, or it can mean the store person. 薬屋 = pharmacy ...
4
votes
1answer
395 views

How should I go about translating my company name in Japanese?

I'm trying to translate a company name ("puddle") in to Japanese. I put it into google translate, but when you translate words you're translating their meaning rather than the word itself, which is ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

隠れていなくて??! Is this 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 better "隠れていません" By the way, the whole phrase is: ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

What is the subject in 「士郎の理想、英雄となった姿があなたではないのですか。」?

士郎の理想、英雄となった姿があなたではないのですか。 I think the subject of なった is 姿, but a friend tells me it's 士郎. Is it not possible that the sentence means The figure that became hero, are not you? ?
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 ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

What are other language equivalents to Japanese particles?

When a person is learning は and が in terms of particles, what are the best way to relate them to English equivalents? The closest I can come to explaining them to others is "the" and "a" but I'm not ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

How to say, “try to __”, “have to __”

For some reason I can't remember how to say "try to _" or "have to (must) _" in Japanese. How can I say this? Any variations you can include would be appreciated.
12
votes
2answers
353 views

What is the correct veritable meaning of 水無月 and 神無月?

This question is the result of a conversation with Chocolate in chat, and also this Japanese calendar I have that lists the months according to the traditional Japanese names. For some reason, there ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the Japanese word or phrase for “to post on the internet”?

How do you say "to post something on the internet"? Are there different words for different kinds of posts, for example: a blog entry a comment a piece of information, like a translation or a ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Translation of することになっている

I have the following sentence to translate for class. 森田さんは、 ヴァージニア州立大学を卒業してから 日本の映画の会社に就職することになっている So far I have the following. Morita-san after graduating from Virginia State University became ...
16
votes
3answers
653 views

Blue blistering barnacles, what is Captain Haddock saying?

For those who might not be familiar with the series Tintin (soon to be in a major motion picture, by the way), there is a character named Captain Haddock who is famous for shouting out colourful ...
12
votes
3answers
577 views

What's bugging the Japanese language?

In my JLPT workbook, it has a section which gives a list of idioms that use [虫]{むし}. 仕事{しごと}の虫 (worker bee) 点取{てんとり}虫 (derogatory term for a student who tries too hard) 虫がいい (selfish) ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the difference between いいえ and English's “no”?

In "Japanese for Busy People I" page 2 (kana or romaji edition) it says that いいえ is 'virtually the same as "no"'. It sounds like there are some differences, but they want to omit mentioning them for ...
9
votes
2answers
437 views

What words are used for dolphin meat?

What words are used for dolphin meat? Searching jisho.org using "dolphin" in the English field listed several different words for dolphin, but no compounds involving meat. Neither the English nor ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What does イケメン mean?

I am in a Japanese 101 class. We are supposed to translate the following sentence: 日本ぶんかの先生は、イケメンですが、ぜんぜんやさしくないですから、あまり好きじゃありません。 I am having trouble with that word イケメン. So far, I have: The ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is -からです, and when is it used?

I have seen this expression a few times, and have never quite understood it. In particular, it seems to be equatable both to ですから and to んです, but I can't figure out where it would be used over either ...
6
votes
2answers
298 views

What's the literal and natural translation of たるもの?

子{こ}たる者{もの}すべからく親{おや}の命{めい}に従{したが}うべし。 Children should obey their parents What I got from ALC is that a child isn't fit, unqualified, to be one's child if it disobeys its parents. Or is it ...
6
votes
3answers
815 views

Does the (USA) English metaphor “Unable to see the forest for the trees” keep its meaning if translated verbatim into Japanese?

The phrase "Unable to see the forest for the trees" implies one is too entangled in a situation to understand what is transpiring from a larger context, and thus, unable to determine the correct ...
5
votes
3answers
161 views

Difference between 研究所 and 研究室

What is the difference between 研究所 and 研究室? Do both mean a research institute?
5
votes
2answers
341 views

Expressing neighborhood in Japanese

Something I have often stumbled on is the expression of "neighborhood" in Japanese. For most uses I find that 近所 works well. However, this usually seems to refer to a closer proximity than one would ...
5
votes
1answer
520 views

Difference between 自分 and 自分自身 and how to reflect their difference in English

Consider: 自分について書きたいことがあります。 = There are times that I want to write about myself (lit: things concerning me) 自分自身について書きたいことがあります。 What is their difference? I think the second sentence ...
4
votes
1answer
164 views

Grammar との - What is the meaning

so here in this sentence below "との" were used 2 times. What stand's との for? Can someone please explain it to me? ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

童貞が許されるのは小学生までだよね - translation of まで

I'm interested in an exact translation of the particle まで used in this Internet meme: In case you can't read the image, here's a transcription: 「えーマジ 童貞!?」 「キモーイ」 「童貞が許されるのは小学生までだよねー」 ...
3
votes
4answers
299 views

This mother doesn't know her own child?

I have the following sentence in my JLPT practise book: 当時{とうじ}母{はは}がどんな気持{きも}ちだったのか、子{こ}どもの私{わたし}には知{し}るべくもないことだった。 My faltering translation is something like, "How did my mother feel at the ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

I don't understand this phrase もっとだ

I am watching a certain show at the moment where someone is talking about wanting to kill evil creatures. Please don't judge this question as childish just because the extract is from an anime. He ...
2
votes
2answers
290 views

How should we read/translate long sentences that end in a question?

This is a question how to read long complicated sentences, and by default how we should translate them because you can't really be sure you have understood something if you can't say it in your mother ...
0
votes
1answer
427 views

how would a native ask the question “Where are you going later?”

After reading the 2 threads: How to use へ (-e), に (-ni), まで (made) and の方 (no-hō) with destination and direction? and When going somewhere, is there any difference between e (へ) and ni (に)? I would ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What do you mean, “In Japanese there are no words for ”I’m suffering“”?

Today I noticed this article about eating disorders in Japan, which I got to via the News on Japan site. The first line jumps out at me. Supposedly, in an interview, a 25 year old Japanese woman ...
10
votes
7answers
376 views

IT system renewal: Can I say 更新 for “renewal”?

I am starting a new project and have to come up with a name for it so that everybody knows what we are talking about. The project is the renewal of an IT application that I will call エックスワイゼッド. ...
7
votes
4answers
891 views

Have you tried XYZ before?

I English I can ask somebody if they've experienced or sampled a food or drink, or even an activity with this verb: Here try this and tell me if you like it. I tried koregusu once but I didn't like ...
7
votes
2answers
928 views

How accurately can 使い be translated as “angel”?

On jisho.org, 使い is translated with words such as "errand", and the same holds true on translate.google.com. Neither site is offering "angel" as a suggestion. Yet in Matthew 1:20, the phrase:     ...
7
votes
3answers
370 views

what does どことなくつかみどころがなくmean?

I came across this phrase in the sentence: 勘【かん】というものは、しょちゅう経験【けいけん】していながら、どことなくつかみどころがなく、いまの科学【かがく】ではまだその正体【しょうたい】が、明らか【あきらか】にされていない。(Soumatome N1 dokkai, p45) My best effort to translate it ...
7
votes
1answer
380 views

what does 可哀想{かわいそう}でならない mean?

I came across this expression in my JPLT N2 study materials. I deciphered the parts as 可哀想{かわいそう} means pitiable, pathetic でならない means can't help feeling so does it mean "can't help feeling ...
5
votes
2answers
461 views

Which verb for “get off” / “leave” the Shuto Expressway?

I'm not sure which way to say something like exit/leave/depart/get off/escape is most appropriate when the thing I want to get off is the system of expressways in Tokyo called the Shuto 首都高. I'm not ...
5
votes
2answers
267 views

How do I differentiate all these terms for “illiterate”?

I looked up the word "illiteracy", and was offered many different possibilities. Here they are, with my personal take on the nuance behind their origins: 活字{かつじ}離{ばな}れ ("removed from printing"?) ...
4
votes
1answer
187 views

A sentence which I can't make sense of

On the 助動詞 wikipedia page there is this sentence and I can't make sense of the part in bold: 助詞「の」「ので」「のに」等が続く場合に使われる。連体形だが名詞を修飾することはできない。なお、形容動詞を品詞と認めない立場では別の考え方になる。 Here is my try : (Those ...
4
votes
2answers
605 views

Difference between そうです、 ようです and らしいです.

Here are the example sentences. デイビットは料理が上手そうです。 デイビットは料理が上手なようです。 デイビットは料理が上手らしいです。 Firstly, what does デイビット mean as based on reading alone its sounds like 'debit' to me which is a strange name ...
4
votes
1answer
190 views

Asking “What is the size of the file?”

I am discussing via email about a file, and I want to ask "What is the size of the file?" Here is my try: サイズは何ですか? I realize it sounds weird though, and サイズはどのぐらいですか? might sound better but I am ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

Meaning of auxiliary ゆく/いく in this context

While translating a song, I've stumbled upon the following sentence: 落ちた希望を拾って明日に繋いでゆけば Which got me wondering what the difference between the following two is: 落ちた希望を拾って明日に繋いでゆけば ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Properly translating a conditional

もしも君にめぐり逢えたら 二度と君の手を離さない I would translate this to: Even if I could meet you by chance, I would never leave your hand a second time. That is because of the following analysis: moshi, ...
3
votes
0answers
109 views

水疱 vs 火脹れ vs 水脹れ vs 肉刺

While hitchhiking from Tokyo to Sapporo in the past couple of days I devloped a few blisters on the soles of my feet. I like to learn my vocabulary based on my experience so looked up "blister" but ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

Wanting Someone To Do Something (てほしい Structure)

I have the following sentence to translate. 行ってほしくないと言われたが 新聞記者になりたいので 国際交換瑠学生の試験に受からなくても行くことにした So far I have the following. It was said ... doesn't want ... to go but he wants to become a ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

Sentence with いいわけない

いいかと聞かれたら、いいわけないと答えるな The second part of the sentence is bother me. If いいわけない must mean "no excuse", then the rough translation will be: "When you asking "It's ok?" don't answer "no excuse". So, ...