翻訳. This site does not provide a translation service. However, questions about translation are welcome provided that they have some academic merit. For example, questions about translating uncommon words, phrases that have different meanings in different contexts, and other non-trivial topics.

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5answers
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How would one convey “get over it” in Japanese?

As a foreigner in Japan, one has to get used to the fact that some Japanese will compliment you on things that are too mundane to really deserve mention. Like the fact that you can use chopsticks, eat ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

Does the Japanese language only have negative terms for flirting?

I am looking for terms in the Japanese language which can describe the act of flirting in a positive light. This probably requires inventing terms to close a lexical gap, because as far as I know, all ...
20
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3answers
9k 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 ...
18
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5answers
1k 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 ...
18
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4answers
3k views

When did you last…?

I am searching for a way to ask a question like "When did you last see her?" or "When did you last do the laundry?, or also "When did we last meet?" Basically, how do you construct a question with ...
17
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1answer
684 views

What does this ad say? (Connotations of ガキ大将)

This is a frequent problem that I think many Japanese learners experience. You look at some Japanese sentences, and you understand the words, and most, if not all, the grammar, and yet still, it just ...
17
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1answer
3k views

How do I politely ask my boss for a moment of his time?

My boss is a native Japanese speaker. In English, when I have a question or an issue to bring up, I can ask "Do you have a minute?" to see if it is an appropriate time to interrupt them. In Japanese,...
17
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1answer
717 views

Is it true that the meaning of あ可よろし is unknown?

One of the cards in a Hanafuda deck looks like this: The character that looks like の is actually , a hentaigana for ka derived from the kanji 可. The card says あかよろし, not あのよろし. According to ...
16
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3answers
821 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 ...
16
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2answers
3k views

What is the meaning and usage of ネタ?

For example in this phrase: 話すネタはもっていそう I translate it into "he might have some stories", but I have the impression it has many other meanings.
16
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3answers
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What does よろしくおねがいします mean when departing?

When on business in Japan last year, a Japanese colleague said よろしくおねがいします to me as the group were leaving after dinner. I'm aware of its usage in initial greetings, as is usually taught in textbooks,...
16
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4answers
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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 ...
16
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2answers
584 views

An interesting postcard

According to my information, this postcard was sent from Japan to Russia, and probably in 1945. Needs a translation badly and nobody has seemed to care since then. I suppose that the historical kana ...
15
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9answers
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 ...
15
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2answers
3k views

How to say: “I am returning your call”

Title says it all! If somebody called and left a message, when calling them back, is there a set expression for that? I generally just use "さっきにお電話頂いた...", but wondering if there is a more idiomatic ...
14
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1answer
1k views

ち suffix I've never heard of before

Ok, so I've been reading よつばと recently, and I've been seeing a suffix coming up that I cannot seem to find a meaning for. It's not in any dictionary, and I'm not sure if it's a name suffix, or some ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Saying “to miss” (“I missed you over the weekend”)

What's the best way to say "to miss" in the sense of feeling a longing for something, or that something pleasant is missing? I understand there's [懐]{なつ}かしむ, but it seems to me that, like 懐かしい, is ...
14
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2answers
471 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 ...
13
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2answers
1k views

What do you call young animals in Japanese?

In English we have a lot of very specific words for many animals. Male foxes are known as reynards or tods, female foxes are known as vixens, and baby foxes are known as kits. It's not an isolated ...
13
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4answers
2k 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 ...
13
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3answers
772 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) ...
13
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1answer
421 views

Difference between 書かないようになった and 書かなくなった?

Example sentences: ぜんぜん長い手紙を書かないようになった。 ぜんぜん長い手紙を書かなくなった。 My Translation: I never write long letters anymore. I believe they both mean the same thing but there's obviously some difference I don'...
12
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7answers
488 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. ...
12
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2answers
765 views

Japanese idiom equivalent to “take with a grain of salt”

Is there a Japanese idiom equivalent to "take with a grain of salt"? In other words, an idiom which means "don't accept this information as completely true or the complete truth".
12
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1answer
2k 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 ...
11
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4answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
10k views

What does さあ (saa) mean?

I have seen this term used a lot in many different ways. 「さあ、忘れましょうその未来が」 saa, wasuremashou sono mirai ga — in this sense, I assume it means "come". But I have also seen it used as 「でもさあ」 demo saa — ...
11
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3answers
295 views

心配でたまらず - what is the verb and its form?

Could someone explain the grammar/words behind this and similar phrases? I did some research and probably found the explanation, but I am not sure if this is correct. The phrase may be found in a ...
11
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2answers
3k views

What is 〜からです and when is it used? How does it differ from 〜ですから and 〜んです?

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 ...
11
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2answers
305 views

To uncomment in Japanese?

In the context of computer programming, how to say to uncomment? For instance, here I uncomment a line: // Before // myvar = 3; // After myvar = 3; I would use コメントアウトする, but I also see ...
10
votes
4answers
938 views

What is the formula to say “I'm trying to do X regularly”?

I was trying to think of a way to say "I'm trying hard to read a news article every day" (in the sense that I'm trying to find the time to sit down and pay attention long enough to read, not ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

How to say “What's it to you?” in Japanese?

What would be appropriate expressions or idioms to convey the typical English response: What's it to you? (in a sense that goes somewhere between "None of your business" and "This is not your ...
10
votes
3answers
761 views

What does “齓” mean?

I've found this kanji during Shodo practice. My teacher (Japanese) didn't know the meaning (she recognized the Tooth bushu/radical but not the "word"). I tried to look it up on the electronic ...
10
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4answers
255 views

Translating: “一人でも多くの方にコメントしていただけたら嬉しいので ”

I have about a semester of Japanese under my belt, so my ability to read the language is 'not great,' especially when it comes to getting any kind of nuance out of a statement. At the moment, I'm ...
10
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3answers
950 views

How do I say “He already went to do X for me”, implying he is still in the process of X, not finished?

The other day at some festival a few japanese friends asked me something to the effect of アイスを買ってくるけど、行く? But I had already asked a friend, who had not yet returned, to get some for me. So I said ...
10
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3answers
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よかろう - What does it mean? Where does it come from?

This is another question that's come from a 昔話。 We have the following section: 大きい箱と小さい箱がありますが、どちらがいいですか。 どちらも結構じゃが、どうしてもと言うのなら、小さいほうでよかろう。 I'm having trouble with the second sentence. My ...
10
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4answers
6k 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.
10
votes
4answers
491 views

word search: voluntary pause between desire and action

Some years ago, I read that Japanese has a word (or idiomatic expression) that means roughly: The action of voluntary interposing a pause between the moment you desire something and the moment you ...
10
votes
2answers
685 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 ...
10
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2answers
204 views

安らぎの人 translation into English

I'm watching an old anime, and the main character at one point says: 彼は私の安らぎの人です。 The subtitles said, "He's the one that I love." But I'm unfamiliar with the use of 安らぎ in this context, and am ...
10
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1answer
2k views

How can I differentiate between “risk” and “danger” in Japanese?

I wanted to know how to say "risk" in Japanese, so I looked it up, and found that most dictionaries translate "risk" as 「[危険]{きけん}」. To me, [危険]{きけん} means "danger", which is different. Though, to ...
10
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3answers
607 views

Is ~も really marking the word just prior to it?

I'm translating an excerpt for fun, but this section struck me as odd: 彼女は、口に持っていきかけていたコップを、ゆっくりとテーブルに戻すと、それっきり、放心したように、黙り込んでしまう。微速度撮影でうつした、枯れていく花のように、みるみる両眼が落ちくぼみ、鼻がそげ、あれほどなめらかだった肌の色も、...
9
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6answers
617 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 ...
9
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4answers
605 views

Does 一二三 mean “1 2 3” or “123”?

Is it possible, without any context, to tell whether 一二三 means "one, two, three" or "one hundred twenty-three"? In English, this kind of ambiguity would be removed by adding spaces between each digit:...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
9
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3answers
605 views

What is the correct Japanese translation for “pull down to refresh” in an app context?

I am currently studying Japanese, and one of my approaches for studying is by translating applications (since I also make apps for a living). How do I correctly translate "pull down to refresh"? ...
9
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3answers
905 views

My name is Midori, but I have never known the Kanji

My parents are not Japanese but they named my sister and me with Japanese names for the meanings they had: Mariko - Child of Truth Midori - Youthful Immortal. With these definitions as guidance, can ...
9
votes
2answers
232 views

What work is left on a map?

Near Shibuya, they're finishing up some construction on a subway system that has been going on for years. It seems they're at the stage of finishing up some road work above where they had been making ...
9
votes
4answers
618 views

How to translate: “Keep/leave something”. So, how to express intention to leave something unchanged

Consider questions like: Please leave the door open, thanks! Could you please keep the lift's doors open? Thankyou Please, leave it as it is. They all imply something common: not changing the ...
9
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2answers
417 views

Just so you know

I'm looking for a good way to tell someone that I want to inform them of something, but I don't actually need them to do anything for me. Something like "Just so you know, the printer is broken." As ...