Although this site is not a translation service, 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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4
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2answers
217 views

Meaning of 「おれば」&「大手を振る」

The following sentence and translation appear in my textbook (総まとめ 読解 N1, p114): 視聴率さえとっておれば、どんな"やらせ" をやろうとも、メディアの責任を考えればモラルに反すると思うことをやっても、大手を振ることが出来る世界 A world (media industry) where they ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

How should I intepret より in this sentence

きのうは きょうより ひとが すくないです。 Is it saying: X number of people yesterday < Y number of people today? or X number of people yesterday > Y number of people today? I'm getting the ...
7
votes
1answer
367 views

Translation of 「そんなことない」

What is a correct translation for 「そんなことない」 and when can it be used? I understand the "this is wrong"/"this is not correct" general sense but is this considered either as harsh or a gentle way of ...
7
votes
2answers
815 views

Can kanji-heavy Japanese be easily translated into Chinese?

How much is changed or lost in translating (say) an old Japanese text that's mainly written in kanji into hanzi? How does it compare to translating into a completely foreign language like English? I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

~なければならない and ~によって auxiliary meanings

I am having trouble with the bold part of this sentence from wikipedia: バブル経済(バブルけいざい、economic ...
10
votes
3answers
557 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What does これ以上 (kore ijou) mean?

The whole sentence reads これ以上 シャレてる時間はない which is from the lyrics of this anime song. which, according to this website, means There's no more time to be fooling around I understand the first ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How to say “Little did I/he/she/they know”?

I found a few examples at ALC, but still not sure about the best way to say it.
7
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2answers
809 views

〜しては is this a grammar pattern?

I was trying to translate this sentence: 僕はアルバイトしてはレコードばかり買っていたから、一日半働けばLP一枚買えるな、と思って働いていた。 I think I get the overall meaning as: Because I spent all my wages on records I went to work thinking "If ...
9
votes
2answers
558 views

What is the purpose of the suffix “さ” on adjectives?

What is the purpose of the suffix "さ" on adjectives like 美しさ and 多さ? The former is the title of an essay by Banana Yoshimoto, so I don't have much context for it. The book editors translated it as ...
3
votes
1answer
513 views

Why “to iu na no” instead of “de” or “no”?

So I'm watching this anime a couple of days ago and one of the characters were describing a group of people. He ended his description with "GIGN to iu na no inu". The subtitle says that meant: "Those ...
6
votes
3answers
299 views

How would you say “talking shop” in Japanese?

In English, when we say someone is "talking shop", we mean that they are having a conversation about a particular trade or skill that they're familiar with (usually because it's their profession), ...
9
votes
2answers
493 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

What does “気結び” mean?

According to a (non japanese, but he spent lots of time in Japan) Aikido teacher I know, this is supposed to represent "an obligation bounding student and teacher". To be honest, I am a bit ...
0
votes
1answer
175 views

Translating contrasts with English expressions that not their naturally equivalents in Japanese

When translating how does one deal with contrasts best satisfied with English expressions that not the naturally translations from Japanese. In the following example: ...
0
votes
1answer
255 views

How should we translate double negatives/negatives that are unnatural in English?

Is there a basic rule for translating negatives/double negatives that do not feel natural in English. The example I have been struggling is as follows: ...
0
votes
1answer
147 views

Translation doubts (が, き…) [closed]

I'm trying to translate some Japanese text I found to English (I'm very beginner, and self-learning). There are two columns of Japanese; on the left: 私 い 日 本 が and on the right: 大 子 き で す ...
8
votes
1answer
982 views

得意とするところ explanation?

As far as I'm aware this expression means "(a persons) strong points', but I'm not sure how とする is being used in this context. My best guess would be something like "the thing (a person) tries to do ...
10
votes
3answers
625 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
351 views

When is it appropriate to choose にわたって or を通じて in regard to time?

I seem to have a hard time recognizing when to choose either にわたって or を通じて in the following question: この地方は一年(  )暖かく、とても過ごしやすい。 The correct answer is を通じて. My idea is that を通じて would make this ...
3
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2answers
187 views

What did 才六 and similar terms about Kansai residents mean?

While looking up the denonym for a Kansai resident (I've since found out it's 関西人{かんさいじん}), jisho.org described 才六, 贅六, 上方才六, 賽六 and 采六, with pronunciations (not necessarily in that order) of ぜいろく, ...
0
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2answers
514 views

What does 見ぬ/minu mean in this sentence?

The phrase is: mada minu kimi e tsudzuku. I believe the kana is: まだ見ぬきみへつづく。
7
votes
3answers
382 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 ...
5
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2answers
396 views

Are the grammatical forms ものか and だろうか questions?

For some reason, I have had the impression that か at the end of a sentence marks some kind of question that is being asked. However, in these examples from 日本語総まとめ 文法: うれしいもんですか。困っているんです。 ...
1
vote
2answers
551 views

“eat, sleep, drift” translation

A friend has asked me to design a T-shirt for him, and he wants it to read: eat, sleep, drift (as in car drifting) So far I have this: 食べる 睡眠 漂. I'm not sure if it's right as I am an English speaker ...
12
votes
2answers
370 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

dekireba/dekitara

When "dekireba" or "dekitara" is placed at the beginning of a sentence, is the subject always "you" as in "if you can/if possible", or can it be "I" as in "if I can/if I have the permission to do"? ...
5
votes
1answer
259 views

Does ネガティブ mean “negative”, or “bad”, when describing a person?

ネガティブ is an adjective that's based on the word "negative" (or maybe a word from another European language). But when describing a person, does it mean "negative", as in pessimistic, always ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to say “Slice of life anime”?

How do I say "slice of life anime/manga" in Japanese? I've tried looking this up. Perhaps it is only english speakers who categorize anime this way?
6
votes
0answers
181 views

What would be the Japanese name of a person with a native Chinese name? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When Chinese personal names are written in Japanese in kanji is there always an obvious reading? What would be the common ways to convert a Chinese name for a person to ...
8
votes
1answer
366 views

What kind of a thing is a “やつ”?

I've been seeing やつ used for "thing" reasonably frequently in Manga/online etc, for example: ほとんどは本とか食玩とか細かいやつかな。 "It's virtually all stuff like books, those small toys sold with food and small ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

“XYZ mentioned in newspaper ABC!” in Japanese?

My organization XYZ has been mentioned in a newspaper, and I would like to post a link to the online article, together with a short explanation like "XYZ mentioned in newspaper ABC!" How about ...
1
vote
2answers
6k views

How many translations of “ichigo” are there? [closed]

"Ichigo" can be the pronunciation of a person's name (as in the cartoon "Bleach"), or words meaning "strawberry", "one and five", or a part of the word "一期一会". Are there any additional meanings of ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I translate Romaji text to English? [closed]

I have a block of Japanese-language text that has been transliterated to Romaji that I would like to translate to English. They are lyrics to a song. I have very little experience with the Japanese ...
6
votes
2answers
309 views

What does the phrase らしいと言えばらしい mean?

I am reading a book where one character describes another's reading habits, and the person she is talking to says 「らしいと言えばらしいな」. From context, he seems to be saying that her reading habits are ...
4
votes
1answer
239 views

What is the meaning of ぶさかわ?

I was talking to my language partner and she mentioned ぶさかわ being used in situations when you want to describe something not pretty but nice. Apparently the word is relatively new and was first used ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the original Japanese for “It's always the darkest under the lighthouse”?

What is the original Japanese saying meaning, "It's always the darkest under the lighthouse"? (reference)
2
votes
3answers
368 views

Translation of 出証意 and 長官殿

These are from a patent related document and I can't understand very well. They are used like these: 1) 特許庁長官殿 2) 出証意2012 Can anyone help me?
14
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
254 views

A tough translation

I've found this sentence in one of my history books and i can't really make heads or tails of it....what does it mean at all? 利休は、茶道の精神は、簡素な中に深く豊かなものをみつけ、それをもっとも美しいと感じると考え、その精神を和敬静寂という葉で表した what ...
2
votes
2answers
198 views

What is って doing in this sentence?

From Noir, Episode 2 (anime). I don't get what the って is doing in this sentence. For context, the father came home early from work. He quickly answers his wife in the first sentence then in the ...
8
votes
2answers
213 views

Does バラの寝床 come directly from the English expression “bed of roses”?

I came across this phrase in a Haruki Murakami short story, and I was wondering if this is just a literal translation of the English phrase? I tried googling the Japanese phrase, but I could only ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

MySpyPhone Translation [closed]

I have an Android application called MySpyPhone. I want to translate it to a meaningful Japanese name. The application takes pictures on a user defined schedule. Any naming suggestions? Thank you ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Translation for 食べ物を腐らせずに保存する

Saw this in my textbook. The translation is "to preserve food from decay". I get it, but I am not clear about the ず after 腐らせる. Where is it coming from?
7
votes
3answers
536 views

What does ワソマソ mean?

I'm trying to translate some of the signs in the anime FLCL, and I came across this sign on the side of a train in the first episode: ワソマソ 出入口 The second part means "doorway", correct? But what ...
6
votes
3answers
830 views

What does ちがいます。 mean?

I saw this translated in the first episode of FLCL as "It's wrong.", but checking the translation, I get "Different." Can someone clear this up? Thanks.
7
votes
1answer
320 views

understanding hōgejaku — an archaic imperative?

I would like to understand this Zen calligraphy: ...
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
585 views

Translation - Long sentence, uncertain of the nuance

I'm having trouble determining the meaning and nuance of this sentence. Can you help me out? [技術]{ぎじゅつ}といっても、上手か下手かだけではなく、その技術を使う人の気持ちの持ち方まで[問題]{もんだい}にしているのです。 I think the closest I've been able ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Dates, version strings, timestamps and numbers in Japanese. How are they formatted?

I'm writing a program and need to know how dates, versions, time, and numbers are formatted in the Japanese Language Example (in English) Version 1.0.0 (Build 0) How would that look in Japan?