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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
2answers
733 views

How and when to use 「そうですね」?

I only know the 2 meanings of it as follow: Use when thinking - no meaning Use to agree with others - the meaning is like "yes, I think so" What else and what situation can it be used? If someone ...
5
votes
1answer
545 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
382 views

What is this crazy guy shouting?

Note: I understand the risk that this question might be considered "too localized". However, my hope in asking isn't just to translate this one instance, but to use it as an exploration of how and why ...
6
votes
1answer
347 views

What does お土産持しててね mean? [closed]

I got a message from a friend, about to go on a trip, and it ended with: お土産持しててね I think it's basically "[I'll] bring a souvenir/gift/omiyage [for you]" but I'm not familiar with the 持してて part, I've ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Translation of 竜すらも恐るるに足らない

The full text is... この魔剣があれば… メルヴィンの言うとおり 竜すらも恐るるに足らない… Is this a double negative? "Even dragons to be not afraid is not enough" = "Even dragons are [will be] afraid".
4
votes
2answers
476 views

How do you indicate a literal translation

I know that when I read sites like Wikipedia and there are foreign words they will often give the name with the original alphabet and spelling as well as a phonetic and a literal translation. So for ...
1
vote
1answer
171 views

How does this で work?

日本女性で電車の中で化粧をする人を見ると恥ずかしいくて嫌な気持ちになる。 In my understanding, the で following 日本女性 could correspond here to the english "of," or "speaking of." Thus one interpretation of this sentence (though in ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

How do I interpret 理不尽 in this situation?

I was talking with my colleagues about work and my friend described the following situation: The boss asked my friend to make a report for a meeting that they had at the end of the day. He worked ...
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Is “bless” the best translation of 祝福{しゅくふく}?

As far as I understand it, 祝福{しゅくふく} means "bless". I came across it in this sentence, and it struck me as weird: だれもが彼の成功をうらやむと同時に、心から祝福した。 My rough translation is, "At the same time that ...
7
votes
1answer
888 views

Is this a slang, and possibly derogatory term, for “lesbian”?

Warning: Potentially offensive terms. I'm watching The Walking Dead on Hulu Japan with Japanese subtitles. I've noticed that the English dialogue and Japanese subtitles differ a lot. More than usual. ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

How to compare different actions done by different people?

For example, consider the following English phrase: Speaking Japanese is much harder for me than speaking English is for you. How would one put this in Japanese? Would... ...
5
votes
3answers
268 views

Who is performing the actions in this sentence?

I have a question about the last sentence here taken from this essay: やっぱり旅っていいな…としみじみ感じます。 'Then you will know the true joy of travelling.' 食事の後はちょっと外へ出てみましょう。 'After your meal, go ...
5
votes
2answers
351 views

How is “誰も” used in this sentence?

I am a bit confused about a sentence I came across in an anki deck: 誰もその話を知らない。 I know that that 誰 means "who" and も means "also", but the translation it gives me is: "No one knows that story." ...
9
votes
2answers
332 views

Why does someone intend to die in this JLPT question?

This is a question in my JLPT practise book: 手遅{ておく}れかもしれないが、死{し}んだ__になってやれば、間{ま}に合{あ}うかもしれない。 A もの B わけ C つもり D はず None of the answers made sense to me, so I didn't even choose one. The ...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

Understanding a JLPT practise question with ものなら

This sentence comes from a question in my JLPT practise book that is part of an explanation of the use of ものなら: 一度{いちど}仕事{しごと}を手伝{てつだ}おうものなら、それをいいことにあの人{ひと}は何度{なんど}でも頼{たの}んでくるから、気{き}をつけたほうがいい。 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Heaven in Japanese

I have found that there are a number of words in Japanese that correspond to "heaven" in English. By heaven I mean the concept of a paradisiacal afterlife. The two most frequent in my limited and ...
5
votes
1answer
203 views

Usage of the word 心配

Sorry if this is really simple and I'm overlooking the obvious, but I'm not sure how the following sentence should be translated as I've noticed on previous occasions that the word 「心配{しんぱい}」 might be ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Is this sentence making a comparison?

This sentence comes from my JLPT practise book: 宗教{しゅうきょう}とは何{なん}か、迷信{めいしん}とは何{なん}かを正確{せいかく}に定義{ていぎ}するのは困難{こんなん}だ。 I think it's basically saying: Things like religions and supersitions are ...
1
vote
1answer
223 views

How do the two ideas in this sentence come together?

I have this sentence as part of a question in my JLPT practise book: スリのグループがボスの合図{あいず}で乗客{じょうきゃく}から金{かね}を盗{ぬす}むのを目{ま}の当{あ}たりにして恐{おそ}ろしかった。 Part of the sentence means, "the pickpocket group ...
4
votes
1answer
263 views

What is the harshness of についてとやかく言う?

あなたの私生活についてとやかく言うつもりはありません。 I don't give a damn about your personal life. I have also seen についてとやかく言う translated as "quibble over". Could another translation of this sentence be: ...
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.
8
votes
1answer
336 views

What is this English doing in the middle of my Japanese?

Note: I understand this question is on the edge of being off topic. I'll accept the community assessement if enough people feel that is the case. I'm reading 脳{のう}は0.1秒{びょう}で恋{こい}をする by ...
7
votes
1answer
387 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
1answer
260 views

Usage of まるで with 見ているようだった.

その翼はとても滑らかに動くため、まるでコンピュータ・グラフィックスを見ているようだった。 Its wings were moving so smoothly that it almost looked like CGI. or would a more accurate translation be: Its wings were moving so smoothly ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

Does this athlete intend to play in the street or for the street?

In a bizarre and transparently ineffective attempt to try and change the culture of Shibuya's central shopping district, the shopowners promotion association (商店街{しょうてんがい}振興{しんこう}組合{くみあい}) has changed ...
3
votes
1answer
735 views

Help with adverbs with とする and としている

Taking yadokari's sentence: 彼女は表情が生き生きとしておりとてもかわいい。 The part that I need help understanding is the relation of 生き生きとして with 表情 and 居る. Looking up the dictionary entry for 生き生き, it is "an adverb ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
300 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

人生に生き甲斐を求めてギターを習い始めた。 Can 求める mean give?

人生に生き甲斐を求めてギターを習い始めた。 I started learning guitar to give myself something to do with my life. Is this translation a little too loose? Can 求める mean give? Or would another way of translating this ...
16
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
286 views

Name/Title at the end of a sentence. Vocative case?

Consider these stanzas taken from the opening song of Aria the Animation: Undine. Translations taken from this site Background information: An Undine as a mythical concept is a female water ...
14
votes
1answer
550 views

Understanding all the words but not the meaning: What does this ad say?

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
273 views

What is a シドギャ? ギャ doesn't mean girl, does it?

At first I thought ギャ meant girl, but after doing some googling, that doesn't appear to be what it is. What is シドギャ? シドギャ is related to the band シド, the most popular Visual Kei rock band in Japan for ...
5
votes
2answers
560 views

How can I say “make a big deal [about/out of/of] X”?

See title. I'm looking for idiomatic ways to say something like this - over-emphasizing something, worrying about it overly much, etc. Bonus points if a literal 大 (whether read as だい or おお) is ...
5
votes
2answers
202 views

What does 公け mean?

I am wondering what the reading and meaning of 公け is in the following sentence: 彼女のことが公けになることを好まず、ひそかに離縁しようと決心した。
4
votes
1answer
18k views

How to say "Please direct all your future correspondence to _email_?

Soon I am leaving my job and I would like to leave an e-mail for future correspondence with my colleagues. How do I write in Japanese something like "Please direct all your future correspondence to my ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Expression equivalent to “as far/long/much as I/you X”

Is there an expression in Japanese that is equivalent to "as far/long as I/you X", for example "as far as I know", "as far as I'm concerned", "as much as you want", "as long as he is still alive" etc? ...
9
votes
2answers
420 views

Use of になります in the context of time

While attempting to translate the sentence "It will soon be two years since I started learning Japanese", I started wondering how になります works in the context of time. Ignoring any other translation ...
6
votes
2answers
253 views

What's the meaning of すます in 耳をすませば?

What's the meaning of すます in 耳をすませば? How would you translate this?
-1
votes
2answers
288 views

What is a ダンディー? [closed]

I've encountered this word several times already but never really knew what it meant. Then I just saw this on twitter: タモリさん、今日服装がダンディー。 What is a ダンディー? What kind of clothes does a ダンディー wear? ...
2
votes
2answers
352 views

What does 二周目 mean?

I find this all over the net, but can't find it defined anywhere. I'm trying to understand this tweet: じゃあ二周目は是非モノマネで♪( ´▽`)RT @mimiroll_410: @mao_sid ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

What is 漕ぎに来てくれるフラグ in English?

これは漕ぎに来てくれるフラグ? I read that on twitter. This is the tweet, if it helps to make sense of it. 自信…なくないです( ´ ▽ ` )ノ笑RT @yamadamic: あらマオにゃん!これは漕ぎに来てくれるフラグ?(笑) RT @mao_sid: 出勤時に聴いてましたよ(^∇^)RT ...
4
votes
2answers
182 views

What is なでしこ in なでしこJAPAN

I think this what the women's soccer team is called, but I'm not clear on it.
6
votes
1answer
182 views

Meaning of ぎゃほ ?

What does the interjection ぎゃほ mean? Context: A: We are mentioned in (famous newspaper) B: ぎゃほ! かんどう====333 Does it have the meaning of かんどう ? Or is it surprise, or something else?
1
vote
2answers
248 views

What is カッコマン here?

最近の家電はブルーライト推しですな♪(´ε` )宇宙船ぽくてカッコマン(^-^)/ http://lockerz.com/s/121398862 What does カッコマン mean? What does はブルーライト推し turn into in English? What does that whole thing say?
1
vote
1answer
125 views

What is あーんしちゃろうか?

At the bottom of this picture it says あーんしちゃろうか? http://ameblo.jp/maofish/entry-10957305590.html
0
votes
1answer
161 views

Who, or what, is Tsunku san? [closed]

Saw this on twitter. つんくさん!いただきます! http://lockerz.com/s/121213710 What does that mean?
2
votes
1answer
73 views

How to correctly understand a sentence that has に in it.

A few minutes ago after the World Cup ended, Shinji, guitarist of SID, tweeted this: 胸が熱くなりました…(^-^)/日本に勇気と希望をありがとう! I'm having trouble understanding 日本に勇気と希望をありがとう! Does it mean, "Thank you for ...
2
votes
1answer
219 views

What does たいがい mean here?

Another rock star tweet that I don't understand. Here the word たいがい confuses me. いや、しん様には負けます( ;´Д`)RT @shinji_sid: いやいやあなたもたいがい…RT @mao_sid: しん様(((o(゚▽゚)o)))今日もイケメンでした(((o(゚▽゚)o)))RT @shinji_sid: ...