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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6
votes
3answers
792 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.
1
vote
2answers
247 views

What does 御用の向きとは mean + usage of うぬ in the meaning of “you”

I have two questions: What's the meaning of a phrase: 御用の向きとは? Is it a set expression? I found a few examples where it was ended with a question mark, in some cases preceded by addressing an ...
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
573 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
418 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
218 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
192 views

Understanding 〜たら良いか〜

The sentence 何と言ったら良いか分かりません means "I don't know what I should say." But what is the literal translation of this sentence? What is the purpose of the か in 良いか?
6
votes
1answer
335 views

What is the best word to use to mean “to take long-term a break (i.e. from school)”?

Just to add some context to this question: I graduated with a B.A. last June, and am currently taking a two-year break from education to work off some of the inordinate amount of debt I accumulated in ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

What Does 火信 Mean? [closed]

I saw 火信 tattooed on a gentleman's neck. I looked up the words, but couldn't make sense of their combination... What does it mean?
8
votes
0answers
266 views

Thoughts about event frequencies and “often enough”

I'm having trouble expressing the concept of "not often enough". The most basic way to say "often" is よく, but I think there's a problem in putting qualifiers on this word. For instance, expressing ...
9
votes
2answers
462 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".
8
votes
1answer
139 views

How do I translate a pattern like “Tap to enter comment”?

I find it difficult to translate short software GUI instructional pieces like: Tap to enter comment Press here to talk Sign in to continue Should I put it like: タップしてコメントを入力 or must it be: ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Can I refer to the March 11 earthquake without mentioning the word earthquake?

Is it possible to refer to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and nuclear incident in everyday conversation, preferably without using the words earthquake or tsunami or nuclear incident? For ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
454 views

translation for “It serves as a good reminder for me”?

After I've say watched a film with some friends (or read a fable or something) and learned something from it, i want to say "It [the teachings of this fable/film] serves as a good reminder for me". ...
-2
votes
3answers
328 views
2
votes
1answer
187 views

How can I talk about old memories and important “firsts”?

How can I say old memories and first (talk, hug, kiss) kind of stuff?
5
votes
4answers
522 views

Is there a general/default word for “to wear”?

I've been introduced to 着る (for things you put on like a shirt) and 履く (for things you put on like pants) in class, but is there a general way to just say something like wear clothes? Or must the ...
9
votes
2answers
289 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
148 views

How best to translate 左右対称 in this context?

For example: 人間の顔は左右対称ではない A person's face is asymmetrical. The above is simple, but how about: 漢字の形が左右対称である。 "The shape of the Kanji character is symmetrical." The problem I have with the ...
8
votes
4answers
536 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
381 views

How do I accurately convey “enough to make a difference”?

I want to say "it's different enough to make a difference," but I'm struggling a bit to get there. Partly because the two uses of "different" in this sentence are doing two different jobs. The first ...
5
votes
2answers
656 views

This use より baffles me

From the anime Noir, Episode 2. Context: The husband comes home and his wife and son greet him outside. Wife: おかえりなさい。今日は早いのね? Husband: ああ、思ったより早く仕事が終わってね。 The wife's line, I get. The ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

Could anyone confirm my poor translation of these few sentences?

For my first question I would like some help on the following message I received(the sentences are relatively simple since my Japanese skills are quite low). But before starting I would like to say ...
2
votes
1answer
568 views

I have no idea what my old shirt says. Can anyone help?

I have owned this old RVCA shirt for nearly a decade. I have never had any clue what it means, though I suspect it is offensive or awkward (as that is what I would put on a shirt if I knew an ignorant ...
1
vote
2answers
165 views

Comment dire “dossard” en japonais?

Un dossard est un morceau de tissu qui identifie les sportifs dans un marathon: Comment dire ça en japonais ? 日本語では、フランス語の「dossard」と同じ意味の言葉がありますか? In Japanese, is there an equivalent for the ...
8
votes
4answers
440 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
788 views

Correct word for “indeed”

What is the correct translation for "indeed"? I found 実際{じっさい}に and 確{たし}かに. If both are correct, what is the difference? Thanks.
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Can a cathedral be referred to as a 寺?

I was listening to a song Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame in Japanese (the intro, The Bells of Notre Dame or ノートルダムの鐘), and I noticed that they referred to the cathedral as a 「てら」. I thought that was ...
1
vote
2answers
201 views

Defining a particular 系

http://mainichi.jp/life/kimochi/archive/news/2012/20120205ddn013070029000c.html The article above, about how a girl wants to be loved, is entitled 愛され系  I am wondering which definition of 系 ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Term for health retreat accommodation

I've been trying to google some Japanese pages for health retreats. I've tried a few different combinations, but all I seem to get are yoga class studios or beauty salons. What term best describes the ...
3
votes
1answer
721 views

Is it cool to use かっこいい in this way?

The other day I was playing sports, and I yelled at a guy for what I thought was a cheap play. However, later, after the game ended and I had chilled out, I realized that I had over reacted. It's ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
401 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
831 views

How do I convey “As you all know”?

Having been trying to write a "sakubun", I must say that I had some trouble to find a reliable translation for the phrase "as you all know" such as: As you all know, the education system in our ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How do you say “[amount of time] later”?

What is the general rule for saying, for example, "2 hours later"?
2
votes
1answer
417 views

What does this Japanese text say? [closed]

Could somebody tell me what the Japanese text in the screengrab below says? Unfortunately, I only have a picture, not the text itself, and have insufficient knowledge of Japanese to accurately ...
12
votes
3answers
612 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) ...
5
votes
2answers
308 views

What does カイデー mean?

I saw this in a tweet just a few minutes ago. アメリカ…俺よりカイデーな選手がゴロゴロ(゚o゚;; This could be talking about the world cup. I can't find カイデー defined anywhere. What does it mean? What does that tweet say?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Japanese translation for “bakka!” (Not Baka)

I'm in the midst of creating a show flyer for an upcoming event and one of the artists uses the name "Bakka!" (without quotes) I'm aware that the real word for this is Baka, so I'm curious as to how ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What does ~頂ければと思います mean? Why does such a construction happen?

I've heard phrases sometimes like: チェックいただければと思います。chekku itadakereba to omoimasu "If you check this ... I think."? Why is that ~と思います at then end of the phrase?
5
votes
2answers
190 views

What's the best translation of アタリ in the context of drawing?

I'm reading through a book on how to draw in a classic Japanese manga style. Specifically, the book is about the basics of デッサン, "sketching". They use the term アタリ a lot. For example, this typical ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

How are で and ばかりused in this expression?

来年は是非明るい年でありますように願うばかりです I hope that the next year will be great for you Why is で used in 年であります? Is であります an older form of です? Also, what would the ばかり translate to here? I thought maybe it ...
4
votes
1answer
386 views

What does 叱ってやりたい mean in this context?

On twitter I saw this: なのに風呂掃除したら100円もらってたおれ…叱ってやりたい!笑 What does it mean? This is the previous tweet: 最近だなー。食ったらすぐ食器洗うのが習慣になったの。実家に居た頃は全部母親がやってたから甘えちゃってた。仕事もしてて家事も完璧にやってた母親、今更ながら尊敬します。
-4
votes
1answer
365 views

What does 染めちゃえ mean here? [closed]

Saw this on twitter: A: マオにゃん、シドギャの彼女が出来ない僕に一言くれたら幸いです ... B: 付き合った後に染めちゃえ What is 染めちゃえ here?
2
votes
1answer
308 views

What does 週一 mean?

Trying to understand this tweet: 日曜日は掃除の日。新しく買った掃除機が良すぎる!忙しいと週一とかになりがちな掃除機がけも、これでマメにやれそう♪( ´▽`)ルンバと迷ったけどこっちにしてよかった!やっぱり掃除は自分でしたいしね。 I understood everything up to 週一. What does that sentence say?
4
votes
5answers
748 views

「安い」って英語からきた表現?

皆さんこんにちは、 日本語で質問を聞かせていただきますので、ご協力ください。 回答やコメントなどは、日本語か英語、どちらの言語でも喜んで読みます。 では。 此間友達と喋っていて好みの話をしていた時一人が「ホラー映画やB級映画が大好き」と言うやいなや「あなた安いな〜」ともう一人が反応しました。 ...
1
vote
0answers
290 views

Looking for the original japanese of this haiku [closed]

I'm sure this is a translation of a haiku but I'm not able to find the original text or even the author. As the sun goes down the birds land one by one. I've been trying to Google it ...
4
votes
2answers
846 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 ...