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

1
vote
1answer
178 views

How to place ありました with the 〜んです pattern, and the meaning of the resulting sentence

There is a question in Minna no Nihongo, where I need to fit in ありました with the 〜んです pattern, such that the sentence makes sense. おそかったですね。なにか _________ か。 How shall I fit it in, and what meaning ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

How can we understand and translate はず used with facts of known truth?

I've thought for a while that there was something a little "strange" about the way はず is used in Japanese, and I recently thought of a way of explaining it that I've not seen elsewhere. Half of this ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

Translation to Japanese: “The test will determine which university I will go to.” [closed]

How do you say "The test will determine which university I will go to." in Japanese? I only can figure out the first part of it, which is 「あのテストは…」 Can anyone here help me complete it?
2
votes
2answers
193 views

Can [面倒]{めんどう} be used as “boring”?

I've just heard many times [面倒]{めんどう} in anime, in translation is not troublesome but boring. Is it usual? Which is more appropriate? Example: 面倒な仕事です。
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Translation help- which word あまり is effecting and general implication of the word 方向

あんまり恋愛方向に持って行きたくない So, context: an author's reply to someone asking whether a character of his would have a romance or not. Said character had a few hints of a possible romantic interest in ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Translation help with a sentence, use of たる?

This is a sentence from a character bio, but for whatever reason -maybe the author's quirky- they've written it in a really verbose way in what seems to be classical Japanese. I get the general gist ...
1
vote
2answers
197 views

How do I translate this small passage about make-up, depression, and Alzheimer?

Can somebody help me with the translation for 実際にうつ病やアルツハイマーの治療として、女性患者に化粧やヘアチェンジを実践することもあるくらいです。お化粧はテンションをあげてくれるお薬でもあるんですね。 I came up with this Did you know (or truthfully), as a treatment ...
4
votes
1answer
360 views

What's that accordion style book you can get at shrines called?

When one goes to shrines, one can get an accordion style book where one can pay a couple hundred yen to have a shrine's seal written inside. What is that book called?
1
vote
1answer
72 views

How should I refer to food whose name mentions its main ingredients?

In Spanish we have lots of dishes whose names refer to the main ingredients it has. For example "arroz con pollo" (rice and chicken), "arroz con leche" (rice and milk), or "pollo con papas" (chicken ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

What does 「かけようかどうしようか」 mean?

The sentence below is taken from a light novel. 声をかけようかどうしようか迷っていたら、ほんの一瞬風が止んだ I don't understand what 「かけようかどうしようか」 means. Is it an expression? This light novel sometimes omits kanji and I'm ...
1
vote
3answers
196 views

Meaning of 資料共 in the context of web conferencing

The literal translation for "資料共" seems to be "total" (Google Translate) or "Documents" (Rikaichan). How would you parse it and interpret it in the context of web conferencing? It's supposed to be ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

How can I translate these workplace goals into Japanese? [closed]

I'm an ALT and my supervisor asked me to write my goals in Japanese this year. I'm trying to keep it simple, but I really struggle with putting English into Japanese. Here is my attempt Deepen ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

How do you say “after all”, in the sense of reaffirming or justifying a previous statement?

For example: "You should wear a jacket. After all, it's snowing out there." "Of course I bought you a present! It's our anniversary after all." I tried an online dictionary but they gave me a lot ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

Translation help with this sentence? 何人も触れること能わぬ- everyone or no one?

何【なん】人【びと】も触れる【ふれる】こと能わぬ【あたわぬ】才媛【さいえん】 I'm having trouble with this sentence. I'm just confused as to whether '能わぬ' counts as a negative verb that affects 何人も or not. Since I know 何人も means ...
10
votes
3answers
565 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

What is the English equivalent of ストーリー総監修?

I'm confused as to the meaning of this cinematic term found in the credit of a movie. ストーリー総監修? Story Total Supervising Editor?? I'm not sure what this means. Is there any English equivalent to this ...
2
votes
1answer
188 views

What does 馬鹿も一芸 mean in English? [closed]

I'm wondering how 馬鹿も一芸 should be translated into English. EDICT-based dictionary sites list this phrase with the following translation: 馬鹿も一芸 even a fool has a talent Is this translation ...
2
votes
2answers
176 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? ?
8
votes
1answer
298 views

Does 好きな really mean “favorite”?

In books that I've come across and even in dictionaries, I've seen the word 「好きな」 translated as "favorite". I'm a little confused by this because 「好きです」 normally gets translated as "like", or in my ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Is “Xがどこに見つけられますか” an acceptable translation of “Where can I find X”?

I'm currently studying the potential form by making up sentences from several scenarios and find it rather difficult to check their correctness using nothing but vague online translators. Is the ...
6
votes
1answer
182 views

What does 揺らぎやすい女性 mean?

I was translating a passage the other day for a health spa and came across the following passage: 揺らぎやすい女性のための限定メニューができました。 1ヶ月の周期の中で、私たちの体は大きく変化します。 生理は、体をととのえる絶好のチャンス。 ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
303 views

に Particle ambiguity

あまりにも子供じみた言動に呆れる。 だが、こういった[A]の対応には少なからず救われている部分があった. 深く踏みこまずに居場所を与えてくれるこの距離感に、周囲の人間も惹かれて集まってくるのだろう。 I'm tripped up on the second sentence. Is the 部分 part of the childish behavior, or the ...
2
votes
2answers
271 views

What does 相手 mean in 「素直な自分をぶつけられる相手」?

I'm confused about how to describe 相手 here. I don't know if it's “partner who can show their true self” or “partner to whom can show your true self”. Also, is the ぶつけられる here like ぶつけることができる? ...
0
votes
0answers
101 views

About the literal translation of a phrase [duplicate]

The phrase it's this: "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 understand it literally as "The ideal of Shirou, the figure that became a hero, are you not you?" It's right?
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How to say “Nobody is perfect” in Japanese

I'm wondering how to say "nobody is perfect" in Japanese. Would 「完全な人いない」 be a correct translation?
4
votes
2answers
312 views

What is the difference between ことにする and ことにした?

みんなの日本語 中級I - Lesson 3 says that V (dictionary form) ことにする is used to express the decision to do something. If I say 私は日本へ行くことにしました。 this can be translated as “I decided to go to Japan”. This is ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

Should there be a に instead of を after クラスメイト in「それをクラスメイトを見られて以降」?

In the following sentence is it correct to put the second を here? それをクラスメイトを見られて以降 Maybe it should be に? And if it's correct, how can we translate this part? Here's the paragraph where the ...
4
votes
2answers
217 views

Translation of phrase 「留守を預かる者として、主の家を汚した蒙昧」

Could somebody help me with translation of the following sentence. 留守を預かる者として、主の家を汚した蒙昧――八つ裂きにされようと文句は言えぬ。 Text: 理屈など通用しない。 ただ一人でも、どんなに卑小な者だろうと、名誉と忠誠に反した愚者を、黒円卓に存在させた罪は罪。 故に罰。 ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Could someone please clarify if I'm translating these two sentences correctly? [closed]

I think I've translated this correctly, but I started to have doubts about a few words and decided to double-check. (person A) 結婚なんて。。。めんどくせーこと オレはやめとくか。。。 (person B) ああ。。。。。 On my first ...
3
votes
2answers
197 views

Verb + うる form. What is this?

Can't really understand this form: I've seen already this form with 考える and translated it like this: 考えうることだ - conceivable (possible) However how do you translate with other verbs? is this ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Need some clarification on two translations

I'd like to confirm if I'm reading the two following lines correctly - for context, this is a conversation between a soldier and an outlaw who used to be friends and now find themselves at odds. ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

どうか〜〜ますように in 「どうか異世界の出来事でありますように」

I don't know what possible translations are for this sentence: どうか異世界の出来事でありますように also I'm a little confused by どうか and ~ように...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Meaning of 楽に済ませようとする

How should I translate this phrase? 楽に済ませようとする。 My literal translation is, "Decide to cause to finish/complete having fun," but that doesn't seem to make much sense. Does 楽に済む mean to enjoy ...
1
vote
2answers
182 views

What's the meaning and the reading of 通行人?

I have the following translation I need to do for my introductory Japanese class. 最近、交通事故が多いので、左に曲がる時は、自転車や、通行人に気をつけなければなりませんよ。 So far I have the following. Recently there have been a lot of ...
8
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
176 views

What is the も in 今年も used for ? What does 雨が少なく mean here, and why isn't it followed by a て?

I have the following translation for class. 今年も、 トゥーソンは、 雨が少なく、 水が不足して、 困るかもしれません。 So far, I have the following. This year also Tucson rain is little water has become ...
3
votes
3answers
137 views

Meaning of 〜関係の〜 in the phrase 鉄道関係の言葉

This question appears on my homework above an empty box instead of lines as with previous questions: 鉄道{てつどう}関係{かんけい}の言葉{ことば}を書{か}きなさい Am I being asked to write "words about railroads?" I came ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Japanese writings in Brazil [closed]

I've seen these writings in the ground of Brazil. I've already tried to translate it with my friend but there are some complex kanji that we don't know. I'm very curious to know what they say, can ...
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
402 views

How to write “yi” in katakana

I'm trying to write the name of a Chinese friend, Ying. I know that the sounds "yi" and "ye" don't exist any more except for the deprecated hiragana characters, and katakana doesn't have either of ...
-4
votes
1answer
40 views

Could someone tell me what if anything is wrong with these translations?

I'm just constructing a few sentences to test my comprehension of grammar. I'll make notes in my notebook about things so I don't forget them and hopefully end up with a properly constructed sentence. ...
1
vote
2answers
229 views

How do I translate the word “Town's End”?

I'm trying to figure out the proper way to translate "Town's End" (a play on my last name of "Townsend", like someone living at the end of town). I've found the word for "town", which is: 町 I think ...
1
vote
2answers
158 views

Difference between 「なるベく」 and 「なるべき」

My Japanese coworker has been unable to explain clearly this. I know that the difference comes up naturally but as someone learning Japanese I need a few examples and grammar rules to know which one ...
3
votes
2answers
212 views

How do you say “My skills in programming languages are Javascript, Zend framework, Yii framework, etc”?

How do you say: My skills in programming languages are Javascript, Zend framework, Yii framework, etc I have tried this: 私のスキルはプログラミング言語で。 And I don't know how to list the items ...
7
votes
2answers
283 views

What is 引っ越しハガキ?

In the novel I'm reading now (「キッチン」 by 吉本{よしもと}ばなな) there is a passage about moving house and preparing 引っ越しハガキ. What is 引っ越しハガキ? I guess it's some kind of a note/postcard you prepare when you move ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

いまさら後悔してみたところで、してしまったことは取り返しがつかない

The official JLPT N1 sample contains this sentence: いまさら後悔してみたところで、してしまったことは取り返しがつかない。 Which I would translate as: Even if it is too late I tried to feel sorry, but what has been done can be ...
4
votes
1answer
143 views

What does まわりであーだこーだ mean in this sentence?

I don't really understand the "まわりであーだこーだ" part in the following sentence I read in a manga: こそこそ人のこと調べたり、まわりであーだこーだ、女は面倒くさい Does まわりで means 人のまわりで? My guess for "あーだこーだ" is that it means ...
4
votes
3answers
412 views

How to translate “a detail-oriented person”?

If you go to a job interview and say, "I am a detail-oriented person", it doesn't come off as a negative trait. But I feel when someone says 私は細かい事を気にする人です, it has some negative connotation to it. Is ...
2
votes
0answers
87 views

Can you show any examples of a 兼務発令書 in English? [closed]

This is in a university context. Professors will be given an extra post (mostly in name) and the notification will be sent to them in English. I have not been able to find any examples of how this ...