Questions asking for words or phrases to be translated.

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6
votes
2answers
223 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?
6
votes
3answers
198 views

Computer calculation: is there a better word than “オンザフライ” to say “on-the-fly”?

As a valuable feature of my software product, I want to say that results are calculated on-the-fly, meaning the user does not have to wait and receive results by email: results are displayed after two ...
6
votes
2answers
225 views

Shouldn't 確認する always be translated into “check”?

One thing I have noticed among my Japanese coworkers is that it seems that they overuse the verb "confirm" when translating 確認する: テストを確認する ("confirm the tests") 彼と確認して欲しい ("[I want you to] ...
6
votes
2answers
186 views

Shop or Shop Owner

If you have the name of a shop plus さん, what possibilities are there for the translation? I get the sense that it can either be a formal way to speak, or it can mean the store person. 薬屋 = pharmacy ...
6
votes
1answer
167 views

知っとった meaning of grammar?

What does the grammar form of 知るin the below sentence mean? 闇の世界とは関わるはずがないと知っとったんだろうな The sentence is from the Japanese version of Harry Potter I
6
votes
1answer
247 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

火の車 Where did it come from

My sensei in class told us about 火の車 that means someone in a difficult financial strait . I was wondering what does it have to do with fire 火 and a car 車?
6
votes
1answer
158 views

Why did the translator use ゴナラ here?

I've got a copy of "オ・ヤサシ巨人BFG", Taeko Nakamura's translation of the famous children's book by Roald Dahl, The BFG. The story concerns a friendship between a little girl named Sophie and a friendly ...
6
votes
2answers
309 views

What does “湯冷ましを兼ねて” mean?

While looking around, I found this [湯冷ましを兼ねて] expression that no dictionary has been able to translate. Examples of use would be the [再び湯冷ましを兼ねて周辺を徘徊。] line in this post or the first sentence in this ...
6
votes
1answer
207 views

Translating volitive expressions in ads into English

I saw this on an advertisement outside the construction site of a company that makes wooden houses: 木{き}の家{いえ}と、暮{く}らそう。 I'm trying to think of a way to translate it other than: Live with a wooden ...
6
votes
1answer
175 views

How to express “with (x) as well” and “even with (x)”

I am trying to express something akin to these sentences: Even with a spoon, he digs well (でも?) Even without a shovel, he digs well I would also like to express this: With a shovel ...
6
votes
2answers
300 views

“Tourist trap” in Japanese

Assuming such a concept exists in Japanese, how do you say "tourist trap"? Wikipedia describes it as: A tourist trap is an establishment, or group of establishments, that has been created with ...
6
votes
1answer
832 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. ...
6
votes
3answers
141 views

Questions about my translation of this conversation

I'm not sure my translation for this brief conversation is correct, particularly the last sentence, so would like it double checked please. カレン: ニールさんは音楽の学生ですね。 ニール: そうですが、どうして? カレン: ...
6
votes
2answers
488 views

Is there a Japanese phrase equivalent to the English phrase: “Guilty Pleasure”?

I am at a loss of words to describing to my host family why I sometimes listen to "bad" or embarrassing music. Is there a japanese phrase that can help me tell them it's a "guilty pleasure" of mine?
6
votes
1answer
125 views

Questions on the use of 動物 in reference to mankind/humans

I got this quote from a journal an online associate writes. I provided the translation. Some of the wording in Japanese struck me as strange, so I am wondering about whether in fact this quote is a ...
6
votes
1answer
109 views

「〜がする」 the extended use of する (to do)

I'm going through some basic grammar and this one website teaches the "extended" use of the word する. There is a confusing example which looks like: 波の音 がする The translation is: "(I) hear the ...
6
votes
1answer
239 views

How to parse 友だちに〜聞かせられた?

芥川龍之介's story 片恋 begins with the following sentence: 一しょに大学を出た親しい友だちの一人に、ある夏の午後[京浜電車]{けいひんでんしゃ}の中で[遇]{あ}ったら、こんな話を聞かせられた。 Perhaps because 聞く can mean both "to hear" and "to ask", and also because ...
6
votes
1answer
268 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

What is wrong with お書きになられたり?

I have the following sentence to translate for class. 岩田先生は、 退職なさるまで 全世界で貝の化石の御研究をされていて 雑誌などに記事をお書きになられたり テレビで放送された教育番組にも出られた So far I have the following. Professor Iwata until he honorably ...
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 ...
6
votes
0answers
177 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
427 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
591 views

How do you write “share” (as in “tell others”) in Japanese?

My company is developing an iPhone game that will be for sale in the US and Japan. There is a share button that allows people to text message, email, Facebook, and twitter their friends about the ...
5
votes
2answers
548 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
406 views

Which verb for “get off” / “leave” the Shuto Expressway?

I'm not sure which way to say something like exit/leave/depart/get off/escape is most appropriate when the thing I want to get off is the system of expressways in Tokyo called the Shuto 首都高. I'm not ...
5
votes
2answers
608 views

Can the qualifiers “very” and “too” be expressed unambiguously in Japanese?

I've noticed that some of my Japanese friends with fluent but imperfect English often say "too adjective" when a native English speaker would say just "very adjective". (I am asking about "too" in ...
5
votes
2answers
325 views

What does 母を恋はずや mean?

What is the meaning of 母を恋はずや in the film title? Edit: the meaning of "恋う" according to the dictionary is "romantic love" as in "koi suru". E.g. ...
5
votes
2answers
189 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。
5
votes
2answers
100 views

difference between 歩く and 散歩します

I was wondering the difference between the two words since both mean to walk. When to use verb 歩きます and when to use 散歩します。
5
votes
3answers
650 views

Could you help me translate this sentence?

I've been reading this article which I can understand fine in general, but it's the last couple of sentences in which the translator gives his own opinion I'm at a loss. The article is about how Lego ...
5
votes
2answers
297 views

I am wondering if someone can shed light on this tweet from Japan?

A friend of mine recently translated a Japanese article from Japan's October issue of An An magazine and sent her a tweet in English telling her that it was completed. The author replied with the ...
5
votes
2answers
552 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
2answers
322 views

手ぇ & つないで meaning and translation help

I've been reading よつばと! and I'm on a chapter where Fuuka has a crush on a guy. She says this: 手ぇつないで歩いてたの I assume the small e is just for emphasis/extension and it doesn't seem to serve a ...
5
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
254 views

What does 気が遠い mean?

Could someone help me translate this? 22歳でこんなことも思い出せない。。。あせる これから気が遠いよ I think the first sentence is something about being 22 years old and not remembering well. As for the second sentence, I ...
5
votes
2answers
251 views

How do I differentiate all these terms for “illiterate”?

I looked up the word "illiteracy", and was offered many different possibilities. Here they are, with my personal take on the nuance behind their origins: 活字{かつじ}離{ばな}れ ("removed from printing"?) ...
5
votes
3answers
232 views

How to say “all in all”

I have been many times blocked in a conversation because I have no way to translate "all in all" in those general contexts: All in all it takes 15 minutes to get there All in all this movie was ...
5
votes
2answers
101 views

Understanding もう少しゆっくり休む - “Take the day off more slowly”?

I have a long translation I need to do. It has basically talked about how the speaker's younger brother was very sick. The last sentence of the translation is the following. 弟が、明日、会社に行けるかわかりませんが、 ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Difference between してください and なってください in this sentence

Is there a difference in translation and meaning between these two sentences or are they practically interchangeable? ギターのボリュームを小さくしてください。 ギターのボリュームを小さくなってください。 My translation: Please can ...
5
votes
3answers
171 views

Explain how 向{む}く “to face” can take “上{うえ}” as a direct object using を?

There's a famous old song that's actually the only ever Japanese language song to reach #1 on the US pop charts: "上{うえ}を向{む}いて歩{ある}こう". This is both the title of the song and a frequently repeated ...
5
votes
2answers
238 views

How do the two が in もう止まらない あなたがあなたのことが恋しい work?

The following lyrics are from a song called "YOU": "もう止まらない あなたがあなたのことが恋しい" Mou tomaranai  anata ga anata no koto ga koishii I know that "mou tomaranai" = "no longer stops" and "anata no koto ...
5
votes
2answers
426 views

Is Japanese one of the Buddhist canonical languages?

The languages of oriental Buddhist traditions, be it Theravada or Mahayana, do not always provide complete and entire canonical texts. Up to now, I am aware of Pali, Chinese and Tibetan versions of ...
5
votes
2answers
164 views

What does 「なし」in 「問題なし」 mean?

I just started playing the video game Mother 3, and if you try to examine the trash can in front of his house, Lucas says, 問題なし. I expect this means something like, "no problem here", but I haven't ...
5
votes
2answers
240 views

あれで for surprise - confusing example sentence

My book explains that あれで can be used to indicate mild surprise, and gives some example sentences. They all make sense to me except this one: ...
5
votes
1answer
162 views

“You and I both know full well” = 「二人ともよく知っている」?

I'm writing a section of a relay manga for Hokkaido University's Manga Research Society. How you do you express "You and I both know full well..." and "our actual skills" in formal お嬢様っぽい Japanese? ...
5
votes
1answer
329 views

How is 空気を読む translated into English?

I've often seen 'read the air' (literal translation) or 'read between the lines' but is there a better rendition of this concept in English? Or does it just not exist?
5
votes
1answer
175 views

What are some translations for 後は無い?

Does it have a less literal meaning that "nothing left behind"?
5
votes
2answers
212 views

How can I say “counted in (specific unit)”?

Specifically, I am trying to say something like "a semester's length is counted in months" in order to imply how short it is as compared to, say, your whole life. When I tried to look this up in my ...