Questions asking for words or phrases to be translated.

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5
votes
1answer
689 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.
5
votes
2answers
287 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." ...
5
votes
3answers
397 views

Is my interpretation of the grammar in 「気にしてられないと思えるようになる。」 correct?

人の目なんて。 気にしてられないと思えるようになる。 You can't concern yourself with what other people think. I saw this on a TV show where the hosts were talking about coming out in public if you are gay. They had ...
5
votes
1answer
310 views

How to express “X sounds like Y”

How can I express the idea that one word sounds like another? As a concrete example, I wanted to say, 「フライアー」sounds like 「fryer」. Looking in dictionaries (wadoku/jisho) for "sound like" turns up ...
5
votes
1answer
162 views

Understanding a phrase from a news article

Reading an article on NHK, it starts with this sentence about the missing Algerian plane. The French foreign minister says that it probably crashed in northern Mali: ...
5
votes
2answers
358 views

Kana causing translation difficulty: 「きれている」

Ok, so I've been having trouble with a passage. It's mostly written in kana, and I can get most of it, but because of the kana, I have no idea what a certain word is. At the beginning of the music ...
5
votes
2answers
646 views

How can you express “as long as you want”?

I want to tell my friend that he can stay at my house as long as he wants. I was thinking: 泊まるのは何ヶ日でもいいです。 or 泊まりたい程泊まってもいいです。 What is the correct way?
5
votes
1answer
188 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
448 views

Few hard to recognize handwritten characters in miniature umbrella

There are a few characters handwritten in a miniature umbrella acquired in Hakone mountain in the mid 60’s that I don't understand. Could you please help me with those characters? I’ve transliterated ...
5
votes
1answer
70 views

さまよう vs ぶらつく vs うろつく for the sense of “to wander”?

I thought I might add a word to my Japanese vocabulary that means as close to "to wander" as possible in English. In the English Wiktionary three Japanese words are mentioned but only one has an ...
5
votes
1answer
303 views

The meaning of “ぶん” in “見ているぶんには…”

The line I first saw it in is: 大げさなジェスチャーは小さいころからのクセだ。見てるぶんには面白いので俺はあえて注意しない。 A few other examples I've found: "遠目で見ている分にはいいけれど" "見てるぶんには可愛いけど…こびとづかんになりたくはない。" "Paris Photo ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

“Apple tax” in Japanese

Wiktionary more or less defines "Apple tax" as The price premium paid by consumers of Apple consumer products over comparable devices from competitors. Is there an equivalent term in Japanese ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

Should I use 通訳 or 翻訳?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but 通訳 is used for translating conversations(interpreting) whereas 翻訳 is used more for translating documents, right? I have a document that I had a Japanese friend translate ...
5
votes
1answer
444 views

How to say: (one) month through (another) month

I'm working on my Japanese homework, and we're practicing describing weather. We're given charts on temperature to say things like: カイロは九月が一番あついです。Or, "In Cairo, September is the hottest month." ...
5
votes
2answers
259 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
489 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
1answer
175 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?
5
votes
2answers
269 views

What is the difference between それでいい and それがいい here?

As I understand it, それでいい means 'it is fine like this' and それがいい means 'this is fine', but what is the protagonist trying to convey here by first using それでいい and then correcting himself to それがいい? ...
5
votes
1answer
239 views

Translation check and meaning help please

Would the following be a good translation of the text in the above two speech bubbles? "Everything in this universe is composed of atoms. Destroying something is equivalent to destroying the ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

What does の頃【ころ】 mean in this sentence?

I don't know what の頃【ころ】 means in this sentence. I know ころ means 'about' or 'around' but I still don't understand its use here. ロンドンに来たばかりの頃【ころ】、私は「Chip Butty」を知りませんでした。 My best translation: I've ...
5
votes
2answers
189 views

What does 「声室」mean in this context?

I found the following sentence in a document relating to this webpage: 「お客さまの声室」受付時間を2012年11月3日(土)より以下の通りに変更いたします。 My initial guess is that 「お客さまの声室」 is some kind of feedback room where costumer ...
5
votes
1answer
145 views

Does this sentence using も twice say that the speaker doesn't have 女子力?

I am participating in a relay manga through a university student group in Japan, and the previous member's contributed pages to the manga about a 女子力バトル introduced a sole male character who seems to ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

This PSA was written in the past tense. When is it correct to do this?

While riding a train, I read a public service announcement that said: たばこを持つ手は、子供の顔の高さだった。 Underneath, the English translation said: A lit cigarette is carried at the height of a child's ...
5
votes
1answer
170 views

Is “part-time work” an accurate translation of バイト?

The most common translation I see of バイト I see is "part-time work". However, the contexts I see it used in seem to refer to casual work, as opposed to people having a permanent job, merely with ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

What does り have to do with this?

So I asked some Japanese guy if he really meant something (about speaking in certain language) with 本当ですか and I got this as an answer: 実はしゃべれるわけじゃなかったりする I understand what わけではない means, but ...
5
votes
1answer
272 views

What does “クズな” mean?

Original sentence: 審判がクズなだけ! Google translates it as "Referee just scrap!" So if we analyze the sentence: 審判(referee) が(GA particle) クズな(???) だけ(only?) What part of speech is クズな and what does the ...
5
votes
1answer
447 views

I don't understand the meaning of the 2 sentences. Can somebody help me?

This is dialogue (It's from magazine). A: 現実場面では気★いが山のように出て事件も死ぬほど起こしてて、タブー云々と言ってるうちに表現が現実に負けちゃってるじゃん、最近って。 B: 俺も別に[奇]{き}をてらってタブー演るわけじゃなくて. I absolutely don't understand the first part of the first ...
5
votes
1answer
224 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
271 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
320 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
1answer
156 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
259 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
1answer
116 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
262 views

What is the meaning of ちょうど一本 in this context?

If I've understood correctly, ちょうど followed by a counting word usually means something like "just x" or "exactly x" depending on the context, but I can't figure out what it means in this opening ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

Question about translation with particle ほど

Help me please with translating this sentence - 「ああいう奴らの家庭ほど、家に帰るとぐちゃぐちゃだったりすんのよ」 Maybe I’m missing something, but that part just does’t make much sense to me. My interpritation would sound ...
5
votes
2answers
310 views

How do I say “the reason why” or “the purpose of” in Japanese?

While studying this morning, I became interested in how to say "When you were a child, did you read books for fun?" in Japanese. In this case, would I use ため? Or would it be something like this: ...
5
votes
2answers
291 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。 ...
5
votes
2answers
213 views

Meaning of sentences ending in の

How does putting a の at the end of a sentence change the meaning? For example, here are some sentences: 明日何時に来るの What time will you come tomorrow 昨日何を食べたの What did you eat yesterday
5
votes
1answer
220 views

What does exactly does さま mean in dictionary definitions?

I've been using Japanese-Japanese dictionaries for a while now and this keeps popping up. It seems to me like a kind of usage that is found for the most part only in dictionaries. Can anyone help ...
5
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
244 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
340 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
921 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?
4
votes
2answers
355 views

Checking the translation of あそぶ in this sentence

The sentence in question: 私は日本からあそびに来た友達にロンドンをあんないしてあげた。 My translation - I guided my friend who is coming from Japan around London. I know that あそぶ can be used to mean 'hang out with', and that’s ...
4
votes
5answers
659 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。 ...
4
votes
2answers
181 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.
4
votes
4answers
171 views

What is the subject of this sentence?

I'm translating a song which can be seen here. At the end of the song is this: 傷つけてしまう夜もあるだろう 分かち合えない想いもあるだろう What is the subject of 傷つけてしまう夜もあるだろう? Is the singer saying, "there may be nights ...
4
votes
2answers
427 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
342 views

How would you say “if you don't mind my asking”?

This is something that is often said in English to politely ask a question while avoiding sounding overly intrusive. For example, What do you do for a living, if you don't mind my asking? The ...
4
votes
2answers
334 views

Meaning of sentence -てまでする

I have this sentence from JLPT book which I don't understand: いくら仕事だといっても、体をこわしてまですることないんじゃありませんか? I get that the sentence is about destroying your health/body when you work too much and when this ...