翻訳. This site does not provide a translation service. However, 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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What does “motatte” mean?

もう学校始まってから二週間もたってるよ Please verify because I've seen in some dictionaries it's already an obsolete word, it means mota-"having done" Some dictionaries don't have a word mota so I can't see the ...
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298 views

About the meaning of 「しわよせ」

I was discussing with my Japanese friend about the meaning of 「しわ寄せ」, and none of us could come up with a way to say it in English. As far as I know, it could have several meanings. The first few of ...
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877 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 ...
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237 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。
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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。
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“Oh no!” - How do the Japanese express feelings of negative shock towards bad news?

Person A : "I am sick today" Person B : "Oh no!" How do the Japanese express feelings of negative shock towards bad news? What would Person B say in Japanese?
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651 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 ...
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434 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. http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/srch/all/%E6%81%8B%E3%81%...
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613 views

What does 看板親父 mean?

I searched every translation site I could find, and I can't make sense of what it's supposed to mean. I know 看板親父 is some kind of chef in a restaurant, but what do you called it in English?
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Could you help me translate this sentence? [closed]

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 ...
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189 views

Meaning of 女絡み?

I've seen the tag floating around several times but looking 絡み up in the dictionary hasn't really helped. From what I understand, 女絡み would literally mean 'a matter relating to/intertwined with ...
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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 ...
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545 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 ...
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196 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 ...
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307 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 ...
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229 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 ...
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381 views

Meaning of a long dash “――”, and use of past tense in the present

I have this following sentence:   横線――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれは、俺の生命の残量を可視化したものだ。 There are a few questions I came up with about this sentence: The first part of the sentence is: 横線―――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれ, ...
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411 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 ...
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328 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"?) ...
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443 views

Translation of “に” into “natural” English

All of my Japanese teachers have told me that な-adjectives converted to に-ending words and い-adjectives converted to く-ending words, when followed by a verb, are 'adverbs'. However, sentences sound ...
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146 views

Takasugi Shinsaku's quote

I ran across this quote from the famous samurai Takasugi Shinsaku: "動けば雷電の如く、発すれば風雨の如し". My (really) clumsy translation would be something like "If thunder and lightning were to waver, water and wind ...
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151 views

お土産 - May this be used for oneself?

This question is based on the comment thread I've read from ELL. Based on the clarification under Peter's answer, I was wondering if 'omiyage' can never be used for something bought for one's self? ...
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233 views

Can the English suffix “-zilla” be translated back into Japanese?

Can the English suffix -zilla, a backformation from "Godzilla" describing something as large and/or destructive, be translated into Japanese and easily understood, and how would it be translated? As "...
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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、 ...
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338 views

How to say “Serving for # people”?

I have a class project and I have to write a recipe. On it I'm trying to write something along the lines of "Serving for x people". What would be a good way to say that phrase?
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253 views

Is “背中に嫌な汗を掻いた” an idiomatic phrase?

Okay I read a light novel and found a phrase that seems nonsensical to me. The sentence is: "私を見ながら背中に嫌な汗を掻いた。" The context is that a character in the story just realize something about the Main ...
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115 views

上の+number - how should we translate it?

How should be translated the phrase "上の二" in the next sentence? : 日本の[食堂]{しょくどう}に行くと、同じ料理が[並]{なみ}と上の二[種類]{しゅるい}あることがある。
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187 views

What does it mean to describe a joke as ジェネギャ?

ジェネギャなジョーク Need help with translating the phrase above to English. I know it is some kind of joke and Google Translate is not helping much.
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483 views

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

When visiting shrines or temples, one can get an accordion style book and for a couple hundred yen have a shrine's seal stamped inside. What is this book called?
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218 views

Understanding the phrase 「最も多くの乗客が乗っていた」 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: ...
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1answer
146 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 ...
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738 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 ...
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284 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 ...
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489 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 ...
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816 views

Is there a reliable translation of the kangxi radicals?

Inspired by the Wikipedia page on Kangxi radicals I decided to study the meaning and writing of radicals before I tackle the much more numerous kanji. But in working my way through the list, I started ...
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1answer
353 views

What is the meaning of ぶさかわ?

I was talking to my language partner and she mentioned ぶさかわ being used in situations when you want to describe something not pretty but nice. Apparently the word is relatively new and was first used ...
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1answer
138 views

In 十日と待たずに what does the と mean?

Probably a silly question, but in this sentence: 仕事ができなかったら十日と待たずに解雇されるだろうと思う。 What does the と in 十日と待たずに mean? Is it the "if" と, e.g. "when/if 10 days pass, I'd get fired without hesitation?". ...
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How to say “I don't know what you're referring to”?

Someone asked me something without including the subject. I don't know what they were referring to, so how would you go about asking for the subject of what they are talking about, or just generally ...
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1answer
854 views

What does “のでは” mean at the end of a sentence?

Below is a sentence I've come across in a manga that I'm unsure of how to translate. The context is some girls are watching a voyeur video of one of the girls undressing. もう早送りで / よいのでは! (the / ...
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902 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? ...
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495 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: 今日{きょう}の食堂{しょくどう}の定食{ていしょく}、あれでよく改善{かいぜん}したって言{い}えるよね。...
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1answer
235 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? ...
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201 views

What are some translations for 後は無い?

Does it have a less literal meaning that "nothing left behind"?
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608 views

Meaning of でもない in this context?

While listening to the song "Yasashisa no Riyuu", I noticed the following sentence: 今は誰の名前でもない 輝きの彼方へ Which by the fansub is translated like this: Now it doesn't matter whose name it may be....
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278 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 ...
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587 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." ...
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596 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 ...
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379 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?
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Meaning of とっぴょうしもねぇ

Maruko stops a friend who is passing by and asks him if he ever receives year-end presents at his house. He replies: 「なんだよ急に、とっぴょうしもねぇこときく奴だなァ」 I am completely stuck on nearly all of this ...
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405 views

What does ま、いっか。めんどくさいし mean?

I have trouble with interpreting the following sentence: ま、いっか。めんどくさいし It has to do with something being troublesome.