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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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 ...
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3answers
269 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 ...
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123 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 ...
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1answer
310 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 ...
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259 views

What's the meaning of 届けて

Can I ask a favour? I am trying to catch on the meaning of the song 涙をとどけて. I have caught everything except for the following 4 lines, which remain vague for me. 涙をとどけて 本当のこと 想いをとどけて 言えないこと ...
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191 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 ...
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498 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: ...
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2answers
388 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。 ...
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255 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 ...
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997 views

What is the original Japanese for “It's always the darkest under the lighthouse”?

What is the original Japanese saying meaning, "It's always the darkest under the lighthouse"? (reference)
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252 views

Do Japanese have a similar expression for “the list goes on”?

For example, I want to say "When I was 8, I wanted to be a go player. When was 10, I dreamed of becoming a novelist. The list goes on." 8歳の時、碁打ちになりたいでした。10歳、小説家になるのが欲しいでした。「?」
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271 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
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257 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 ...
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155 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 ...
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267 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 ...
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575 views

Difference between 自分 and 自分自身 and how to reflect their difference in English

Consider: 自分について書きたいことがあります。 = There are times that I want to write about myself (lit: things concerning me) 自分自身について書きたいことがあります。 What is their difference? I think the second sentence ...
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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 ...
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427 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 ...
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182 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.
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643 views

What is the proper way to write “cube” in romaji?

I have been trying to search for the Romaji version of "cube" without too much success. There seem to be several variations on the word, although that is true with almost any version of a Japanese ...
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1answer
249 views

Grammar of との, what is the meaning

So here in this sentence below "との" was used 2 times. What does との standfor? Can someone please explain it to me? ...
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5answers
747 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。 ...
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4answers
181 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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489 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 ...
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354 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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2answers
134 views

What's the difference between ~れれば and ~れば?

別に僕は周りを無視して本に没頭したいわけでもないので、見ろと言われれば見る Would it mean the same thing if 言われれば was replaced with 言われば? What's the difference if any between ~れれば and ~れば? I'm also not certain of the meaning of the ...
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795 views

Difference between そうです、 ようです and らしいです.

Here are the example sentences. デイビットは料理が上手そうです。 デイビットは料理が上手なようです。 デイビットは料理が上手らしいです。 Firstly, what does デイビット mean as based on reading alone its sounds like 'debit' to me which is a strange name ...
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657 views

How is「第3位を四捨五入」deconstructed to mean “round up to 2 decimal places”?

小数第2位未満に端数が生じた場合は、小数第3位を四捨五入する I initially translated this sentence to: If a fraction with less than 2 decimal places is generated, round off to 3 decimal places. So: 2.1 ≈ 2.100 It felt ...
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204 views

What is an appropriate translation of 親和感?

In 1970, Masahiro Mori proposed the theory of the Uncanny Valley, which states that "when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of ...
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839 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 ...
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1answer
366 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?
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461 views

Is “着物” the most suitable Japanese translation for the English word “kimono”?

Is "着物" the most commonly used, easily understood, and unambiguous Japanese translation for the English word "kimono"? If not, what alternatives would be more suitable? One reason I'm unsure is that ...
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111 views

“働きいいように” missing a が?

The sentence below is from an essay. I'm confused about the grammatical components of "夫の働きいいように" ("to make the husband's work easy") - shouldn't there be a が just after 働き, or is it being casually ...
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198 views

How does ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う work/mean?

A:藤原さんは、もちろん歌だよね? B:うん。わたしにはそれしかないから……ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う I don't get what the part ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う is saying. 全然 is an adverb but there's no verb after it but 思う, but that's separated by a ...
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290 views

Meaning of 話になんない

I have a quote from this anime, FLCL: 「とにかくさ、バット振んなきゃ話になんないよ」. In the official translation it's translated as "nothing can happen until you swing the bat". Now my japanese is pretty rusty, as I ...
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361 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 ...
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3answers
467 views

Don't get the meaning of the sentence “意味ありげな笑いを浮かべた”

I am not sure about the meaning of this sentence. 意味ありげな笑いを浮かべた "(He) showed a meaningful laughter" ? Is that correct?
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633 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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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。
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115 views

Translation of 友達【ともだち】に 嘘【うそ】がばれてしまった

I have some trouble to translate this sentence: 友達【ともだち】に 嘘【うそ】がばれてしまった is that: "I have discovered that my friend is lying" or "My friend found out I was lying"? この文の翻訳に迷っています: 友達【ともだち】に ...
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3answers
379 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
662 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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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。 ...
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285 views

How to say “let's start using our first names when we talk?”

I think that there are a lot of societal influences with regard to how to begin addressing a Japanese man with his first names. Please put the societal issue aside and just consider the linguistics of ...
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200 views

Other meaning of 訪れる

Good Day! I currently need some help. I am translating some Japanese Documents to English. I came across this text: 66歳に到達した日以降に最初に訪れる3月末まで So far I have: Until the end of March...on or after the ...
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1answer
1k views

“I went for a run” - how to say this in Japanese?

I'm an amateur runner and I'm struggling a bit with Japanese vocabulary on the topic of running. The phrase that gives me special trouble is "go for a run". I'm not sure how to convey the meaning of ...
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2answers
181 views

Have a trouble with まで

私がびくびく怯えて過ごしてるせいで、彼まで過敏になってる気がする This まで confusing me. In this case it's translating like "even", right?
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1answer
143 views

Is this word slang? アメテ

I can't find a definition for this word アメテ. Aside from sounding like an amateur, the word didn't make sense in the context. In the context, a character was flipping out. The entire sentence he ...
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1answer
295 views

How do I express “to survive” in a more metaphorical sense?

My friend published a multi-part video on Facebook. I wanted to comment "I survived for only one episode", as in "It was so bad I couldn't keep watching after just one episode", but I wasn't sure ...
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215 views

Meaning of 「おれば」&「大手を振る」

The following sentence and translation appear in my textbook (総まとめ 読解 N1, p114): 視聴率さえとっておれば、どんな"やらせ" をやろうとも、メディアの責任を考えればモラルに反すると思うことをやっても、大手を振ることが出来る世界 A world (media industry) where they ...