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

4
votes
1answer
199 views

Is there a general purpose equivalent for the “agent suffix” -er of English?

In English any verb can be turned into a kind of noun called an "agent noun", that just means the do-er of the action: to drive - driver to walk - walker to think - thinker to drink - drinker ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Meaning of いなくもない

I am not sure about いなくもない in the following sentence: 「私の尋ねていることにちゃんと答えなさい」と腹をたてる人もいなくもない。 I guess the meaning is that people react pissed when someone tells them to just answer the question(s), but ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

Trouble understanding “また何処かで会えると 素敵ですね”

This is what a friend said to me in response to my wishing him a happy birthday on Facebook. The topic/subject omission is often my biggest problem understanding Japanese, as I have trouble discerning ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

dekireba/dekitara

When "dekireba" or "dekitara" is placed at the beginning of a sentence, is the subject always "you" as in "if you can/if possible", or can it be "I" as in "if I can/if I have the permission to do"? ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Is this sentence making a comparison?

This sentence comes from my JLPT practise book: 宗教{しゅうきょう}とは何{なん}か、迷信{めいしん}とは何{なん}かを正確{せいかく}に定義{ていぎ}するのは困難{こんなん}だ。 I think it's basically saying: Things like religions and supersitions are ...
4
votes
4answers
115 views

Translation of particle で in 「オーストラリアは今夏でとてもあついです」

オーストラリアは 今 夏で とても あつい です。 Does this sentence mean: “Australia is currently in summer and it's very hot”. Or, “Australia is now very hot in summer”. I know that the Japanese sentence could ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Japanese for “Chinese Opera”

What is the Japanese for Chinese Opera? The Japanese language Wikipedia article on Chinese opera is titled 戯曲 (中国), with "中国" merely being disambiguation metadata. 戯曲 apparently means drama, with no ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

How is the adjective 多い being used as a noun 多く here?

I know 多い means 'many' but I don't really understand how it's being used in the sentence below as a noun 多く. 多くの人々がすべてを失い、多くの人が亡くなった。 My best translation - 'Many peoples have lost everything ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

how to translate 動詞+かのような+名詞?

I don't know how to translate this sentence. Can you help me? Here is the sentence: 頭に釘を打たれたかのような激痛が1日以上続きました I think it's really difficult to translate " 動詞+かのような+名詞 "
4
votes
1answer
224 views

Looking for a translation コミカライズ

Please, help me to understand the word コミカライズ. It was in phrase 衝撃のコミカライズ
4
votes
1answer
191 views

A sentence which I can't make sense of

On the 助動詞 wikipedia page there is this sentence and I can't make sense of the part in bold: 助詞「の」「ので」「のに」等が続く場合に使われる。連体形だが名詞を修飾することはできない。なお、形容動詞を品詞と認めない立場では別の考え方になる。 Here is my try : (Those ...
4
votes
2answers
114 views

What are ある and わけ in 「どこにでもあるわけではありません」?

Here is the sentence for context. 独立系の映画館はシネコンと違っていて、チケットが安いのですが、どこにでもあるわけではありません。 My translation - Independent cinemas are different from multiplex ones as they have cheaper tickets but not ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

What does “死ぬ事は不正直である。” mean?

I would translate it to "Death is dishonest." and Google translate seems to concur. However, Jisho.org where I got this example from, says it means "Death is preferable to dishonor."
4
votes
1answer
190 views

Asking “What is the size of the file?”

I am discussing via email about a file, and I want to ask "What is the size of the file?" Here is my try: サイズは何ですか? I realize it sounds weird though, and サイズはどのぐらいですか? might sound better but I am ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

童貞が許されるのは小学生までだよね - translation of まで

I'm interested in an exact translation of the particle まで used in this Internet meme: In case you can't read the image, here's a transcription: 「えーマジ 童貞!?」 「キモーイ」 「童貞が許されるのは小学生までだよねー」 ...
4
votes
1answer
497 views

How to call a wait pointer in Japanese?

In Japanese, how to call a wait pointer? I am talking about a computer mouse pointer which becomes a spinning wheel or hourglass (depending on the OS) when the application is busy processing ...
4
votes
2answers
229 views

What does 血のしょんべん mean?

I'm trying to figure out what 血のションベン means. I understand the individual words and literal meaning. So assuming it doesn't mean "bloods urine", what does this mean? Perhaps the full sentance is ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

How to compare different actions done by different people?

For example, consider the following English phrase: Speaking Japanese is much harder for me than speaking English is for you. How would one put this in Japanese? Would... ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Subject for 感じ in the following sentence

I have a question about the 感じ in 「私の食生活が気になっている感じですか」? Who is the owner of those feelings? Is it something like 'It feels that you are interested in my eating habits' or maybe 'Are you feeling that ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Song translation with two possibilities - “One more time, one more chance” by Masayoshi Yamazaki

Translating the song "One more time, one more chance" by Masayoshi Yamazaki from the movie "5cm per Second" gave me two lines that seem unclear: くいちがう時はいつも 僕が先に折れたね わがままな性格が なおさら愛しくさせた In the ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

What does 「~知ってください」 mean in The Blue Hearts' song リンダリンダ?

The Blue Heart's 1987 song 「リンダリンダ」 is available translated all over the internet, but the most common translations seem contentious to me when it comes to the following verse: もしも僕がいつか君と出会い話し合うなら ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

“トサカに くる” meaning

This is taken from the manga Doraemon - of which I'm sure most people are familiar with so in explaining the context I hope you don't think I'm crazy.. Having eaten a transforming biscuit that turned ...
4
votes
1answer
242 views

Meanings and translation of 「いいように」

I have a question about the meanings and usage of いいように. I thought that it only has one meaning, which is "to act as one wills, to do something as one wills". Like in the example below. ...
4
votes
1answer
164 views

ふざけずに! what is the meaning of this exclamation?

What is the meaning of this exclamation alone? ふざけずに! I know that ふざける means to kid - to play and that ずに means without, so it could be "without kidding" but it doesn't sound right to me.
4
votes
2answers
229 views

Can you help me to translate this speech? 自分を理解してくれる者がいるというのは 心地よいものだよ

I'm trying to translate this text from a comic. I understood words, but the whole speech is difficult. 自分を理解してくれる者がいるというのは 心地よいものだよ。。。 一人というのは寂しかっただろう? 私もかつては自分を理解する者がいない 孤独に苛まれたよ。 I translated ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

How to appropriately display the day of the month by itself? Is 日‪ required, optional, or undesirable?

I know that an acceptable way to display (this is in a computer program) a full year/month/day date is like so: 2013年5月19日‪ What If I wanted to display the day only? Does the following look ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

Meaning of auxiliary ゆく/いく in this context

While translating a song, I've stumbled upon the following sentence: 落ちた希望を拾って明日に繋いでゆけば Which got me wondering what the difference between the following two is: 落ちた希望を拾って明日に繋いでゆけば ...
4
votes
1answer
377 views

What does なきや mean? [closed]

I assume this is some sort of idiom or verbal tic, but i'm not 100% sure. Anybody care to help me out? If you need context, this is the phrase: まだピチピチなんだからかんばらなきや
4
votes
1answer
405 views

How should I go about translating my company name in Japanese?

I'm trying to translate a company name ("puddle") in to Japanese. I put it into google translate, but when you translate words you're translating their meaning rather than the word itself, which is ...
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
1answer
195 views

I don't understand this phrase もっとだ

I am watching a certain show at the moment where someone is talking about wanting to kill evil creatures. Please don't judge this question as childish just because the extract is from an anime. He ...
4
votes
1answer
729 views

What is the meaning of ようで?

I think ようで means "to look/look like", but I'm having trouble understanding it in the context of this sentence: 感動に水を差すようで悪いのだが、さっさと爾子に乗ってくれ。でなくば、城とともに潰れるぞ。 Also, is でなくば another form of でなければ?
4
votes
1answer
263 views

What is the harshness of についてとやかく言う?

あなたの私生活についてとやかく言うつもりはありません。 I don't give a damn about your personal life. I have also seen についてとやかく言う translated as "quibble over". Could another translation of this sentence be: ...
4
votes
1answer
18k views

How to say "Please direct all your future correspondence to _email_?

Soon I am leaving my job and I would like to leave an e-mail for future correspondence with my colleagues. How do I write in Japanese something like "Please direct all your future correspondence to my ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

What does 字以外に mean?

I don't usually ask questions like this, but I'm having a hard time figuring this out: 字以外に日本の好きなのありますか? The "ji igai ni" is throwing me off, is it asking whether you like other things about ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

Clarification needed - みたい (みたいな)

みたい as in like (someone) If I want to say "I like people like that woman", is it enough to simply say: 女性みたいな人が好きです。 Or do I have to specify the "that" part by putting it like this: あの女性みたいな人が好きです。 ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

How to say Out of [a set or group] in Japanese.

I'm not really sure, but after looking at some example sentences in Jisho.org, I came to the conclusion that in order to say, for example, "Out of all of the people that I know", you would say ...
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
189 views

How would one say A implies B in Japanese?

My friend and I were talking, and they had an interesting question. How do you establish that something implies something else in Japanese - specifically in the form A implies B? The research I've ...
4
votes
1answer
331 views

Help translating this japanese sentence please?

I really really need help with this sentence I have tried everything but I don't get its structure and how to translate it so I'd appreciate if someone could help please? オレ一人 ore hitori ...
4
votes
1answer
264 views

General confusion ("Volitional+ともせず”, redundancy, uses of と, )

I'm having trouble understanding the grammar in some sentences even if I understand the basic idea of the sentence. I may post with more questions later. ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I say “before” or “used to” in Japanese?

朝、作文を書いた時、疑問に思いました。 How can I say something like: I didn't used to like this band.  Before, I didn't like this band.
4
votes
1answer
303 views

Trying to translate 遊ばにゃ損なってなもんだろうがおう!

I'm reading a manga and have run into a tricky phrase, so I am asking for help and some explanations: ...遊ばにゃ損なってなもんだろうがおう! 遊ばにゃ (or にや) - can't understand what the verb form is used here... 損なって - ...
4
votes
0answers
156 views

How are Japanese company division, section or department names translated?

How are Japanese company division, section or department names usually translated to English e.g. 「システム開発1部ソリューション1課」? Does it translate it to System Development Department 1 Solution Section 1?
4
votes
0answers
119 views

Which word is this use of かめ specifying?

In Kenji Miyazawa's poem "Thief", many words are left as hiragana: 青じろい骸骨星座のよあけがた 凍えた泥の乱反射をわたり 店さきにひとつ置かれた 提婆のかめをぬすんだもの    にはかにもその長く黒い脚をやめ 二つの耳に二つの手をあて 電線のオルゴールを聴く ...
4
votes
1answer
270 views

Dajare no “dake ni”

This question is about puns, or dajare, where at the end of a sentence almost every time there's dake ni to be heard. I'm having trouble understanding what role dake ni has in these sentences? When ...
4
votes
0answers
103 views

Are there rules over using 公認/alternative words to translate the names of professional qualifications using “Certified” in English?

Foreign professional qualifications that are well known have accepted translations. For example: US Certified Public Accountant, CPA, is 米国公認会計士、which is close to the Japanese equivalent. Chartered ...
4
votes
2answers
200 views

What does 工夫(する) mean?

I am aware of the generic English translation: In this case, "device" or "to devise" in English, but this does not really help me out. In what context would you use this word? 例文 would really be ...
4
votes
1answer
279 views

Relative clause in japanese

How do you form relative clauses that involves first person action? For example : "There aren't people I can talk to". Basically my doubt is about all those questions that require a particle like ...