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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332 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
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3answers
210 views

What's the meaning of 「確認というか念を押しとくが」?

確認というか念を押しとくが I don't really get the meaning of this sentence. Does it mean to remind, to confirm something, or to make sure of something? The whole sentence is: そう言えば 確認というか念を押しとくが ...
4
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1answer
233 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
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3answers
274 views

Can I use ほど in a comparative context, similarly to how I'd use the English word 'like?' (And if not…what can I use?)

Background: A few months back, I started making the transition from studying sentence constructions to studying grammar. While I try to avoid generating 'Japanese translations of my English ideas,' I ...
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1answer
191 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?
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2answers
201 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 ...
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2answers
151 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 ...
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1answer
340 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
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1answer
267 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. ...
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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.
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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 - ...
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0answers
130 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
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1answer
297 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 ...
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2answers
210 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 ...
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1answer
285 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 ...
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4answers
302 views

This mother doesn't know her own child?

I have the following sentence in my JLPT practise book: 当時{とうじ}母{はは}がどんな気持{きも}ちだったのか、子{こ}どもの私{わたし}には知{し}るべくもないことだった。 My faltering translation is something like, "How did my mother feel at the ...
3
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2answers
280 views

Nuance of “クソ” within “クソコラグランプリ”

I understand all of the words other than "クソ" in the phrase "クソコラグランプリ". "コラ" means photomontage, photoshop or the like (from "collage"?). "グランプリ" transliterates as "grand prix", which roughly means ...
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3answers
1k views

How to say “Should we [do something]?”

I recently started talking with a Japanese "pen friend" on Skype, and I'd like to ask her "Should we speak in Japanese or English?" If I said: わたしたちは 日本語を はなしますか。 英語を はなしますか。 does that convey ...
3
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2answers
552 views

What does this sentence mean? These katakana are confusing me

The full sentence is: 気にしないでコレ全然アレじゃねぇから 間違ってもチクんじゃねーぞ And I'm having trouble deciphering those katakana, コレ and アレ are probably a way to emphasize これ and あれ, but what about チク? Is it replacing a ...
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4answers
804 views

“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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1answer
225 views

What is 「何しに」 in 「YOUは何しに日本へ?」

Title basically says most of it. To add more context to that 「YOUは何しに日本へ?」 is a name of a japanese TV show, found it on YouTube. They meet random foreigners at the airport and ask them this question. ...
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2answers
827 views

How do I convey “As you all know”?

Having been trying to write a "sakubun", I must say that I had some trouble to find a reliable translation for the phrase "as you all know" such as: As you all know, the education system in our ...
3
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1answer
800 views

Can うちは mean the same thing as うちに?

Tell me please in the sentence below, can うちは means the same as うちに? Or it's just うち like "we" ? Thank you very much for help!
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2answers
225 views

Verb + うる form. What is this?

Can't really understand this form: I've seen already this form with 考える and translated it like this: 考えうることだ - conceivable (possible) However how do you translate with other verbs? is this ...
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3answers
5k views

How to say “no thank you, I don't want / need it”?

Sometimes I am offered something but because I'm just a beginner I don't know what verb they used. I know the proper way to say "no" is to answer with the negative form of the verb the other person ...
3
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2answers
192 views

Understanding 〜たら良いか〜

The sentence 何と言ったら良いか分かりません means "I don't know what I should say." But what is the literal translation of this sentence? What is the purpose of the か in 良いか?
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3answers
139 views

Meaning of 〜関係の〜 in the phrase 鉄道関係の言葉

This question appears on my homework above an empty box instead of lines as with previous questions: 鉄道{てつどう}関係{かんけい}の言葉{ことば}を書{か}きなさい Am I being asked to write "words about railroads?" I came ...
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1answer
154 views

私は日本語と英語で思っています。

Is this the proper way to say "I think in Japanese and English", or should I be using a particle other than で?
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2answers
133 views

“一人にせず”? Meaning

お前も私も一人にせず、且つお前に 少しの 罰を 与える 方法を考えてみた。 In this phrase I've some doubt about "一人にせず". Using google, I can translate it as "not alone". But I read "せず" is a negative form of "する” and indicate that one ...
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2answers
231 views

Problems parsing this sentence (ような before comma)

I was reading the examples from the book 日本語文型辞典 and I came across this example sentence which I have absolutely no idea of how to parse it: その子は、人と目が合うたびにやさしく笑いかけるような、そんな、人を疑うということを知らないような子だったと言う。 ...
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4answers
336 views

Parsing a specific sentence from a book

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, ...
3
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2answers
133 views

Are both of these sentences grammatically correct? (stem+に+行く vs て+行く)

These are the sentences: ユニオンへサンドイッチを買いに行きました。 ユニオンへサンドイッチを買って行った。 Are they both grammatically correct? Also do they both mean the same thing, which by my translation is "I went to the ...
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196 views

Trouble parsing sentence with 合わず

I am a beginner Japanese student. I was reading this short text and have problem with this particular sentence (end of second paragraph). 盲導犬を飼いはじめて最初は、二人の息が合わず街に出かけても失敗ばかりでした。 Let's try to go ...
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2answers
162 views

translation help: 天気を毎日おんなじにしちゃう

This is a brief dialog from the game Tales of Graces. In the English version, it goes: Sophie: Pascal, what's an airhead? Pascal: Someone who's so smart, they can control air with their mind! ...
3
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1answer
500 views

Why “to iu na no” instead of “de” or “no”?

So I'm watching this anime a couple of days ago and one of the characters were describing a group of people. He ended his description with "GIGN to iu na no inu". The subtitle says that meant: "Those ...
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1answer
187 views

Dates, version strings, timestamps and numbers in Japanese. How are they formatted?

I'm writing a program and need to know how dates, versions, time, and numbers are formatted in the Japanese Language Example (in English) Version 1.0.0 (Build 0) How would that look in Japan?
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2answers
125 views

How would you translate ボタンを掛け違う?

I am new here and very happy that I found this webpage, where everyone can ask questions concerning Japanese. ^^ I am studying Japanese in my 2nd year now and in my free time, I love to translate song ...
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2answers
160 views

Making sense of をと

どのような状況下であっても必ず十分な結果をと思い必死に過ごした3か月でした。 I'm only able to understand "No matter what circumstances you are put through..." and then something about producing sufficient results- the words that ...
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1answer
146 views

Need help parsing combined forms of a verb

I came across this verb: 捕【と】らえられていた It could have been pretty much any verb really. I tried to parse the different forms the verb has been assigned. Here's my process: 捕【と】らえる - (Transitive ...
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2answers
443 views

Trouble parsing sentence with どうしても and a triple negative

I am using an easy-to-read VN to get some grammar experience. The following sentence has been troubling me for about half an hour now: 生徒会に入ったら、どうしてもこっちを着なきゃだめなの? The topic of 着る is 制服 if that ...
3
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1answer
291 views

Confusion with the の particle

I am currently learning basic grammar using the Tae Kim's guide to japanese. In one of his examples he roughly translates this sentence: こんなのを本当に食べる? as "Do you think [he/she] will really eat ...
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1answer
121 views

meaning of 詰めの甘さ

I wonder, what term 詰めの甘さ could mean? The whole sentense is: 三種の器に入れてもらえなかった詰めの甘さなのだろうか
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2answers
491 views

How to say “Is it worth a visit?”

What's a natural way of saying "Is it worth a visit?" in Japanese? Something like 「訪れ価値がある?」?
3
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1answer
181 views

need help understanding a coin

I read Chinese decently, so my friend asked me if I knew what their coin was for. From Chinese, I could read the kanji 金品 (Gold Commodity) and 交换 (Exchange), but not the Japanese. Can someone help me ...
3
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1answer
2k views

“How did you know?” and “how do you know?” in Japanese

As explained in this question on the English site, there is a distinction in English between saying "How did you know?" and "How do you know?" When someone makes an assertion, the distinction ...
3
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2answers
455 views

What does 日本語で送っても読めますか? mean?

I mean I understand all the parts separately but I can't lay my finger on the core meaning of the sentence. Whole message: Hi I'm maho ! 17years old, from Japan. your Japanese is good ! my ...
3
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2answers
187 views

What did 才六 and similar terms about Kansai residents mean?

While looking up the denonym for a Kansai resident (I've since found out it's 関西人{かんさいじん}), jisho.org described 才六, 贅六, 上方才六, 賽六 and 采六, with pronunciations (not necessarily in that order) of ぜいろく, ...
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1answer
100 views

ものには… in 「ものには順序というものがある」 Some hidden word or phrase?

I need some help with translating my Legend of Zelda guidebook. ダンジョンアイテムを探せ!Search for dungeon items! ダンジョンでの目的はもちろんボスを倒すことだが、ものには順序というものがある。 まずはマップとコンパスを手に入れたい。 I'm a bit stuck with ...
3
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1answer
292 views

Structure and meaning of this sentence

The sentence is from a manga in which the character, after saying this : オレの細胞がてめえみたいなみにくいバケモノに使われているなんてショックだぜ。 What a shock that my cells were used for an ugly monster like you. Says this ...
3
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1answer
207 views

Help identifying low-res kanji (and perhaps words) on a low-res album cover

Listening to an ancient rip of Escaflowne soundtrack, I wanted to add artist information to one file. I managed to identify some things from context and matching guesses to dictionary entries, but not ...