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
5answers
608 views

Translation - Long sentence, uncertain of the nuance

I'm having trouble determining the meaning and nuance of this sentence. Can you help me out? [技術]{ぎじゅつ}といっても、上手か下手かだけではなく、その技術を使う人の気持ちの持ち方まで[問題]{もんだい}にしているのです。 I think the closest I've been able ...
4
votes
1answer
415 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
434 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
148 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
198 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
879 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
269 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
22k 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
102 views

Volitional + というのだった?

In the short story 「悪魔」by 星新一 , a man walks onto a frozen lake to go ice fishing, carves out a small hole in the ice, and throws in the line. But after throwing in the line, there's a 文型 I've never ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Is my translation correct?

I'm working on a translation. Is my translation correct? それこそ ハイエロファントグリーンを使えば苦痛を感じる間もあたえず一瞬のうちに。 My translation: If I used Hierophant Green, pain would not last more than a moment. The context ...
4
votes
1answer
203 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
106 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
296 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
366 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
3answers
220 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
votes
1answer
236 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
3answers
283 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
210 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
2answers
214 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
2answers
153 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
1answer
349 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
273 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
308 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
136 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
320 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
2answers
214 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
289 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
304 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
votes
3answers
2k 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
votes
2answers
293 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
578 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
955 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?
3
votes
1answer
243 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
876 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
votes
1answer
850 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!
3
votes
2answers
253 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
6k 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
votes
2answers
204 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?
3
votes
3answers
140 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
155 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?
3
votes
2answers
139 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
233 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。 ...
3
votes
4answers
338 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
votes
1answer
87 views

What does 許しを乞い mean?

What does 許しを乞い mean? And especially what's the role of 乞い here? The full phrase is: まさか、また許しを乞いに参ったのではありますまいな!?
3
votes
2answers
104 views

Need help translating a sentence - あるひ?

I'm trying to read a children's book and have already gotten stumped by the first sentence. "context" The picture shows an autumn day. It reads: ある つめたい かぜの ふく ひ。 So far I've got ... (chilly ...
3
votes
2answers
136 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
198 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
175 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
votes
1answer
523 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 ...