The differences between two or more words or phrases and how to select the best one for a given situation.

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0
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0answers
37 views

What does this text says? [on hold]

i found an old videocamera and when ever i press record this text shows up, i cant read japanese. btw its a cannon dmdc20
2
votes
0answers
90 views

What do I actually call familiar or friendly language?

When writing on Lang-8, I often end up writing both formal and casual versions (for practice), with labels. I also wish occasionally to discuss formality, and thus need words to talk about the ...
52
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9answers
4k views

What is the こと in sentences such as あなたのことが好きだ?

There were a lot of great answers here. I gave the checkmark to ento's answer because I felt it most completely explained all aspects of this use of こと. But many of the other answers are excellent, so ...
4
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1answer
104 views

What's the difference between 呪術【じゅじゅつ】, 魔法【まほう】, 奇術【きじゅつ】, and 魔術【まじゅつ】?

Is there any difference between these nouns? Is this like the difference between 'magic' and 'sorcery' in English? Is 魔法【まほう】 used most often?
4
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2answers
132 views

記する{きする}、 記す{きす}、記す{しるす} - how do I use and/or differentiate between them?

For instance, here: 碑文に記されているところによれば according to the inscription on the tombstone It's listed under 記する{きする}. Why?
2
votes
1answer
87 views

“again” word: 二度{にど}, 再び{ふたたび} - usage, difference

Do they mean the same thing when used as a sequence word ("again, a second time") or is there any difference (apart from 二度 also being used to mean "two times")?
1
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2answers
125 views

Is there a difference between きらい and がすきではありません?

Simply put Pimsluer says to use がすきではありません to express a dislike, but Human Japanese uses きらい, is there a difference?
0
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1answer
119 views

What's the meaning of ですね in here?

I know that ですね is a form of saying right? but in this sentence これビデオですね what does that means? I understand that means "it's a video" but I don't understand the ね. A friend was recording a video and ...
4
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2answers
82 views

Difference between 揃う【そろう】 and 集まる【あつまる】

Could someone please explain a difference between 揃う【そろう】 and 集まる【あつまる】. I dont think they are synonyms but can't see any difference between them? Two example sentences: 駅前【えきまえ】に 人【ひと】が ...
10
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2answers
256 views

X is near or next to Y. Is my understanding of this correct?

So I know that a few words could be used interchangably. But I wasn't sure if I got the nuance(s) correct. So I have this sentence: 車はどこにありますか。 車庫のそばです。 And as far as I can see, I can change そば in ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Why do the Japanese use loanwords for words that have functional equivalents?

It strikes me, reading Japanese that katakana is often used for words that have functional equivalents in the Japanese language. Why is this? For instance, using ビル as opposed to 建物。 Or ブルー instead ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Is マスカット an accurate translation for “green grape”, and what foreign word is it derived from?

I'm new to Japanese so I'm working my way through Human Japanese, when I was adding the vocabulary to Quizlet I realized I didn't know how to type マスカット because I'm not used to seeing ツ used like ...
13
votes
1answer
315 views

Why did の disappear from 山手, but in 御茶ノ水 it's in katakana?

I realize that very likely the answer to this question is likely to be something along the lines of "that's just the way it is", but I thought it worth asking to see if there were some insights that ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Where should I use 租借 {そしゃく} or 賃貸 {ちんたい} or [リース ]{りーす}?

I'm a beginner in Japanese. So far I learned the following three words have the same meaning - Lease (noun). [租借]{そしゃく} [賃貸]{ちんたい} [リース]{りーす} Where should I use them appropriately and what ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

森 vs 林 for forest

According to A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters, 森 (38) is woods and 林 (75) is forest. But some material I've found online related to Japan seems to indicate 森 is the more correct Japanese ...
2
votes
1answer
172 views

What word describes the concept of worldwide time zones?

The world is covered in the necessary evil known in English as "time zones". Given that, historically, it originated in England (some 300 or so years ago), the concept of a time zone was probably ...
7
votes
4answers
239 views

What's the difference between 水 and 湯

I start by saying that I'm a beginner in Japanese and maybe my question will seem obvious to you. I've been told by Japanese people that there's a difference between 水 and 湯. I understand that 湯 ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

ひとこと・いちげん・いちごん - what is the difference?

This is one of my most frequently encountered words and yet outside of specific constructs (e.g. 一言一句{いちごんいっく}) I am never sure if I'm reading it right. How does it stand by itself? Dictionary entries ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Words for area/district/region: the actual difference between 地区、地帯、地域、地方 (and also 区域)?

地区 and 地方 have similar definitions, and 地帯 and 地域 are also defined similarly (at least according to JMdict/EDICT: 地区【ちく】 = district; section; sector 地方【ちほう】= district; region; area; locality ...
3
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4answers
175 views

Difference between 母語話者 and ネイティブスピーカー

Wiktionary says that the Japanese for "Native speaker" can be either "母語話者" or "ネイティブスピーカー". What difference, if any, is there between the two? Searching the corpus on jisho.org only got one hit for ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

Difference between 出席【しゅっせき】する and 参加【さんか】する

Are these words interchangeable? Just for example I have found some sentences but do not see any difference between these word in meaning or politeness: 彼女【かのじょ】はそのコンテストに参加【さんか】した。 She took ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

A self-introduction for academic purposes

I somehow managed to get a MEXT scholarship. Now I've got to make a self-presentation, but I've been struggling with it since I'm more used to reading than writing (which is one reason I could get ...
1
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2answers
92 views

Is there a difference between 爆発しないといい and 爆発しないとよくなる?

I'm having a hard time understanding how と works with negative verbs. With positive verbs, it is easy to see the timeframe of いい because it occurs after the verb happens, but if the verb ends in ない, ...
3
votes
1answer
245 views

Proper usage of 語 and 言語 and 言葉 when speaking about someone's language

Japanese language is 日本語. But if I want to say The language of Japanese people - should I write 日本人の言{げん}語{ご}? And if I want to say the same about animals, for example cat - like cat's language - is ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there a less formal way to say あなた?

My friend told me I sound too polite when I say あなた, but my book only uses that for second person pronoun. Are there multiple ways to say it and if so, which one is best to use with friends?
4
votes
2answers
219 views

How to express an exception, being able to do sth. normally, but not today?

I want to express an exception and don't know which sentence would be appropriate. I want to say that I just wasn't able to do it today, but I am able to do it normally. Which of the following ...
3
votes
2answers
198 views

How do you say “pair” of people?

I speak no Japanese, but need to represent the concept of pair or team in a poetic context. Specifically, I would like to describe two people (a couple) as a "pair of shinobi". From a poetic ...
6
votes
2answers
219 views

ゆく used in auxiliary sense - instead of いく?

I'm reading a novel 「キッチン」by 吉本ばなな at the moment and I noticed that she uses ゆく in some places as an auxiliary verb to signify the action progression from here or from now (if my understanding is ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What's a nice way to say “fingers crossed”?

What's a nice way to express any of the following - "Let's keep our fingers crossed" "I'll keep my fingers crossed!" (We / I) (are / am) keeping (our / my ) fingers crossed"
2
votes
1answer
89 views

How do I greet a group of people in different time zones?

Let's say a group of friends from different countries are in a Skype call. For me, perhaps it's morning, while others are in midday or nighttime hours in their respective countries. When in a ...
4
votes
2answers
111 views

In a period of time

What's the best way to express in in the following sentence: I will go in five minutes time. Here's my attempt     五分かいあとで行きます。 Here's another attempt which I have even less confidence in: ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Chotto and sukoshi …kudasai?

Is it okay if I say 'sukoshi matte kudasai' instead of 'chotto matte kudasai' ?
4
votes
2answers
156 views

How do you tell when 持つ is stative or dynamic?

I am confused on how to distinguish if a verb is stative or dynamic when used in a sentence. For example, 持つ appears to have two definitions, one for a dynamic meaning and one for a stative meaning. ...
4
votes
1answer
186 views

Does 同居 have a sexual connotation?

I have been watching Fate/Stay Night, the Unlimited Blade Works one. In this particular episode, as Shirou (male character) tells other characters that Saber (female character) will stay at his place, ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

Which one is better? 鮮魚 or 新鮮な魚?

I have this question about 鮮魚 or 新鮮な魚. I've read them both in different situations and I want to know if there's a correct way or in what situations can I use each of them.
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Difference between 思った and 思っていた?

I was under the impression that 思った meant that, sometime in the past, you did the instantaneous action of "think" and had a thought while 思っていた meant that you kept a thought for a period of time. ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

“If you were to ask why, …”

In English, we have a construction like Yeah, I would never let him in. If you were to ask why, well, I guess I'd say because he's too young. My sense of the nuance is that it admits that what ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Nominalizing する Verbs

When using する verbs, is there a significant semantic/connotative difference between using the bare noun compared to simply adding a nominalizer (の・こと) after the する? 例: 「運転が好きです。」 「運転することが好きです。」 ...
4
votes
3answers
362 views

How to say a sentence without repeating the word?

I'm sorry if this is a duplicate question (I bet it is), I didn't really know what to search for. 猫を描く、犬を描かない。 (I draw cats, I don't draw dogs.) How do you say that sentence without having to ...
2
votes
3answers
176 views

Difference between 便利さ and 利便性

If I understand correctly, 便利さ and 利便性 have the same meaning. Is there any difference in nuance or usage? Maybe 利便性 is more formal?
8
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1answer
170 views

What's the difference between (いちば/しじょう) for 市場?

Does it refer to two different types of markets? Thank you.
3
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1answer
96 views

Is 「習得している」much different from 「勉強している」?

「日本語{にほんご}を習得{しゅうとく}する」means "to acquire the ability to use Japanese", right? 「日本語を勉強{べんきょう}する」means "to study Japanese", right? So, in what ways are 「日本語を習得している」 different from「日本語を勉強している」? Might ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Does using 書き順 sound childish?

Is 筆順 a more professional sounding term?
1
vote
3answers
179 views

Does ただな mean the same thing as ただの?

According to http://www.jisho.org/words?jap=%E3%81%9F%E3%81%A0&eng=&dict=edict, ただ is a na-adjective. People seem to use ただの exelucisvely, and I wonder what ただな means. What does ただな mean?
3
votes
4answers
205 views

Use of 全部{ぜんぶ} in the following sentence

タクシーの全部{ぜんぶ}が白い{しろい}。 Would that be a natural way to say: all the taxis are white. ?
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Help with Kenjougo!

I'm trying to come up with a polite introduction. Hajimemashite. Watashi wa Megan to moushimasu. Tekisasu kara mairimashita. watashi wa kentakkii-shuu ni sunde orimasu. Sumimasen, watashi ...
4
votes
2answers
250 views

The difference between 幸 and 運 as “luck” or “fortune”

I've come across these two kanji in a few cases for "good/bad fortune" and even in combination with eachother. I'd really like to understand if there's a subtle difference that I'm missing so that I ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Differences between 「が」、「ても」、「のに」

What is the usage difference between these three definitively? As an intermediate Japanese speaker, I somewhat understand where I would say them, but I can't point out under which contexts any of them ...
6
votes
2answers
161 views

実名 vs 本名 connotation?

I've seen both of these used about equally, and they seem to have similar meanings. Are they entirely interchangeable?
5
votes
1answer
143 views

What criteria decides whether to print 「氏」 or 「さん」 at the end of a person's name in newspapers?

I just realized that newspapers sometimes end a person's name with 「さん」: 後藤さん不明、昨年11月に把握 首相、答弁で明かす:。And then sometimes end a person's name with 「氏」: 自民・山本一太氏、人質事件で与野党結束訴え:。 In this forum, I found this ...