Any question that does not deal specifically with grammar or pronunciation. Includes questions about prefixes, suffixes, compound words, loanwords, dialectal differences, pragmatic usage, etc. In other words, phenomena that occurs at the level of the word.

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21 views

Alternative readings of 人々? [on hold]

I have been going through a file with Japanese subtitles for the popular anime "Fairy Tale" and came across 人々 in the script. However, the only readings I can find for these characters are ひとびと and ...
1
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0answers
41 views

Differences between words for “optimistic” and “pessimistic”

I've been confused for a long time about how certain Japanese words map onto the meaning of "optimistic" and "pessimistic" in English. Specifically, what is the difference between (Optimistic) ...
2
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2answers
129 views

〜ず versus 〜ないで (and maybe also in the case of adjectives, 〜なくて)

Consider the following example sentence (taken from an exercise sheet): 熱が下がらず苦しかった。 Now consider this sentence I made: 熱が下がらないで苦しかった。 What is the difference?
4
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1answer
120 views

Difference between ずっと and いつも

The other day when I was having a brief conversation in Japanese I meant to say "I have always been living here" so I said いつも(the name of my home province)に住んでいます。 The Japanese person I was speaking ...
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1answer
47 views

通{とお}した and 通{つう}じた – usage in context

In 合格できる N3 (page 28), I found the following exercise: 海外{がいかい}旅行{りょこう}で、習{なら}った英語{えいご}が(   )ときは、とてもうれしかった。 1.通{とお}した    2.詰{つ}めた    3.抜{ぬ}けた    4.通{つう}じた I have to fill in with the correct ...
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1answer
36 views

急{きゅう}に vs.すぐに – usage in context

In 合格できる N3 (page 28), I found the following exercise: うちの子{こ}は新{あた}しいおもちゃ見{み}ると、(    )ほしがる。 1. 急に   2. じっと   3.すぐに   4.しっかり I have to fill in with the correct word. I think it's either 1 ...
2
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1answer
118 views

difference between 計画を立てる and 計画をする?

Is there any difference between 計画【けいかく】を立てる【たてる】 and 計画をする? In Sou Matome N3, the first one appears as "to make plans", as for the second one (being a suru verb), I assume that it can also be ...
4
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1answer
450 views

What does “随分仲” mean in 「彼氏と随分仲が良い」?

I've seen it in a number of places, mostly in contexts like this one: 彼氏と随分仲が良い For me, it feels like 随分仲 translates to "relationship". What worries me is that I have not found the exact pair ...
3
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1answer
206 views

How emotionally loaded is 会いたい【あいたい】?

I'd like to ask how emotionally loaded 会いたい【あいたい】 is. For example, if I were to (neutrally) convey the sense of "I'd like to meet you" by using 会いたい, would it carry an emotional expectation in the ...
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1answer
67 views

I don't understand the meaning and “naran” in this sentence 早く日曜日にならんかな

I don't understand the meaning of ならん in this sentence: 早く日曜日にならんかな Does ならん come from ならぶ? Or come from なる? How it's conjugated? What's that ん in ならん...?
4
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2answers
875 views

How to order pizza or dinner on the phone

When you call say a pizza delivery service they pick up the phone with something like "Tanaka's pizza delivery service, XYZ branch, this is Sato speaking". (I'm sorry, I'd reproduce it in Japanese but ...
3
votes
3answers
320 views

What's the difference between 治す{なおす} and 治る{なおる}?

My dictionary says they are both cure/fix, so I am wondering what the difference is and how to use them? Is it an active/passive difference, or transitive/intransitive? Or just a subtle nuance? I ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Different usage of 五

As an answer to a previous question, a user stated the following: In Japanese this distinction is shown by referring to 自動詞 ("self-acting" verbs) and 他動詞 ("other-acting" verbs). Many J ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Difference between 維持{いじ}する and 保{たも}つ (to maintain)

I've learnt two verbs which seem to mean the same thing, and I keep confusing them: 維持{いじ}する (to maintain; to preserve;  to improve) and 保{たも}つ (to preserve; to maintain; to support) Can someone ...
7
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2answers
213 views

私は米国人です vs 私はアメリカ人です

They both mean I am an American but which is preferable in everyday speech and in writing, and why? Is the former more formal than the latter?
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Difference between 隠{かく}す and 秘{ひ}める (to hide)

Can someone explain the differences between 隠{かく}す (to hide; to conceal) and 秘{ひ}める (to hide; to keep to oneself) ? These definitions look too similar for me, I'm not sure in which context to use one ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Difference between 絶叫{ぜっきょう}する and 怒鳴{どな}る (to shout)

I've learnt 2 verbs, 絶叫{ぜっきょう}する (to shout, to scream, to exclaim) and 怒鳴{どな}る (to shout; to yell) They seems to have the same meaning, can someone explain the context in which to use one and the ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Difference between 獣{しし} and 野獣{やじゅう} (beast)

I learnt the words 獣{しし} and 野獣{やじゅう} and their definitions look too similar. Can someone explain me the difference between them? While searching more for beast words, I also found that 獣 could also ...
6
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1answer
118 views

Difference between 証【あかし】 and 証拠【しょうこ】 (proof)

証明{しょうめい}means proof, but in the sense "certification" But 証{あかし} and 証拠{しょうこ}look very similar, meaning "proof, evidence". Would the difference be that 証拠 requires something physical (object), ...
3
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1answer
116 views

What's a good word for “offer”, as in “…for offering us eternal life…”?

I'm trying to translate a sentence that includes the following phrase: ...for offering us eternal life... Finding a good word for "offer" is apparently a little easier said that done. jisho.org ...
4
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1answer
113 views

Usage of 整{ととの}える for asking for a trim when getting a hair cut

I have looked at Getting your haircut in Japan already and did not see this word in there. Usually when going to the barber I simply say: 短{みじか}くしてください Since my hair is pretty uncomplicated. ...
15
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1answer
5k views

Getting your haircut in Japan

I have been living in Japan now for the last 3 months and my hair is starting to look like it needs a cut. But I have never been to a Japanese barbers before so as you can imagine I am a little ...
0
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2answers
90 views

difference between 妥協{だきょう}and 歩{あゆ}み寄{よ}り (compromise)

I often confuse 妥協{だきょう}(compromise; giving in) and 歩み寄り{あゆみより}(compromise, concession). Can someone explain the differences, when to use one over the other? It seems that there are a lot of other ...
1
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1answer
72 views

What is the difference between 賢い{かしこい} and 利口{りこう}?

What is the difference between 賢い{かしこい} and 利口{りこう}? For exemple, sentence 1 and sentence 2 have the same meaning? 1.彼は若いが賢いよ。 2.彼は若いが利口だね。 Kotobank.jp explains 賢い{かしこい} through 利口{りこう} ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Difference between 意志{いし} and 志し{こころざし} (will)

I learnt both 意志{いし} and 志し{こころざし}, but am always confusing the two of them. Can someone highlight the differences between those 2 words (and other variants if any) ?
1
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1answer
99 views

Translation help with a sentence, use of たる?

This is a sentence from a character bio, but for whatever reason -maybe the author's quirky- they've written it in a really verbose way in what seems to be classical Japanese. I get the general gist ...
9
votes
1answer
323 views

What is the difference between 沸く【わく】, 炊く【たく】, 茹でる【ゆでる】, 煮る【にる】, and 蒸す【むす】?

I am learning JLPT N2. I came across these words in one sentence. I couldn't find the difference between 沸く【わく】, 炊く【たく】, 茹でる【ゆでる】, 煮る【にる】, and 蒸す【むす】. All the words have similar meanings. Can anyone ...
0
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1answer
136 views

Both 当たり前 and 相変わらず seem to mean “usual” or “ordinary”. What's the difference between them?

What is the difference between [当たり前]【あたりまえ】 and [相変わらず]【あいかわらず】? They both seem to mean “the usual” or “ordinary”.
4
votes
1answer
340 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?
3
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2answers
135 views

How do you say “after all”, in the sense of reaffirming or justifying a previous statement?

For example: "You should wear a jacket. After all, it's snowing out there." "Of course I bought you a present! It's our anniversary after all." I tried an online dictionary but they gave me a lot ...
1
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1answer
176 views

What is “うち” in “ごろうち”?

I recently came across this sentence: たかしは7時ごろうちに帰りました。 I do understand that it probably means たかし came home at around 7, but from what I learnt to say "around 7" it's: 7時ごろ. So it has no ...
4
votes
4answers
633 views

How do I write “Hard Work and Smart Work”?

I want to write an essay with the title “Difference between Hard Work and Smart Work”. By “hard work”, I mean continuing the work with old ideas without thinking up new ideas, and working all the ...
1
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2answers
139 views

Is the negative form of 住む related to すみません (i.e. “I'm sorry”/“Excuse me”), and how is it used in actual conversation?

Just learned the verb “to live” 住む. When conjugated to masu negative it is pronounced as すみません. How is this related to the expression すみません which means “I'm sorry”/“Please excuse me”? Or is it just a ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

しな at the end of a sentence

In the manga Yotsubato, the main character Yotsuba's father says 「ジャンボが二人分働くしな」. I understand the sentence as a whole, I think, but I don't understand the しな at the end. Here's the full dialogue: ...
6
votes
1answer
176 views

What does 揺らぎやすい女性 mean?

I was translating a passage the other day for a health spa and came across the following passage: 揺らぎやすい女性のための限定メニューができました。 1ヶ月の周期の中で、私たちの体は大きく変化します。 生理は、体をととのえる絶好のチャンス。 ...
0
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0answers
100 views

About the literal translation of a phrase [duplicate]

The phrase it's this: "士郎の理想、英雄となった姿があなたではないのですか。" I understand it literally as "The ideal of Shirou, the figure that became a hero, are you not you?" It's right?
1
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1answer
128 views

“訳す” is the best way to say “to translate”?

The difference between "翻訳" and "通訳" has been explained very well in several forums. Even so, for me that nuance is a distraction and I prefer to simplify with this strategy: When I hear "翻訳", ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

Specialized banking/credit card vocabulary

I recently found myself in a situation where I had to attempt customer service over the phone in Japanese and I got tripped up on some terminology that I've never encountered before. Most of it had to ...
1
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1answer
102 views

Could someone please clarify if I'm translating these two sentences correctly? [closed]

I think I've translated this correctly, but I started to have doubts about a few words and decided to double-check. (person A) 結婚なんて。。。めんどくせーこと オレはやめとくか。。。 (person B) ああ。。。。。 On my first ...
0
votes
1answer
124 views

technical term for “形容動詞{けいようどうし} + にする”?

A subset of Japanese nouns is the サ変名詞{へんめいし} nouns such as: 勉強{べんきょう}する 運転{うんてん}する 残業{ざんぎょう}する A subset of 形容動詞 words can be appended with "にする" such as: 静{しず}かにする 大切{たいせつ}にする ...
4
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1answer
112 views

[奨学金]{しょうがくきん} and Repayment

背景 現在特任講師として大学機関で働いていますが、かつて院生のころから、日本人の「奨学金」の使い方が気になっていました。私は文部科学省の奨学金も頂きましたが、その奨学金は普通の英語の"scholarship"のように、返済しなくてもよいものでした。 ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

What is 林家パー子ばり?

What is 林家パー子ばり? A colleague used it in a complex context, but I have found many another occurrences, including this one in the very simple context of a self-presentation: ...
6
votes
1answer
276 views

_っ_り form adverbs

I keep seeing these onomatopoeic adverbs popping up with the form: _っ_り. Some examples include ぐっすり、ぴったり、すっきり、etc…. Is there a name for these adverbs, and why are they in this specific form?
7
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2answers
435 views

Fun with synonyms - “to grab/catch/capture”

Here's a question for you experts. I've actually asked this to my Japanese friends, but I want to see how you guys answer too. Explain the differences in the following verbs and which one(s) appear ...
1
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1answer
102 views

Difference between おく and 中

Since both (oku and naka) mean 'inside', I am confused as to in which contexts they will be used.
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Something that can be written with kanji but not with kana?

I was reading through some text today and found this (emphasis mine): While it is possible to use the phonetic Hiragana and Katakana scripts to represent almost any Japanese word, it is usually ...
2
votes
3answers
222 views

It seems “hard deadline” can be translated to 厳しい締切. Would “soft deadline” then be translated as 厳しくない締切?

I have searched long and hard for a dictionary translation of "soft deadline" to no avail. Google Ngram shows that it has peaked in popularity in the last three decades, so it's relatively new. I ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Polite Way to Ask “How old are you?” : 何歳 , いくつ ,年齢 , ご年

I think the sentences: 何歳ですか? いくつですか? 年齢は? お年は? are all sentences that ask "How old are you?" How are they different? What form is most polite?
4
votes
1answer
126 views

What is the difference between 文{ぶん} and 文章{ぶんしょう}?

I think that 文 means "sentence" or "text"; 文章 means the same and also can mean "writing" or "letter". Is that the only difference?
3
votes
1answer
117 views

what's a ポッカリ (pokkari)?

context: I read this sentence in a childrens book (オー·スッパ). Judging from the pictures, animals are eating a lemon and go crazy because of the sour taste. The whole sentence is:  ポッカリ ういていたんです。