言葉. 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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1answer
161 views

あなた when a guy says that to a girl

I read online about different usages for あなた and how it can convey meanings and it's best to be avoided as it can come off as rude. so I got into a situation where I was referred as anata by an older ...
4
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1answer
100 views

手を貸す and 'lend a hand' - coincidence?

At some point I found that 手を貸す both literally and figuratively means 'to lend a hand' - is the resemblance a coincidence?
4
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1answer
122 views

Difference between 信用 and 信頼 and when to use which?

I am trying to teach myself some Japanese and I wanted to find out how to say "I don't trust anyone" or "I no longer trust this person (because of a bad experience". So I thought it was a good idea ...
4
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1answer
212 views

How is character size dealt with?

When reading manga, I frequently notice that I have no idea what a character says. This is not because I do not know what the kanji is, rather it is very difficult for me to decipher what the kanji ...
4
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1answer
165 views

What's the difference between 根気【こんき】, 我慢【がまん】, 辛抱【しんぼう】 and 忍耐【にんたい】

Recently i found these four words and have no idea what's the difference between them. They all mean "patience" and "endurance". Here are some sentences: 僕【ぼく】は、あいつには我慢【がまん】できない。 I can't abide ...
4
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2answers
198 views

「周囲を取り囲む(ように)」, set phrase?

I encountered this phrase and after a bit of Googling, it seems to describe the action of crowding around a particular thing or object (people crowding around someone, trees crowding around a ...
4
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1answer
193 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
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1answer
257 views

What does まかなう mean here?

A few minutes ago Anthony was talking about 思い and 想い on chat, and he asked a question about them. I looked up the verb 思う in 明鏡国語辞典 since I thought it was relevant. It has this bit: ...
4
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1answer
189 views

What is different between 日本間{にほんま}、和室{わしつ} and お座敷{ざしき}

Are they same meaning? How to distinguish when using them?
4
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1answer
234 views

Is it possible to write anything long completely in 和語?

I sometimes wonder how feasible is it to completely avoid loanwords, i.e. 漢語 and 外来語, but still using Modern Japanese (i.e. not simply just using Old/Classical Japanese vocabulary). Is the 和語 ...
4
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1answer
138 views

「のれん代」(Goodwill) and 「のれん」 of 居酒屋

Is there any relation between 「のれん代」(Goodwill) and 「のれん」 of 居酒屋? And how about those kanji, are they using same kanji for both? If there are the same kanji, I would like to know their etymology, ...
4
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1answer
159 views

Difference between the usage of 知恵 , 知能 and 知力

I have read the sentence "12歳の小児の知力しかない". In this sentence , I would like to know the usage of 知力 . In dictionary , it means "intelligence " Can I use 知恵 or 知能 instead of 知力. Is there ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

Why does 音物【いんもつ】 contain 音?

When looking up the definition of 音物 (a present or a bribe), I thought it was very odd that it contained the kanji 音. I can't think of what 音 (sound) could have to do with presents or bribes. Is ...
4
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1answer
367 views

から ending a sentence

I've seen this in a few texts now and since it's appeared with some frequency I thought to post the question here. I tried searching online but came up with no real conclusions. ありませんから or plain form ...
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2answers
4k views

How can I improve my Japanese vocabulary, grammar, and listening skills? [closed]

I consider myself at a lower intermediate level. I want to improve my Japanese vocabulary and grammar in order to expand my reading and speaking skills. I know enough Japanese to get around and have a ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

~まくる as a suffix, what does it mean and how is it used?

I found this phrase 「家族に突っ込まれまくった」 and I believe it means "[my] family really stuck it [to me]" but I'm not familiar with the suffix まくる. Any examples and clarifications would be appreciated.
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2answers
114 views

おる in honorific contexts

Usually, we're told that おる is a humble verb, and that mostly holds true. But sometimes I see it conjugated to a light honorific form おられる, usually when talking about someone to whom respect must be ...
4
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1answer
132 views

Different ways to refer to oneself (2-in-1 question)

I have two questions about ways to refer to oneself in Japanese. Since they are so closely related I am posting both in the same thread but if anyone here strongly disagrees with this please let me ...
4
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2answers
250 views

Why might this device have both 原稿面上向き and 送信面上向き as equivalents of “face up”?

Recently, I found the following instructions on a multifunction printer/scanner/copier/faxer: Curiously, there are two lines in Japanese (as opposed to just one in each of the other languages): ...
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2answers
320 views

How to accuse someone of lying

うそだ isn't really a serious accusation. How would you say 'you're lying' more seriously?
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1answer
370 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
264 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
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1answer
184 views

Difference between 方法 and 手段

I was brushing up on some basic vocabulary. Asked what the Japanese equivalent of "the means (of doing something)", I would use 方法. However, they've used 手段. As far as I can tell, these are (fairly) ...
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3answers
310 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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2answers
655 views

What does ~と見てよい/~と見ていい mean? How did it have its meaning?

I found these sentences using SPACEALC: The content in parentheses and bolding are my own: まず勝ち試合と見ていいが、成り行き任せでは駄目です。 You'll probably win the game, but that's not automatic. ...
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1answer
260 views

Questions on the figurative meaning of 食って掛かる

If 食って掛かる is one word meaning "to lash out at someone" or perhaps closer in figurative language, "to bite someone's head off," how should I think of the 掛かる? If I want to understand the logistics ...
4
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1answer
281 views

Appropriateness of the word 膣外射精 in average adult conversations?

In discussing the marriage of Jin Akanishi and Meisa Kuroki, and why many young celebrities in Japan seem to fall into shotgun marriages, I wanted to use an equivalent for the term "withdrawal ...
4
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1answer
65 views

What's the difference between まねをする and ふりをする?

What's the difference between まねをする and ふりをする and what would be each one's proper translation?
4
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1answer
330 views

“to offer” in Japanese?

Using a dictionary to learn Japanese turned out to be more difficult than expected. I wanted to say "I offered him a haircut but he refused." and "I offered him a beer." and "I offered him a ride." ...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

meaning of シュワーっと

I'm currently reading a children's book about numbers with sentences of the form: numberは j1 j2 where j1 and j2 are japanese words and j1 starts sounding similar to number. I am stuck with 4は ...
4
votes
1answer
347 views

Is there a Japanese word for “finding the pleasantest point of an interior”?

I recently read a quote from architect Sverre Fehn that stated: "Japan has a word for finding the pleasantest point in an interior..." I was wondering if anyone might know what this word is. Thanks ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

のちほどスタッフは彼女の元を去りました。 Could someone explain how 元を去りました。works here?

のちほどスタッフは彼女の元を去りました。 This was written on screen at the end of a video skit about a girl at a 女子会 at a restaurant. 元を去りました means the staff left her alone? If anyone could translate this sentence, I ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

「[況]{いわん}や」 and 「[況]{ま}して」 usages

I just learned about 況や and 況して, I tried to search for some detailed grammar point but nothing... Are they the same? I saw both mean "not to mention..." but they seem different from the way I saw ...
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0answers
88 views

What word that resembles “teikkai” might refer to “the provenance of a food”?

The introduction to the 10th Anniversary Edition of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone contains the following passage on page 4 (emphasis added): Vegetarians have often used the phrase "I don't eat ...
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0answers
124 views

same reading, similar meaning, different Kanji [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: do people actually respect the nuances of 探す vs 捜す? There are many kanji that I have come across with similar meanings, and (seemly coincidentally) identical readings. ...
4
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1answer
118 views

Meaning of うち in “無意識のうちの行動なのだろう”

Given the context I think that this sentence means "it's probably an unintentional action". But I am unsure of what meaning/nuance the うち adds here. I am used to seeing うち meaning "while" and that's ...
3
votes
3answers
790 views

Difference between 学生・生徒・児童

As the title says^^ I think 生徒 is for elementary school, what about the other two?
3
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2answers
401 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
3answers
326 views

Does a word for vending machine shorter than 自販機 exist?

My Japanese teacher told me there is no shorter way to say 自動販売機{じどうはんばいき}. However, I found 自販機{じはんき} in my dictionary. Does a word (including slang) for "vending machine" shorter than four morae ...
3
votes
4answers
500 views

What is a word for “participation” that resembles “kameseru”?

According to the article "On Being Late to Work in Japan | 遅出" (linked from this post at The Workplace): The word for participation – kameseru – has a special significance which also explains why ...
3
votes
2answers
429 views

How to say “to be out of it” in Japanese?

Is there a Japanese equivalent to "to be out of it"? I just had a busy weekend and need to ask someone something again which I had asked them before because I forgot the answer. Now I want to tell ...
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2answers
1k 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
3answers
678 views

Why are the names of plants and animals often written in katakana?

I was wondering why fruits, vegetables, animals and plants, are written in katakana? Often, there exist kanjis for those, so why aren't they written with those kanjis instead? For example: カマキリ ...
3
votes
3answers
352 views

Whats the difference between ぜひ and もちろん

Both mean of course, right? I always traditionally used もちろん but I increasingly seem to see ぜひ. When do you use each?
3
votes
2answers
77 views

四角と正方形はどう違うの?~(What's the difference between 四角 and 正方形?)

While going through one of my study sets I created back in December containing words only marked as N2, I came across [正方形]{せいほうけい}, which was translated as "square". However, I always was taught and ...
3
votes
2answers
155 views

Does 児戯 have the same idiomatic value in Japanese as “child's play” does in English?

In English, "child's play" can literally mean "play performed by a child" or it can be used as an idiom to refer to "something easy". I see that Japanese 児戯 can also mean 子供の遊び (児の戯れ, I guess?) - ...
3
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2answers
145 views

What does the 'あ' do in this sentence 「そいつあけっこうだね」?

I am not sure if the 'あ' being used instead of 'は' or there is a meaning in the word 'そいつあ'. In addition, is it possible that the 'あ' is a kind of particle or suffix?
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2answers
276 views

はは or おかあさん what should be used?

What I've learnt is: when you talk about your mother you use はは、 when you talk about someone else's mother you use おかあさん。 But what happens when you talk to your mother? How should you address her? ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

Meaning and transitivity of 立ち上がる in ~を手に立ち上がる

While doing some tranlating, I stumbled upon this usage of 立ち上がる。 わたしがゴミ袋を手に立ち上がると、イツカ君とお姉ちゃんは二人一緒にわたしの所へやって来ました。 It doesn't match up with the definitions I'm familiar with, nor any of the other ...
3
votes
2answers
359 views

What's with all the possible kanji for とる?

Skimming through the options my IME presents for とる, I'm seeing a whole lot of choices, including the following: 取る 撮る 録る 執る 摂る 捕る 獲る 穫る 採る 盗る While I've seen 取る ("to take") and 撮る ("to record") ...