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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4
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3answers
548 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
158 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
votes
2answers
353 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
141 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
204 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
183 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
votes
1answer
165 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
votes
1answer
316 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
votes
1answer
492 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. Now,...
1
vote
1answer
213 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
vote
1answer
101 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} (...
5
votes
1answer
162 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) ?
3
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
757 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
votes
1answer
507 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
2answers
758 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
vote
1answer
272 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
898 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
vote
2answers
216 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
276 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
236 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。 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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
253 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
vote
1answer
220 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
196 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
votes
1answer
158 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。 しかし、院生として学んだ大学、また今教えている大学の日本人学生は、返済しなければならないものにも「奨学金」ということばを使っています。参考として、...
4
votes
1answer
130 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: おもしろそうな場面には必ずカメラを持って「...
7
votes
1answer
389 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?
9
votes
2answers
576 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
vote
1answer
211 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.
2
votes
1answer
190 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
329 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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?
5
votes
1answer
179 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
200 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。
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Explanation of 歌にのせて

From JapanesePod101, with their translation: ミュージカルは、歌【うた】にのせて物語【ものがたり】を展開【てんかい】する。 A musical can tell a story with songs. I understand that のせる means (amongst other things) "to take on board". Does ...
5
votes
1answer
233 views

How is “gomen” used?

I don't even know if this is the correct place to post this. The only source that I'm in touch with the Japanese language is through anime. So my question, which I understand that could be kinda silly,...
6
votes
2answers
294 views

華麗にスルーする Ignore someone . . . how exactly?

I was watching an anime series called Steins;Gate today. In episode 9 (around six minutes in), one of the characters proposes physically travelling through time: 凶真「ずばり、物理的タイムトラベルだ!」 The other ...
4
votes
1answer
203 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 "...
6
votes
1answer
293 views

What's the difference between 値段 and 価格

They're both "price", but I don't see the difference. Even the Kanji appear to suggest similar meanings. Thanks for any advice!
6
votes
1answer
216 views

Difference between ヒーター and ストーブ

I have a question about the words ヒーター and ストーブ. I understand that they are both used to heat rooms. However, I am not sure exactly the difference between the two. A Yahoo answer in Japanese says ...
3
votes
1answer
219 views

Other words for and familiarity of 桜でんぶ?

I have some questions about 桜でんぶ/おぼろ. As I understand, 桜でんぶ is the name for the pink, fluffy stuff in sushi made from fish. My questions are: 1) Are there any other common words for 桜でんぶ? I read ...
7
votes
3answers
664 views

How to negate “べき”? (ie. “should not”)

「食{た}べる」 can be negated as 「食べない」. 「美{うつく}しい」 can be negated as 「美しくない」. etc. etc. Can you negate 「べき」as in: 「明日は受験なので、勉強するべきです。」(Since you are taking a test tomorrow, you should study.) 「明日は受験なので、...
4
votes
2answers
615 views

What's difference between 昼(hiru) and 正午(shōgo)?

Both 昼{ひる} and 正午{しょうご} mean noon, so are they interchangeable?
1
vote
0answers
94 views

What does なんて mean? [duplicate]

I'm having trouble understanding sentences containing 「なんて」 Here are some of them that I've encountered today: 漫画なんてつまらない and あまりにも刑事なんて職業に似合わない
4
votes
1answer
96 views

'Get on' a road

In English, when giving directions, there are two possible constructions you can use when telling someone which road to use for a given segment of the trip: 'take', which refers to the entire ...
6
votes
2answers
639 views

Why should one be careful of soft and sweet words in this neighbourhood?

A little while ago, in a neighbourhood in Tokyo, I came across this sign: I'm not sure of the readings of the place names, but the sign is put there by the local police, 戸塚[警察署]{けいさつしょ}, in ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

About 上旬、中旬、下旬 and 始め、半ば、終わり...?

I don't know if the number of days using for six cases above is how many? 3 days or 10 days or...? And moreover, 上旬、中旬、下旬 and 始め、半ば、終わり which is using for month, which is for week and which is for ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

Difference between 給湯器 and 湯沸器?

Today I had a discussion with some coworkers about items in apartments. One coworker called the water heater above the sink [給湯器]{きゅうとうき}, and the other coworkers thought that that item was called [...