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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146 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 ...
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3answers
159 views

What does 「ならないようにする」 mean?

Source: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10013967481000/k10013967481000.html 「しかし、建物を地震に強くしたり、火事にならないようにすると、亡くなる人を2300人に減らすことができると言っています。」
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2answers
202 views

Can 一応ね be understood to mean “…just socially.”?

I found this example on lang-8, and wonder if anyone could clarify the use of 一応ね here: A: Are you going on Facebook or Twitter? B: Just socially. A: FacebookとかTwitterやってる? B: 一応ね。 ...
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1answer
124 views

What is the English equivalent of「ひとこと欄」?

I believe this a kind of word-game, but cannot find a reference to it...
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2answers
180 views

are the usage of うるさい to mean “fussy” and the usage of 草 to mean “substandard” archaic? [closed]

I was thinking what things could be described with 草 (3) not genuine; substandard;) Can we describe someone who is a ゴミ as 草? Like say: アイツはどうおもう? くさだ! Or is the "substandard" meaning of 草 already ...
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1answer
108 views

What is the most common word used for 'idea'?

Pretty sure I've mostly seen idea as アイデア Does anyone know of other words used for 'idea' and if possible any example sentences and contexts where different words are used? Thanks in advance.
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2answers
197 views

「写真は良い思い出になります。」 “Pictures make for great souvenirs”?

I was going through some Japanese phrases when this came up: 「写真は良い思い出になります。」 According to my limited Japanese knowledge, that means "Pictures become great memories." However, the translation present ...
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1answer
192 views

What does 'hikarian' mean?

'Hikarian' (full name '超特急ヒカリアン') is a Japanese anime that I was in fond of when I was a child, but I have no idea what does 'hikarian' mean. Oxford dictionary tells me that 'hikari' has only one ...
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2answers
282 views

How to express “Eternal/Endless Love” on an engraved bracelet [closed]

In a fanfiction i am writing, one of the characters who was born in Japan gives her girlfriend a bracelet she had made, as a sign of her nationality there is an engraving in japanese which, when her ...
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1answer
220 views

What does ウリ mean

What does ウリ mean in the following conversation? Where ソウ and アムロ=レイ are two characters in the [第]{だい}4[次]{じ}スーパーロボット[大戦]{たいせん}. ソウ「よろしくお[願]{ねが}いします!アムロ=レイ[少佐]{しょうさ}」 ...
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129 views

What verb is in 覚­えてみたい?

I found this YouTube comment: きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅとっても可愛い〜(*ノ∀ノ)ダンスとか覚­えてみたいと思いまーすww I'm not sure how to parse 覚­えてみたい. The context seems to make it have nothing to do with 覚る, and in any case the え 送り仮名 ...
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2answers
163 views

What is the word used for 'handheld'? [closed]

A handheld video game device E.g. PSP, DS
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2answers
122 views

What is the “one type” being “wiped away” in this sentence?

As part of a larger block of text, my JLPT textbook has this sentence: 私{わたし}たちは、コトバに対{たい}して一種{いっしゅ}のぬぐいがたい軽視{けいし}、軽{かる}く見{み}る傾向{けいこう}が一般{いっぱん}にあるといっていいかもしれません。 I'm specifically confused about ...
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2answers
119 views

Dangerous driving: “queue de poisson” in Japanese?

How to call it when a vehicle that just passed you gets back in lane too early, forcing you to brake, or even causing an accident? See this Diagram. This can also happen when a vehicle overtakes and ...
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1answer
121 views

となし in 「往{ゆ}け八紘を宇{いえ}となし」

I'm currently listening to 「愛国行進曲」, which is apparently a Shōwa-era patriotic song. It is written in a rather confusing mix of modern and Classical Japanese, but I think I can understand most of it ...
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2answers
187 views

How should I understand 今よりもっと?

person: うん痩せたいです今よりもっと me: 私も... ;; person: だよなー person: I want to lose weight, now more than ever/especially now me: Me too... ;; person: Ya know-;) Ok so だよなー is not an ...
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2answers
195 views

Defining a particular 系

http://mainichi.jp/life/kimochi/archive/news/2012/20120205ddn013070029000c.html The article above, about how a girl wants to be loved, is entitled 愛され系  I am wondering which definition of 系 ...
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1answer
429 views

“訳分からない” various uses of 訳

Here are a few examples of 訳 that I am having trouble with: 僕は決して農業が嫌いな訳じゃない。 Boku wa kesshite nōgyō ga kiraina wake janai. By no means do I dislike farming. (Lit: The reason is not that I dislike ...
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1answer
137 views

What is the difference between ホワイトシャツ・ワイシャツ and 背広? [closed]

How do we decide whether to call a shirt a ワイシャツ or 背広 ? What's the difference in nuance between the two terms? Side question: EDICT claims that a ホワイトシャツ is a white business shirt but even if it's a ...
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1answer
151 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", ...
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1answer
129 views

What is difference between 値段 (nedan) and 代金 (daikin)?

値段 (nedan) and 代金 (daikin) both means "cost" but im not sure where is a difference.
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1answer
177 views

What does 死者は何も語らない mean?

As stated in the topic, what does 死者は何も語らない mean, maybe as an idiom? The phrase is from a sentence in a novel, the speaker being a woman talking to a girl. As a background, the girl is getting revenge ...
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1answer
185 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 ...
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1answer
152 views

What might be the meaning of the word or phrase 'こよかな'

I cannot really comprehend koyokana in the following short sentence: shoppu itte koyokana. What meaning does koyokana give to the "shoppu itte" part. How could I divide koyokana in mind: koyo ka na ...
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1answer
258 views

When grandmas tell their kids お天道様がみてるよ, how do the kids know who お天道様 is?

I checked Japanese Wikipedia and お天道様 is an early Edo period word for the sun, as used in some kind of early modern popular religion that is not really described well at all. Anyway, I've never seen a ...
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1answer
145 views

What is はこう from はこうやって?

What is the translation of はこう ? (from はこうやって) I know that it would mean something like : This is how (I do) ... Yet, I cannot find the word in any dictionary. I just find the meaning of "wave ...
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1answer
186 views

The etymology of the word バックシャン

What is the etymology of the word バックシャン? I understand it commonly refers to a woman beautiful only from behind. See this definition- 女性のうしろ姿が均整がとれて美しいこと。また、その女性。多く、前から見ると失望するような 場合にいう。 I ...
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1answer
113 views

Usage and meaning of 召す【めす】 in different contexts

I am going through some Kanji and I was looking for the usage of 召す when I came across the following translation (from jisho.org): 1: (Honorific or respectful language) to call; to invite; to send ...
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2answers
217 views

How to say “to mutilate” in Japanese

I tried to look it up in a dictionary, on jisho.org and also by googling for it but I couldn't find out how to say "to mutilate" in Japanese. I really need this word since it's legal here to crop ...
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1answer
106 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.
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1answer
124 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 ...
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3answers
179 views

An appropriate word for “psyllium seed husk powder” that doesn't describe it as a laxative? (Plantago psyllium L)

I'm thinking about translating a recipe in Japanese and I'm kind of astonished that there isn't a wikipedia page for psyllium seed husk powder, but there's a brief one for psyllium. I'm not sure if ...
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1answer
102 views

Translating --「きめぜりふつかった」って?

Playing through a game, and I've encountered a verb / combination I've never seen before. The full dialogue is: もうお姫さまにきめぜりふつかったの? Am I looking at some stem of きめ・る? Or something else entirely? ...
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1answer
305 views

Is 回す ever used to mean “gang-rape”?

Sorry, I've been on reddit...and found the eighth definition here: 回す まわす 1: to turn; to rotate; to gyrate; 2: to circulate; to send around; 3: to surround; 4: to put something to a new ...
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1answer
196 views

Is there a word or phrase for “run around”?

I'd like to know if there is a phrase similar to the English phrase of "running around". To explain more clearly, it should mean to be able to go out freely and do whatever one like's without being ...
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1answer
159 views

Differences between 出るand 去る when expressing someone leaving

When expressing "to leave," as in "I left the store," or "I can leave the country," is there a difference in nuance or meaning between the verbs 出る and 去る? まあ、少なくとも、この国を出ることはできるな。 Well, at ...
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2answers
90 views

Introducing people

How would you say 'he is...' 'she is...' about other people, in regards to naming them? And how would you say:'they are'(meaning people). E.g: 'They are my friends.', 'They are my teachers.', 'They ...
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1answer
89 views

How to say “he/she knows”? [closed]

For example, "He knows that he's a lazy guy.", or something like that. Something along the lines of they are aware of something + the thing they are aware of.
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1answer
78 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} ...
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1answer
96 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 ...
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1answer
200 views

Does the word 津波 (tsunami) have negative connotations?

Or is it just a neutral term for tidal waves? (I'm considering naming a JavaScript library tsunami.js – would it be offensive?)
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1answer
213 views

How does 生まれ translate in this context?

こんにちは、皆さん。ちょっと質問があります。 今日、この歌を聞きました。 最初の歌詞はこれです: アイデンティティがない 生まれない らららら でも意味が分かりません。英訳するができない。 「(If you) have no identity, (you) haven't been born」と思いますが、確かめたいです。 日本語で説明していい。手伝てくれてありがとう!
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350 views

What separates the different ways to ask a question in Japanese (何, どう, どんな, etc.)?

It's been something I've been thinking about for a while, but could never answer in a more concrete way. This is most apparent when I compare the functions of 何 and どう. I know that 何, どう and どんな are ...
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1answer
122 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 ...
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1answer
106 views

What does やさぐれ mean?

I believe it has something to do with bullying. Also, I think I heard it as a verb: やさぐれる I can't seem to find much information about it. Is it slang?
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1answer
194 views

Is 死ぬ the only verb ending in -ぬ? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Plain verbs that end with ぬ other than 死ぬ 死ぬ{しぬ} is the only verb that I know that is ending in -ぬ. So, are there any other verbs ending in -ぬ?
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0answers
84 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
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0answers
96 views

Meaning of 自慢の目利き [closed]

Could you please tell me how should I understand and translate 自慢の目利き in the following sentence. この季節は、町内の市場は休みがないため、下苧坪さん(he's a 魚の仲買人- fish dealer) は、毎朝漁港に出かけ、その自慢の目利きで、新鮮な海の幸を仕入れる。 Source: ...
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0answers
57 views

「やる」Uses and definition [duplicate]

Ok, I see the word やる used in a lot of different contexts, meaning anything from "to kill" to "have sex with" to "make a vehicle go faster" to "give to someone of lower status". I am constantly ...
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0answers
233 views

How To Learn Japanese Vocabulary? [closed]

So I'm in the beginning stages of "Remembering The Kanji Vol. 1 (Frame 74)" and it just occurred to me; How do I learn vocabulary? Do I learn it in compounds like " 好" ? Or learn the single kanji that ...