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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3answers
487 views

How would you say “A has the meaning of B” or “A conveys B”

For example, if I was trying to tell someone that in English when we say "sake" it already has the implication of it being "Japanese sake", so have the "Japanese" is redundant. My English brain wants ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What does カッコいいじゃーん mean?

I've sent some pictures to a Japanese friend, and she replied saying カッコいいじゃーん. I don't get either the Hiragana and Katakana mix in that word as the last じゃーん... Could anybody please get me out of ...
4
votes
1answer
454 views

How do you count ghosts in Japanese?

I have found this example, using the human counter: In this movie, the two female ghosts who appear before the main character, a man who works as a potter, are both victims of a war-torn society. ...
4
votes
2answers
707 views

興味が湧く vs 興味が沸く​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Which kanji should we use for the phrase 興味がわく (to mean that something has caught our interest)? Some quick googling shows that both 興味が湧く (~11m hits) and 興味が沸く (~9m hits) are widely used. Is one of ...
4
votes
1answer
192 views

虚; 空; 洞 【うろ】and differences

虚; 空; 洞 【うろ】: hollow; cavity; hole pronunciation is only one but why are there three kanji words??what are they differences??
4
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1answer
130 views

Fun with synonyms - “evaluation/investigation/etc.”

Explain the differences in the following vocabulary. They all essentially mean some form of investigation, inspection, etc. Please don't just write the definitions; I'm lost on how they differ, when ...
4
votes
1answer
359 views

Is there a specific term that refers to female sword fighting?

The "Lonely Planet Tokyo" iPhone app describes female sword fighting as a bygone form of male entertainment: Surprisingly, striptease almost failed to catch on due to the popularity of a rival ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

What does かみつれ mean?

I'm trying to figure out what "かみつれを手に". The word かみつれ is in hiragana, so I can't use kanji to figure it out. I have a feeling it means "( something ) in hand". I searched in Google, and ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

実践 and 実戦 in exercises

I've seen both 実践 and 実戦 used in the context of practice questions, both pronounced じっせん, of course. 実践問題 seems to be the more common of the two, meaning a practice exercise, but I've recently come ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

What do 「やっと」 and 「うせにゃ」 mean?

I am not sure if the 「やっと」 would mean 'at last' or relate to any specific Japanese dialect. Here is sentence including the words in question. だから わしが特{とく}別{べつ}におねがいして やっと ...
4
votes
1answer
273 views

What does 「やりい」 mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. たっぷりかわいがってやりい。 I guess it would mean 'to do' but I would like to know why it is written in this form.
4
votes
1answer
167 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
votes
1answer
164 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
votes
1answer
267 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
votes
2answers
205 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
votes
1answer
199 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
votes
1answer
269 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
202 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
votes
2answers
154 views

In technical usage, is there any difference between 間投詞 and 感動詞?

デジタル大辞泉 gives the following definition of 間投詞: 《interjection》「感動詞」に同じ。 It also gives the following definition of 感動詞 (emphasis added): ...
4
votes
1answer
236 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
votes
1answer
207 views

Help with a usage of 自慢

私は彼が自慢だ。 I'm Proud of Him 彼は私が自慢だ。 He is proud of me. I am confused by this pattern with 自慢. It kind of looks like 自慢 is being used as an adjective (?), but the definition in ...
4
votes
1answer
140 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
160 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
108 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
votes
1answer
394 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 ...
4
votes
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
118 views

What does "ああ こいつ ひろわれっ子なんで かーちゃんいないんだ”

I have problem understanding the following scene from a manga (Yotsuba&! vol. 1 pg. 196): Person A: Oh yeah, what about Yotsubas mother? Person B: ああ こいつ ひろわれっ子なんで かーちゃんいないんだ (I put ...
4
votes
3answers
255 views

Is there P in japanese

I have been wondering if Japanese language include letter P. I have actually seen words like Pan in Japanese which means bread, but then I found out it was borrowed from Spanish. Then is there any ...
4
votes
2answers
115 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
votes
1answer
159 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
votes
2answers
251 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): ...
4
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2answers
380 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?
4
votes
1answer
198 views

What's the difference between 無【な】くす and 失【うしな】う

These two words, 無【な】くす and 失【うしな】う, seem to be very similar in meaning, but i'm not sure of the difference. Can someone please explain? Here are some examples: 彼【かれ】は時々【ときどき】希望【きぼう】を失う【うしな】。 ...
4
votes
1answer
454 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
188 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) ...
4
votes
3answers
318 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
690 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
270 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
votes
1answer
282 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
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
4
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1answer
68 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
votes
1answer
466 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
216 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
352 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.
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
0answers
125 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
422 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
348 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
2answers
519 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
899 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 ...