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
78 views

meaning of 蠢{うごめ}き[伸]{の}ばして?

It's taken from ひぐらしのなく頃に OP (lyrics can be found here ) I know the meaning of each individual word, but I can't really understand how it works in this context: 鏡の中で蠢き伸ばしてくる無数の手で
2
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1answer
95 views

Why are 兄(あに) and 姉(あね) pronounced differently in お兄さん and お姉さん?

姉 is pronounced ane, but お姉さん is pronounced oneesan. What happened to the initial a? Likewise, 兄 is pronounced ani, but お兄さん is pronounced oniisan. What is the rule governing the change in the ...
2
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1answer
105 views

How do you know what word to write in its kanji correspondence?

My study book writes some words like あまり and おおぜい in pure hiragana and I can't figure out whether it is common to write these words in hiragana as the books says, or I'd better write them in their ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Does 考え方 usually refer to the “methodology” of one's thought process, or can it also refer to something more subjective?

Weblio states that 考え方 is 思考の傾向...but when I look up 思考 I get confused because now I'm not sure if I'm dealing with an objective thought process or subjective feelings. I get the feeling (no pun...) ...
2
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1answer
133 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 ...
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0answers
75 views

Is the Japanese verb 'ちらばります’ an intransitive verb or not? [closed]

Is the Japanese verb 'ちらばります’ an intransitive verb or not? Thanks!
2
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1answer
121 views

てらんない- can't bear to do ~ [closed]

When we use ていられない, it means that we don't bother or care to do something. アさん)ああ、危なくて見てらんない! イさん) もう黙っていらんない。注意しよう。 A) Oh no, I can't bear to see him doing dangerous things. B) me too, I ...
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2answers
1k views

Did the Japanese have a word for surrender before WWII?

I had always thought that the Japanese didn't have a word for surrender before WWII. It seemed to be plausible given their culture. However, I can't seem to find any solid evidence of this. Is it just ...
1
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4answers
246 views

When is マイ・ワイフ used?

While looking up マイカー in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gairaigo_and_wasei-eigo_terms, I came across マイ・ワイフ. Is マイ・ワイフ used in real life, or mainly in anime? If the former, what differences ...
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2answers
166 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
167 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
209 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。 ...
1
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1answer
257 views

What does 2-jigen or 3-jigen mean?

In conversations done among heavily otaku people, I often hear the words 2-jigen or 3-jigen used. I know its meaning: two-dimension and three dimension, except that it does not always seem to make ...
1
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1answer
88 views

What do the words 「出ないのって」 and 「だる」mean?

They are bold in the following sentence: まあまあ 出【で】るの出【で】ないのってビヤだる 一ぱいほどの玉【たま】を出【だ】しちまってな。
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1answer
128 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
182 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
103 views

What does the word 「いってえ」mean?

Below here is a full sentence I have found the word. この品物の山はいってえどうしたことだ.
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1answer
122 views

What are the meanings of 「って」, 「とこ」, and 「ねえで」 in this sentence?

Here is the sentence I found these words in. ここ数日って とこは 夜も昼もねえで つづけたんだから むりもねえが... Especially the 「とこ」, I'm not sure if I should translate it to be 'bed' or 'room' or something else.
1
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1answer
121 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
201 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 ...
1
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1answer
200 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
309 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 ...
1
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1answer
234 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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2answers
139 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
164 views

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

A handheld video game device E.g. PSP, DS
1
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1answer
86 views

Is there a difference with 胃 and おなか?

I checked around and it says here about the usage of 胃, however, I didn't see おなか there. What is the difference in おなか and 胃, in pronunciation and usage?
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2answers
129 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
120 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 ...
1
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1answer
124 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
194 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
207 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
474 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
140 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 ...
1
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1answer
77 views

Trouble with sentence structure and particles

I've been having a hard time understanding how to construct a sentence. If I were going to say something along the lines of: "Learning Japanese on your own is difficult." Would this be grammatically ...
1
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1answer
92 views

When to use もちろん, うん, and はい?

In my understanding : もちろん = of course はい = yes うん = yes When is each of them more appropriate to use, or is it basically just preference? Are other options more casual than the other options?
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2answers
181 views

How to understand チラツ

How to understand チラツ ? My textbook gives "leaflet" as a translation. It's in katakana, though, so I'm looking for a corresponding English word, but what is it?
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2answers
241 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
179 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
193 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
161 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
264 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
151 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
199 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
142 views

Are there kanji which are NOT words by themselves (written standalone)?

In other words, are there kanji, which can only be used as a part of a kanji compound and/or with okurigana? For example: 見 - standalone kanji, a word which means "view", "outlook" 見物 - kanji ...
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1answer
63 views

What is the meaning of ~しにたちよったんじゃ?

Here is the sentence containing the phrase. ちと 忠告【ちゅうこく】しにたちよったんじゃ。
1
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1answer
126 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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1answer
110 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 ...
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1answer
117 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
130 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 ...
1
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3answers
229 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 ...