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
66 views

Meaning of サマんなんない?

Here's the context: a loan shark has asked a yakuza to help him collect a loan. The yakuza came back with the money. The loan shark paid for the yakuza's trouble and then tried to give the yakuza a ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

How to say “lose a friendship/drift apart”?

I want to say that "as A becomes closer friends with C, B gets jealous and A and B drift apart". What I have so far is A-さんは C-さんと仲良くすればするほど、B-さんがうらやましくなって、A-さんと_____てしまう。
2
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2answers
158 views

Meaning of “すわりがいい”?

In a book about introductory Mandarin Chinese written in Japanese, one of the first sections lists some special characteristics of Mandarin not familiar to Japanese speakers (e.g. usually only one ...
2
votes
3answers
92 views

がわ/そば difference and use

I've been following the Genki textbook up until now and I learnt to use そば to talk about things that are near something else. I recently bought a JLPT N5 textbook, as it's my intention to try and ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

通{とお}した and 通{つう}じた – usage in context

In 合格できる N3 (page 28), I found the following exercise: 海外{がいかい}旅行{りょこう}で、習{なら}った英語{えいご}が(   )ときは、とてもうれしかった。 1.通{とお}した    2.詰{つ}めた    3.抜{ぬ}けた    4.通{つう}じた I have to fill in with the correct ...
2
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

Is there a term for words that share the same kana spelling?

I would like to know if there is a word (in either Japanese or English) that describes pairs of words that are spelled the same in kana. For example, 橋 and 箸 would be "homo-kana" words, because they ...
2
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1answer
185 views

How to say “for”

I will use a specific example. I was trying to write "My love for you is hurting me." "私の愛ために貴方は私を傷つけている。" Is what I came up with, however, I am unsure about the usage of "ために" in this situation. ...
2
votes
1answer
696 views

Fast Food Conversation - Any Practical Guides?

I looked up for fast food conversation but I could not find anything very practical. While most guide always emphasize on how to order, I never found it prepares one to understand what a fast food ...
2
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2answers
242 views

Could someone explain the ironic(?) use of よくいうよ?

Dainichi was kind enough to tell me that よくいうよ means "to shamelessly say something you should be ashamed to say." On spacealc, this explanation and translation is provided: よく言うよ。 What are you ...
2
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1answer
84 views

What is the etymology of どんちゃん騒ぎ?

WWWJDIC defines it as this: どんちゃん騒ぎ【さわ】 (n) merrymaking; high jinks; spree 観光客は町中飲み歩いてどんちゃん騒ぎをした。 The tourists painted the whole town red What is the etymology of this word? Is it in common ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

What would be a proper definition and adequate natural translation for the term 替え歌王?

My friend wrote this sentence about these videos: "これは日本の替え歌王だよ。" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtjxrf2Vg7g&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEeELyiLDKg I'm not ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

u and Senryu placement

I am in the process of publishing a book on verse, more particularly, "American Haiku and Senryu -- 1008 Pauses Along the Path" and I need to ascertain whether or not the title is appropriate, i.e. is ...
2
votes
1answer
397 views

Is “ガール” (gāru) now considered a Japanese word? What about “ガールズ” (gāruzu)?

In my wanderings around Japan giving my kana knowledge some practice I've noticed both the words "ガール" (gāru) and "ガールズ" (gāruzu) in use at least in signage. Obviously they are borrowed from English ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

Differences between words for “optimistic” and “pessimistic”

I've been confused for a long time about how certain Japanese words map onto the meaning of "optimistic" and "pessimistic" in English. Specifically, what is the difference between (Optimistic) ...
2
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1answer
152 views

Using を/に+伴う and meaning of 後接させる (+ 現場指示 and 文脈指示)

Here is the sentence (from the 日本語文法ハンドブック : 疑問詞が 「が」 「を」 以外の格助詞を伴う時はその格助詞の後にそのまま 「も」 を後接させます。 My guess : When the interrogatives are accompanied by a case-marking particle other than "が" ...
2
votes
1answer
339 views

Need help with the superlative form of my sentence

I need a bit of help with my Japanese. If I want to say: Castle X is beautiful. Among all the castles in the world, castle X is the coolest. Is this sentence written correctly? しろ Xの ほうが ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

what does the とは mean in this phrase?

Hello pretty new to Japanese and I have a question. So I know this is supposed to be something like "he differs from his former self" but I can't really make sense of what the とは is supposed to mean ...
2
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1answer
79 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
votes
1answer
106 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
votes
1answer
123 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
votes
1answer
89 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
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
2
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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
votes
1answer
125 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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vote
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
vote
3answers
261 views

Why does 日本語{にほんご} mean Japanese?

Google translate says 日本語 means Japanese. It also says: 語 means "word" 本 means "this" 日 means "day" So how do you get "Japanese" out of these three kanji?
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4answers
250 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 ...
1
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2answers
169 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
170 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。」
1
vote
2answers
213 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
vote
1answer
272 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
102 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
114 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.
1
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1answer
131 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.
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1answer
135 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
183 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
125 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 ...
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1answer
206 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
323 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
vote
1answer
246 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
142 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
167 views

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

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

What does the 「とって」 mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. 東のはずれには年をとって働けなくなった人たちのために養老院をたてるっ
1
vote
1answer
76 views

The positive ~じゃない

Just how feminine is it? How odd would it be if a male speaker said it? I have found one example of someone male using, in a piece of fiction: Lest レスト、 the main character of Rune Factory 4 ...
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1answer
138 views

Is ごめんなさいませ idiomatic?

If so, how formal is it? Please compare it with other apologies.
1
vote
1answer
89 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?
1
vote
2answers
131 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 ...
1
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2answers
121 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 ...