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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1answer
164 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
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2answers
252 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
404 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
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1answer
212 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
504 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,...
4
votes
1answer
190 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
321 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
703 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. ゴドフリィ・...
4
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1answer
271 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 method",...
4
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1answer
231 views

そうです expressions

I've been learning Japanese for a few years now but I still haven't fully grasped the ways そうです is used in conversation. What I'm concerned with are the following expressions: そうです/そうなんです そうですか/...
4
votes
1answer
116 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
votes
1answer
71 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
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1answer
522 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
221 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
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0answers
156 views

How has Japanese kanji and kana usage changed since 1945

How has the percentage of writing using each script changed since 1945? With script reform, increasing influx of loanwords, and stylistic choices, several factors affect how much certain parts of the ...
4
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0answers
126 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. But ...
3
votes
2answers
437 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
363 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
974 views

What does the word 「だまっとれ」mean?

It is in a sentence said by an old man who is speaking to a group of children. おめえらはだまっとれ! I think it should be an imperative form of 「黙る」 but I found, in an online dictionary, that the form is ...
3
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2answers
553 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
243 views

How do people Japan learn about onomatopoeic words and why does everyone agree on most of them?

Japanese has a great number of onomatopoeic words, which are essentially sound-like expressions for describing different things for weather conditions (べたべた, hot very humid sweat weather), over ...
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votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
398 views

Whats the difference between ぜひ and もちろん

Both mean of course, right? I always traditionally used もちろん but I increasingly seem to see ぜひ. When do you use each?
3
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4answers
259 views

What is the difference between 楽しい and 面白い?

Google translates both of them to be interesting. And which can be used for a funny guy?
3
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3answers
719 views

What does “兄者など” mean?

I read a doujinshi about an older brother who was teased by his younger brother, and the younger brother said "兄者など". I don't really get what it means. Someone please help me ;__;
3
votes
2answers
82 views

四角と正方形はどう違うの?~(What's the difference between 四角 and 正方形?)

While going through one of my study sets I created back in December containing words only marked as N2, I came across [正方形]{せいほうけい}, which was translated as "square". However, I always was taught and ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

Does 児戯 have the same idiomatic value in Japanese as “child's play” does in English?

In English, "child's play" can literally mean "play performed by a child" or it can be used as an idiom to refer to "something easy". I see that Japanese 児戯 can also mean 子供の遊び (児の戯れ, I guess?) - ...
3
votes
2answers
150 views

What does the 'あ' do in this sentence 「そいつあけっこうだね」?

I am not sure if the 'あ' being used instead of 'は' or there is a meaning in the word 'そいつあ'. In addition, is it possible that the 'あ' is a kind of particle or suffix?
3
votes
2answers
341 views

はは or おかあさん what should be used?

What I've learnt is: when you talk about your mother you use はは、 when you talk about someone else's mother you use おかあさん。 But what happens when you talk to your mother? How should you address her? ...
3
votes
2answers
448 views

What's with all the possible kanji for とる?

Skimming through the options my IME presents for とる, I'm seeing a whole lot of choices, including the following: 取る 撮る 録る 執る 摂る 捕る 獲る 穫る 採る 盗る While I've seen 取る ("to take") and 撮る ("to record") ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

Can 複合動詞{ふくごうどうし} ever not have [送]{おく}り[仮名]{がな} placed between the 2 kanji?

Can 複合動詞{ふくごうどうし} ever not have [送]{おく}り[仮名]{がな} place between the 2 kanji in the compound verb?
3
votes
3answers
440 views

Typing Japanese text from images or clothing

Is there a way of typing Japanese characters when you have no knowledge of the language? I've cut and pasted from Japanese websites before and used translation websites from English to Japanese with ...
3
votes
2answers
268 views

前 as a counter word?

お客:寿司を五人前届けてもらいたいんですが。 寿司屋:かしこまりました。 Is 前 being used as a counter word here? If so, what meaning of 前 is being assumed as a counter--perhaps the serving placed "before" a person?
3
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2answers
746 views

How do I read 通常版?

According to jisho.org, 通常 is pronounced as つうじょう. I don't know how to pronounce 版 in 通常版. How is it pronounced?
3
votes
2answers
138 views

What are all the possible meanings of 筆記{ひっき}の心{こころ}?

It kinda popped into my head one day and I want to know the correct meaning and translation into English. Translating it through Google Translate gets you 'Heart of the writing'. I know the meanings ...
3
votes
3answers
169 views

「ひがし」 vs. 「あずま」

From what I understand, both 「ひがし」 and 「あずま」 meant "east" and then the latter became the reading of 東. Is 「ひがし」 an archaic term and never used, or are both acceptable? If both are acceptable, what ...
3
votes
2answers
245 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。 ...
3
votes
2answers
251 views

Is ruby text essential?

I am trying to understand whether the ruby text in ancient scripture is essential to the meaning of a verse, or if the scripture can be understood without it. For instance, can this verse: be ...
3
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2answers
366 views

Hello, there is a certain phrase that I've been trying to translate but because of a few expressions I am stuck (this is a multi-part question)

Here is the phrase: メーラーの設定によってクリックのみでは正しく開けない場合があります The expressions that have me stuck are: みで - I'm not sure what this expression could be... is it some kind of modifier possibly or is it ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

The gender of the word 素敵

素敵 is often described as a feminine word. Just how feminine is it? What would be the impression of a male speaker using it, if he didn't already use feminine speech?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the ways to express someone's condolences?

All is in the title, what are the ways to express someone's condolences when somebody died. I know お気の毒に but is there something else? What can/should you say to friends? To collegues? To bosses? etc.
3
votes
2answers
195 views

Difference between こんにち and きょう

My dictionary says 今日(きょう) is a special reading. My textbook presents it in the third lesson, so I'm guessing it's a normal pronunciation. So... what's the difference between 今日(こんにち) and 今日(きょう)?
3
votes
2answers
451 views

Please help me understand [予習]{よ・しゅう}

tl;dr The word 予習 is strange to me. Is its usage related to cultural difference? Does the user's knowledge of the material have something to do with it? I've always had trouble understanding ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

What is a natual expression for “vast collection”?

I can't seen to find a natural expression for "vast collection", as in: I have a vast collection of baseball cards. Literally there is 莫大なコレクション, but that seems pretty unnatural and I don't see ...
3
votes
2answers
341 views

What word is 咲かそう an inflection of?

I saw this word in a song. The lyrics read: 大きな花を咲かそうとしてる What word is it an inflection of? I can't figure it out.
3
votes
1answer
206 views

What does the word 「ぶったてる」mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. このドヤがいの西{にし}のはずれにりっぱな総{そう}合{ごう}病{びょう}院{いん}をぶったてること!
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2answers
3k views

How do say “close to” re: location?

How would you say "A is close to B" ? As in, "A and B are nearby each other". Would you use 近く here? If so, how?