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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1answer
112 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
69 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
494 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
219 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
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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
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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
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. But ...
3
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2answers
434 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
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3answers
352 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
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2answers
532 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
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3answers
235 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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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
393 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
votes
4answers
257 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?
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3answers
702 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
80 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
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2answers
160 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
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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
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2answers
332 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
422 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
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1answer
119 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
437 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
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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?
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2answers
742 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
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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
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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
244 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
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
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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
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2answers
444 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
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
202 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!
3
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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?
3
votes
1answer
172 views

What does 彼なら mean?

彼ならそれくらいの事はいいかねない Translation: He can say such things. I don’t understand what this なら is added to 彼. I’ve seen it more than once too.
3
votes
2answers
223 views

〜ず versus 〜ないで (and maybe also in the case of adjectives, 〜なくて)

Consider the following example sentence (taken from an exercise sheet): 熱が下がらず苦しかった。 Now consider this sentence I made: 熱が下がらないで苦しかった。 What is the difference?
3
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1answer
203 views

Difference between 絶叫{ぜっきょう}する and 怒鳴{どな}る (to shout)

I've learnt 2 verbs, 絶叫{ぜっきょう}する (to shout, to scream, to exclaim) and 怒鳴{どな}る (to shout; to yell) They seems to have the same meaning, can someone explain the context in which to use one and the ...
3
votes
1answer
343 views

Confusion with the の particle

I am currently learning basic grammar using the Tae Kim's guide to japanese. In one of his examples he roughly translates this sentence: こんなのを本当に食べる? as "Do you think [he/she] will really eat ...
3
votes
2answers
338 views

How to properly pronounce コップ?

How to properly pronounce コップ (meaning: cup)? Should it be コ + short and quick ツ + soundless プ or something different? BTW, is there a good online source where I can look up word with proper Japanese ...
3
votes
1answer
675 views

Does「いとこ違い」mean “first cousin once removed” in Japanese?

In Japanese, how do I refer to my mother's cousin? She and my mother share the same great-grandparents. My mother's cousin's mother was the older sister of my mother's father (my maternal grandfather)...
3
votes
1answer
135 views

What kinds of things can be an 愛機?

大辞泉 gives the following definition for 愛機【あい.き】: 日ごろ好んで使い、大事にしている写真機などの機器。また、愛用の飛行機。 Meanwhile, the 大辞林 第三版 gives the following definition: 使い慣れて,大切にしている写真機などの機器。また,愛用の飛行機。 Also, 明鏡国語辞典 (...
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2answers
479 views

What is the meaning of さん in ごくろうさん?

ごくろうさん gokurousan 【ご苦労さん · 御苦労さん】 expression meaning: I appreciate your efforts アリさん、今日もご苦労さんだよ。はい、角砂糖あげるよ。 Hi Mr Ant, keeping up the good work today as well. Here's a sugar cube. ご ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

Proper usage of 四字熟語 in Japanese

In Chinese, usage of 四字熟語 a lot usually demonstrates sophistication and things like political announcements etc that want to sounds powerful and sophisticated use a big load of them. What does using ...
3
votes
2answers
277 views

Name identification for 安田 味子, and “saying” using という

I have the following sentence I need to translate for my introductory Japanese class. 私の友達の名前は、安田味子さんといいます。 There are 2 parts I am having trouble with. First, the name translation. I think it ...
3
votes
3answers
472 views

善くも as opposed to よく

I found this line in the song,”三年目の浮気”: よくいうよ 惚れたお前の負けだよ How can you say that...you fell for me and lost At first I thought it was the よく meaning often, but someone told me it was an ...
3
votes
3answers
134 views

Is たち in 子供たち redundant?

In my understanding, 達{たち} is a suffix used to pluralize a countable noun. For example, 私 (single) becomes 私たち (plural) あなた (single) becomes あなたたち (plural) According to most dictionaries, 子供 can ...
3
votes
1answer
159 views

to overshadow in japanese

As the title say, I want to express the idea of an character overshadowing the main character in a story. The only thing that I was able to found in the dictionary was 霞む, but this seems to be more on ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

What is the meaning of 幾里?

I took up a personal translation project--lyrics to a song from a game I played--recently, and one of the words is giving me trouble. The line out of the song is 我れ幾里の路を共に往かむ, and I can understand ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

Does 美少女 sound somewhat ironic, humoristic, etc?

In the Yotsuba-to manga one of the heroes first calls a younger of the two sisters (16 y.o) 美女. Then he gets to know an older sister (I guess 21 y.o) and tells that she is a real 美女. A younger sister ...