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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138 views

Is ごめんなさいませ idiomatic?

If so, how formal is it? Please compare it with other apologies.
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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125 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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197 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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209 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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491 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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141 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 ...
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1answer
80 views

What is the meaning of the word たんじゃ?

It is a situation which a boy who is carrying some goods after successfully escaped from chasing by policemen. Here is the full sentence. なあ...わらってたんじゃわからねえよ。
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1answer
73 views

'I'm glad I look like my mother'

How would you say it in Japanese? 「母みたいでよかった」?If not, then how?
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105 views

What does the word 「すまさんぞ」mean?

Here is the full sentence. An old man talking himself with this one about a boy who should have been staying at home but he should not. かえってきやがったら ただではすまさんぞ。 I'm not sure if it is conjugated from ...
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167 views

収入 or 給料? What should be used when talking about salary or income?

I would like to know about these two 収入, 給料 (there may be even others I am not aware of). Can they be interchanged as one pleases, or does it very much depend on the context? Which is more ...
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1answer
151 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
80 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 ...
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1answer
97 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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184 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
250 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
183 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
199 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
165 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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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
155 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
201 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
124 views

What is the meaning of 「あれほど」?

Here is the full sentence I have found it. あんた あれほどボクシングをきらっていたのに どうして急に本気でやる気になったの? Does it mean 'me'?
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1answer
128 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
111 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
119 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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132 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 ...
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3answers
239 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 ...
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1answer
102 views

Translating --「きめぜりふつかった」って?

Playing through a game, and I've encountered a verb / combination I've never seen before. The full dialogue is: もうお姫さまにきめぜりふつかったの? Am I looking at some stem of きめ・る? Or something else entirely? ...
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334 views

Is 回す ever used to mean “gang-rape”?

Sorry, I've been on reddit...and found the eighth definition here: 回す まわす 1: to turn; to rotate; to gyrate; 2: to circulate; to send around; 3: to surround; 4: to put something to a new ...
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210 views

Is there a word or phrase for “run around”?

I'd like to know if there is a phrase similar to the English phrase of "running around". To explain more clearly, it should mean to be able to go out freely and do whatever one like's without being ...
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1answer
173 views

Differences between 出るand 去る when expressing someone leaving

When expressing "to leave," as in "I left the store," or "I can leave the country," is there a difference in nuance or meaning between the verbs 出る and 去る? まあ、少なくとも、この国を出ることはできるな。 Well, at ...
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50 views

Does 文 refer only to written sentences, or can it be used for spoken sentences as well?

I know that this kanji is associated with writing and text, and can mean "sentence." When using it to mean "sentence", is it only a written sentence? I can't find any examples that unambiguously ...
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307 views

What does 「はだ」 mean?

It is a situation which a salesperson announces to a group of people to attract them to buy his goods Here is the full sentence. ...
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63 views

What does 今日の所は良いでしょう mean here?

これも全て先生のおかげですね。感謝するんですよ? は、はい 本当に、感謝しています 突っ込むべき時に突っ込むべき場所にきちんと突っ込めない男はもてませんよ? まあ、今日の所は良いでしょう。皆にも伝えないといけませんからね。仲間たちにも順番に顔を出すように伝えて下さいませ In this I'm not sure what she would be referring to. Would ...
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92 views

Introducing people

How would you say 'he is...' 'she is...' about other people, in regards to naming them? And how would you say:'they are'(meaning people). E.g: 'They are my friends.', 'They are my teachers.', 'They ...
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1answer
81 views

What is the difference between 賢い{かしこい} and 利口{りこう}?

What is the difference between 賢い{かしこい} and 利口{りこう}? For exemple, sentence 1 and sentence 2 have the same meaning? 1.彼は若いが賢いよ。 2.彼は若いが利口だね。 Kotobank.jp explains 賢い{かしこい} through 利口{りこう} ...
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99 views

About 上旬、中旬、下旬 and 始め、半ば、終わり...?

I don't know if the number of days using for six cases above is how many? 3 days or 10 days or...? And moreover, 上旬、中旬、下旬 and 始め、半ば、終わり which is using for month, which is for week and which is for ...
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214 views

Does the word 津波 (tsunami) have negative connotations?

Or is it just a neutral term for tidal waves? (I'm considering naming a JavaScript library tsunami.js – would it be offensive?)
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226 views

How does 生まれ translate in this context?

こんにちは、皆さん。ちょっと質問があります。 今日、この歌を聞きました。 最初の歌詞はこれです: アイデンティティがない 生まれない らららら でも意味が分かりません。英訳するができない。 「(If you) have no identity, (you) haven't been born」と思いますが、確かめたいです。 日本語で説明していい。手伝てくれてありがとう!
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384 views

What separates the different ways to ask a question in Japanese (何, どう, どんな, etc.)?

It's been something I've been thinking about for a while, but could never answer in a more concrete way. This is most apparent when I compare the functions of 何 and どう. I know that 何, どう and どんな are ...
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70 views

Meaning of 次の日はないようにする

The sentence is found in a monologue about a persons working habits, particularly how they don't have time to sleep, and are constantly working at their 3 jobs. The paragraph goes: ...
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158 views

Could someone please clarify if I'm translating these two sentences correctly? [closed]

I think I've translated this correctly, but I started to have doubts about a few words and decided to double-check. (person A) 結婚なんて。。。めんどくせーこと オレはやめとくか。。。 (person B) ああ。。。。。 On my first ...
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153 views

technical term for “形容動詞{けいようどうし} + にする”?

A subset of Japanese nouns is the サ変名詞{へんめいし} nouns such as: 勉強{べんきょう}する 運転{うんてん}する 残業{ざんぎょう}する A subset of 形容動詞 words can be appended with "にする" such as: 静{しず}かにする 大切{たいせつ}にする ...
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116 views

What does やさぐれ mean?

I believe it has something to do with bullying. Also, I think I heard it as a verb: やさぐれる I can't seem to find much information about it. Is it slang?
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210 views

Is 死ぬ the only verb ending in -ぬ? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Plain verbs that end with ぬ other than 死ぬ 死ぬ{しぬ} is the only verb that I know that is ending in -ぬ. So, are there any other verbs ending in -ぬ?
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48 views

名 and 名前 - the difference

My impression is that, in speech, 名前 is polite, and 名 is ruder - but in writing, 名 sounds more literary. Am I correct?
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50 views

Regarding the word あたくし [duplicate]

It seems too formal for casual use, but too casual for formal use. In what sort of situation would anyone use あたくし?