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
votes
1answer
457 views

What does “随分仲” mean in 「彼氏と随分仲が良い」?

I've seen it in a number of places, mostly in contexts like this one: 彼氏と随分仲が良い For me, it feels like 随分仲 translates to "relationship". What worries me is that I have not found the exact pair ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

How emotionally loaded is 会いたい【あいたい】?

I'd like to ask how emotionally loaded 会いたい【あいたい】 is. For example, if I were to (neutrally) convey the sense of "I'd like to meet you" by using 会いたい, would it carry an emotional expectation in the ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

I don't understand the meaning and “naran” in this sentence 早く日曜日にならんかな

I don't understand the meaning of ならん in this sentence: 早く日曜日にならんかな Does ならん come from ならぶ? Or come from なる? How it's conjugated? What's that ん in ならん...?
4
votes
2answers
938 views

How to order pizza or dinner on the phone

When you call say a pizza delivery service they pick up the phone with something like "Tanaka's pizza delivery service, XYZ branch, this is Sato speaking". (I'm sorry, I'd reproduce it in Japanese but ...
3
votes
3answers
332 views

What's the difference between 治す{なおす} and 治る{なおる}?

My dictionary says they are both cure/fix, so I am wondering what the difference is and how to use them? Is it an active/passive difference, or transitive/intransitive? Or just a subtle nuance? I ...
2
votes
1answer
129 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
votes
2answers
103 views

Difference between 維持{いじ}する and 保{たも}つ (to maintain)

I've learnt two verbs which seem to mean the same thing, and I keep confusing them: 維持{いじ}する (to maintain; to preserve;  to improve) and 保{たも}つ (to preserve; to maintain; to support) Can someone ...
7
votes
2answers
241 views

私は米国人です vs 私はアメリカ人です

They both mean I am an American but which is preferable in everyday speech and in writing, and why? Is the former more formal than the latter?
2
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
94 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
123 views

Difference between 獣{しし} and 野獣{やじゅう} (beast)

I learnt the words 獣{しし} and 野獣{やじゅう} and their definitions look too similar. Can someone explain me the difference between them? While searching more for beast words, I also found that 獣 could also ...
6
votes
1answer
130 views

Difference between 証【あかし】 and 証拠【しょうこ】 (proof)

証明{しょうめい}means proof, but in the sense "certification" But 証{あかし} and 証拠{しょうこ}look very similar, meaning "proof, evidence". Would the difference be that 証拠 requires something physical (object), ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

What's a good word for “offer”, as in “…for offering us eternal life…”?

I'm trying to translate a sentence that includes the following phrase: ...for offering us eternal life... Finding a good word for "offer" is apparently a little easier said that done. jisho.org ...
4
votes
1answer
125 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. ...
15
votes
1answer
5k views

Getting your haircut in Japan

I have been living in Japan now for the last 3 months and my hair is starting to look like it needs a cut. But I have never been to a Japanese barbers before so as you can imagine I am a little ...
0
votes
2answers
98 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 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} ...
5
votes
1answer
132 views

Difference between 意志{いし} and 志し{こころざし} (will)

I learnt both 意志{いし} and 志し{こころざし}, but am always confusing the two of them. Can someone highlight the differences between those 2 words (and other variants if any) ?
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Translation help with a sentence, use of たる?

This is a sentence from a character bio, but for whatever reason -maybe the author's quirky- they've written it in a really verbose way in what seems to be classical Japanese. I get the general gist ...
10
votes
1answer
351 views

What is the difference between 沸く【わく】, 炊く【たく】, 茹でる【ゆでる】, 煮る【にる】, and 蒸す【むす】?

I am learning JLPT N2. I came across these words in one sentence. I couldn't find the difference between 沸く【わく】, 炊く【たく】, 茹でる【ゆでる】, 煮る【にる】, and 蒸す【むす】. All the words have similar meanings. Can anyone ...
0
votes
1answer
147 views

Both 当たり前 and 相変わらず seem to mean “usual” or “ordinary”. What's the difference between them?

What is the difference between [当たり前]【あたりまえ】 and [相変わらず]【あいかわらず】? They both seem to mean “the usual” or “ordinary”.
4
votes
1answer
359 views

What's that accordion style book you can get at shrines called?

When one goes to shrines, one can get an accordion style book where one can pay a couple hundred yen to have a shrine's seal written inside. What is that book called?
3
votes
2answers
161 views

How do you say “after all”, in the sense of reaffirming or justifying a previous statement?

For example: "You should wear a jacket. After all, it's snowing out there." "Of course I bought you a present! It's our anniversary after all." I tried an online dictionary but they gave me a lot ...
1
vote
1answer
185 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
669 views

How do I write “Hard Work and Smart Work”?

I want to write an essay with the title “Difference between Hard Work and Smart Work”. By “hard work”, I mean continuing the work with old ideas without thinking up new ideas, and working all the ...
1
vote
2answers
146 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

しな at the end of a sentence

In the manga Yotsubato, the main character Yotsuba's father says 「ジャンボが二人分働くしな」. I understand the sentence as a whole, I think, but I don't understand the しな at the end. Here's the full dialogue: ...
6
votes
1answer
181 views

What does 揺らぎやすい女性 mean?

I was translating a passage the other day for a health spa and came across the following passage: 揺らぎやすい女性のための限定メニューができました。 1ヶ月の周期の中で、私たちの体は大きく変化します。 生理は、体をととのえる絶好のチャンス。 ...
0
votes
0answers
101 views

About the literal translation of a phrase [duplicate]

The phrase it's this: "士郎の理想、英雄となった姿があなたではないのですか。" I understand it literally as "The ideal of Shirou, the figure that became a hero, are you not you?" It's right?
1
vote
1answer
153 views

“訳す” is the best way to say “to translate”?

The difference between "翻訳" and "通訳" has been explained very well in several forums. Even so, for me that nuance is a distraction and I prefer to simplify with this strategy: When I hear "翻訳", ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Specialized banking/credit card vocabulary

I recently found myself in a situation where I had to attempt customer service over the phone in Japanese and I got tripped up on some terminology that I've never encountered before. Most of it had to ...
1
vote
1answer
123 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

[奨学金]{しょうがくきん} and Repayment

背景 現在特任講師として大学機関で働いていますが、かつて院生のころから、日本人の「奨学金」の使い方が気になっていました。私は文部科学省の奨学金も頂きましたが、その奨学金は普通の英語の"scholarship"のように、返済しなくてもよいものでした。 ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

What is 林家パー子ばり?

What is 林家パー子ばり? A colleague used it in a complex context, but I have found many another occurrences, including this one in the very simple context of a self-presentation: ...
6
votes
1answer
282 views

_っ_り form adverbs

I keep seeing these onomatopoeic adverbs popping up with the form: _っ_り. Some examples include ぐっすり、ぴったり、すっきり、etc…. Is there a name for these adverbs, and why are they in this specific form?
7
votes
2answers
444 views

Fun with synonyms - “to grab/catch/capture”

Here's a question for you experts. I've actually asked this to my Japanese friends, but I want to see how you guys answer too. Explain the differences in the following verbs and which one(s) appear ...
1
vote
1answer
106 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.
1
vote
1answer
124 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
248 views

It seems “hard deadline” can be translated to 厳しい締切. Would “soft deadline” then be translated as 厳しくない締切?

I have searched long and hard for a dictionary translation of "soft deadline" to no avail. Google Ngram shows that it has peaked in popularity in the last three decades, so it's relatively new. I ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Polite Way to Ask “How old are you?” : 何歳 , いくつ ,年齢 , ご年

I think the sentences: 何歳ですか? いくつですか? 年齢は? お年は? are all sentences that ask "How old are you?" How are they different? What form is most polite?
4
votes
1answer
132 views

What is the difference between 文{ぶん} and 文章{ぶんしょう}?

I think that 文 means "sentence" or "text"; 文章 means the same and also can mean "writing" or "letter". Is that the only difference?
3
votes
1answer
122 views

what's a ポッカリ (pokkari)?

context: I read this sentence in a childrens book (オー·スッパ). Judging from the pictures, animals are eating a lemon and go crazy because of the sour taste. The whole sentence is:  ポッカリ ういていたんです。
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Explanation of 歌にのせて

From JapanesePod101, with their translation: ミュージカルは、歌【うた】にのせて物語【ものがたり】を展開【てんかい】する。 A musical can tell a story with songs. I understand that のせる means (amongst other things) "to take on board". Does ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

What is difference between 値段 (nedan) and 代金 (daikin)?

値段 (nedan) and 代金 (daikin) both means "cost" but im not sure where is a difference.
2
votes
0answers
99 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

How is “gomen” used?

I don't even know if this is the correct place to post this. The only source that I'm in touch with the Japanese language is through anime. So my question, which I understand that could be kinda ...
6
votes
2answers
163 views

華麗にスルーする Ignore someone . . . how exactly?

I was watching an anime series called Steins;Gate today. In episode 9 (around six minutes in), one of the characters proposes physically travelling through time: 凶真「ずばり、物理的タイムトラベルだ!」 The other ...
4
votes
1answer
143 views

What does まわりであーだこーだ mean in this sentence?

I don't really understand the "まわりであーだこーだ" part in the following sentence I read in a manga: こそこそ人のこと調べたり、まわりであーだこーだ、女は面倒くさい Does まわりで means 人のまわりで? My guess for "あーだこーだ" is that it means ...
6
votes
1answer
179 views

What's the difference between 値段 and 価格

They're both "price", but I don't see the difference. Even the Kanji appear to suggest similar meanings. Thanks for any advice!