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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

3
votes
1answer
135 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.
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Japanese for “Chinese Opera”

What is the Japanese for Chinese Opera? The Japanese language Wikipedia article on Chinese opera is titled 戯曲 (中国), with "中国" merely being disambiguation metadata. 戯曲 apparently means drama, with no ...
-5
votes
1answer
109 views

“Infinity” as a tattoo [closed]

I know this is really "Mainstream", but let's say I would like to have the word "infinity" as a tatto. (edit) 4. Which one would be the right ? And what exactly does each of them mean ?
7
votes
2answers
377 views

What is the etymology of the word バレる?

What is the etymology of the word バレる, and why is it often written with katakana? ばれる(P); バレる (v1,vi) to leak out (a secret); to be exposed (a lie, improper behaviour, etc.) (behavior) ...
1
vote
1answer
116 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.
4
votes
2answers
288 views

How would you express “pausing to think” in Japanese?

I was wondering how would you express pausing to think in Japanese. So for example in English it would us be said as "hmmmm...". I believe あのう。。。 can be used but are there anymore ways to do so? I ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

What's the difference between いつ and 何時{なんじ}

They are both written as 何時 (what time) in the dictionary but they seem to be different words. My understanding is that "なんじ" asks for "exact hour" while "いつ" is like a general "when". Is that right? ...
-2
votes
1answer
110 views

Specifying Objects in Japanese

How do you say and write 'this is' and 'that is' in Japanese? Expanding on this, how would you say and write 'these are' and 'those are'? Around this topic, are there any male and female words in ...
1
vote
2answers
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

Difference between 英才【えいさい】 and 天才【てんさい】 (genius)

Can someone highlight the differences between 英才【えいさい】 and 天才【てんさい】? When searching their definitions, I see: 英才:1. genius;  brilliance;  unusual talent; 2. genius;  brilliance;  unusual ...
3
votes
2answers
142 views

Is either 霊験 or あらたか used outside the phrase 霊験あらたか?

Is either 霊験【れいげん】 or あらたか used outside of the phrase 霊験【れいげん】あらたか "miraculous"? (I believe れいけん is also a possible reading of 霊験?) The goo辞書 entry for あらたか has 「霊験―な神」 as its example phrase, and the ...
5
votes
4answers
450 views

What does this person mean by “doryo” in this context?

Two Japanese-fluent characters in an English novel I'm reading are talking about a specific heart problem one character concealed from medical exams. That character is requesting the second character ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

Usage and meanings of 十分

In English, "to have enough" has several different meanings. One of them is "to be fed up": If you have an argument and want to express that you're fed up and about to walk out of the room and you can ...
6
votes
1answer
251 views

Desire words: When to use 欲望{よくぼう}, 欲求{よっきゅう}, 欲{よく} and 欲念{よくねん}?

Today I ran into these three desire words, which are defined: 欲 = greed, craving, desire, avarice, wants 欲求 = desire 欲望 = desire, appetite, lust And while searching dictionaries, I also found a ...
6
votes
1answer
220 views

What does パー mean by itself?

In the anime "Fairy Tail", I came across the line 「ってか お色気代 1000ジュエル パーだわ これ」 which the translator subtitled as "By the way, I spent the 1000 jewels I saved by using my sexual appeal for this..." I ...
7
votes
1answer
128 views

What does 八 have to do with [八つ当たり]【やつあたり】?

For the longest time, I had never seen yatsuatari written down. I always figured it was written 奴当たり, which I figured would have been derived from 「あの奴に当たる」 or something. Imagine my surprise when I ...
9
votes
1answer
546 views

天気 vs. 天候, what's the real difference? [duplicate]

What's the real difference between 天気 and 天候? In at least one of my dictionaries, 天候 just redirects to 天気. I've always thought (read: "felt") that 天候 is the general "concept" of weather, or even ...
7
votes
2answers
210 views

What is the difference between all the weather words: 気象{きしょう}, 天気{てんき} and 天候{てんこう}?

Dictionary (at least Jisho and WWWJDIC) defines them as: 気象{きしょう} = weather, climate 天気{てんき} = weather, the elements 天候{てんこう} = weather They all have quite similar definitions, so I don't quite ...
1
vote
2answers
199 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
140 views

何も means 'Nothing' instead of 'What also'

I recently learnt that 「何も」 means 'nothing' (e.g. 「何も怖くないです。」 means 'Nothing scares (me).'). But how do I say 'What else'? (e.g. 'What else goes well with this dress?' or 'What else never dies?)
5
votes
2answers
152 views

Is 四分の一 a natural way of referring to “a quarter” as in “a three-month duration”?

Is 四分の一 a natural way of referring to "a quarter" as in "a three-month duration" (usually e.g. January-March, April-June, July-September, or October-November) in Japanese? Japanese Stack Overflow ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Meaning of 入る in 帯が入る

From JapanesePod101: 十四番のボールは、緑の帯が入っている。 The fourteen ball has a green stripe. I'm not sure how and why 入る is being used here. There doesn't seem to be any clear fit amongst the dictionary ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Meaning and transitivity of 立ち上がる in ~を手に立ち上がる

While doing some tranlating, I stumbled upon this usage of 立ち上がる。 わたしがゴミ袋を手に立ち上がると、イツカ君とお姉ちゃんは二人一緒にわたしの所へやって来ました。 It doesn't match up with the definitions I'm familiar with, nor any of the other ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

How to say “he/she knows”? [closed]

For example, "He knows that he's a lazy guy.", or something like that. Something along the lines of they are aware of something + the thing they are aware of.
3
votes
3answers
181 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
125 views

How are 超域 and 学際 different?

As I understand it, the word 学際 is usually used to mean "interdisciplinary" when referring to college courses. However, I recently came across the word "超域文化科学" while browsing college websites. In ...
2
votes
1answer
85 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...) ...
1
vote
1answer
121 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I spell “So! So! So! So! So!”?

I've heard people say "So! So! So! So! So!" (or possibly "Sou! Sou! Sou!" or maybe using "z" instead of "s" - I'm bad at hearing) when laughing in agreement. When middle-aged women speak Japanese ...
9
votes
1answer
644 views

What is the meaning/usage of いざ?

Will someone please explain what this word いざ means? I've found several definitions, but I'm very unclear on what it really means and its usage. I've heard it mostly in the following ways: ...
4
votes
1answer
643 views

What is the proper way to write “cube” in romaji?

I have been trying to search for the Romaji version of "cube" without too much success. There seem to be several variations on the word, although that is true with almost any version of a Japanese ...
1
vote
2answers
237 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

What's the kanji for “appointed location”

Can't seem to remember. Kind of like how 当日 means "appointed day," I'm pretty sure I've seen a kanji for something like 当所 but I can't find one. I've found 当地 but I don't know if it has the same ...
4
votes
1answer
216 views

Why is China ちゅうごく while Korea is かんこく. Why the difference between ご and こ?

If my textbook didn't get it wrong then China is ちゅうごく while Korea is かんこく. I looked up dictionary and 國 is certainly written as こく. So why in China's case it's ごく? Thanks!
0
votes
1answer
121 views

What is the difference between 語{かた}る and 話{はな}す?

What is the difference between 語{かた}る and 話{はな}す? I know that I can say #1, but it's correct to say #2? If it's ok, sentence 1 and 2 have the same meaning? 1.私{わたし}は日本語{にほんご}を話{はな}す。 ...
2
votes
2answers
162 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?
4
votes
1answer
170 views

Difference between ずっと and いつも

The other day when I was having a brief conversation in Japanese I meant to say "I have always been living here" so I said いつも(the name of my home province)に住んでいます。 The Japanese person I was speaking ...
2
votes
1answer
83 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
53 views

急{きゅう}に vs.すぐに – usage in context

In 合格できる N3 (page 28), I found the following exercise: うちの子{こ}は新{あた}しいおもちゃ見{み}ると、(    )ほしがる。 1. 急に   2. じっと   3.すぐに   4.しっかり I have to fill in with the correct word. I think it's either 1 ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

difference between 計画を立てる and 計画をする?

Is there any difference between 計画【けいかく】を立てる【たてる】 and 計画をする? In Sou Matome N3, the first one appears as "to make plans", as for the second one (being a suru verb), I assume that it can also be ...
4
votes
1answer
460 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
223 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
109 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
1k 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
349 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
132 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
110 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
251 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
96 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
98 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 ...