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
votes
1answer
91 views

Can わざわざ or わざと be used for oneself?

I want to say "Even though I didn't have time, I went out of my way to..." (not a dialogue, just an essay reflecting on my stupidity). 時間がなかったのに、わざと... (In case this is a silly question: I just ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

What does つらり mean?

It's a word in a song called 「スローモーション」 by サカナクション. Somewhere in the middle part the song goes like this: 行けない つらりつらりと行けない それはつまりつまりはスローモーション ふわりふわり漂う 僕はまるで雪のよう I didn't find lyrics ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

What does がんばっぺ mean?

Today I got a mail from my company but I am unable to figure out the meaning of がんばっぺ!!. The sentence is as follows- 下期も 製図勉強会や(秘)レクレーション大会などを 予定しております。 水戸のみなさん、一緒にがんばっぺ!! Is it similar ...
4
votes
1answer
38 views

Can I use 印象 to talk about something the subject does not have personal experience with, but has an opinion about?

I'm sorry for the weird title. English is not my first language and I'm not sure how to put it... I wanted to say something among the lines "How Americans imagine Japan to be/What is Japan like, ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Mystery about にく (肉) in kanji (漢字)

I have a question which is regarding to the word 肉 in Japanese Language. Below are my opinions and questions about it. First, pork in Japan is 豚肉 (google-translated from pork), which should be ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

率直に and 正直に、how do they differ?

I just wanted to know how they were different (tone, formality, implications, etc.).
2
votes
2answers
205 views

Confused about the meaning of these nicknames

I was reading manga the other day and came across these nicknames that I can't make sense of. The context is as follows: Some mischievous students in a certain high school are bragging about their ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

What does ても+いかん do?

今闘技場にいる観衆は外に出すな、モンスターが脱走したことを悟られてもいかん! What meaning does いかん have in this sentence? I've never seen this before.
0
votes
1answer
31 views

What is うろついとる?

で、モンスターはどこから辺うろついとるか、わかるか? What is うろついとる? I'm not sure if it's a different word from うろつく or if it is short for うろついておる. Thanks!
-1
votes
1answer
87 views

What does the phrase 「やった人」 really mean?

I am a bit confused on what the 「やった人」really mean. You can see it used as a Twitter hashtag, but truthfully the meanings elude me. Does it mean a people who can do something?
4
votes
3answers
358 views

What's Neo saying?

In "The Matrix Revolutions", at the final showdown, there's a brief exchange: Smith: アンダーソン君 お帰り Smith: 会いたかった Neo: 今夜が最後だ That's what the subtitles say, anyway. The dub is almost identical ...
4
votes
1answer
554 views

Can I explain the idea behind a Velcro tape using the name of these plant seeds? (photo)

Introduction: Long time ago, when I had no idea Velcro tape was called マジックテープ in Japanese I tried to suggest using it to my Japanese colleague. He had no idea about the word "Velcro", so I tried an ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Meaning of うち in “無意識のうちの行動なのだろう”

Given the context I think that this sentence means "it's probably an unintentional action". But I am unsure of what meaning/nuance the うち adds here. I am used to seeing うち meaning "while" and that's ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

What does げ mean as a suffix? [duplicate]

I found this sentence 部長は満足げに顎を引く How the suffix げ affects the word 満足?
4
votes
2answers
77 views

Meaning of プレイ in this context?

So from my understanding, プレイ generally means play, but can also mean prey or pray? I was reading something, and I couldn't quite figure it out (actually, I read it as puree initially). The line is, ...
6
votes
1answer
265 views

Translating volitive expressions in ads into English

I saw this on an advertisement outside the construction site of a company that makes wooden houses: 木{き}の家{いえ}と、暮{く}らそう。 I'm trying to think of a way to translate it other than: Live with a wooden ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

A department in a company where unproductive employees are transferred to instead of being fired

At the job fair for college students some presenters jokingly mentioned a Japanese drama in which a company had a special department full of incompetent or inefficient employees. The company had ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

しまう - What's the meaning & usage? [duplicate]

Saw following sentence: そう思ってしまうのも無理はない。 The question is: What's the meaning & usage of しまう? What's its relationship & difference with する?
2
votes
1answer
120 views

is it okay to regularly say 気をつけてください to someone departing out?

I just want to ask if it is okay to say to your boss who is going home after work お疲れ様でした気をつけてください or it is impolite? Thank you
6
votes
1answer
96 views

The “違います” in the phrase “やる気が違います”

I am really confused with the phrase "やる気が違います" that I saw used as a Twitter hashtag. The literal meaning is: "The motivation is different (than usual or average?)" Is there some subtle nuance in ...
1
vote
2answers
172 views

What does the 「とって」 mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. 東のはずれには年をとって働けなくなった人たちのために養老院をたてるっ
4
votes
1answer
61 views

How is “と” being used in these two sentences?

I think "と" is being used differently in both of these sentences. However, I'm not entirely sure if it is being used as a particle in either one. Can you please explain to me the purpose of "と" in ...
2
votes
2answers
121 views

Is there a noun for a “destination line” when changing trains?

While discussing this question I found a new problem: is there a way to say "destination line" in Japanese using a noun or a compound noun? I am thinking of the ◯◯ in the following construction: ...
3
votes
2answers
201 views

The meaning of the 戟 kanji in the context of 食戟

I read the manga "食戟のソーマ" and have a question concerning the meaning of the [食戟]{しょくげき}. I understand the 食{しょく} part, standing for Food, but 戟{げき} is what I don't understand. I would have understood ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

What does えんやらやっと mean?

I'm trying to learn Japanese. I'm reading (trying to anyway) a Japanese kid book and found this line: あさ いもほり うでまくり えんやらやっと おおきな おいも I found by Googling that やっと means 'finally'. But ...
-1
votes
1answer
143 views

Why is 電話(でんわ)in hiragana?

from what i can tell, it shares the same meaning in chinese. shouldnt a phone be written in katakana?
9
votes
1answer
195 views

How do you replace 「お悔やみ」 in condolences to a Japanese Christian?

In Yosh's answer to the question What are the ways to express someone's condolences?, this link states that Buddhist terms should not be used in expressing condolences to a Christian in Japanese: ...
3
votes
2answers
324 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. Thanks!
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Using 伯母 / 叔母 to refer to one's aunt

Is it true that when we see 伯母 it usually (90%) means "parent's elder sister" and sometimes (10%) can be used to refer to the parent's younger sister? On the contrary, when we see 叔母 does it always ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Have you tried XYZ before?

I English I can ask somebody if they've experienced or sampled a food or drink, or even an activity with this verb: Here try this and tell me if you like it. I tried koregusu once but I didn't like ...
1
vote
3answers
110 views

水 - pronounce choice between 水{すい} and 水{みず}

As the title says, 水 has 2 pronounce: 水{すい} and 水{みず}. My question is: When to use which? e.g How to read it in: 水と米. What is the rule, if any.
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Help me to understand this usage of 「ならば」

I need help to understand the following sentence: 人は誰でも正気ならば自己の行為について良心に責任を負う義務がある。 I understand 「自己の行為について良心に責任を負う義務がある」 means that in one's conscience, he has a duty to take responsibility for ...
4
votes
2answers
250 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): ...
5
votes
1answer
470 views

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

When visiting shrines or temples, one can get an accordion style book and for a couple hundred yen have a shrine's seal stamped inside. What is this book called?
4
votes
3answers
244 views

How to say “started to do something”?

I am writing a homework assignment and O am trying to write "I had to start bringing my umbrella". I know that to say I started eating it would be 食べはじめる,or started drinking would be 飲み始める。 I have ...
3
votes
2answers
58 views

Is the 300 yen price for a “shuin” stamp linguistically related to お参り?

Prevalent price (朱印代) for a stamp in a shrine or a temple is 300 yen, although there are exceptions. Wikipedia confirms this Shuin 朱印. I wonder if the amount bears an association of 参百円{さんびゃくえん} with ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Heaven in Japanese

I have found that there are a number of words in Japanese that correspond to "heaven" in English. By heaven I mean the concept of a paradisiacal afterlife. The two most frequent in my limited and ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How accurately can 使い be translated as “angel”?

On jisho.org, 使い is translated with words such as "errand", and the same holds true on translate.google.com. Neither site is offering "angel" as a suggestion. Yet in Matthew 1:20, the phrase: ...
7
votes
1answer
350 views

What do you call the small wooden plates that people write wishes in and hang on some stand in a shrine?

What do you call the small pieces of wood(?) where people write wishes on and hang them on some stand close to where you tie folded o-mikuji (おみくじ)? Or are they also called おみくじ? Related question: ...
2
votes
2answers
594 views

What's the difference between the に祈る【いのる】 and を祈る【いのる】 forms?

What's the difference between the に祈る and を祈る forms? Like what's the difference between (1.) and (2.): うまく行くのに祈ってくださいね。 うまく行くのを祈ってくださいね。 EDIT: What's the difference between the ように祈る and のを祈る ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

Buddhist facilities

I am working on Japanese texts describing Buddhist temples in South-East Asia and there is quite a number of words I can't really translate in English. Here is a list with my tentative translations (I ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Can 法王(ほうおう) mean anyone besides the Pope?

I know this word can refer to the the Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic church, but when I tried looking it up on google images, in addition to the Pope, I also saw the Dalai Lama, and some other ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does 皮肉 mean “irony”?

I gather that 皮肉 can literally mean "skin-meat." I also see that one definition for 皮 is "mask (hiding one's true nature);  seeming." So perhaps 皮肉 can be understood as "hiding the real meat," which ...
5
votes
1answer
234 views

しゅうと/シュート - The great equalizer

I was watching the movie Mr. Baseball the other day. Several times during the movie they talk about しゅうと which they describe as "the great equalizer". (Could possibly be しゅうとう, but their dialog does ...
11
votes
1answer
244 views

question about kanji sports names 蹴球, 籠球, 庭球, and 野球

A few questions about these words. The words [蹴球]{しゅうきゅう}, [籠球]{ろうきゅう}, and [庭球]{ていきゅう} mean football, basketball, and tennis, respectively. But I have only seen them in a dictionary, and in practice ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

I need help identifying two words from this song [closed]

I have a song which I need help identifying the words to. This is the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o1BUubUhAY At the start the word which he repeats that sounds like 'batsu(?)'. At 4:19 ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

実践 and 実戦 in exercises

I've seen both 実践 and 実戦 used in the context of practice questions, both pronounced じっせん, of course. 実践問題 seems to be the more common of the two, meaning a practice exercise, but I've recently come ...
6
votes
1answer
310 views

If 'little girl' is 「少女」, then why is 'little boy' 「少年」?

Question 少女 means little girl because 少 means little/small and 女 means lady/female. It makes sense here. However it does not make sense when I read 少年 because 年 means year. Is there any reason why 年 ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What do 「はな」 and 「いうとな」 mean?

Here is the sentence including the words. このおっさんはな更{こう}生{せい}だとか なんだとか そんな しゃれたことを考{かんが}えるようなおやじじゃねえよ まあ ごくかんたんにいうとな Another question: Do the 「な」 in both words work as particle?
1
vote
1answer
107 views

What does the word 「部下となし」mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. そのドヤ街{がい}に住{す}む子{こ}どもたちをそそのかしてかれらを部{ぶ}下{か}となし