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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2answers
139 views

How do I say “cat”? And do I use kanji, hiragana, katakana or rōmaji?

猫, ねこ, ネコ, neko Which of these means "cat"? Is it all of them? Which situation do I use each of these in?
4
votes
2answers
195 views

Meaning of “すわりがいい”?

In a book about introductory Mandarin Chinese written in Japanese, one of the first sections lists some special characteristics of Mandarin not familiar to Japanese speakers (e.g. usually only one ...
6
votes
4answers
578 views

“Cold” in Japanese: When to use 寒冷

I've been using Anki to memorize kanji and words. This word came up: 寒冷{かんれい} which means cold. However I've never heard of this word being used for cold, chilly, etc. Usually it's 寒い{さむい} that is ...
4
votes
1answer
228 views

Japanese for submarine sandwich

Does Japanese have a commonly used term for submarine sandwich/roll? Australian English doesn't have a term AFAIK (the only places that sell such things in Australia are the Subway franchise), and I ...
1
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0answers
123 views

Meaning of 自慢の目利き [closed]

Could you please tell me how should I understand and translate 自慢の目利き in the following sentence? この季節は、町内の市場は休みがないため、下苧坪さん(he's a 魚の仲買人- fish dealer) は、毎朝漁港に出かけ、その自慢の目利きで、新鮮な海の幸を仕入れる。 Source: ...
6
votes
2answers
483 views

“Also…” interjection in Japanese; appending an additional request or afterthought

In Japanese, how would one go about appending an additional request or afterthought? For example: 1: お水【みず】をお願【ねが】いします。 "Water please." 2: あっ、(・・・)、氷【こおり】を入【い】れていただけませんか。 "..Ah also, ...
5
votes
1answer
48 views

Difference between てぶくろ and グローブ

According to jisho.org, グローブ seems to have a "sports" nuance to it, wherease 手袋{てぶくろ} seems to be more general. Is this accurate?
6
votes
1answer
417 views

パソコンが 得意だ/わかる/上手だ

So I was studying this book called 日本語生中継, and there was this question where you're supposed to choose the inappropriate word among others. And I got stuck at this sentence: 私は、パソコンが(得意だ.わかる.上手だ.) ...
11
votes
2answers
997 views

Differences between the many words for dinner

According to my dictionary, the following words all mean the same thing: "Dinner": [夜]{よる}ご[飯]{はん}, [晩]{ばん}ご[飯]{はん}, [晩飯]{ばんめし}, [晩食]{ばんしょく}, [夕]{ゆう}ご[飯]{はん}, [夕飯]{ゆうはん(ゆうめし)}, [夕食]{ゆうしょく} A similar ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

What is うろついとる?

で、モンスターはどこ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.
5
votes
1answer
139 views

What is a good antonym for 多難 (many difficulties)?

I'm looking for a proper antonym for the word 多難 in a context where it's meaning is 'many difficulties'. Would for example the adverb 難なく be appropriate? It translates to 'easily' according to my ...
11
votes
1answer
255 views

The order after 男女比

Here is a short text I've encountered in a manga I'm reading: The main character talks about his school where 男女比 (the sex ratio) is 9 to 1. At first I thought it means that it has 9 times more ...
4
votes
1answer
432 views

Repetitive words (e.g. どんどん, ぺらぺら, いらいら…)

This is one area that sometimes dings me on tests. While I can generally figure out what is meant from context, I only know a handful offhand. The question here is twofold: Is there a specific ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Usage of 東西南北 and 春夏秋冬?

I realize 東西南北 means all 4 directions (East, West, South and North) and 春夏秋冬 means all 4 seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter), but when should these words be used? I can imagine there might be ...
4
votes
2answers
397 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 be said as "hmmmm...". I believe あのう。。。 can be used but are there any more ways to do so? I ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

Can the translation for “you're welcome” be “mū”?

A Japanese-addict friend of mine recently told me that a possible translation for "you're welcome" in Japanese was "mū", but I must admit I was a bit dubious about that since I had never seen it nor ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you say “to ask for” in Japanese?

How do you say "to ask for" in Japanese?. For example: He asked his boss for a raise. We ask for great revival. Is "仰{あお}ぐ" fine? In particular, I want to use something that's natural and ...
4
votes
3answers
318 views

Can I use ほど in a comparative context, similarly to how I'd use the English word 'like?' (And if not…what can I use?)

Background: A few months back, I started making the transition from studying sentence constructions to studying grammar. While I try to avoid generating 'Japanese translations of my English ideas,' I ...
4
votes
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.
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Japanese words with を in shiritori?

I've been playing some しりとり recently at http://www.shiritori.org/ and was wondering why no words with を show up. siritori.net suggests there are quite a few nouns starting with を: を をかし ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Do the 「 なんやら」and 「なにやら」have the same meaning?

I have encountered the following sentence. はあ なんすか?... なんやら手つづきがあるようだけど さっさとかたづけちゃってくれませんか。 I have searched meaning of the word on several web sites but I only found the meaning of 「なにやら」. I'm not ...
7
votes
1answer
217 views

What may be the difference in the usage of 自尊心, 誇り and 自慢?

I read a paragraph and it contains the word 自尊心. I want to know the meaning of 自尊心. Dictionary says 自尊心 = pride. Is it the same with 誇り? or 自慢? What may be the differences in the usage of these ...
4
votes
4answers
647 views

How to say “started to do something”?

I am writing a homework assignment and I 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 to say "I started drinking" it would be ...
2
votes
2answers
561 views

What is the meaning of 「ほうが」in this sentence?

It is a situation about bringing 2 troubled teenagers into a reform school. The following dialogue was said by 2 officers who brought those kids. A: おい とんでもない ばかがはいってきたものだぜ。 B:こういうところはかえっていくじのないほうが ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

What does 保証 mean in this context?

Currently reading a scientific paper, I have trouble understanding the use of 保証. An example of its use is the following: 最低保証密度として75%を乗じる (remarks about the percentage of a certain element in a ...
6
votes
2answers
345 views

You can use 「押し開ける」 to say “to push open”, but can you say 「押し閉める」 to mean “to push closed”?

For example, consider the following sentences: ドアを押し開ける。 I pushed the door open. ドアを引き開ける。 I pulled the door open. Can you do the same for 閉める? So for example: ドアを押し閉める。 I pushed the door ...
4
votes
1answer
250 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 checked the dictionary and 國 is certainly written as こく. So why is it ごく in China's case?
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.
2
votes
0answers
91 views

Is the Japanese verb 'ちらばります’ an intransitive verb or not? [closed]

Is the Japanese verb 'ちらばります’ an intransitive verb or not?
2
votes
3answers
888 views

What does じゃな mean?

In casual speech what does ja na mean? As in this example: 葉人をつかまえたんじゃな Googling for it only turns up results for じゃない。
3
votes
1answer
331 views

What does the とは mean in this phrase?

I'm pretty new to Japanese and I have a question. So I know this is supposed to be something like "he differs from his former self" but I can't really make sense of what とは is supposed to mean in ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I convey “As you all know”?

Having been trying to write a "sakubun", I must say that I had some trouble to find a reliable translation for the phrase "as you all know" such as: As you all know, the education system in our ...
2
votes
1answer
281 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 he/she is aware of something + the thing he/she is aware of.
7
votes
1answer
193 views

What is the meaning of 国の母?

I'm attempting to translate parts of my 完全マスター N2 textbook just for the practice, and even though I've already gotten past this section, the meaning of [国]{くに}の[母]{はは} still eludes me. I don't like ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

V-ている方が meaning

遠坂はしゃがみ込んで、倒れた女生徒を介抱している。 その横顔は真剣そのものだ。 額に汗を浮かばせながら、女生徒の安否を気遣う。 …なんだろう。 その、見ている方が痛みを覚えるほどの真剣な顔を、俺は。 つい最近、すごく間近で見た覚えが--- Tohsaka squats down and start to look after the collapsed ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

How to say choices in Japanese?

How to say "choices" that describes choices given in test questions?
3
votes
1answer
51 views

What onomatopeia is ばたりばたり?

In Miyazawa Kenji's 銀河鉄道の夜 I came across this: たくさんの輪転器がばたりばたりとまわり、... What is the meaning of ばたりばたり here? 輪転器 is a rotary printing press, I believe. バタバタ comes to mind, so maybe something close ...
17
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
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1answer
200 views

Why does Japanese lack word wrapping? [closed]

Why does Japanese (more or less) lack word wrapping, with even words written in katakana broken up by new lines?
5
votes
1answer
99 views

Meaning of sentence「最近よくじわ怖スレ見てるからビビりになってる。」

I'm self studying Japanese and I read horror stories to build my reading skills. Recently I came across this sentence that I can't figure out: 最近よくじわ怖スレ見てるからビビりになってる I can't understand what do ...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

南北銀行 (North-South Bank) meaning

I was watching an anime called Ganbare Goemon and there was this sign that I found a bit strange: How exactly are you supposed to understand it? I mean, north and south are in opposite directions ...
5
votes
1answer
376 views

How to say “Please correct my sentences”?

Is it: 文章を治てください? There are many words for "correct' including 改める, 正す, 訂する, but it's not clear when to use those words or which is "correct" in this context. Off topic, does anyone know a similar ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

なっ at the start of a sentence

The parents are comparing themselves to comedy characters: Father:「なっ長さん」 Narrator: 長さんと言われたお母さんはにがりきった顔になった。 Father: ?? Narrator: Mum, who had been called Chou, made a bitter face. I can ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

θ波はどういう意味ですか?~What does θ波 mean?

I've been listening to a couple 勉強用BGM soundtracks lately while I'm studying for any number of things, and I keep seeing this θ波 notation at the end of the title. It finally got to bothering me enough ...
5
votes
3answers
335 views

Function of 反対に in this sentence

Please explain what 反対に is doing in this sentence: そういえば先日も、駅のホームにおいて、化粧をしている若い女性に注意した年配の女性が、反対につきとばされて電車に接触し、大怪我をする事件がありましたっけ。 Come to think of it, just the other day on the station platform ...
6
votes
1answer
117 views

Lettered Bus Numbers

Consider the following categories of bus numbers: Number only - 11 Number suffixed or prefixed with a character - 11E or E11 Character only - A (Question) How common are buses with ...
9
votes
2answers
197 views

How was Japanese animism referred to before 国家神道 (State Shinto) was created?

Pre-Meiji: What was Japanese animism popularly called before 国家神道 (State Shinto) was created in the early Meiji period (19th century)? Prior to that, was the word 「神道」 a common term among the ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Found the expression 目が命 in a paperback I'm reading

... and I don't know what it means. Searching for the term, I've found things like 「戦士は目が命」, which seems to be related to the game Dragon Quest, and 【Firefly Shop】人形は目が命!, on an Amazon product, that ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

History of Japanese “Vulgar” Vocabulary

This has been bothering me for a long time. I'm not sure which words are used in Japan in modern times for refering to things like sex, cursing, and going to the bathroom, and I don't know of a good ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Vocabulary doubts: 「眼の所が少し高くなっているが、[…]一文字に結んでいる。」

I'm having vocabulary difficulties with this story about a frog hibernating in one's backyard: ちらっと見たぐらいでは、おそらく誰も蛙とは気がつかないであろう。わずかに、眼の所が少し高くなっているが、その眼をこれ以上は閉じられないほど、しっかりと一文字に結んでいる。 ― ああ、冬眠なのだ ― ...