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
3answers
321 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
112 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
88 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
219 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 words?...
4
votes
4answers
745 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
576 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
87 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
347 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
252 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
897 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
350 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
289 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
201 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
94 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 student....
0
votes
2answers
112 views

How to say choices in Japanese?

How to say "choices" that describes choices given in test questions?
3
votes
1answer
59 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
8k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
203 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
106 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 じ,...
1
vote
2answers
140 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
456 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
84 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
119 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 letters/...
9
votes
2answers
200 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
90 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
162 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 ― ...
9
votes
1answer
423 views

What does 「漢語」 mean in this sentence?

そういう訳で、診察所の方の人達と口を利くのはあたしだけといってよい位だったわ。そりゃああたしがお侠{きゃん}だからだけれども、先生の小間使いですもの、そりゃどうしたって診察所との交渉が多いわよ。ええ、こりゃ漢語よ。 甲賀 三郎 著 『ニッケルの文鎮』 青空文庫 No.1428 I could not understand the actual meaning of 「ええ、こりゃ漢語よ。」 ...
0
votes
2answers
126 views

Is *domo arigato* considered formal?

Is domo arigato considered formal? Context: Buying something at a store, thanking a waiter, etc
10
votes
4answers
358 views

What is the difference between お手洗い and トイレ

Is one more polite than the other? Is there some situations where you'd use one or the other? Would different people prefer one?
3
votes
2answers
80 views

四角と正方形はどう違うの?~(What's the difference between 四角 and 正方形?)

While going through one of my study sets I created back in December containing words only marked as N2, I came across [正方形]{せいほうけい}, which was translated as "square". However, I always was taught and ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

What does 元金成長型 mean in this sentence

お預け入れいただく明細は、すべて「元金成長型」のお取り扱いとなります。 what does 元金成長型 mean in the above sentence.
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some good ways to say “how to spell” in Japanese?

I wanted to know the correct way to spell a compound word in Japanese, and was wondering if there is a verb that correlates to "to spell" in the Japanese language. I found 綴る, but was told this is ...
7
votes
3answers
206 views

Is there an equivalent of 英会話 for the Japanese language?

I tried to quickly Google and search for this here, but couldn't find anything relevant. Basically I want to know whether there is any common word for Japanese conversation; e.g. in the context of ...
3
votes
2answers
434 views

Nuance of “クソ” within “クソコラグランプリ”

I understand all of the words other than "クソ" in the phrase "クソコラグランプリ". "コラ" means photomontage, photoshop or the like (from "collage"?). "グランプリ" transliterates as "grand prix", which roughly means ...
5
votes
2answers
887 views

What does “motatte” mean?

もう学校始まってから二週間もたってるよ Please verify because I've seen in some dictionaries it's already an obsolete word, it means mota-"having done" Some dictionaries don't have a word mota so I can't see the ...
9
votes
3answers
179 views

昨週 - when is it used? (compared with 先週)

Are they interchangeable, or is 昨週 an old way to say it, and not used as much any more? 昨週レストランに友だちと行った。 If anybody knows any kind of nuances or differences, such as where one would be more ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Making an adverb a topic for a sentence 無碍には

協力しよう、という提案を無碍{むげ}には断れなくなってしまうのだが Can someone help me make sense of this? 協力しよう=let's cooperate という提案を=This proposal 無碍には=Without any obstacle 断れなくなってしまう=End up becoming unable to refuse の=...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Is ダウンアンダー understood by non-Australian Japanese speakers?

Firstly, is "ダウンアンダー" the correct spelling? I think it is, based on the Japanese Wikipedia articles メン・アット・ワーク and ツアー・ダウンアンダー , but I could be mistaken. But apart from that, is the average non-...
4
votes
3answers
277 views

Meaning of 「これはこれで」, and the difference between it and 「それはそれとして」

I came across the following lines. ・・・俺としては、下駄箱の中に手紙が入っているみたいなほうが好みだった。でもこれはこれで、少なくとも相手が積極的だってことはわかる。 I am wondering about the meaning of 「これはこれで」 here. As one might expect, it does not have any ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

“私には、セーラームーンを見るのを止めるための強い意志が欠けている。”

I tried looking up this word in Denshi Jisho, but to no avail. What does "ため" mean when it is attached to the verb 止める?
7
votes
1answer
95 views

Difference between 土日 and 週末

Well just as the title indicates, I've heard in a game the word "土日" used and translated as "weekend", and wanting to learn the word since I realized I didn't know it yet, I checked on Jisho, but the ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

How do I say “This is a derivative work. I am in no way affiliated with X company” in Japanese?

I am not sure which verb would be used for "affiliated" in this context. Would it be 提携して? Or perhaps 関係して?
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Difference between 会話、談話

From the dictionary, it is not entirely clear which should be used in which context. And the what is the difference in their meaning? Are there any other words meaning conversation? Thank you very ...