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
2answers
230 views

人前{ひとまえ} and 人前{にんまえ}

I have been conviced for a long time that both 人前{にんまえ} and 人前{ひとまえ} existed. Which is backed by this wikitionary page. Recently, I just wanted to warn another Japanese learner about this pair of ...
5
votes
2answers
331 views

How to say “Serving for # people”?

I have a class project and I have to write a recipe. On it I'm trying to write something along the lines of "Serving for x people". What would be a good way to say that phrase?
7
votes
1answer
171 views

Origin of the word 烏有

I saw the phrase 烏有{うゆう}に帰{き}す, which means to "become nothing" as if turning to ashes. The word "烏有" means nothing, but its parts are 烏 (crow) and 有 (to be). How did 烏有 come to mean nothing? When I ...
9
votes
1answer
123 views

Why is the word「ござる」used in this sentence?

This is a dialogue being discussed between 3 students. A: おまえきょうのテストどうした? B: へへ まあな A:なんだよまあなって...できたんかよ? B:ばーか このおれができるわけないだろ C: こいつのまあなはいつものとおり白紙でございって意味だよ As I ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

What is はなっとらんかった?

拍子抜けって言えば拍子抜けやなぁ。どこも大事にはなっとらんかったみたいやし....なんか踊らせてた感があるわ I don't understand what this part means. I tried looking it up but I can't find anything. Is it a single word? Thanks!
8
votes
1answer
101 views

What is the meaning of 両岸 in this context?

I was reading a news article but I am not sure what 両岸 means in this context. 中台の間では経済や人的(てき)交流が進んでいるとしたうえで、両岸の関係は過去66年間で最も平和的な状態にある. Dictionary search result is as follows: りょうがん 両岸 ...
3
votes
2answers
136 views

What are all the possible meanings of 筆記{ひっき}の心{こころ}?

It kinda popped into my head one day and I want to know the correct meaning and translation into English. Translating it through Google Translate gets you 'Heart of the writing'. I know the meanings ...
2
votes
0answers
114 views

What is the meaning of 飲んどけ? [duplicate]

I came across this Japanese tv commercial. Video and transcript are given below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOuwA6rtKsM http://www.suntory.co.jp/news/article/12494.html My question is: what's ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the opposite of 初心者?

As in, I want to say veterans/old hats at doing something instead of beginners at doing something. Edit: Thank you for all the responses. I wasn't looking to imply skill, so I think 経験者 is the word I ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What is the meaning of 実質負担金額?

I want to buy new phone but I am unable to understand the meaning of 実質負担金額. Please help me to understand this.
4
votes
1answer
97 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
156 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
86 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
43 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
212 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
83 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
210 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
50 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.
-1
votes
1answer
92 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
366 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
562 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 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
80 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
267 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
154 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
27 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
122 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
102 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
191 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
65 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
123 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
231 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
149 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
219 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: ...
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
120 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
85 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
251 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
479 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?
3
votes
2answers
59 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 ...
9
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
369 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
628 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
70 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
236 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 ...