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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1answer
251 views

Is 回す ever used to mean “gang-rape”?

Sorry, I've been on reddit...and found the eighth definition here: 回す まわす 1: to turn; to rotate; to gyrate; 2: to circulate; to send around; 3: to surround; 4: to put something to a new ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

Difference between words for road

I know the following words that all mean a road of some kind: 道 町 街 路 道路 街路 街道 通り 通り道 What's the difference between all these words? I'd assume size would be one of them, but what is the order if ...
3
votes
1answer
631 views

Slang metaphorical animal names used to describe people

Does Japanese slang use animal names to describe people's personalities in the same way English does? If so, what are some common ones? For example, in English, men can often be called "dogs" or ...
7
votes
1answer
120 views

I can't find a translation for 言やいー

I would very much appreciate it if someone could tell me what 言やいー refers to. All I know is that 言 has something to do with speaking or words, but that alone doesn't help. Is it slang? The entire ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

What does やさぐれ mean?

I believe it has something to do with bullying. Also, I think I heard it as a verb: やさぐれる I can't seem to find much information about it. Is it slang?
7
votes
2answers
217 views

How is the Kanji of 口実 related to the meaning?

口実 noun: excuse;  pretext Literally translated it seems to mean mouth-truth. Most excuses seem to avoid the truth, so what is the logic here?
5
votes
1answer
337 views

Terms for Royalty

Why are there so many terms for royalty? And I'm talking about generic words like "king", "queen", etc. I seem to remember from my studies that certain terminology was used specifically for Japanese ...
7
votes
1answer
238 views

What's the difference between 心, 念, and 意?

I can say that after much research on this, I'm more thoroughly confused than before I started. I'm talking mostly about when they are used as suffixes, but the concept applies when they stand alone, ...
1
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2answers
115 views

What verb is in 覚­えてみたい?

I found this YouTube comment: きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅとっても可愛い〜(*ノ∀ノ)ダンスとか覚­えてみたいと思いまーすww I'm not sure how to parse 覚­えてみたい. The context seems to make it have nothing to do with 覚る, and in any case the え 送り仮名 ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

How to say “for”

I will use a specific example. I was trying to write "My love for you is hurting me." "私の愛ために貴方は私を傷つけている。" Is what I came up with, however, I am unsure about the usage of "ために" in this situation. ...
8
votes
3answers
430 views

Why is the meaning of人一倍 opposite of what it seems to say?

This could be just me, but at first glance the word (phrase?) 人一倍 looks like it would mean "one's own share of the work". I assumed 人 to mean one person, and 一倍 means "one share, one amount". I was a ...
17
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2answers
2k views

Why does 今度【こんど】 mean “next time”?

The word 今度【こんど】, though its literal meaning is "this time" is in my experience used pretty heavily to refer to tbe next time or some unspecified point in the future. For example: ...
6
votes
2answers
388 views

What does “ごうと音がして” mean?

I am currently practicing Japanese by reading a novel but I have reached a sentence that I could not understand. ごうと音がして Can you please translate the vocabulary and verb used along with any unique ...
2
votes
3answers
480 views

Difference between 学生・生徒・児童

As the title says^^ I think 生徒 is for elementary school, what about the other two?
4
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1answer
211 views

How is の方 used in this sentence?

This is a conversation between two people: A: [金]{かね}は? B: いつもの[通]{とお}りだ。それより[公安]{こうあん}の[方]{ほう}は? A: 心配するな。 私がついている。 A: The money? B: Planned as always. Aside from that, public safety の方は? A: ...
4
votes
1answer
192 views

Why does どれだけ seem to mean the opposite of どれ + だけ?

The other day I read the word どれだけ which means how long; how much; to what extent. I've read several example sentences, and I that's all well and good, but I cannot shake the feeling that it's really ...
7
votes
3answers
350 views

what does どことなくつかみどころがなくmean?

I came across this phrase in the sentence: 勘【かん】というものは、しょちゅう経験【けいけん】していながら、どことなくつかみどころがなく、いまの科学【かがく】ではまだその正体【しょうたい】が、明らか【あきらか】にされていない。(Soumatome N1 dokkai, p45) My best effort to translate it ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Help with a relative clause + を中心に

Here's the sentence: あるいはまた、東南アジアを中心に世界各地で活躍するいわゆる華僑勢力の多くが福建省出身者である事実を見ても、福建人たちの「海外雄飛」のパワーを知ることができる。 My rough translation is something like: "Moreover, looking also at the fact that a large ...
6
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
175 views

What is the meaning of 大奥婚?

This headline in today's zakzak news, related to actress Miho Kanno getting married. 堺雅人&菅野美穂、“大奥婚”! 電撃ゴールイン What is the meaning of 大奥婚? I know 大奥 and 婚 by themselves, but not together. I ...
6
votes
2answers
163 views

Help translating よなも in a song

This is from a Trigun soundtrack, song called Sound Life (lyrics), 3rd line: 3つ目の夜に ワルツの子は世界面にウエーブを 打つ The 世界面 is translated as "world face", however pronunciation is given as よなも. I can't find ...
8
votes
1answer
191 views

What is the connection between shrimp and old age?

Shrimp(えび) is written several different ways in Japanese. For example, there are the words commonly used in Chinese: 蝦 and 鰕. There is also a compound specific to Japan, 海老, and a kokuji, 蛯. Both of ...
4
votes
2answers
205 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 shut. ...
1
vote
2answers
279 views

What separates the different ways to ask a question in Japanese?(I.E. 何, どう, どんな and so on)

It's been something I've thinking about for awhile, but could never answer in a more concrete way. This is most apparent when I compare the functions of 何 and どう. I know that 何, どう and どんな are great ...
3
votes
2answers
205 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
206 views

人の陰口をきく=speak ill of a person?

I came a cross the expression かげぐち【陰口】(backbiting) and found it in my dictionary as follows 人の陰口をきく[たたく]|[speak ill of a person / run a person down] behind his back / backbite When I tried to ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Differences between 事実 and 真実

Both 真実 and 事実 means; fact,truth. So in Kanji Lesson I asked my teacher if there is any differences between them, he said yes but there was no time to explain.
7
votes
1answer
155 views

What's the difference between まだ and いまだ(に)?

My intuition wants to believe that いまだに is more formal, but all the examples I've seen do not indicate that. Are they freely interchangeable? Can't say I've ever heard いまだに in spoken context (or ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Are all kanji compounds considered words?

A friend once commented to me that Japanese has a larger vocabulary than English. I said I didn't think it did, because it wasn't really accurate to call all kanji compounds "words". My friend said I ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

Difference between ささぐ and ささげる

beginner Japanese language self-learner here. I hope my question isn't a bad question. As title suggested, I would like to know about the difference between the two verbs which I understood have the ...
3
votes
2answers
649 views

興味が湧く vs 興味が沸く​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Which kanji should we use for the phrase 興味がわく (to mean that something has caught our interest)? Some quick googling shows that both 興味が湧く (~11m hits) and 興味が沸く (~9m hits) are widely used. Is one of ...
7
votes
2answers
400 views

Non-distinguished animal pairs in Japanese

This is something I first noticed when I was at an aquarium in Japan (as evidenced in my examples) and continued to see ever since. There are certain pairs of animals, that while extremely similar, ...
1
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1answer
120 views

What is the English equivalent of「ひとこと欄」?

I believe this a kind of word-game, but cannot find a reference to it...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

What does ドン引き mean?

While i was talking with my japanese friends, that word just came up they could't explain that. Can you tell me what does ドン引き mean?
12
votes
4answers
577 views

Does 髭 refer to the beard or the moustache?

My dictionary lists 髭 as moustache / beard, but from the example sentences in WWWJDIC, it seems like 髭 is more often used to mean "beard" than "moustache" ? So for example, in this sentence: ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

Questions on the use of 動物 in reference to mankind/humans

I got this quote from a journal an online associate writes. I provided the translation. Some of the wording in Japanese struck me as strange, so I am wondering about whether in fact this quote is a ...
4
votes
1answer
273 views

How do I express “to survive” in a more metaphorical sense?

My friend published a multi-part video on Facebook. I wanted to comment "I survived for only one episode", as in "It was so bad I couldn't keep watching after just one episode", but I wasn't sure ...
2
votes
2answers
162 views

Two definitions of けれども

In this dictionary I checked, there are two definitions for けれども. I also checked in my Japanese to English printed dictionary and there was only one definition, but in my Japanese to Chinese printed ...
8
votes
2answers
446 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
154 views

What is the name of the wooden hook support on the walls of traditional Japanese rooms?

Traditional (and even not-so-traditional) Japanese rooms have wooden panels running along the walls, about 1m from the ceiling. They are mainly used to affix hooks, to which clothes hangers, ...
9
votes
2answers
397 views

What words are used for dolphin meat?

What words are used for dolphin meat? Searching jisho.org using "dolphin" in the English field listed several different words for dolphin, but no compounds involving meat. Neither the English nor ...
1
vote
1answer
463 views

Fast Food Conversation - Any Practical Guides?

I looked up for fast food conversation but I could not find anything very practical. While most guide always emphasize on how to order, I never found it prepares one to understand what a fast food ...
5
votes
1answer
270 views

which instruments use 弾く and which use 引く?

I was wondering how do we identify what instruments may be used with the verb 引く, or 弾く, or both? If both 引く and 弾く can be used is there any difference in nuance between one vs the other?
2
votes
1answer
301 views

How to say “items remaining from last meeting”?

I am setting up a meeting agenda and of the items is "covering the items left over from last meeting". I though something like "前回のミーティングの残件” Would have worked but it turns out that 残件 isn't a word ...
4
votes
1answer
277 views

Different meaning of 何?

While reading some lyrics online, I stumbled upon the following phrase: これ以上何を失えば 心は許されるの Which I could myself losely translate as following: If I lose what more (than I already have), will ...
8
votes
1answer
382 views

What's the difference between 思う and 考える?

These two words both seem to mean "to think", but is there any difference between them? Is it related to the difference between 言う and 話す by any chance?
6
votes
1answer
139 views

What's the difference between 向こう and 向こう側?

My textbook (An Introduction to Modern Japanese) introduced 向こう as meaning "the other side of" and 側{がわ} as meaning "side". On page 76 it states that 側 can be added to some, but not all, of these ...
6
votes
2answers
505 views

「拝」から始まる謙譲語 — humble keigo starting with [hai]

What are the common 謙譲語 verbs that start with 「拝」? I know these ones: 見る → 拝見する (to see), 拝観する (to view something -- limited usage) 聴く → 拝聴する 読む → 拝読する 会う → 拝謁する (although I've ...
4
votes
2answers
420 views

What does ~と見てよい/~と見ていい mean? How did it have its meaning?

I found these sentences using SPACEALC: The content in parentheses and bolding are my own: まず勝ち試合と見ていいが、成り行き任せでは駄目です。 You'll probably win the game, but that's not automatic. ...
6
votes
1answer
294 views

Can the term メリークリスマス be seen as politically incorrect?

In some countries, some people avoid using "Merry Christmas" and instead say Happy Holidays: Thought by some to be a politically correct alternative to Merry Christmas and/or Happy New Year when ...