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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3
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2answers
173 views

What's the difference between 治す and 治る?

My dictionary says they are both cure/fix, so I am wondering what the difference is and how to use them? Is it an active/passive difference, or transitive/intransitive? Or just a subtle nuance? I ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Simple questions on 明け方

So 明け方 means "dawn," but if looked at more closely, is the literal meaning of 明け方, "in the direction of dawn"? I think this is wrong, but I can't remember which meaning of 方 is taken here. Is it ...
4
votes
2answers
246 views

Are there differences between 自動車{じどうしゃ} and 車?

According to the dictionary, both of these terms refer to the same object: car/automobile. Now, I understand that 車 is also used in compounds to provide the "vehicle" part as in 電車, but I'm just ...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Difference between 延ばす and 伸ばす

As far as I can tell, they both mean something like stretch or extend. When would you use each one?
5
votes
2answers
221 views

Pronunciation of 天爾遠波 (てにをは)

Straightforward question. 天爾遠波 (or 弖爾乎波) - written as てにをは - is a term used to refer to the Japanese particles (助詞) or sometimes Japanese grammar as a whole (文法). So how to do pronounce the は at the ...
4
votes
1answer
257 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. Thanks ...
4
votes
2answers
396 views

Which reading is more common for 剣: tsurugi or ken

剣 by itself can be read either way. What's the difference? Clarification: In particular, when 剣 refers to a 諸刃 sword, which reading are natives more likely to use?
0
votes
1answer
173 views

What does 中 suggest when it's used with another word? (e.g. 世界中 and 絶望中)

I've heard it thrown about in different contexts, but I never quite under neither what it does or what dictates when the sound changes to じゅう in a context, as in 世界中. Anyone have any ideas?
3
votes
1answer
145 views

What is the English equivalent of an 意匠ノート?

I came across the term 「意匠ノート」as a type of notebook. Translated, I guess it would be a "design notebook," but I'm not sure what that means? A drawing book? A notebook with graph paper for ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

What is 坊 in 朝寝坊する?

I always thought that 坊 in 朝寝坊する was a bit weird. At least in Chinese, 坊 means "small factory". Thus I assumed it was a pun about "went to work at the morning sleeping factory" though it seems a bit ...
1
vote
2answers
186 views

How should I understand 今よりもっと?

person: うん痩せたいです今よりもっと me: 私も... ;; person: だよなー person: I want to lose weight, now more than ever/especially now me: Me too... ;; person: Ya know-;) Ok so だよなー is not an ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Are 短(い) and 身近(い・な) related?

Is one derived from the other? 身近 means - amongst other definitions - "close/near to one(self)", so it's not that much of a leap to say that something near to you is a "short" distance away, and get ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Translating --「きめぜりふつかった」って?

Playing through a game, and I've encountered a verb / combination I've never seen before. The full dialogue is: もうお姫さまにきめぜりふつかったの? Am I looking at some stem of きめ・る? Or something else entirely? ...
6
votes
1answer
257 views

What is it called when someone is made poor from attending too many weddings?

I cannot remember the phrase once taught me for when someone has become poor by attending too many weddings in Japan. Due to usually having to pay at least 30,000 yen just to attend weddings as a ...
5
votes
1answer
226 views

What is the meaning of 「ほおかむり」?

My daughter is in first grade at a public elementary school in Japan. In some homework yesterday, there was the appearance of the word ほおかむり. My Japanese isn't great as a non-native and she didn't ...
1
vote
2answers
200 views

Can 一応ね be understood to mean “…just socially.”?

I found this example on lang-8, and wonder if anyone could clarify the use of 一応ね here: A: Are you going on Facebook or Twitter? B: Just socially. A: FacebookとかTwitterやってる? B: 一応ね。 ...
0
votes
2answers
263 views

What are these suggestions in hiragana typing?

What are these in hiragana typing when I want to type wa?
3
votes
1answer
155 views

Proper usage of 四字熟語 in Japanese

In Chinese, usage of 四字熟語 a lot usually demonstrates sophistication and things like political announcements etc that want to sounds powerful and sophisticated use a big load of them. What does using ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

~くなりました with ない

For example, if I want to say "(this food has) become not tasty", would the correct way to say that be "おいしくなくなりました"? How would this be distinguished from おいしく亡くなりました, "died tastily", however ...
1
vote
1answer
276 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
324 views

How do you count ghosts in Japanese?

I have found this example, using the human counter: In this movie, the two female ghosts who appear before the main character, a man who works as a potter, are both victims of a war-torn society. ...
4
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
126 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
102 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?
3
votes
1answer
774 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
234 views

What is the ちょ in こなしてちょ?

I'm playing a video game (Final Fantasy VI), in which a character is reading her lines and stage directions for a play. The stage directions contain the following sentence: この芝居を間奏の間にこなしてちょ。 ...
7
votes
2answers
222 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
360 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
273 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
vote
2answers
121 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
127 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
268 views

Typing Japanese text from images or clothing

Is there a way of typing Japanese characters when you have no knowledge of the language? I've cut and pasted from Japanese websites before and used translation websites from English to Japanese with ...
6
votes
2answers
399 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How many Kanji characters are there?

I have been searching around, but all the sources give completely different answers ranging from 2,000 to 50,000. So my question is how many Kanji characters that have ever existed since the dawn of ...
4
votes
1answer
217 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: ...
2
votes
3answers
541 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?
5
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
446 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
209 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
176 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
167 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
196 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
280 views

What's the difference between 欲{ほっ}する and 欲しがる?

Is there one? One of my dictionaries lists them as 欲{ほっ}する → to desire/to want 欲しがる → to desire/to want/to wish for/to covet Only the latter sounds like it includes more "bad"/selfish ...
1
vote
2answers
335 views

What separates the different ways to ask a question in Japanese (何, どう, どんな, etc.)?

It's been something I've been thinking about for a while, 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
220 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
390 views

Using 全然 with a positive pejorative

So far, I know that in proper speech, 全然 should be used with negative verbs such as 全然出来ません or in expressions such as 全然だめ or 全然違う. I am curious about the second type of usage. In that case, 全然 is ...
3
votes
2answers
218 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
139 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.