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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2
votes
2answers
120 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
286 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
337 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
198 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
127 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
104 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
811 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
237 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
224 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
378 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
282 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
123 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
131 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
278 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
403 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
219 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
557 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
213 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
451 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
212 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
99 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
169 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
203 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
284 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
338 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
227 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
406 views

Using 全然 with a positive pejorative [duplicate]

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
226 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
143 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.
4
votes
2answers
675 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
123 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...
6
votes
1answer
210 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?
5
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
126 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
173 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Did the Japanese have a word for surrender before WWII?

I had always thought that the Japanese didn't have a word for surrender before WWII. It seemed to be plausible given their culture. However, I can't seem to find any solid evidence of this. Is it just ...
7
votes
1answer
157 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
574 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
2answers
503 views

What's the difference between 触る and 触れる?

These two seem to overlap almost completely. The only thing I can really tell is that 触れる seems that it can also be used in a metaphorical sense ("touch on" something; feel; perceive). I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
211 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
475 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?
4
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
152 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
1answer
307 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
191 views

Questions about the term 自殺志願者

My Japanese friend used the term 自殺志願者 jokingly in a journal entry, saying she sometimes wondered if she qualified for such a position. I could not find a specific dictionary definition for this ...
5
votes
2answers
224 views

The origin of one of the usages of 狼{おおかみ}

I was watching the anime かんなぎ, and heard the following line: 男はみんな[狼]{おおかみ}だわ! "Men are all wolves!" I was curious as to what it means to call someone a "wolf", so looked 狼 up in Daijisen and ...
11
votes
1answer
434 views

Is かわいい wago or kango?

かわいい is sometimes spelled in kanji as 可愛い. This seems to be an 音読み reading which points to a Chinese loan, and Chinese does have this word. However, the meaning of 可愛 as "cute" in Chinese seems to ...