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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1
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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
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1answer
213 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?
13
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4answers
720 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
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
290 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
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 ...
9
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2answers
552 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 ...
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, ...
9
votes
2answers
439 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
588 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
318 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?
3
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1answer
347 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
297 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
492 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
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
2answers
573 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
483 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
309 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
392 views

How to translate “from scratch”

I am having discussions with my Japanese friend about developing a new computer application. I want to suggest to him to not write the code from scratch but to use other libraries as our base. How can ...
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
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1answer
440 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
619 views

What is the most common usage and meaning of もったいない?

もったいない (勿体無い)(勿体ない) can mean "what a waste!" / "too good". Apparently it is originally (?) a buddhist term meaning “The essence or quality of the thing does not exist,” and supposedly has been ...
5
votes
1answer
228 views

Can anyone provide a detailed definition of あんぐり and say if the expression あんぐりと口を開けて is redundant?

あんぐり is defined as such: adverb / noun or verb acting prenominally: open-mouthed 大学の門の前に真っ赤なフェラーリが停めてあるのを見て、アングリした。 I saw a bright red Ferrari parked at the campus gates and my jaw just ...
1
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1answer
150 views

What might be the meaning of the word or phrase 'こよかな'

I cannot really comprehend koyokana in the following short sentence: shoppu itte koyokana. What meaning does koyokana give to the "shoppu itte" part. How could I divide koyokana in mind: koyo ka na ...
4
votes
1answer
483 views

How to call a wait pointer in Japanese?

In Japanese, how to call a wait pointer? I am talking about a computer mouse pointer which becomes a spinning wheel or hourglass (depending on the OS) when the application is busy processing ...
1
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0answers
706 views

Lingualift review? [closed]

I am Japanese by blood but grew up in the U.S. and never learned the language. The most I have ever learned, actually, are hiragana, katakana and a few kanji. Which was something I forced myself to ...
6
votes
2answers
308 views

“Tourist trap” in Japanese

Assuming such a concept exists in Japanese, how do you say "tourist trap"? Wikipedia describes it as: A tourist trap is an establishment, or group of establishments, that has been created with ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

The meaning of kakemawaru 駆け回る

I have been encountering this word kakemawaru 駆け回る a few times. It means running around, If I understand well. Does it mean only physically running around? For example: kids are running around in the ...
3
votes
2answers
244 views

Questions on イケてる

イケてる is defined by tangorin as such: noun, or verb acting prenominally: cool;  with-it;  turn-on;  sexy As a noun I can see it as "the state of being cool," as perhaps shown in the following ...
7
votes
2answers
163 views

Questions on the word シクシク

I understand that the word シクシク is 擬声語/giseigo/onomatopoeia equivalent to the English "boo-hoo/boo-hoo-hoo." 恐怖でシクシク泣く To whimper in fear 彼女はボーイフレンドに捨てられた時、あまりの惨めさにシクシクと泣いた。 She wailed in misery ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Difference between ともあれ and とかく

According to ALC ともあれ とかく they look pretty similar and express "anyway, anyhow". I came across the following excercise where you need to choose between those two: ...
4
votes
2answers
571 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
277 views

Is 見物{みもの} derogatory?

To say something is a 見物, does it have a derogatory nuance like we are making fun of that person / that thing? If so, is it derogatory to the extent that even if I intended it as a fun joke it seems ...
9
votes
3answers
808 views

Is しまった an appropriate translation for “Oops”?

In the course of localising an app for the Japanese language I have been tasked with translating the Google-style error string "Oops", which will presumably be used as in Oops Please check ...
5
votes
1answer
200 views

Saying northeast, northwest, north-north-east, etc

What would the correct way to write and say northeast, northwest, north-north-east, etc? In Chinese, we put east and west first and then put north or south at the end, for example, 東北 for northeast. ...
5
votes
1answer
198 views

inter- and intra- prefix

What would one use for the equivalent of the "inter-" and "intra-" prefixes in English? e.g. intercity, intracity, inter-server etc I did a fair amount of looking around. 間 looks like it might be ...
13
votes
1answer
580 views

Difference between さよなら and さようなら

I just saw the word "goodbye" spelt as さよなら. Having clearly heard the long o sound before, I thought the word was misspelled. However, a quick online search shows both さよなら and さようなら being used. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

meaning of 蠢{うごめ}き[伸]{の}ばして?

It's taken from ひぐらしのなく頃に OP (lyrics can be found here ) I know the meaning of each individual word, but I can't really understand how it works in this context: 鏡の中で蠢き伸ばしてくる無数の手で
3
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4answers
187 views

What is the difference between 楽しい and 面白い?

Google translates both of them to be interesting. And which can be used for a funny guy?
4
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3answers
323 views

What makes に基づいて instead of に応じて the correct choice for this question?

I'm working on some example questions from my grammar textbook. One of them I listed below:  税金はこの表(  )計算されています。  ア)につれて イ)に応じて ウ)に比べて エ)に基づいて I'm unsure why 「に基づいて」is the only correct ...
9
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4answers
454 views

What is the difference in usage between 準備 用意 and 覚悟

The dictionaries translate these three words roughly as preparation/preparedness or ready/readiness. I don't think I undersand the subtleties of their usage. Not to mention できる also has another ...
9
votes
1answer
674 views

Describing my exact height

How do I describe my height in centimetres? I think you can say "私は背が高いです" to say that you're tall, but how about your exact height? Would "私は背が190cmです" sound like broken Japanese? I came across ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

Help with a usage of 自慢

私は彼が自慢だ。 I'm Proud of Him 彼は私が自慢だ。 He is proud of me. I am confused by this pattern with 自慢. It kind of looks like 自慢 is being used as an adjective (?), but the definition in ...
18
votes
2answers
570 views

Can the suffix -人 be used to express heritage?

In English, if I want to talk about my Irish heritage, I would say "I'm Irish". I have an American passport, and I've never set foot in Ireland, but I still consider myself Irish. Both sides of my ...
14
votes
2answers
402 views

Different conventions for animal meat

After reading this awesome question, I got to thinking about different animal meat. Upon researching a little, there seems to be different conventions in referring to different meats. Using 訓読み ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

「のれん代」(Goodwill) and 「のれん」 of 居酒屋

Is there any relation between 「のれん代」(Goodwill) and 「のれん」 of 居酒屋? And how about those kanji, are they using same kanji for both? If there are the same kanji, I would like to know their etymology, ...
7
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1answer
126 views

Usage of 腱 vs 筋

What is the difference between the following characters: 腱 vs 筋 (すじ) Both translate to tendon (as in the connective tissue between muscles and bones)
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Does “おつまみ” (otsumami) mean “snack” or “rice crackers” or “crunchy snack” like chips and peanuts, or something else entirely?

This is a word I learned by reading and not by studying or in conversation with Japanese. After learning the kana years ago I had occasion to fly with JAL and the pre-meal snack was a little packet ...
6
votes
1answer
184 views

の要領で as “in the same way as”/“in the manner of” vs. のように

Full text is over here. This is part of the description of how 茄子餃子{なすぎょうざ} is prepared at a particular restaurant: 天ぷらの要領で水で溶いた小麦粉をつけて中火の油で揚げる。 If の要領で was replaced by のように, would there be any ...