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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2
votes
2answers
128 views

“on the drive home” / “while I was driving home”?

How can I say "on the drive home"? I could come up with 帰り道に but this really doesn't give any information about the fact that I was driving. I am planning to use this phrase to say something "...
2
votes
3answers
333 views

Does 「7分の1」 mean 1:7 in this sentence?

Found a sentence, 人間の身体能力は吸血鬼の7分の1しかありません Is this how you write ratios in Japanese?
1
vote
1answer
131 views

What is the difference between 「帰る」and 「帰れる」?

I believe the latter is not the passive form of 帰る, so what makes it different?
5
votes
2answers
223 views

根も葉も火種も — is it proverbial?

I suspect「根も葉も火種も」 is an allusion to something I do not recognize. To what does it refer? Consider this couplet from an amusing song released in March by IOSYS called 「ステマの女」(CD and promotional ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

What does the word 「なんざ」 mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. ふざけんじゃねえよ パンチに理{り}屈{くつ}なんざ無{む}用{よう}だい!
3
votes
2answers
522 views

How to say “at this rate”?

One of my friends has been making a real effort talking to me in Japanese every day. I wanted to say something like "If we continue at this rate I will be able to speak by Christmas". The dictionary ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

How to say “do you identify with”?

I want to talk about pop culture and anime with my friends in the near future but I definitely don't have the vocabulary. The dictionary on "to identify" was rather unhelpful as there are other ...
6
votes
2answers
362 views

日本人は「面白い」と聞いて何を感じますか?

I am still a beginner at japanese and I have the strong feeling my title is incorrectly translated so here it is again in english: What is the "feeling" a japanese person gets upon hearing the word ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

What does “zurusona” mean?

Miyabe Kingo wrote in an English-language letter the phrase “a sharp zurusona wife” to describe the woman whose house he boarded at. "Zurusona" seems to be the insertion of a Japanese word written in ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to say I want to make an appointment?

This is something I've been wondering about for a very long time now. jisho.org lists quite many different words for "appointment" like e.g. 任命、待ち合わせ、予約 and a few more. But it's not clear to me ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

Weird term 真綿感. What does it mean?

I was reading a book when I stumbled upon the term 真綿感. A trip to the dictionary didn't give me an exact match (it says that 真綿 is "silk floss" and that 真綿で首を絞める is "to drag things out" or "to ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

Two words, same meaning, used together?

I've seen several native Japanese sentences, particularly in novels and music, where there are two words that both mean the same thing but are still used together. My most recent situation is as ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

What does the word 「つなぎゃ」mean?

I found it from the following sentence. はてね その先はどうつなぎゃいいんだ。
1
vote
1answer
305 views

How to say “Don't treat me coldly”? [closed]

I know that if I want to say "You're cold!" I can just say "つめたい!" But is there a way of saying "Please don't be cold to me"? The whole context is truly too long to put into this question but ...
5
votes
1answer
561 views

“to bite *back*”?

How do you say "to do something back" in Japanese? For example, I read on the internet that if a horse bites you the best thing to do is "to bite back". How would you say "to bite back" in ...
9
votes
1answer
544 views

Difference between 下る、下りる、下がる?

I cannot, for the love of my life, understand the difference between 下る{くだる} 下りる{おりる} 下がる{さがる} Don't they all mean the same, basically? Is there a difference, and if yes, how could I proceed to ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

How to say “I recently learned how to speak japanese” in japanese?

How to say "I recently learned how to speak Japanese" in Japanese? is it: watashi wa hanasemashita nihongo koto ga saikin manabimasu or watashi wa nihongo hanasemashita koto ga saikin ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Differentiating ethnicity and nationality in japanese

Just to clarify the question, what I mean is that when you say that you're Chinese (in the English language), for example, you could mean it both ethnicity and nationality-wise. But in Japanese, it's "...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

The meaning of 激ギレ

SMAP香取、フット岩尾に激ギレされた What does 激ギレ mean? It is not on ALC and Google has nothing for 激ギレとは. Is it a particular form of frustration/angriness? Does it always have to include the act of venting out, ...
3
votes
3answers
14k views

What is the longest word in Japanese?

What is the longest (based on their representation in romaji) word in Japanese? Are there any longer than リュウグウノオトヒメノモトユイノキリハズシ? If it depends on criteria for a word, then list them by their criteria. ...
3
votes
2answers
554 views

How to say “to be out of it” in Japanese?

Is there a Japanese equivalent to "to be out of it"? I just had a busy weekend and need to ask someone something again which I had asked them before because I forgot the answer. Now I want to tell ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

What does the word 「すみっちょ」 mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. あぶねえ! へやのすみっちょにいってろ I have found an entry read 隅{すみ}っこ meaning 'corner' but I'm not sure if it is the same meaning as the word in question.
12
votes
3answers
8k views

How do you ask for “the bill” at a restaurant?

This is probably a bit of a silly question, but what do you say in Japanese when you're asking for the bill in a restaurant? Or is it unusual to say anything at all? When I was in Japan I could never ...
13
votes
4answers
688 views

Greeting for meeting a friend by chance

How can I greet a person in a manner similar to "Nice to find you in here!" (— meaning meeting a friend by chance somewhere)?
3
votes
2answers
341 views

The correct word to say “somehow” in different situations?

I would like to know the correct (colloquial) word for "somehow". For example, I want to say "I've been feeling out of it somehow lately". Which will be something like "最近(なんだか?)ぼーっとしてる" Or I ...
5
votes
2answers
406 views

Doesn't Japan call North Korea “北朝鮮” ? why?

If I remember correctly, North Korea is called "北朝鮮{きたちょうせん}" in Japan? But, I think "朝鮮" might actually be written in Katakana? Anyway, given that "朝鮮" was Japan's colonial name for (all of) Korea, ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Security guard nuances: 警備員 vs. 守衛

In looking up a few words for security guard, I came across four words: 守衛{しゅえい}, ガードマン, 警備員{けいびいん}, and 警備人{けいびにん}. From what I can tell, ガードマン seems to be similar to 'rent-a-cop' - that is to say, ...
2
votes
1answer
321 views

Express the idea of “I was supposed”

I would like to know how to express "I was supposed" in japanese For example, in the sentences : - Did you meet John yesterday ? - I was supposed to but he cancelled OR - I am supposed to do my ...
4
votes
3answers
151 views

Can 連れていく be used with someone with a higher social status?

Every dictionary I've found says that 連れていく{つれていく} should only be used to mean leading someone of a lower social status. While my research and experience has found this to be true in most cases, I've ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How to ask whether a dish is pescetarian-friendly?

I'm traveling to a smallish city in Japan a little over a week from now (I'll be there two weeks), and I'm wondering what is the best way to ask a server whether or not a particular dish is ...
3
votes
2answers
268 views

How to say “I was/am annoyed with myself”?

So I did something stupid today and I wanted to tell someone about it and say that "I was annoyed with myself for doing X". My best guess is something like Xして、自分にイライラしちゃったの。 and 昨日Xして、...
1
vote
1answer
161 views

What does 「ふうに」exactly means?

Just found a sentence, そんなふうに笑い飛ばす人は死ねばよかった。 I tried to find what it means in dictionary but to no avail, so what does it means and how you use it whether in daily conversation or literature ...
5
votes
3answers
513 views

Is 「ごとと」 used as a particle or just plain word?

I wonder what does 「ごとと」 does in this sentence そもそも陸上部は恋愛ごとと断絶していたのに I've tried to use Jisho.org but to no avail, there are no definition of it which are relevant to the content of the sentence.
3
votes
1answer
120 views

What does the word 「間すらない」 mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. へいの中{なか}にはいったとたん投{とう}石{せき}をかけるやられて あの調{ちょう}子{し}だ! 声{こえ}をかける間{ま}すらないのだ
4
votes
1answer
527 views

“to offer” in Japanese?

Using a dictionary to learn Japanese turned out to be more difficult than expected. I wanted to say "I offered him a haircut but he refused." and "I offered him a beer." and "I offered him a ride." ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

What does the word 「いつの間に」 mean?

I have looked up in an online dictionary and found out that 「いつの間にか」 means before one knows. For another question, when I have came across 「いつの間に通信」 in an instruction manual, I'm not sure if I can ...
2
votes
2answers
168 views

What does the word 「しとったんや」 mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. だいたいだな ジョーってやつはじぶんの腹{はら}をこやすために うちのせがれどもを利{り}用{よう}しとったんや
4
votes
1answer
170 views

あなた when a guy says that to a girl

I read online about different usages for あなた and how it can convey meanings and it's best to be avoided as it can come off as rude. so I got into a situation where I was referred as anata by an older ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

What does the word 「やで」 mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. おまえさん とこのジョーは自{じ}分{ぶん}の身{み}を守{まも}るがためにわしらの子{こ}どもまでまきぞえにしとるんやで。
2
votes
1answer
151 views

Relationship between どゆこと and どういうこと

I came across the expression "どゆこと" in the show "世界の日本人妻は見た!". For example, at 21:12 in an episode involving a Mongolian husband. The phrase is also mentioned in the Wikipedia article about the show: ...
0
votes
1answer
214 views

Naming An International Headquarters

I posed this question previously, however the answers were somewhat ambiguous. I simply wished to see if there is a Japanese grammatical rule which would allow an organization whose primary martial ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

手を貸す and 'lend a hand' - coincidence?

At some point I found that 手を貸す both literally and figuratively means 'to lend a hand' - is the resemblance a coincidence?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Japanese Dog Training Commands

My fiance and I will be moving to Japan sometime next year and are trying to prepare our dog for the experience by teaching her Japanese commands so she can be easily handled by kennels/vets/groomers/...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Difference between 損害 and 被害

What is the difference between 損害 and 被害? My dictionary lists them both as "damage", and I can't figure out any differences from the example sentences it gives. In fact, there are some examples that ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

What does「そのせい」means?

Found a sentence 屋上に来てしまったのもそのせい What does そのせい means in that sentence ?
1
vote
1answer
89 views

What does 「だける」means in this sentence?

Found this in book that I've just read きっとその魅力がわかていただけるかと思います
15
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
371 views

Is 超 (chō) seldom used in written works?

Is it true that the prefix 超 to mean “very” is seldom used in written works (like novels, not counting direct speech), and is usually only used when talking?
6
votes
1answer
271 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

What does the word 「ぶったてる」mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. このドヤがいの西{にし}のはずれにりっぱな総{そう}合{ごう}病{びょう}院{いん}をぶったてること!