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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

11
votes
2answers
311 views

What was the Japanese word for “clockwise” (時計回り) before clocks were commonplace?

In English, before clocks were commonplace, the word "clockwise" was obviously not in common use. Instead, the closest alternative to "clockwise" was the now-archaic word "deasil", and its antonym was ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

のに (noni) versus けど (kedo) to mean “but, although" etc

So guys I searched about this difference and didn't find a conclusive answer. What is the difference or is there any difference at all like this: この部屋はいつもきれいなのに今日はちらかっている。 Although this room ...
3
votes
2answers
205 views

How do say “close to” re: location?

How would you say "A is close to B" ? As in, "A and B are nearby each other". Would you use 近く here? If so, how?
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Difference between 「~かかわらず」 and 「~かまわず」

I never knew the differences between 「~かかわらず」 and 「~かまわず」 and assumed they were more or less the same until I tried saying *「ソフトの機能にかまわず、。。。」 and was told to use 「かかわらず」. What am I missing?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is さようなら still used in real life?

Amongst native speakers of English, "sayonara" is one of the best known Japanese words, at least for words that don't fill a semantic gap ("sushi" is derived from a Japanese word but fills a semantic ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Using 「点」 vs 「所」 vs 「箇所」to refer to a point in a document, description, etc

When referring to previous document (manual, email, etc.) or a previous statement/reply I'm not sure of the difference between using 「点」, 「所」 and 「箇所」. I would want to say something along the lines ...
0
votes
2answers
142 views

How to understand チラツ

How to understand チラツ ? My textbook gives "leaflet" as a translation. It's in katakana, though, so I'm looking for a corresponding English word, but what is it?
0
votes
0answers
34 views

What is the difference between はは and おかさん? [duplicate]

I have a Japanese online course and they say that both ways are ways to say mother and there are: " Formal is okaasan. Humble is haha. " What do they mean Formal and Humble?
4
votes
2answers
159 views

「周囲を取り囲む(ように)」, set phrase?

I encountered this phrase and after a bit of Googling, it seems to describe the action of crowding around a particular thing or object (people crowding around someone, trees crowding around a ...
3
votes
3answers
132 views

「ひがし」 vs. 「あずま」

From what I understand, both 「ひがし」 and 「あずま」 meant "east" and then the latter became the reading of 東. Is 「ひがし」 an archaic term and never used, or are both acceptable? If both are acceptable, what ...
2
votes
2answers
179 views

Is おふくろ related to ふく?

Since おふくろ is one way to address one's own mother, I was wondering whether the 「ふく」 part is related to the word meaning 'clothes' or not. And if not, what is the origin of おふくろ?
3
votes
2answers
153 views

はは or おかあさん what should be used?

What I've learnt is: when you talk about your mother you use はは、 when you talk about someone else's mother you use おかあさん。 But what happens when you talk to your mother? How should you address her? ...
6
votes
3answers
156 views

What's the difference between 水 and 湯

I start by saying that I'm a beginner in Japanese and maybe my question will seem obvious to you. I've been told by Japanese people that there's a difference between 水 and 湯. I understand that 湯 ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Help with Kenjougo!

I'm trying to come up with a polite introduction. Hajimemashite. Watashi wa Megan to moushimasu. Tekisasu kara mairimashita. watashi wa kentakkii-shuu ni sunde orimasu. Sumimasen, watashi ...
6
votes
1answer
79 views

difference between “日欧米で株上昇” and “日米欧で株上昇”?

"欧米{おうべい}" means "the Western countries (USA, Canada, Western Europe, Australia)". "欧米" is something that I've heard frequently in daily conversations. So, the headline 日米欧で株上昇 日経平均は一時200円超高 caught ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Can 借家 and 家賃 be used interchangeably

I just come across these two words used to describe "home rental". However, I want to know the difference between these two words and whether they can be used interchangeably. My understanding is ...
2
votes
2answers
179 views

What is difference between 値段 (nedan) and 代金 (daikin)?

値段 (nedan) and 代金 (daikin) both means "cost" but im not sure where is a difference.
2
votes
3answers
82 views

がわ/そば difference and use

I've been following the Genki textbook up until now and I learnt to use そば to talk about things that are near something else. I recently bought a JLPT N5 textbook, as it's my intention to try and ...
0
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Differences between words for “optimistic” and “pessimistic”

I've been confused for a long time about how certain Japanese words map onto the meaning of "optimistic" and "pessimistic" in English. Specifically, what is the difference between (Optimistic) ...
3
votes
2answers
273 views

Nuance of “クソ” within “クソコラグランプリ”

I understand all of the words other than "クソ" in the phrase "クソコラグランプリ". "コラ" means photomontage, photoshop or the like (from "collage"?). "グランプリ" transliterates as "grand prix", which roughly means ...
4
votes
2answers
611 views

What does 春夏冬 mean?

So, I was watching an anime, whereupon I found the following text (cf. screencap): 夜ト・春夏冬中 090-xxxx-##3x どんなお悩みも解決いたします! This text appears in the context of the character 夜ト trying to find ...
5
votes
1answer
262 views

When does こいつ refer to a situation?

I've always heard こいつ refer to a person. (That guy!) However, in my JLPT Reading workbook there is a line where it refers to a situation. The explanation says: 「こいつ」が状況を表し....ことに気づくこと。 It goes ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Politeness and Usage of ぶっちゃけ

A while ago, I heard the word ぶっちゃけ on a comedy show used to mean "frankly." I'd like to know three things: 1) How polite/impolite is this word? Looking it up online, it seems to be slang. I guess I ...
6
votes
1answer
409 views

Meaning of 僕のほど in this sentence

I know ほど means ‘degree’ or ‘extent’ and so 僕のほど might translate as ‘to my extent’ but I don’t see how that possible translation fits with the rest of the sentence’s meaning. ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

What does 彼なら mean?

彼ならそれくらいの事はいいかねない Translation: He can say such things. I don’t understand what this なら is added to 彼. I’ve seen it more than once too.
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Japanese for “Chinese Opera”

What is the Japanese for Chinese Opera? The Japanese language Wikipedia article on Chinese opera is titled 戯曲 (中国), with "中国" merely being disambiguation metadata. 戯曲 apparently means drama, with no ...
-5
votes
1answer
100 views

“Infinity” as a tattoo [closed]

I know this is really "Mainstream", but let's say I would like to have the word "infinity" as a tatto. (edit) 4. Which one would be the right ? And what exactly does each of them mean ?
7
votes
2answers
365 views

What is the etymology of the word バレる?

What is the etymology of the word バレる, and why is it often written with katakana? ばれる(P); バレる (v1,vi) to leak out (a secret); to be exposed (a lie, improper behaviour, etc.) (behavior) ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

What is the most common word used for 'idea'?

Pretty sure I've mostly seen idea as アイデア Does anyone know of other words used for 'idea' and if possible any example sentences and contexts where different words are used? Thanks in advance.
4
votes
2answers
282 views

How would you express “pausing to think” in Japanese?

I was wondering how would you express pausing to think in Japanese. So for example in English it would us be said as "hmmmm...". I believe あのう。。。 can be used but are there anymore ways to do so? I ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

What's the difference between いつ and 何時{なんじ}

They are both written as 何時 (what time) in the dictionary but they seem to be different words. My understanding is that "なんじ" asks for "exact hour" while "いつ" is like a general "when". Is that right? ...
-2
votes
1answer
110 views

Specifying Objects in Japanese

How do you say and write 'this is' and 'that is' in Japanese? Expanding on this, how would you say and write 'these are' and 'those are'? Around this topic, are there any male and female words in ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

Introducing people

How would you say 'he is...' 'she is...' about other people, in regards to naming them? And how would you say:'they are'(meaning people). E.g: 'They are my friends.', 'They are my teachers.', 'They ...
3
votes
2answers
167 views

Difference between 英才【えいさい】 and 天才【てんさい】 (genius)

Can someone highlight the differences between 英才【えいさい】 and 天才【てんさい】? When searching their definitions, I see: 英才:1. genius;  brilliance;  unusual talent; 2. genius;  brilliance;  unusual ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Is either 霊験 or あらたか used outside the phrase 霊験あらたか?

Is either 霊験【れいげん】 or あらたか used outside of the phrase 霊験【れいげん】あらたか "miraculous"? (I believe れいけん is also a possible reading of 霊験?) The goo辞書 entry for あらたか has 「霊験―な神」 as its example phrase, and the ...
5
votes
4answers
442 views

What does this person mean by “doryo” in this context?

Two Japanese-fluent characters in an English novel I'm reading are talking about a specific heart problem one character concealed from medical exams. That character is requesting the second character ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

Usage and meanings of 十分

In English, "to have enough" has several different meanings. One of them is "to be fed up": If you have an argument and want to express that you're fed up and about to walk out of the room and you can ...
6
votes
1answer
242 views

Desire words: When to use 欲望{よくぼう}, 欲求{よっきゅう}, 欲{よく} and 欲念{よくねん}?

Today I ran into these three desire words, which are defined: 欲 = greed, craving, desire, avarice, wants 欲求 = desire 欲望 = desire, appetite, lust And while searching dictionaries, I also found a ...
6
votes
1answer
216 views

What does パー mean by itself?

In the anime "Fairy Tail", I came across the line 「ってか お色気代 1000ジュエル パーだわ これ」 which the translator subtitled as "By the way, I spent the 1000 jewels I saved by using my sexual appeal for this..." I ...
7
votes
1answer
125 views

What does 八 have to do with [八つ当たり]【やつあたり】?

For the longest time, I had never seen yatsuatari written down. I always figured it was written 奴当たり, which I figured would have been derived from 「あの奴に当たる」 or something. Imagine my surprise when I ...
9
votes
1answer
531 views

天気 vs. 天候, what's the real difference? [duplicate]

What's the real difference between 天気 and 天候? In at least one of my dictionaries, 天候 just redirects to 天気. I've always thought (read: "felt") that 天候 is the general "concept" of weather, or even ...
7
votes
2answers
199 views

What is the difference between all the weather words: 気象{きしょう}, 天気{てんき} and 天候{てんこう}?

Dictionary (at least Jisho and WWWJDIC) defines them as: 気象{きしょう} = weather, climate 天気{てんき} = weather, the elements 天候{てんこう} = weather They all have quite similar definitions, so I don't quite ...
1
vote
2answers
198 views

「写真は良い思い出になります。」 “Pictures make for great souvenirs”?

I was going through some Japanese phrases when this came up: 「写真は良い思い出になります。」 According to my limited Japanese knowledge, that means "Pictures become great memories." However, the translation present ...
4
votes
2answers
136 views

何も means 'Nothing' instead of 'What also'

I recently learnt that 「何も」 means 'nothing' (e.g. 「何も怖くないです。」 means 'Nothing scares (me).'). But how do I say 'What else'? (e.g. 'What else goes well with this dress?' or 'What else never dies?)
5
votes
2answers
151 views

Is 四分の一 a natural way of referring to “a quarter” as in “a three-month duration”?

Is 四分の一 a natural way of referring to "a quarter" as in "a three-month duration" (usually e.g. January-March, April-June, July-September, or October-November) in Japanese? Japanese Stack Overflow ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

Meaning of 入る in 帯が入る

From JapanesePod101: 十四番のボールは、緑の帯が入っている。 The fourteen ball has a green stripe. I'm not sure how and why 入る is being used here. There doesn't seem to be any clear fit amongst the dictionary ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

Meaning and transitivity of 立ち上がる in ~を手に立ち上がる

While doing some tranlating, I stumbled upon this usage of 立ち上がる。 わたしがゴミ袋を手に立ち上がると、イツカ君とお姉ちゃんは二人一緒にわたしの所へやって来ました。 It doesn't match up with the definitions I'm familiar with, nor any of the other ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

How to say “he/she knows”? [closed]

For example, "He knows that he's a lazy guy.", or something like that. Something along the lines of they are aware of something + the thing they are aware of.
3
votes
3answers
156 views

Why are the names of plants and animals often written in katakana?

I was wondering why fruits, vegetables, animals and plants, are written in katakana? Often, there exist kanjis for those, so why aren't they written with those kanjis instead? For example: カマキリ ...