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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6
votes
1answer
70 views

Difference between ヒーター and ストーブ

I have a question about the words ヒーター and ストーブ. I understand that they are both used to heat rooms. However, I am not sure exactly the difference between the two. A Yahoo answer in Japanese says ...
4
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

Other words for and familiarity of 桜でんぶ?

I have some questions about 桜でんぶ/おぼろ. As I understand, 桜でんぶ is the name for the pink, fluffy stuff in sushi made from fish. My questions are: 1) Are there any other common words for 桜でんぶ? I read ...
5
votes
3answers
205 views

How to negate “べき”? (ie. “should not”)

「食{た}べる」 can be negated as 「食べない」. 「美{うつく}しい」 can be negated as 「美しくない」. etc. etc. Can you negate 「べき」as in: 「明日は受験なので、勉強するべきです。」(Since you are taking a test tomorrow, you should study.) ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

What's difference between 昼(hiru) and 正午(shōgo)?

Both 昼{ひる} and 正午{しょうご} mean noon, so are they interchangeable?
1
vote
0answers
78 views

What does なんて mean? [duplicate]

I'm having trouble understanding sentences containing 「なんて」 Here are some of them that I've encountered today: 漫画なんてつまらない and あまりにも刑事なんて職業に似合わない
3
votes
1answer
67 views

'Get on' a road

In English, when giving directions, there are two possible constructions you can use when telling someone which road to use for a given segment of the trip: 'take', which refers to the entire ...
10
votes
5answers
593 views

Are there any common Japanese words which were borrowed from Ainu or other indigenous languages?

I know plenty of Japanese words that came from English and a few from other European languages (obviously tons from Chinese), but what about words from Japan's indigenous languages such as Ainu? Also ...
6
votes
2answers
495 views

Why should one be careful of soft and sweet words in this neighbourhood?

A little while ago, in a neighbourhood in Tokyo, I came across this sign: I'm not sure of the readings of the place names, but the sign is put there by the local police, 戸塚[警察署]{けいさつしょ}, in ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

About 上旬、中旬、下旬 and 始め、半ば、終わり...?

I don't know if the number of days using for six cases above is how many? 3 days or 10 days or...? And moreover, 上旬、中旬、下旬 and 始め、半ば、終わり which is using for month, which is for week and which is for ...
6
votes
1answer
137 views

Difference between 給湯器 and 湯沸器?

Today I had a discussion with some coworkers about items in apartments. One coworker called the water heater above the sink [給湯器]{きゅうとうき}, and the other coworkers thought that that item was called ...
6
votes
3answers
143 views

What is the difference between 実験室, 研究室 and 実習室?

I am reading Toki wo Kakeru Shojo and those three words are refered in the text quite as synonyms. Also my dictionary translates them all as 'laboratory'. It seems that they are used at different ...
5
votes
4answers
552 views

“Opposite” of `和製英語`

Is there an "opposite" of 和製英語 (meaning Japanese words/phrases invented by English speakers)? Maybe like {英・米・欧?}製日本語? Because I always see/hear Japanese words in English and they drive me nuts! ...
0
votes
1answer
193 views

What does 2-jigen or 3-jigen mean?

In conversations done among heavily otaku people, I often hear the words 2-jigen or 3-jigen used. I know its meaning: two-dimension and three dimension, except that it does not always seem to make ...
3
votes
1answer
286 views

Strange Japanese Character

here is the link for the picture (in case it doesn't show up): http://online.mangaraw.net/get/img/174/837.jpg In the last panel at the bottom of the page, she says "しょ__ -" I'm not quite sure as to ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

Problems understanding なの in this sentence

I remember once I have seen 「なの」 was not placed at the end of a sentence (meaning it was not a question) ever since then I wondered what it meant but didn't have any clear examples. Today I saw this ...
0
votes
1answer
127 views

Understanding かなでたり

I was reading a page (http://kids.goo.ne.jp/shirabemono/detail.html?id=153), but I couldn't understand this phrase: 音楽は、音をきいたりかなでたりして楽しむものだね。 I understand the "tari form" (or whatever it is ...
5
votes
1answer
125 views

Difference between Japanese words for illusion with 幻

I was reading about the kanji 幻, which I take to mean illusion or vision(not 見 vision), and looked at words with it. I saw the words: [幻滅]{げんめつ}-disilusion 幻想{げんそう}-illusion 幻覚{げんかく}-hallucination ...
4
votes
1answer
204 views

What does まかなう mean here?

A few minutes ago Anthony was talking about 思い and 想い on chat, and he asked a question about them. I looked up the verb 思う in 明鏡国語辞典 since I thought it was relevant. It has this bit: ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

で at the end of a word

What impact does the 「で」 add if placed like this: 秋の風は静かで vs. 秋の風は静か or 心配しないで vs. 心配しない
3
votes
3answers
258 views

Differences between 死ぬ{しぬ}, 他界する{たかいする} and 亡くなる{なくなる}?

What are the differences between 死ぬ{しぬ}, 他界する{たかいする} and 亡くなる{なくなる}?
2
votes
1answer
94 views

How do I turn this into “will” form?

I am trying to say "You will not feel good if you eat such food" and this has been my attempt so far: そんな食べ物を食べれば、君はいい感じない How can I express "will not" in this case? Also, any corrections in ...
11
votes
1answer
755 views

what nuance does calling oneself “ふつつかもの” have?

In the context of chatting with someone whom you have never met before, Japanese always give you the courtesy of complimenting your language skills. In a non-business context, my response is sometimes ...
-5
votes
1answer
130 views

What is the difference between 夕立 and 朝立ち? [closed]

What is the difference between 夕立 and 朝立ち? They both refer to the kanji 立, and have contrastive words 夕 (evening) and 朝 (morning). Are they antonyms, or is there any difference between them? ...
2
votes
3answers
264 views

[因果]{いん・が}: A bass-ackwards contraction?

In Japanese, we often see where the beginnings of multiple words are taken to make a contraction word. 短大 → 短期大学 → A juniour college 収支 → 収入と支出 → income and expenditure; earnings and expenses ...
6
votes
2answers
297 views

Is くろじん a word?

I used to call black people くろじん, either because I mistakenly read 黒人{こくじん} as such or because I heard it somewhere (or both), until I was told by another Japanese learner that こくじん is more ...
4
votes
2answers
300 views

Problem understanding 今度一度

I'm having trouble trying to understand a fragment from a dialogue between two students in the book "An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese". I do know that 今度 means "now", "next time", or ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

つー事 as a sentence starter [duplicate]

What does it mean when people start sentences with つー事? Is it an abbreviation of something else? Two examples of such are: つー事で。 つー事は、
3
votes
1answer
233 views

Confusion with the の particle

I am currently learning basic grammar using the Tae Kim's guide to japanese. In one of his examples he roughly translates this sentence: こんなのを本当に食べる? as "Do you think [he/she] will really eat ...
3
votes
2answers
181 views

How to properly pronounce コップ?

How to properly pronounce コップ (meaning: cup)? Should it be コ + short and quick ツ + soundless プ or something different? BTW, is there a good online source where I can look up word with proper Japanese ...
-1
votes
1answer
100 views

Why many words (nouns?) end with つ?

Why many words (nouns?) end with つ? Some examples include 寝室{しんしつ}、万年筆{まんねんひつ}. Is there some underlying patterns or rules that Japanese language learners should be aware of?
7
votes
2answers
472 views

Why does 留守{るす} have two almost opposite meanings?

Why does 留守{るす} have two almost opposite meanings? One is "to keep the door" or "to look after home" and the other almost opposite meaning is "not at home".
4
votes
1answer
114 views

What is different between 日本間{にほんま}、和室{わしつ} and お座敷{ざしき}

Are they same meaning? How to distinguish when using them?
14
votes
5answers
819 views

In modern usage how do Japanese natives regard the differences between 外人, 外国人 and 外人さん?

As a near native speaker of Japanese, I find it annoying to be called 外人 since it seems to imply that I "know nothing about Japan" (outsider). I much prefer 外国人. In modern usage, how do native ...
0
votes
2answers
179 views

Non-Japanese can know their “マナー”, but not their “礼儀{れいぎ}”?

Recently, I was talking about nouveau riche Chinese behaving badly abroad. I was referencing that some cut in line, speak loudly, etc. (going from rural China to Fifth Ave. can be disorienting; i am ...
1
vote
2answers
324 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
171 views

What is the difference between 「一応」and 「一時的に」

I wrote the sentence: 一応、私の日本人妻の親と同居しています。 The appropriate word to use is 「一時的に」as suggested by a native speaker. However, when I asked the difference between the two words, I wasn't given an ...
7
votes
2answers
206 views

For body: 身体 or 体

体{からだ} and 身体{からだ} seem to be used interchangeably, is there a nuance difference between them?
1
vote
1answer
180 views

What does 'hikarian' mean?

'Hikarian' (full name '超特急ヒカリアン') is a Japanese anime that I was in fond of when I was a child, but I have no idea what does 'hikarian' mean. Oxford dictionary tells me that 'hikari' has only one ...
2
votes
1answer
183 views

Can 依存はない mean “no objection”?

I'm having trouble understanding a translation I've encountered in Makino and Tsutsui's Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese grammar, under とする1. The original sentence is as follows: ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

影 vs 形 vs 形状. What's the difference between them?

I've been reading a text and all three of these come up 影 vs 形 vs 形状. I know they mean shape/figure, but is there a more nuanced difference between them? I can see the logic of where they are in the ...
3
votes
3answers
260 views

How does one give directions in Japanese (e.g. to a cab driver)?

I already know some things, like 「最初{さいしょ}の道{みち}を右{みぎ}に曲{ま}がって」 and the like. However, unless one knows the exact moment to shout 「止{と}めて!」 then one would need to know how to say things like "it's the ...
3
votes
1answer
319 views

How do you say “to ask for” in Japanese?

How do you say "to ask for" in Japanese?. For example: He asked his boss for a raise. We ask for great revival. Is "仰{あお}ぐ" fine? In particular, I want to use something that's natural and ...
5
votes
2answers
129 views

What is “koto” used for?

I know "koto" means thing, but I've seen it used like this in my Self-Study Japanese book: Nihon no koto ga yoku wakarimasu ka. and Chiimu no koto o kangaete imasshita Does this mean Japan's thing ...
6
votes
1answer
194 views

What difference is there between そろそろ and もうすぐ? (if any)

そろそろ and もうすぐ can both be translated as 'soon', but I feel they have different uses and connotations. My take on it is that そろそろ is slightly more formal and has more of a meaning of 'It's about ...
1
vote
2answers
183 views

How to express “Eternal/Endless Love” on an engraved bracelet [closed]

In a fanfiction i am writing, one of the characters who was born in Japan gives her girlfriend a bracelet she had made, as a sign of her nationality there is an engraving in japanese which, when her ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

Difference between こんにち and きょう

My dictionary says 今日(きょう) is a special reading. My textbook presents it in the third lesson, so I'm guessing it's a normal pronunciation. So... what's the difference between 今日(こんにち) and 今日(きょう)?
3
votes
4answers
444 views

What is a word for “participation” that resembles “kameseru”?

According to the article "On Being Late to Work in Japan | 遅出" (linked from this post at The Workplace): The word for participation – kameseru – has a special significance which also explains why ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Difference between 区別 and 差別

What is the difference between 区別{くべつ} and 差別{さべつ}? I looked them up in my Japanese to Chinese dictionary, but the dictionary defines them to be "difference", to put it literally.
7
votes
1answer
312 views

Difference between the words for “feeling”

I have seen and been taught many words meaning "feeling", but what is the difference between the words, and where are they used? I have done a bit of research myself and have come up with these ...