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
1answer
45 views

Meaning of サマんなんない?

Here's the context: a loan shark has asked a yakuza to help him collect a loan. The yakuza came back with the money. The loan shark paid for the yakuza's trouble and then tried to give the yakuza a ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Meaning of 次の日はないようにする

The sentence is found in a monologue about a persons working habits, particularly how they don't have time to sleep, and are constantly working at their 3 jobs. The paragraph goes: ...
5
votes
2answers
349 views

Meaning of しょわー

In the last panel at the bottom of the page, she says 「しょ__ー」. I'm not quite sure as to what that last character is, including its use(s) and pronounciation(s). I have seen this character in various ...
2
votes
3answers
341 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Why are 兄(あに) and 姉(あね) pronounced differently in お兄さん and お姉さん?

姉 is pronounced ane, but お姉さん is pronounced oneesan. What happened to the initial a? Likewise, 兄 is pronounced ani, but お兄さん is pronounced oniisan. What is the rule governing the change in the ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Trouble with sentence structure and particles

I've been having a hard time understanding how to construct a sentence. If I were going to say something along the lines of: "Learning Japanese on your own is difficult." Would this be grammatically ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is 島 used in the name of some cities?

I can understand "島" being used in 硫黄島 (Iwo Jima/Iwo To, literally "Sulphur island"), because it is an island, but why is it used in 福島市 (Fukushima city, literally "Good fortune island") and 広島市 ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

What is the meaning of ~しにたちよったんじゃ?

Here is the sentence containing the phrase. ちと 忠告【ちゅうこく】しにたちよったんじゃ。
4
votes
1answer
93 views

How is character size dealt with?

When reading manga, I frequently notice that I have no idea what a character says. This is not because I do not know what the kanji is, rather it is very difficult for me to decipher what the kanji ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

What is the difference between spellings しまう、仕舞う、終う、了う?

What is the difference of meanings between the spellings しまう、仕舞{しま}う、終{しま}う、了{しま}う? Or at least, between the first two? (They are marked as common.) If there is a source about such nuances, I'll ...
-5
votes
0answers
57 views

what handwriting? [on hold]

what handwriting does all japanese use all the time
2
votes
1answer
109 views

why does “ら” follow “山中{やまなか}” here: “山中ら、予備検診{よびけんしん}で異常{いじょう}なし”

In the newspaper article titled 山中ら、予備検診で異常なし…WBCバンタム級, what meaning is created by placing "ら" after "山中"? Does it make "山中慎介" plural, and then "山中ら" means something like "Yamanaka and his ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Looking for a Chinese-Japanese-English phrasebook [closed]

I've studied lots of words and their corresponding kanji with flashcards and now I am learning Chinese (still a beginner). As I am 64 years old, my memory is not always prompt to give me back the ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

What's the difference between 無【な】くす and 失【うしな】う

These two words, 無【な】くす and 失【うしな】う, seem to be very similar in meaning, but i'm not sure of the difference. Can someone please explain? Here are some examples: 彼【かれ】は時々【ときどき】希望【きぼう】を失う【うしな】。 ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

How do you know what word to write in its kanji correspondence?

My study book writes some words like あまり and おおぜい in pure hiragana and I can't figure out whether it is common to write these words in hiragana as the books says, or I'd better write them in their ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Meaning of the phrase 「さわいどるんかの?」

Here is the full sentence. いったいなにをさわいどるんかの? What does the bolded part mean?
4
votes
1answer
117 views

What do the words じゃが and おるかの mean?

Here are the sentences I have found these words. 警察の者じゃが。 ジョーという少年はおるかの?
2
votes
1answer
74 views

What's the best way to say “redesign” pertaining to a web page/site?

I want to say that I'm "redesigning" a web page, and I can think of several words that may fit, but I'm not sure which is most appropriate or most widely-accepted in the technology world. 更新 → This ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

What does the word 「いってえ」mean?

Below here is a full sentence I have found the word. この品物の山はいってえどうしたことだ.
0
votes
1answer
199 views

Translating 世界中 in this context, does it literally refer to the “entire world”?

In the video game Recettear, you can buy a book with the title 仲良し姉妹の冒険記. The item description says the following: 世界中を旅しているという姉妹に密着した, ノンフィクシヨン作品。ドラゴンに食べられそうになったりと,結構大変な事になってます。 The book's ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

誰も used in a positive sentence

I am reviewing the interrogative words like 何、誰、どこ etc. and I saw 誰も being used in a positive sentence, I wonder what the difference would be if みんな were used instead. For example: 誰もが知っている ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

What's the difference between 根気【こんき】, 我慢【がまん】, 辛抱【しんぼう】 and 忍耐【にんたい】

Recently i found these four words and have no idea what's the difference between them. They all mean "patience" and "endurance". Here are some sentences: 僕【ぼく】は、あいつには我慢【がまん】できない。 I can't abide ...
10
votes
1answer
147 views

Why does [小っ酷い]【こっぴどい】 mean “very ひどい” rather than “slightly ひどい”?

デジタル大辞林 gives the definition of [小っ酷い]【こっぴどい】 as 非常にひどい。手厳しい。 But I find this strange. Why would 小っ酷い mean 非常にひどい? Isn't prefixal 小【こ】- sort of a diminutive? At least, that's how it works in ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

Does 児戯 have the same idiomatic value in Japanese as “child's play” does in English?

In English, "child's play" can literally mean "play performed by a child" or it can be used as an idiom to refer to "something easy". I see that Japanese 児戯 can also mean 子供の遊び (児の戯れ, I guess?) - ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

What are the meanings of 「って」, 「とこ」, and 「ねえで」 in this sentence?

Here is the sentence I found these words in. ここ数日って とこは 夜も昼もねえで つづけたんだから むりもねえが... Especially the 「とこ」, I'm not sure if I should translate it to be 'bed' or 'room' or something else.
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Is there a difference with 胃 and おなか?

I checked around and it says here about the usage of 胃, however, I didn't see おなか there. What is the difference in おなか and 胃, in pronunciation and usage?
4
votes
1answer
121 views

What's the difference between 呪術【じゅじゅつ】, 魔法【まほう】, 奇術【きじゅつ】, and 魔術【まじゅつ】?

Is there any difference between these nouns? Is this like the difference between 'magic' and 'sorcery' in English? Is 魔法【まほう】 used most often?
1
vote
1answer
110 views

What is the meaning of 「あれほど」?

Here is the full sentence I have found it. あんた あれほどボクシングをきらっていたのに どうして急に本気でやる気になったの? Does it mean 'me'?
2
votes
2answers
109 views

How to describe someone who has a “radio voice”?

I would like to tell someone to talk more, because she has a radio voice. The term I am looking for should be either non-formal or slang.
3
votes
2answers
122 views

What does the 'あ' do in this sentence 「そいつあけっこうだね」?

I am not sure if the 'あ' being used instead of 'は' or there is a meaning in the word 'そいつあ'. In addition, is it possible that the 'あ' is a kind of particle or suffix?
4
votes
2answers
94 views

Difference between 揃う【そろう】 and 集まる【あつまる】

Could someone please explain a difference between 揃う【そろう】 and 集まる【あつまる】. I dont think they are synonyms but can't see any difference between them? Two example sentences: 駅前【えきまえ】に 人【ひと】が ...
0
votes
2answers
104 views

is “kanji” an uncountable noun in English? [closed]

When people who know Japanese talk about "kanji" in English, is there a consensus with regard to whether you would say: "I know about 10 kanji." // uncountable "I know about 10 kanjis." // ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Is マスカット an accurate translation for “green grape”, and what foreign word is it derived from?

I'm new to Japanese so I'm working my way through Human Japanese, when I was adding the vocabulary to Quizlet I realized I didn't know how to type マスカット because I'm not used to seeing ツ used like ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Where should I use 租借 {そしゃく} or 賃貸 {ちんたい} or [リース ]{りーす}?

I'm a beginner in Japanese. So far I learned the following three words have the same meaning - Lease (noun). [租借]{そしゃく} [賃貸]{ちんたい} [リース]{りーす} Where should I use them appropriately and what ...
2
votes
1answer
175 views

What word describes the concept of worldwide time zones?

The world is covered in the necessary evil known in English as "time zones". Given that, historically, it originated in England (some 300 or so years ago), the concept of a time zone was probably ...
7
votes
4answers
247 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Is バッチリ a generally accepted term?

Is バッチリ a generally used, non-slangy, and well recognised word? I couldn't find the word in jisho.org or the Japanese edition of Wiktionary. I could find it in weblio, and apparently it means ...
4
votes
3answers
277 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

How to say “lose a friendship/drift apart”?

I want to say that "as A becomes closer friends with C, B gets jealous and A and B drift apart". What I have so far is A-さんは C-さんと仲良くすればするほど、B-さんがうらやましくなって、A-さんと_____てしまう。
2
votes
1answer
81 views

“Ikkigomi”? Single comment in Japanese

At least that's what I think is being said, "ikkigomi". It means like "single comment" or "impressions" or something, but I don't know how it's written in Japanese. If someone could enlighten/correct ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

When to use もちろん, うん, and はい?

In my understanding : もちろん = of course はい = yes うん = yes When is each of them more appropriate to use, or is it basically just preference? Are other options more casual than the other options?
6
votes
1answer
403 views

Use of する to describe one's colour

From Japanesepod101: 象は灰色をしている。 The elephant is gray. The meaning of the sentence is not in doubt but I've been trying to figure how する is being used here. Checking a dictionary, definition ...
3
votes
2answers
311 views

What does シャリン mean here?

So, I have this sentence: 身動ぎすると、シャリンと涼やかな音が鳴り響く。 And I have no idea what シャリン is doing here. As far as I can tell, it's modifying 音, sound, but the only word "シャリン" that I've been able to find is ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

Meaning of “すわりがいい”?

In a book about introductory Mandarin Chinese written in Japanese, one of the first sections lists some special characteristics of Mandarin not familiar to Japanese speakers (e.g. usually only one ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Is オージー understood by non-Australian Japanese speakers?

Is the word "オージー" (in the meaning of "Aussie", not as in "old girl" or other meanings) understood by non-Australian Japanese speakers? Also, in English, non-Australians have a tendency to use ...
6
votes
1answer
114 views

Difference between 出席【しゅっせき】する and 参加【さんか】する

Are these words interchangeable? Just for example I have found some sentences but do not see any difference between these word in meaning or politeness: 彼女【かのじょ】はそのコンテストに参加【さんか】した。 She took ...
13
votes
6answers
772 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

How do you say “pair” of people?

I speak no Japanese, but need to represent the concept of pair or team in a poetic context. Specifically, I would like to describe two people (a couple) as a "pair of shinobi". From a poetic ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Clarification on 人の夢は終わらねェ

Good evening! Is 人の夢は終わらねェ the correct spelling for "A man's dream never dies", or is it with a language twist, like someone very specific would spell or say it like that? I know that the way it's ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Difference between 彫る【ほる】 (horu) and 刻む【きざむ】 (kizamu)

As I see it right now they both mean: to carve;  to engrave, to chisel;  to notch. Is there any difference between them?