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
0answers
101 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
162 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
73 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
472 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
153 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
177 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
125 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
138 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
112 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
76 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
84 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.
2
votes
3answers
115 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

How are 超域 and 学際 different?

As I understand it, the word 学際 is usually used to mean "interdisciplinary" when referring to college courses. However, I recently came across the word "超域文化科学" while browsing college websites. In ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Does 考え方 usually refer to the “methodology” of one's thought process, or can it also refer to something more subjective?

Weblio states that 考え方 is 思考の傾向...but when I look up 思考 I get confused because now I'm not sure if I'm dealing with an objective thought process or subjective feelings. I get the feeling (no pun...) ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Usage and meaning of 召す【めす】 in different contexts

I am going through some Kanji and I was looking for the usage of 召す when I came across the following translation (from jisho.org): 1: (Honorific or respectful language) to call; to invite; to send ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I spell “So! So! So! So! So!”?

I've heard people say "So! So! So! So! So!" (or possibly "Sou! Sou! Sou!" or maybe using "z" instead of "s" - I'm bad at hearing) when laughing in agreement. When middle-aged women speak Japanese ...
9
votes
1answer
592 views

What is the meaning/usage of いざ?

Will someone please explain what this word いざ means? I've found several definitions, but I'm very unclear on what it really means and its usage. I've heard it mostly in the following ways: ...
4
votes
1answer
594 views

What is the proper way to write “cube” in romaji?

I have been trying to search for the Romaji version of "cube" without too much success. There seem to be several variations on the word, although that is true with almost any version of a Japanese ...
1
vote
2answers
209 views

How to say “to mutilate” in Japanese

I tried to look it up in a dictionary, on jisho.org and also by googling for it but I couldn't find out how to say "to mutilate" in Japanese. I really need this word since it's legal here to crop ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

What's the kanji for “appointed location”

Can't seem to remember. Kind of like how 当日 means "appointed day," I'm pretty sure I've seen a kanji for something like 当所 but I can't find one. I've found 当地 but I don't know if it has the same ...
4
votes
1answer
203 views

Why is China ちゅうごく while Korea is かんこく. Why the difference between ご and こ?

If my textbook didn't get it wrong then China is ちゅうごく while Korea is かんこく. I looked up dictionary and 國 is certainly written as こく. So why in China's case it's ごく? Thanks!
0
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the difference between 語{かた}る and 話{はな}す?

What is the difference between 語{かた}る and 話{はな}す? I know that I can say #1, but it's correct to say #2? If it's ok, sentence 1 and 2 have the same meaning? 1.私{わたし}は日本語{にほんご}を話{はな}す。 ...
1
vote
0answers
59 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) ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

〜ず versus 〜ないで (and maybe also in the case of adjectives, 〜なくて)

Consider the following example sentence (taken from an exercise sheet): 熱が下がらず苦しかった。 Now consider this sentence I made: 熱が下がらないで苦しかった。 What is the difference?
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Difference between ずっと and いつも

The other day when I was having a brief conversation in Japanese I meant to say "I have always been living here" so I said いつも(the name of my home province)に住んでいます。 The Japanese person I was speaking ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

通{とお}した and 通{つう}じた – usage in context

In 合格できる N3 (page 28), I found the following exercise: 海外{がいかい}旅行{りょこう}で、習{なら}った英語{えいご}が(   )ときは、とてもうれしかった。 1.通{とお}した    2.詰{つ}めた    3.抜{ぬ}けた    4.通{つう}じた I have to fill in with the correct ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

急{きゅう}に vs.すぐに – usage in context

In 合格できる N3 (page 28), I found the following exercise: うちの子{こ}は新{あた}しいおもちゃ見{み}ると、(    )ほしがる。 1. 急に   2. じっと   3.すぐに   4.しっかり I have to fill in with the correct word. I think it's either 1 ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

difference between 計画を立てる and 計画をする?

Is there any difference between 計画【けいかく】を立てる【たてる】 and 計画をする? In Sou Matome N3, the first one appears as "to make plans", as for the second one (being a suru verb), I assume that it can also be ...
4
votes
1answer
454 views

What does “随分仲” mean in 「彼氏と随分仲が良い」?

I've seen it in a number of places, mostly in contexts like this one: 彼氏と随分仲が良い For me, it feels like 随分仲 translates to "relationship". What worries me is that I have not found the exact pair ...
3
votes
1answer
212 views

How emotionally loaded is 会いたい【あいたい】?

I'd like to ask how emotionally loaded 会いたい【あいたい】 is. For example, if I were to (neutrally) convey the sense of "I'd like to meet you" by using 会いたい, would it carry an emotional expectation in the ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

I don't understand the meaning and “naran” in this sentence 早く日曜日にならんかな

I don't understand the meaning of ならん in this sentence: 早く日曜日にならんかな Does ならん come from ならぶ? Or come from なる? How it's conjugated? What's that ん in ならん...?
4
votes
2answers
911 views

How to order pizza or dinner on the phone

When you call say a pizza delivery service they pick up the phone with something like "Tanaka's pizza delivery service, XYZ branch, this is Sato speaking". (I'm sorry, I'd reproduce it in Japanese but ...
3
votes
3answers
326 views

What's the difference between 治す{なおす} and 治る{なおる}?

My dictionary says they are both cure/fix, so I am wondering what the difference is and how to use them? Is it an active/passive difference, or transitive/intransitive? Or just a subtle nuance? I ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Different usage of 五

As an answer to a previous question, a user stated the following: In Japanese this distinction is shown by referring to 自動詞 ("self-acting" verbs) and 他動詞 ("other-acting" verbs). Many J ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Difference between 維持{いじ}する and 保{たも}つ (to maintain)

I've learnt two verbs which seem to mean the same thing, and I keep confusing them: 維持{いじ}する (to maintain; to preserve;  to improve) and 保{たも}つ (to preserve; to maintain; to support) Can someone ...
7
votes
2answers
228 views

私は米国人です vs 私はアメリカ人です

They both mean I am an American but which is preferable in everyday speech and in writing, and why? Is the former more formal than the latter?
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Difference between 隠{かく}す and 秘{ひ}める (to hide)

Can someone explain the differences between 隠{かく}す (to hide; to conceal) and 秘{ひ}める (to hide; to keep to oneself) ? These definitions look too similar for me, I'm not sure in which context to use one ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Difference between 絶叫{ぜっきょう}する and 怒鳴{どな}る (to shout)

I've learnt 2 verbs, 絶叫{ぜっきょう}する (to shout, to scream, to exclaim) and 怒鳴{どな}る (to shout; to yell) They seems to have the same meaning, can someone explain the context in which to use one and the ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Difference between 獣{しし} and 野獣{やじゅう} (beast)

I learnt the words 獣{しし} and 野獣{やじゅう} and their definitions look too similar. Can someone explain me the difference between them? While searching more for beast words, I also found that 獣 could also ...
6
votes
1answer
124 views

Difference between 証【あかし】 and 証拠【しょうこ】 (proof)

証明{しょうめい}means proof, but in the sense "certification" But 証{あかし} and 証拠{しょうこ}look very similar, meaning "proof, evidence". Would the difference be that 証拠 requires something physical (object), ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

What's a good word for “offer”, as in “…for offering us eternal life…”?

I'm trying to translate a sentence that includes the following phrase: ...for offering us eternal life... Finding a good word for "offer" is apparently a little easier said that done. jisho.org ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Usage of 整{ととの}える for asking for a trim when getting a hair cut

I have looked at Getting your haircut in Japan already and did not see this word in there. Usually when going to the barber I simply say: 短{みじか}くしてください Since my hair is pretty uncomplicated. ...
15
votes
1answer
5k views

Getting your haircut in Japan

I have been living in Japan now for the last 3 months and my hair is starting to look like it needs a cut. But I have never been to a Japanese barbers before so as you can imagine I am a little ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

difference between 妥協{だきょう}and 歩{あゆ}み寄{よ}り (compromise)

I often confuse 妥協{だきょう}(compromise; giving in) and 歩み寄り{あゆみより}(compromise, concession). Can someone explain the differences, when to use one over the other? It seems that there are a lot of other ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

What is the difference between 賢い{かしこい} and 利口{りこう}?

What is the difference between 賢い{かしこい} and 利口{りこう}? For exemple, sentence 1 and sentence 2 have the same meaning? 1.彼は若いが賢いよ。 2.彼は若いが利口だね。 Kotobank.jp explains 賢い{かしこい} through 利口{りこう} ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Difference between 意志{いし} and 志し{こころざし} (will)

I learnt both 意志{いし} and 志し{こころざし}, but am always confusing the two of them. Can someone highlight the differences between those 2 words (and other variants if any) ?
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Translation help with a sentence, use of たる?

This is a sentence from a character bio, but for whatever reason -maybe the author's quirky- they've written it in a really verbose way in what seems to be classical Japanese. I get the general gist ...
9
votes
1answer
328 views

What is the difference between 沸く【わく】, 炊く【たく】, 茹でる【ゆでる】, 煮る【にる】, and 蒸す【むす】?

I am learning JLPT N2. I came across these words in one sentence. I couldn't find the difference between 沸く【わく】, 炊く【たく】, 茹でる【ゆでる】, 煮る【にる】, and 蒸す【むす】. All the words have similar meanings. Can anyone ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

Both 当たり前 and 相変わらず seem to mean “usual” or “ordinary”. What's the difference between them?

What is the difference between [当たり前]【あたりまえ】 and [相変わらず]【あいかわらず】? They both seem to mean “the usual” or “ordinary”.
4
votes
1answer
357 views

What's that accordion style book you can get at shrines called?

When one goes to shrines, one can get an accordion style book where one can pay a couple hundred yen to have a shrine's seal written inside. What is that book called?