5
votes
1answer
83 views

Polite Way of Saying “I can't…(answer the phone)” (しかねる vs. できない)

I'd like to ask about a polite way to say "I can't (do something for you)". I'm sure the answer will depend on the context, so specifically, I'm curious about how to convey "I won't be able to answer ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Difference between 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり}

Both 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり} are nouns and mean "anger". Even the kanji are the same! How can we distinguish these two?
0
votes
1answer
175 views

Do ちょうだい、ごらん、ください、おいで constitute an own class of part of speech?

They are all used after the Te-Form of Japanese verbs similar to subsidiary verbs, but they seem to differ from subsidiary verbs. What is their true nature?
3
votes
3answers
330 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
238 views

Is けど a 接続詞 (conjunction) or 助詞 (particle)?

A book I've read states that けど is a 接続詞 (conjunction). However, another book I had read states that it is a 助詞 (particle). Who is right?
4
votes
1answer
96 views

Is Taito (たいと) (kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes) legit and ever used?

Taito is mentioned as the kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes in Wikipedia. Taito is composed of two kanji ("cloud" (雲) and "dragon" (龍) repeated three times each ...
6
votes
1answer
142 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

を without a transitive verb?

「他の人に手紙を見られてしまいました」 I interpret this sentence's meaning as something like, "The letter ended up being seen by someone else." From what I understand, the verb 見る is transitive, "to see." The verb ...
3
votes
2answers
45 views

Usage and meanings of 十分にある

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
87 views

What's the difference between ~れれば and ~れば?

別に僕は周りを無視して本に没頭したいわけでもないので、見ろと言われれば見る Would it mean the same thing if 言われれば was replaced with 言われば? What's the difference if any between ~れれば and ~れば? I'm also not certain of the meaning of the ...
5
votes
3answers
140 views

Identifying items in a list

Given a list of things... dog cat fish How would you say... the second item in the list 2目番 all three of them 全部三つ two of them (not regarding the position in the list) 2匹 or 2目... Is this ...
5
votes
2answers
110 views

What is the difference between すみません and すみませんでした?

What is the difference between すみません and すみませんでした (or すまない and すまなかった)? If it is what the 「でした」 suggests and すみませんでした is the past form and used to apologize for things done in the past, then what I ...
20
votes
2answers
431 views

When is 行く pronounced as いく, and when is it ゆく?

Are there any rules or guidelines as to when to pronounce 行く as いく or ゆく? I looked it up on jisho.org, and the two pronunciations have the exact same definition. I tend to hear ゆく more often in ...
6
votes
1answer
73 views

朝ご飯は vs. 朝ご飯に - difference between these two sentences?

I wanted to ask my language partner what he ate for breakfast. However, I was unsure whether what I said was correct despite him telling me that it's good - I would just like some verification. I ...
5
votes
2answers
91 views

Is saying 行ってきます & ただいま appropriate for a guest? If not how should you say hello and goodbye?

We are asked to stay at a family friend's house for a couple of days. I was wondering, given that we're guests, what are the appropriate greetings to say when you're leaving and coming back to the ...
10
votes
3answers
468 views

What is the difference between 出来る限り and 出来るだけ?

EDICT gives almost the same translation for these two expressions: 出来る限り; できる限り 【​できるかぎり】 (n) as ... as one can できるだけ 《出来るだけ》 (exp) (uk) as much as one can; as much as possible; if at all ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

Making sense of をと

どのような状況下であっても必ず十分な結果をと思い必死に過ごした3か月でした。 I'm only able to understand "No matter what circumstances you are put through..." and then something about producing sufficient results- the words that ...
6
votes
1answer
168 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
13k views

Using なるほど (naruhodo) and やっぱり (yappari) in the same situation

I know, since they are of different word classes, なるほど (naruhodo) and やっぱり (yappari) may not be used interchangeably within the same sentence, but can they be used within the same situation instead? ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Is 忝い(かたじけない) used in current language?

I'm currently watching Rurouni Kenshin, and Kenshin says 忝い(かたじけない) a lot to express his gratitude. I looked it up a little and based on this it seems like it's old Samurai language, but I wonder if ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Correct way to say “I am a beginner in Japanese”

What is the correct way to say: "I am a beginner in Japanese". Google Translate shows the translation is: 私は日本語で初心者です However, Google search shows: 私は日本語の初心者です has a lot more hits. Which ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

What does this mean 先月 何日 会社を やすみましたか。

I come across the following sentence: 先月 何日 会社を やすみましたか。 I am confused about that this is actually asking. Is it asking: How many days of holidays did the company have last month? Which date did ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

What does the internet slang “草生えた” mean?

I came across the term 草生えた on the internet. There wasn't much context, but it didn't seem to mean that grass was growing. Is this a slang term? What does it mean? I couldn't find it in any of ...
4
votes
3answers
89 views

Should 「ソウル」 be pronounced as “so u ru” or “so: ru”?

According to the ipadic attached to Mecab, it's "so u ru". According to the bccwj dict attached to Julius, it's "so: ru". Which one is correct? Or are they both OK?
12
votes
1answer
340 views

Is こら a lot more rude than ほら?

From early on, I've used こら and ほら somewhat interchangeably. They both mean "hey!" I picked them up from friends early on without without really having a sense of the difference. Now, after some ...
5
votes
1answer
183 views

もっとも: distinguishing between 尤も and 最も

I found a page in Japanese with title "世界でもっとも汚染された10の都市". Having encountered the phrase 「もっとも」 for the first time, I looked it up on WWWJDIC and found two entries: 尤も 【もっとも】 (adj-na,adv,conj,n) ...
8
votes
1answer
468 views

「かしこまる」と言う自動詞について / About the verb “kashikomaru”

皆さんこんにちは、 日本語で質問がお聞きしてみたいのですが、言葉や文法を間違えたらお許しください。 では、「かしこまりました」とは誰かに命令や注文を頼まれた場合などの返事とすることもよくありますが、「かしこまる」と言う自動詞がこの表現以外で使われる場合はありますか? "kashikomarimashita" is usually used as a response to somebody's ...
7
votes
1answer
78 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
475 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
142 views

How do you translate “My hovercraft is full of eels”?

The good old nonsense phrase of foreign languages is Monty Python's classic "My hovercraft is full of eels". Accordingly in Japanese one of the first things I learned was "私のホバークラフトはうなぎがいっぱいです". ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

If 「は」 marks a topic, and 「が」 marks a subject, what does 「です」 do in terms of nuance?

When using 「は」 it means the word before it is the topic of the sentence, it also implies contrast. (e.g. 「私は犬です」 means, "As for me, I am a dog" This means that I'm not a cat.) When using 「が」 it means ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Difference between using 「の」or 「な」 and 「は」 when asking or describing nouns with です

When asking a question, or describing a noun with another noun, you can use 「の」 or "noun は noun です" The same applies with nouns described with adjectives, except 「な」 is used instead of 「の」 If ...
10
votes
1answer
479 views

What are the origins of 掘った芋いじるな (hotta imo ijiru na)?

The gag expression 掘った芋いじるな (hotta imo ijiruna) sounds to japanese ears uncannily like "What time is it now?" I'm guessing this is Showa era humour, since English probably sounded more foreign then ...
7
votes
2answers
159 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
1answer
57 views

やり as a prefix - clarification please

I have the following title: やり終えたことはチェックしておこう! which I think is roughly saying there is a that in advance of finishing there is a checklist (can anybody help with the literal translation?). My ...
13
votes
2answers
351 views

Nouns exhibiting vowel fronting

As touched upon in another thread, there are several nouns that exhibit a kind of vowel shift in older forms, where the ending vowel is fronted when the noun is used on its own to become /i/ or /e/, ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

I've never seen a sentence that uses か and は together like this before

交換プログラムに選ばれるのが難しいかやさしいかは、大学によって違うが、一般的に言えば、申し込む学生が多ければ多いほど、選ばれるのが難しくなる。 I've checked online but I can't seem to find a proper explanation on how かは is being used here. Individually, I know they ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

About a line in a TV drama which is hard to understand

In the 2nd episode of "Tokyo Love Story", from 26:55 to 27:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNW0VEvfIbU#t=26m50s 「いやだね、この?」 What is the word/phrase after 「この」?
27
votes
3answers
39k views

でも (demo) versus けど (kedo) to mean “but”

I learned that you can use でも (demo) at the beginning of a sentence to mean "but," and that you can use けど (kedo) at the end of a sentence to mean "though." However, I don't see a difference between ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

I have a puzzling question about Japanese pronouncaiton [on hold]

The Hepburn rōmaji is more famous than kunrei-shiki rōmaji in spelling around the world because of its close pronunciation to English and the convenience of reading for foreigners. However, Hepburn ...
1
vote
2answers
180 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
127 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?)
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Japanese grammar structure order

Everything I have known about Japanese grammar structure till now is S-O-V. Japanese is S-O-V language. But what's about adj? Adverb?... Something like that. Of couse that I did some research about ...
16
votes
3answers
810 views

Kanji for native Japanese concepts: Kun'yomi spanning multiple morphemes

There are a few words, which are written with Kanji imported from China, but where the intended native Japanese meaning would prefer a different choice of Kanji. My favourite examples are 雷 vs. 神鳴り ...
8
votes
2answers
110 views

What does it mean when newspapers give furigana for 常用{じょうよう} kanji?

In these following examples, a few words are given furigana: シドニー立てこもり、治安部隊が突入 人質?担架で救出 年賀状家族や友達へ投函 金剛峯寺にゴボウ奉納 黒河道世界遺産目指し So, it looks like that furigana is provided when a 人名用{じんめいよう} kanji needs ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

“Episode 78” machine mistranslation etymology [migrated]

This post on Rocket News 24 described a Google Translate bug, in which さよなら大好きな人 was translated into "Episode 78". This bug is still live as of the time of writing, and you can replicate it ...
5
votes
2answers
141 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

order of words in a sentence

I am a beginner in Japanese. I want to say "There is a car, that I want to show you." There is a car, should be: 車があります I want to show you: 私はあなたに見せたい。 (may be? Is this right?) I want to show you ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

How to understand the meaning of 愛{いと}しさ

I know that from adjective we can make adjectival noun like: 高{たか}い -> 高さ - means high and hight. But how to understand/translate the word 愛しさ? I heard it in one of C-ute songs.
0
votes
2answers
65 views

confusion with location words

I'm learning from the "Japanese from zero" course (currently book 2). It translates the following sentence: Konbiniの ひだりうしろに ほんやが あります as There is a convenience store behind the bookstore on the ...

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