4
votes
1answer
150 views

Why do people say 未知数 when it is not a number?

Sometimes, people tend to use metaphors from arithmetics to refer to something in ordinary life. For example, to mention some claims or preferences common among people, the expression 最大公約数 'greatest ...
4
votes
2answers
307 views

Clarifying だから use at the end of a sentence

I was given this sentence: ここが、きみの クラスだから。 The explanation I was given is that the から at the end is used when giving information. What is the だ used for? What are other examples of だから usage?
15
votes
2answers
515 views

What are the rules for reading numbers before a foreign counter-word?

Is there a rule of thumb for knowing the reading of a number when it is written in western numerals, and is followed by a loaned counter-word? For example, how would you pronounce the "1" in 1セット? My ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between なぜなら、だから、and なので?

I'm trying to get clarification on how to use these three pieces of grammar and whether or not they all hold some kind of "Because" meaning.
12
votes
1answer
316 views

Is there a keigo expression which can be translated as playing or pretending to do?

I have heard that, in former times, there was a very polite form of speaking in the form of, e.g., "the emperor liked playing to die" instead of "the emperor died". Is this true that there is a style ...
5
votes
2answers
448 views

What is the って in 連れてってくれる?

ALC can give several examples of this, not only in 連れてって: いつ私たちを湖に連れてってくれるの? When are you going to take us to the lake? これ、帰りに叔母さんとこ、持ってってちょうだい。Will you take this to your aunt on your way home ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Meaning of この延長線上にこそ、

Does X。この延長線上にこそ、Y。 have the same meaning as XなのでY ? Context: 今回、時間の制約が大変厳しい状況にありますが、[...]自動的なチェックのしくみを実現したいと考えます。この延長線上にこそ、新しい世代のより低コストな技術を安定的に評価できる体制が実現可能となります。
18
votes
6answers
763 views

How can I differentiate agreement with the person and agreement with the idea?

A zillion years ago, before I came to Japan, I took a short introductory course on Japanese. In it, they showed a video of a business meeting where an American businessman is speaking to a Japanese ...
5
votes
2answers
158 views

How does one know how to read 堪える? Is it 「こたえる」、「こらえる」 or 「たえる」?

The verb 堪える has three different readings: こたえる, こらえる, and たえる, and as far as I can tell they all mean "to bear, to endure, to put up with", with slight variations. Is there a way to tell which ...
10
votes
1answer
316 views

Difference Between べんきょう する And べんきょうを する

What is the difference between べんきょう する and べんきょうを する.
3
votes
2answers
728 views

Sentence ending に and のに compared to their non-sentence-ending form

Consider these: [A] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来ただろうに [B] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来たのに Is に in [A] related to the case particle に? Is のに in [B] related to the use of のに as a conjunction in ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Can a Japanese person understand something written in traditional Chinese

If I didn't know any japanese, could I potentially communicate with Japanese people just by writing in traditional Chinese? I've heard and seen this in movies, how true is this?
5
votes
1answer
474 views

Is 胡 missplaced in the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary? [closed]

I recently tried to look up the kanji 胡 in the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, which uses the SKIP method to look up each kanji, and I couldn't find it. It seemed to me a relatively ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the correct way to say: “where are you going?”

What is the correct way to say "where are you going?"? Is it: あなたはどこに行きますか or あなたはどこに行くの Also, can someone please explain that の in "あなたはどこに行くの"?
11
votes
7answers
5k views

Why are there 3 ways of writing in Japanese?

Why are there kanji, hiragana and katakana? Is there a logical reason behind this or just tradition?
9
votes
1answer
595 views

Making sense out of Japanese proverbs

I was never able to make any sense out of the following Japanese proverbs or idiomatic expressions: 豆腐の角に頭をぶつけて死んでしまえ。 'Hit your head against a corner of a cake of tofu, and die.' ...
17
votes
1answer
398 views

Politeness in examination questions

1) Why do Japanese school examination questions get more rude as the year gets higher? In elementary school ...してください。 or ...しましょう。 ... です。 ...ですか。 In junior high school to high school ...
5
votes
1answer
411 views

Usage and reading of the Ampersand

In English, & is rather frequently used to mean "and". How should & be read in Japanese? I think these are some likely readings: や と アンド Case 1: Assume sentence structure is of the form ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

The different usages of ことがある

If I understand correctly, the main usages of ことがある seem to be the following: Verb(plain)+ことがある: There are times when (I) Verb(past)+ことがある: (I) have experienced (something) before But after this ...
11
votes
1answer
588 views

usage of「ご迷惑をおかけ・・・」variants for a business apology

I have to apologize for a procedural error at work, and am unsure about selecting the right form of apology from the variants of 「ご迷惑をおかけ・・・」: 1.「ご迷惑【めいわく】をおかけして申【もう】し訳【わけ】ございません。」 ...
6
votes
1answer
652 views

Comparing three or more things

To compare two things, I would use: りんごのほうがみかんより美味しいです。 i.e. noun のほうがnoun よりadjective But how can I say, "Out of these five fruits, apples are the most delicious"? Or "Out of Seoul, Tokyo, and ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How to use から and だから as conjunctions?

Recently I was studying the use of から and だから as conjunctions. Could anyone explain why one is used in these examples while the other is not? Are there rules as to whether から and だから can follow a ...
4
votes
2answers
762 views

How to use とりあえず in sentences

I am struggling to understand the word "とりあえず". It seems to mean 'as it stands'. Here is an example sentence as I understand it: とりあえず計画がありません 'as it stands we have no plans' Is this correct? ...
7
votes
1answer
412 views

What are the rules for the plural suffix ~ら

I came across the following in a newspaper article: 藤沢健太教授(宇宙物理学)らの研究グループ The first part (藤沢健太教授) is the name of a professor (Professor Kenta Fujisawa). The parentheses say "Astrophysics", and ...
6
votes
1answer
362 views

What does お土産持しててね mean? [closed]

I got a message from a friend, about to go on a trip, and it ended with: お土産持しててね I think it's basically "[I'll] bring a souvenir/gift/omiyage [for you]" but I'm not familiar with the 持してて part, I've ...
2
votes
1answer
151 views

How do I interpret 理不尽 in this situation?

I was talking with my colleagues about work and my friend described the following situation: The boss asked my friend to make a report for a meeting that they had at the end of the day. He worked ...
6
votes
3answers
514 views

what exactly does the suffix とはいえ mean?

I came across the structure [V simple-past]とはいえ、、、、 and I can't figure out exactly what it means. I found this いえ is 言え, and it means the same as とは言うものの...Which I don't really understand perfectly ...
8
votes
1answer
238 views

When to use 種別 and when to use 区分 when programming

I am having trouble when naming a variable, deciding if I should use ABC種別 or ABC区分. I have been reading a lot of software specifications and the Japanese description usually uses 種別 and 区分 to specify ...
3
votes
1answer
595 views

How to understand the contractionしていて、/-てて

I am trying to better understand this sentence: 金さんは、微妙なニュアンスまで気にされてて、すごいですね。 It's amazing how interested you are in these subtle nuances. Is the following an accurate understanding of this ...
14
votes
2answers
707 views

Splitting Kanji and okurigana at the end of the line

A question was asked on the Linguistics Stack Exchange about the oriental languages. The title was the following: How are line breaks handled in ideographic scripts? The answer made me think, and I ...
6
votes
3answers
649 views

How does one transcribe the romaji “ō”?

I use The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, which describes pronunciation in romaji instead of kana. I never learned romaji in a classroom, and generally only use it when reading this dictionary. ...
6
votes
2answers
726 views

What is the difference between 楊 and 柳 which both mean “Willow”

I've come across two kanji, which are both read やなぎ and both mean "willow". From what I've found out so far, 柳 has an On'yomi of リュウ and it seems to mean more "things with the qualities of a willow"; ...
2
votes
2answers
421 views

もらえる, 見える rules

From what I learned, もらえる = もらうことが出来る 'can be got' 見える = 見ることが出来る 'can be seen' This looks like there is some kind of a more general rule for this transformation. If there is a ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a form for “I have never heard of”?

Some examples of what I'm trying to convey: I have never heard that song before. I have never heard of Miyazawa Kenji I have never heard of that before? I've never heard of that store? ...
8
votes
4answers
821 views

How does “ ~ずにはいられない ” work?

時代の流れを感じずにはいられない。 I can't help but feel time passing by. 彼のことを同情せずにはいられない。 I can't help but to feel sorry for him. 私は、彼の才能を賞賛せずにはいられない。 I can't help but admire his talent. Would ...
15
votes
3answers
961 views

Business Japanese: what's the proper way to say “please visit [this URL]”?

I'm writing a business e-mail to a Japanese speaking person, and I need to direct them to a certain URL. In English I would write "please visit http://www.example.com". I'm not sure the best way to ...
3
votes
1answer
495 views

What is the etymology of the word マラ?

Does anyone have an opinion on the etymology of the word マラ, a crude term for penis? Any thoughts on usage are also appreciated. (via archive.org) http://gogen-allguide.com/ma/mara.html
4
votes
1answer
165 views

The difference between 添削 and 訂正

I used to always use 訂正{ていせい} rather than 添削{てんさく} to mean "correction", but recently I haven't really seen 訂正 being used. When used in the context of correcting English translations etc, it seems to ...
5
votes
2answers
190 views

the reading for “魂”

I came across a N1 vocab list and came across 魂 with the reading as こん, and I had known that as たましい. I know is one is 'on' and one is 'kun', but if it's just by itself I was under the impression that ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

と、て、って Quoting Particle Usage

と、て、って What's the difference between these three quoting particles? Is there any grammatical difference, or are they just casual/formal variations of one another? 田中さんは行きましょうと言った 田中さんは行きましょうて言った ...
2
votes
1answer
366 views

Which kanji and/or hiragana are used to write this snippet of Japanese that appears in the novel Gravity's Rainbow?

It purports to be a kamikaze chant, and appears near the end of the book. Being basically a Gravity's Rainbow nerd, I have always wanted to be able to write it out in order to impress other literary ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

How to compare different actions done by different people?

For example, consider the following English phrase: Speaking Japanese is much harder for me than speaking English is for you. How would one put this in Japanese? Would... ...
4
votes
2answers
216 views

入社 equivalent for a research internship

When writing in some formal Japanese CV (学歴/職歴), it is common to be asked to put each job/university/etc. on a single dated line, with a second line to indicate when one ...
7
votes
1answer
367 views

Usage of the suffixes 流, 風, 式, 的 and 様

If I was to put the suffixes 流{りゅう}, 風{ふう}, 的{てき}, 式{しき} and 様{よう} on the end of a noun etc, what would be the difference between them? I could be wrong, but the following all seem to me to mean ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I say “I am the best” ? の,は or が and 私 or 俺?

I'm making a shirt for a (rather egotistical) friend of mine and so am trying to do something with the slogan "I am the best" for fun. I need something with four characters only, and would like to ask ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

What is 野菜ソムリエ?

I have trouble understanding the concept of 野菜ソムリエ. I have searched Wikipedia and others but I can't understand if it is the name of a media job, or the name of a restaurant job. I feel it might be ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

Defining 控える and 控えている

控える as far as I can tell behaves more predictably than 控えている in that it generally seems to mean "to refrain" and "to make notes" (as in 電話番号を控える.) However, 控えている seems to mean many more things ...
4
votes
3answers
535 views

what does 貸してもらえないかな mean?

This was from a test prep book: A: この間の本貸してもらえないかな。 B: ええ,明日持ってきてます I'm thinking that the V てもらえない form is often used for requests. My literal parsing of 貸して + もらえない is: 'Can I not ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

When to use 他【ほか】の or 他【ほか】に

I always thought only 他の existed, but my teacher uses 他に a lot. Are there differences between when each can be used? Here are two examples of each from my online dictionary: だれかほかの人に聞いてごらん (Ask ...
5
votes
2answers
520 views

How is “誰も” used in this sentence?

I am a bit confused about a sentence I came across in an anki deck: 誰もその話を知らない。 I know that that 誰 means "who" and も means "also", but the translation it gives me is: "No one knows that story." ...

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