3
votes
1answer
169 views

The process behind キャ in loanwords from English

I'm curious why many English words that are borrowed into Japanese which have the "ca" sound as in "can" or "canvas" end up with that being mapped to キャ: キャンバス (canvas) キャビネット (cabinet) キャンセル (...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

に particle and passive form… multiple meanings?

There's a sentence in my textbook. 子供の時から今までを振り返って男あるいは女に生まれて、Aよかったと思った/思うこと、B嫌いだと思った/思うこと、を三つずつ書いてください 男あるいは女に生まれて、 This is the part in particular I don't understand... I read it as... "Born by a ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What does 何もいません mean?

I am trying to understand the dialogue 5:03 in this tutorial video. What I'm hearing is this: なにがいますか。 なにもいませんね。 あれ。ねこがいますよ。 え、どこに? あそこにいますよ。 The lesson is about how to say ...
8
votes
1answer
230 views

How does one read AxB as in “A by B grid” in Japanese?

Here's the definition of sudoku in Wikipedia: 数独(すうどく)とは、3×3のブロックに区切られた 9×9の正方形の枠内に1〜9までの数字を入れるペンシルパズルの一つである。 How should one read 9×9の or 3×3の out loud?
0
votes
1answer
482 views

History and Meaning of Soran Bushi

Recently I've found several versions of Soran Bushi, and this puzzles me-I don't understand why it would be different in different places. Moreover, I don't understand some of the vocabulary in it: ...
13
votes
2answers
726 views

“Should” in Japanese

The word "should" in English has these uses when not used as a question: To express the expectation of the speaker (Probabilistic reasoning). The train should arrive in 10 minutes. To express a ...
0
votes
1answer
154 views

How to say Populations and Civilizations when talking about history?

Dealing with historical matters for a certain urban area, one would like to say the following: In this city we had many populations here: Normans, Greeks and French... So what is the right term ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

ぬかるむ Meaning and Use

ぬかるむ has the definition of "to be muddy" in my dictionary, but it is a verb. Furthermore, all the examples use it before a noun, as opposed to saying 丘はぬかるむ. Is it correct to say this? Why is ぬかるむ a ...
0
votes
2answers
249 views

わからない vs わかね, My Boss My Hero

I was watching My Boss My Hero, and I could have sworn he said わかね instead of わからない-Is this feasible? Is there some dialect that drops off ない for ね?
2
votes
1answer
120 views

A question about the に particle

I have a question about the に particle. I was never told that it was possible to do something like this: 私は妹に新しいおもちゃを買いました。 I thought you HAD to say 私は妹のために新しいおもちゃを買いました。 よい子【こ】になるには早寝【はやね】...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the literal meaning of どういたしまして?

どういたしまして 【どう致しまして · 如何致しまして】 you are welcome;  don't mention it;  not at all;  my pleasure; —Usually written using kana alone. 「手伝ってくれてありがとう」「どういたしまして」 "Thank you for your help." "It's my ...
7
votes
1answer
944 views

What does かの日 mean?

In my Japanese Bible, I've seen several passages that use the phrase かの日. Here are a couple. ある人たちの習慣に倣【なら】って集会を怠【なまけ】ったりせず、むしろ励【はげ】まし合いましょう。かの日が近づいているのをあなたがたは知っているのですから、ますます励【はげ】まし合おうではありませんか。...
4
votes
1answer
246 views

Which is the proper way to say “I don't X”?

I thought if you say "I don't smoke cigarettes" that would be "[Watashi wa] tabako o suimasen". But I just saw something that said it would be "tabako wa suimasen". Are they interchangable? Is there a ...
4
votes
2answers
408 views

Why do road signs have 止まれ, not 止まる, 止める or 止めて?

From what I know ending verb in え makes it sound rough and very casual. I checked in tangorin.com online dictionary - it's said there it is actually a noun. To me, though, it looks like a rough ...
1
vote
1answer
358 views

What does ウリ mean

What does ウリ mean in the following conversation? Where ソウ and アムロ=レイ are two characters in the [第]{だい}4[次]{じ}スーパーロボット[大戦]{たいせん}. ソウ「よろしくお[願]{ねが}いします!アムロ=レイ[少佐]{しょうさ}」 アムロ「そんなにカタ[苦]{くる}...
2
votes
1answer
283 views

Kanji identification?

What does the Kanji next to the bar at the bottom right hand side of the screen mean in this video? (The small bar, not the larger one): http://youtu.be/qIKNRmdEx5E?t=20s - The bar that it's next to ...
3
votes
1answer
300 views

The implied meaning of 気(き)

I have the following sentence: [仕事]{しごと}で[気]{き}を[遣]{つか}うことが[多]{おお}い. Which directly translates to: at work you use your 気 often. Some other translations of ki wo tsukau include, paying attention to ...
5
votes
1answer
878 views

「二番」 vs. 「二番目」 confusion

I am confused by 「二番」vs.「二番目」、「三番」vs.「三番目」etc. While 「一番速い人。」 seems grammatically correct and sounds ok to me, 「二番速い人。」 sounds so unnatural to me I am thinking the grammar might be wrong. But, if 「...
4
votes
1answer
671 views

How do you say “which one of you”?

I'm trying to translate a sentence containing "which one of you" into Japanese, like in "Which one of you took my sandwich?". Google's search bar was no help - a query for "which one of you" in ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

What does it mean when と is at the end of a noun list

似てるよ、ユーマくんと初めて出会って時と。 I'm slightly confused at how と is used at the end.
2
votes
1answer
304 views

Does でしょう have a negative nuance?

I am reading the sentence... 他人に自分の内面を見られたくない人もいるのではないだろうか and wondering why it seems like there is a double negative that I'm not seeing もいる = + のではない = - だろう = ???? END RESULT = + だろうか has to be -...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

How do Japanese people read the pH (measure of acidity or basicity) of a solution?

I read an article (http://www.gizmodo.jp/2013/10/post_13267.html, in case anyone is interested), and it got me thinking how a Japanese person would read this passage: ここの水は水素イオン指数pH 9~10.5。 Do ...
13
votes
3answers
918 views

Why is “Xy” pronounced as “Ki Shi” in Xylitol「キシリトール」?

Why is "Xy" pronounced as "[Ki Shi]{キ シ}" in [Xylitol]{キシリトール}? I believe "Xy" can pronounced as "Zai", which is probably a valid sound in Japanese. I would like to know its etymology too, if there ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What does おやすみちゃー mean?

I saw a native Japanese speaker post this on Twitter, I believe that おやすみ means vacation or holiday, but I was unable to figure out the phrase from the context.
1
vote
1answer
160 views

What conjugation is 助けて, when used as an interjection?

According to Wiktionary, the only conjugation I can match this to is the conjunctive form, but that doesn't make any sense, given the context (as in "Help me!"). What would the equivalent conjugation ...
4
votes
2answers
245 views

How is the name “河内” pronounced, コーチ or コウチ?

How is the name 河内 pronounced, is it コーチ like 講師 = コーシ, or コウチ, like 子牛 = コウシ? I have checked this word in the 三省堂明解アクセント辞典 but cannot find it.
0
votes
1answer
215 views

Is the i in kakikonde silent?

Here's the sentence that I was listening to: Kono shorui ni Yan-san no juusho, shimei, seinengappi nado o kakikonde kudasai. When I was listening to it, it sounded like the word was being pronounced ...
6
votes
2answers
454 views

Origin of 楽しみ and 楽しみにする

楽しみ is derived from 楽しむ isn't it? Despite this, it's used as if it were an adjective, and I don't completely understand why it can be used in 楽しみにする. What is the name of the form that 楽しみ is relative ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

Meaning of べた打ち

Does anybody know what べた打ち means, and what the kanji for べた could be? The context I heard it in was the upright playing style of taiko.
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Can I use Xさんから。。。かりました?

私は山田さんから本を借りました。 私は山田さんに本を借りました。 (I borrowed a book from Yamada-san.) Is it ok to use から or do I have to use に ?
8
votes
1answer
352 views

How do you geminate ら-line sounds?

This is my current understanding of gemination (促音, /Q/, small っ): in native Japanese words, only the following sounds can be geminated: /k/, /s/, /t/, /p/. Additionally, in loanwords we can geminate ...
1
vote
1answer
596 views

When does /r/ become a trill?

In a video that snailboat pointed out in a comment on my question about geminated /r/, at least one speaker of Japanese sounds to me like they trill both the /r/s in タリアテッレ. It's my understanding ...
3
votes
2answers
491 views

What is the meaning of さん in ごくろうさん?

ごくろうさん gokurousan 【ご苦労さん · 御苦労さん】 expression meaning: I appreciate your efforts アリさん、今日もご苦労さんだよ。はい、角砂糖あげるよ。 Hi Mr Ant, keeping up the good work today as well. Here's a sugar cube. ご ...
5
votes
2answers
948 views

What's the meaning of 〜ておきます?

What exactly does 〜ておきます mean in this context? 旅行{りょこう}する前{まえ}にホテルを予約{よやく}しておきます。 Is this trying to say something like "Before traveling, reserve a room". Is this a suggestion? An order? (If so, why ...
5
votes
2answers
197 views

Questions about 背負う

背負う is pronounced せおう, but many dictionaries also list a second pronunciation as しょう. I've never heard it pronounced as しょう in practice. In what situations does it have this pronunciation? Is ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between 〜といい〜といい & 〜といわず〜といわず

Can somebody explain the difference between these two expressions? I have pasted the definitions and some examples from 日本語表現文型辞典 to help but they seem to come down to the same thing. (When can one ...
13
votes
2answers
494 views

What is the subject when time passes in a narrative (eg 1ヶ月を経る)

(This might be a quick easy question but sometimes the answers to these are unexpected.) What is the subject in the following sentences? I've given my best efforts for the examples 1-4 below. (I am ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

Dangerous driving: “queue de poisson” in Japanese?

How to call it when a vehicle that just passed you gets back in lane too early, forcing you to brake, or even causing an accident? See this Diagram. This can also happen when a vehicle overtakes and ...
13
votes
2answers
396 views

Choice of tense with そばから

When using そばから in the sense of "as soon as", everything I find says that you can use either た form/past tense before it, or dictionary form, but not what the difference is. Sometimes people even use ...
4
votes
2answers
236 views

does the structure「(verb stem)がする」 exist?

「臭う」 and 「臭いがする」 have the same meaning, but can this be generalize? according to google: 臭いがする (49-m hits); 話しがする (17-m hits); 笑いがする (31-m hits); 踊りがする (5-m hits); ... But, a Japanese scholar told ...
7
votes
4answers
526 views

How do you pronounce “☓☓” as a placeholder?

I have come across the following in a piece of fiction (「永遠のジャック&ベティ」, by 清水{しみず}義範{よしのり}): 「今日は上着を着ているためには暑すぎます」 ◯◯するには☓☓すぎる。つまり、暑くて上着なんか着ていられない、という意味だった。 As you can see, the bolded ...
3
votes
2answers
239 views

Problems parsing this sentence (ような before comma)

I was reading the examples from the book 日本語文型辞典 and I came across this example sentence which I have absolutely no idea of how to parse it: その子は、人と目が合うたびにやさしく笑いかけるような、そんな、人を疑うということを知らないような子だったと言う。 ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

What does り have to do with this?

So I asked some Japanese guy if he really meant something (about speaking in certain language) with 本当ですか and I got this as an answer: 実はしゃべれるわけじゃなかったりする I understand what わけではない means, but what'...
6
votes
1answer
848 views

Are there stereotypical speech patterns or inflections associated with gay Japanese speakers?

This is not intended to be a controversial or provocative question. In English, there are "commonly accepted" stereotypes for how gay people sometimes speak. Are there corresponding characteristics ...
5
votes
2answers
531 views

The difference between 辞書 and 字引

My dictionary lists both 辞書{じしょ} and 字引{じびき} as simply, "Dictionary." On tatoeba.org I can only find example sentences of 字引 where it is used in the phrase: 生き字引 = A walking dictionary Example:...
9
votes
3answers
448 views

Is there a set response to 『いらっしゃい!』?

So I was watching 女が階段を上る時 by Mikio Naruse late at night, and heard something that sounded familiar. Alas, I fell asleep and returned the movie before checking (yes there is still a rental store in my ...
10
votes
2answers
365 views

Are we done here?

Today I was getting help from someone behind a counter and when I had handed in my form and shown my ID, I wasn't sure if I needed to do anything else, or if I was free to go. Usually in that ...
13
votes
1answer
231 views

Spelling over the phone

In Japan I often have to call somewhere and explain my name such that the person on the other end can write it down. My name is "Sepponen Bemmu", which I want them to write down as "セッポネン・ベンム". Is ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

始まる->始まり Is there a rule of making nouns from verbs (besides nominalization)?

Lately my ears started catching words ending in り that seem like nouns created from verbs. I'm sorry I don't have any other examples besides the one from the title 始まる (to start) -> 始まり (the start). ...
8
votes
1answer
402 views

How difficult is it for Japanese to distinguish between 五日【いつか】 and 何時か【いつか】 in spoken contexts?

There are times when both 五日 (5th day of the month) and 何時か (someday) could be used I think. Does this become a minor problem for Japanese when speaking (no kanji to guide), or do they speak in some ...

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