6
votes
2answers
220 views

What rules should be followed when saying “we”?

I know that, in Japanese, you can say X達【たち】 or Xら (where X is a first person pronoun) to say we. However, what rules should be followed for choosing that "X". Can I use whatever I would use to refer ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

How to translate standalone noun + a ます verb (in a heading)

I would like to know how to translate something like this: ドロボー、つかまえます where there is a noun followed by a verb in masu from without any other details. Is it something like "Burglar, I('ll) ...
2
votes
3answers
634 views

Introducing an indirect quotation with と

I find it difficult to translate Japanese indirect quotations into my own language partly because of different grammatical patterns and verb conjugation altogether; for example, what about this ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the original Japanese for “It's always the darkest under the lighthouse”?

What is the original Japanese saying meaning, "It's always the darkest under the lighthouse"? (reference)
1
vote
1answer
739 views

Beginner: book/ website for reading comprehension and vocabulary [closed]

I'm looking for a book/website that helps me to increase my reading skills and vocabulary. The only "problem" is, that it should be only written with hiragana and katakana. At the very best there ...
2
votes
1answer
186 views

The stylistic use of romaji for the particle “de”

Or other cases when a single word/particle is rendered in romaji within a sentence otherwise written in normal Japanese. This is something I first came across on cooking websites, for example: ...
2
votes
1answer
702 views

Japanese pun to pronounce an English phrase [closed]

I have once heard that, during World War II, when the American Troops invaded Okinawa, they wanted the Japanese civilians to surrender, and in order to let the Japanese say the phrase "I surrender", ...
6
votes
1answer
198 views

What's the difference between 赤ん坊 and 赤ちゃん

Are both words interchangeable? Rikai-chan defines them both as "baby, infant". So what would be the difference?
2
votes
3answers
448 views

Translation of 出証意 and 長官殿

These are from a patent related document and I can't understand very well. They are used like these: 1) 特許庁長官殿 2) 出証意2012 Can anyone help me?
6
votes
1answer
365 views

Does the expression 抱えて生きている always imply a situation with negative aspects?

I was studying the expression 抱えて生きている (literally "living while holding"?), and have found the best English equivalent to be "having to live with." In the English expression, the "thing" that one has ...
2
votes
1answer
760 views

The difference between ~ようだ, ~ように見える, ~ように思える and ~みたい

In a Japanese English grammar textbook, "seems" is translated as ~のように見える, for example: He seemed to have been ill. 病気であったように見えた。 I've also seen "seems" written as ~(の)ように思える in various ...
5
votes
3answers
795 views

Is it OK to have more than one が particle in a sentence?

If, for example, I wanted to say "I like the book that my sister gave me", would it be 姉がくれた本が好きです? I'm using Genki to study, but they don't seem to have any examples of this particular structure ...
6
votes
1answer
249 views

Why would you use まいります for rain? (降ってまいります)

I ran across this example sentence in a basic dictionary, but I can't figure out what particular meaning まいります has in this context. 雨が降ってまいりました。 Generally speaking, it's used as the humble verb ...
6
votes
1answer
226 views

Which つける do I use?

So I looked up つける and saw it can be written as: 付ける 着ける 附ける And they all seem to have the exact same definition: to attach, to join, to add, to append, etc. So are these "spellings" ...
7
votes
1answer
303 views

Why is the affixal 子 treated specially when abbreviating people’s names?

Often, names are abbreviated using the initial letter in romanization, or some random letter, like "A". However, when the name has an affixal 子, that part is often left, like "A子". I have not seen any ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

How and when do Japanese children learn kanas and kanji?

I wonder how exactly Japanese children learn to write. It may help a foreigner to know what is important to memorize or not. The only thing I know is that first of all, hiragana are learnt, and then ...
20
votes
2answers
733 views

Can the suffix -人 be used to express heritage?

In English, if I want to talk about my Irish heritage, I would say "I'm Irish". I have an American passport, and I've never set foot in Ireland, but I still consider myself Irish. Both sides of my ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the rules for saying “made of [blank]”

Take these words for example: 木{もく}造{ぞう}: made of wood; wooden and 金{きん}製{せい}: made of gold I have been under the impression that -製 is used for where an item has been manufactured ...
5
votes
2answers
826 views

What's the difference between 話せる and 話す?

I came across [話]{はな}せます in the Japanese WOTD chat room. あなたは英語が話せますか? Can you speak English? What's the difference between it and [話]{はな}します? (Googling got some hits, but they were from user ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Saying “to miss” (“I missed you over the weekend”)

What's the best way to say "to miss" in the sense of feeling a longing for something, or that something pleasant is missing? I understand there's [懐]{なつ}かしむ, but it seems to me that, like 懐かしい, is ...
3
votes
1answer
342 views

Why do Japanese titles often start with titles/appositions?

Sort of hinted by a recent question How would one express an opinion from the perspective of an inclusive group? . Japanese titles in books, songs, shows, etc. are accompanied with a title (status) ...
10
votes
3answers
471 views

What are the rules for substituting の with ん?

I've noticed that sometimes the hiragana の can be shortened to ん. For example, 部屋のなか → 部屋んなか (inside of the room) 俺のうち → 俺んち (my house) 俺のところ → 俺んとこ (my place) (More examples can ...
2
votes
0answers
83 views

why is “know” expressed as 知っています, and what does 知ります really mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています? I'm posting the question as suggested by Zhen Lin and troyen. What that said, why is that? And a secondary question, when would ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

“Postage stamp” word choice

I have two words that I think mean the same thing: 切手 - きって - stamp (postage)/merchandise certificate 郵券 - ゆうけん - postage stamp When I look at some sample sentences, the first one is used for both ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

Are the meanings of 煙 and 烟 identical?

I noticed that 煙 in the phrase 茶煙永日香{ちゃえんえいじつかんばし} sometimes appears as 烟. For example, here is a teapot with 茶煙永日香 and a scroll with 茶烟永日香. Is there a difference in meaning between 煙 and 烟? 煙 and 烟 ...
10
votes
2answers
205 views

How would one express an opinion from the perspective of an inclusive group?

Often times, it is common for a speaker to make an assertion or opinion based upon a (ethnic or social) group to which they belong. In English it is common to use prefixes like "we" or "us" to ...
7
votes
1answer
609 views

What is the literal meaning of  ”いいかげんにしろ!”?

Some translations for the expression いいかげんにしろ! are: that's enough!;  cut it out!;  get a life! If the correct kanji of this expression is 好い加減, what is the literal meaning of both 好い and 加減 in ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Correct usage of から in this particular sentence

I want to make sure that I understand the basic usage of から. If I say: まどをしめます。さむいですから。  Would this sound natural or stilted to native speakers?
4
votes
1answer
269 views

Questions on the figurative meaning of 食って掛かる

If 食って掛かる is one word meaning "to lash out at someone" or perhaps closer in figurative language, "to bite someone's head off," how should I think of the 掛かる? If I want to understand the logistics ...
2
votes
1answer
318 views

Understanding それを美しいと感じると考え

I've found this sentence in one of my history books and I can't really make heads or tails of it....what does it mean at all? 利休は、茶道の精神は、簡素な中に深く豊かなものをみつけ、それをもっとも美しいと感じると考え、その精神を和敬静寂という葉で表した ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What exactly is 我, and how is it used?

I was taught that [私]{わた(く)し}, [僕]{ぼく}, and 俺{おれ} are the most common first-person pronouns. Recently, I stumbled upon the word [我]{われ}, which supposedly means the same thing. An online dictionary ...
6
votes
1answer
493 views

What is “ブチャイク”?

ブチャイク All I know is it's referring to someone's "looks" or appearance, and is not flattering. I suspect this is simply one of those "modern" Japanese slang phrases popular among young people that's ...
2
votes
2answers
208 views

What is って doing in this sentence?

From Noir, Episode 2 (anime). I don't get what the って is doing in this sentence. For context, the father came home early from work. He quickly answers his wife in the first sentence then in the ...
3
votes
2answers
166 views

What is 日本橋{にっぽんばし}?

So I'm doing some exercises in Minna no Nihongo and run across these two sentences: どこで安い電気製品を売っていますか。 大阪の日本橋で売っています。 I looked it up and saw it mean japanese bridge but the way it is in the ...
8
votes
2answers
236 views

Does バラの寝床 come directly from the English expression “bed of roses”?

I came across this phrase in a Haruki Murakami short story, and I was wondering if this is just a literal translation of the English phrase? I tried googling the Japanese phrase, but I could only ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Can Hiragana or Katakana stand alone?

Writing Japanese requires a mix of Kanji and Hiragana, usually some Katakana as well. I have read that some Kanji characters can be replaced with Hiragana characters for easier writing. My question ...
8
votes
2answers
245 views

Terms for 'viewpoint': 視点 vs 観点

I'm not understanding the subtleties of [視点]{してん} vs 観点{かんてん}. I know that they both mean something like "point of view", and given the existence of two of them, one of them probably implies more ...
4
votes
1answer
817 views

List of suppletive honorific and humble forms

Is there a reference that lists words whose honorific and/or humble forms are suppletive? For nouns, I am supposing that 父親, 父, and お父さん are different forms of a single noun differing only with ...
0
votes
1answer
179 views

MySpyPhone Translation [closed]

I have an Android application called MySpyPhone. I want to translate it to a meaningful Japanese name. The application takes pictures on a user defined schedule. Any naming suggestions? Thank you ...
3
votes
1answer
256 views

What particles can be used in the ~よう ~まい pattern?

In the pattern ~よう ~まい, I've found from several sources that you can use が and と (i.e ~ようが ~まいが), and using one over the other doesn't change the meaning or have a particular nuance. What's confusing ...
9
votes
2answers
293 views

Pronunciation of 家 in …家ちんも安い

Here's the actual sentence: 私の部屋は、家ちんも安いし、駅にも近くて便利です。 How do you read '家ちん' and what does it mean? It's most likely that ちん is usually written in kanji since I got the sentence from a Japanese ...
1
vote
1answer
421 views

Size adjectives and prefixes

I know some size adjectives like 小さい (small), 大きい (big), and 並 (normal). Does anyone have a list of other size adjectives: something that could describe things ranging from micro things like Legos to ...
1
vote
1answer
285 views

王将用語 and Chinese [closed]

How does 王将用語 (used at 餃子の王将) sound like to Chinese speakers? Are they completely incomprehensible, stupid , funny, etc? How difficult is it for Chinese speakers to learn them? イーガーコーテル ソーハンイー ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています?

I'm reading Minna no Nihongo (Chapter 15) and it says what I wrote in the question. I would think the negative would be 知っていません。
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between 借りる and 貸す

I've seen them before used as borrow and lend. So I've been a bit confused on when to use which verb? What's the difference? Is there a difference?
6
votes
2answers
364 views

How can the uses of 「は」and「が」 in this sentence be justified?

The sentence: ほかにも先勝{せんしょう}は午後{ごご}は良{よ}くない日{ひ}とされ、反対{はんたい}に、先負{せんぶ}は午後{ごご}が良{よ}い日{ひ}とされ、また赤口{しゃっこう}は昼{ひる}だけが良{よ}い日{ひ}だとされています。 No matter how much I progress in Japanese, the 「は」and「が」 ...
7
votes
2answers
693 views

「様」vs「殿」, which is more respectful?

Ammy claims that 殿 is more respectful than 様: 様 -sama: a respectful honorific used for those of a higher social standing 殿 -dono: even more respectful than -sama, less likely ...
18
votes
1answer
4k views

Can you say “half hour” or must you say “30 minutes”?

I know that to say an hour and a half you can say 一時間半, but is it possible to express simply half an hour even though the counter comes before 半? Or would you just have to say 三十分? If both ways are ...
10
votes
1answer
392 views

Unifying concept for noun-adjectives of the pattern Xかな

Consider these: ~か: 静か 愚か 厳か ~やか: 穏やか 鮮やか 賑やか ~らか: 柔らか 滑らか 明らか There are many more that I've not listed. The か/やか/らか at the end of these words ...
13
votes
2answers
455 views

What is the te-form of 問う?

What is the correct te-form of 問う? Is it 問って or 問うて or both?

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