5
votes
2answers
325 views

What does 工夫(する) mean?

I am aware of the generic English translation: In this case, "device" or "to devise" in English, but this does not really help me out. In what context would you use this word? 例文 would really be ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Period + に + frequency

I'm looking at JLPT4/5 grammar list and see such grammar point. But I can't find any information about it (truthfully I don't know how to). Though I found some examples: 1 shuukan ni ikkai - once a ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

Is there any relationship between the verb 死{し}ぬ and the 音読み 死{し}?

I noticed that both 死ぬ and the 音読み of 死 share a し sound. Is this a huge coincidence between Japanese and Chinese, or is there some sort of relation? I guess the former, because I don't know any ...
1
vote
2answers
315 views

Use of に with -てあげる/-てくれる with a human direct object

Quoting from page 292 of A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (DBJG), entry for に, note 2: "Any transitive verb used in the V-てあげる or V-てくれる construction can take に, if the verb does not take a ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Differences between いよいよ / やっと / ようやく / ついに and とうとう

I've come across these words which can all mean "finally". What I'd like to know is how they differ in usage [nuance and formality]. Below are their respective entries in the 研究社 新和英大辞典 第5版. いよいよ 1 〔...
2
votes
2answers
268 views

Is there an idiomatic Japanese equivalent of the construction “Let [infinitive verb]”?

In English, we have constructions like "Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York" (MLK's I Have A Dream speech) and "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3, KJV and other versions). Is there ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

question about 午前n時

I'm learning Japanese and I just finished learning Hiragana and Katakana and now I'm moving to Kanji. In my studies I found that 午前8時 means 8 a.m Ok, that's cool but I would like to know how to ...
7
votes
1answer
153 views

Future dates in the Japanese calendar

I was looking at the heisei wiki page and I wondered how you would refer to future dates in the japanese calendar? For example would 'The 2020 olympics' be '[平成]{へいせい}32[年]{ねん}のオリンピック'? Is there some ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Etymology of grammar-related terms in Japanese

I've been searching up words like '~の近く' (near), '~の裏側' (behind), '~より先' (further away). Basically words related to the position of an object or thing. The term I've been using is 前置詞 in Japanese, but ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Is it true that all Japanese words end in a vowel when transliterated to English?

First off I know zero Japanese, so sorry if this is a stupid question. I seem to remember hearing a while back that all Japanese words, when transliterated to the Latin alphabet, will end in a vowel. ...
2
votes
2answers
190 views

Usage of a clause to modify an い-adjective?

近所のバーは友達とお酒を飲むのにちょうどいい場所だ。 The neighbourhood bar is a great place to have a drink with friends. Does one think of the dependent clause 友達とお酒を飲むのに as modifying the い-adjective ちょうどいい (which then ...
0
votes
2answers
128 views

the use and the meaning of the verb 実感する in the given example

I would like to ask for help with translating the following sentence: 今日は、「練習していないことは嘘をつかない」という悲しいセリフを実感しました。練習も嘘をつかないんだけど、その逆も然り。 I understand parts of it for example 練習していないことは嘘をつかない 悲しい セリフ ...
3
votes
2answers
165 views

Usage of particles with 出てくる

Another sentence from Kanji in Context. 初めて[山奥]{やまおく}から町に出てきた村の人たちは見るものすべてに[驚]{おどろ}いた。 In this instance, does 山奥から町に出てきた mean "left the mountains and came to the city" (町)? Also, I would normally ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Alternate の particle usage

I've come across two similar examples of a usage of の I am not familiar with. 彼は運のいい男だ 意志の強い人だ I kinda understand how it is supposed to work but feel like I could parse it better if I were to hear ...
2
votes
2answers
209 views

te-form without a final verb and its usage as a conditional

歩いて二十分ほどのところにある川原です。 It's a riverbank about twenty minutes away by foot. I have a couple of questions with the usage of 歩いて here: The usage of the te-form without an auxiliary verb (e.g. 歩いていく) or ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How do you correctly use 'gesu' 下種/下衆/下司?

下種/下衆/下司 are all pronounced "gesu." According to various dictionaries "gesu" can be used to describe a sleazebag, a humble person, or a petty official. How can one differentiate between which to use?...
4
votes
2answers
224 views

When and where did 丁寧語 emerge?

I've been reading some old text recently and I find that everybody seems to use plain forms even in polite contexts (like proclamations from the Emperor). When did the modern ます and です come from? I ...
2
votes
1answer
271 views

What is the origin of ゟ (より)?

ゟ is a digraph that is read より. Where does it originate from? Is it a ligature, like & <- et, or German ß <- ss (well, ſs)? (Wikipedia claims this, citing no source.) Also, if it is a ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

The correct usage of 召し上がる and お召し上がる

A Japanese friend of mine explained to me that many people often incorrectly use the honorific お in the example sentence. The correct sentence is without the お. I have two questions regarding this ...
3
votes
2answers
624 views

What is the most accurate (literal) translation of でしょう?

I understand the concept of でしょう. All my books say that it is like saying "probably". I have also been told that it is more accurately a means of adding doubt to a statement to seem less assuming and ...
0
votes
1answer
221 views

meaning of でも~くらい

I cannot understand what is 自分でも無様なくらいに means in the following sentence. I'd translate it like - "I felt so akward, that my voice trembled" 自分でも無様なくらいに声が震えていた Thank you very much for help!
4
votes
1answer
697 views

How Do You Say “I read it wrong” in Japanese?

How Do You Say "I read it wrong" in Japanese? Is there such a word like 読み間違え or something like that in Japanese? Thanks!
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Word order and particles in 能仕事に能力を生かす

I wanted to express the idea "performing to one's full abilities at work", and the obvious thing to write was 仕事に[能力]{のうりょく}を[生]{い}かす. Indirect object before direct object. But a look on google ...
4
votes
1answer
558 views

How to say a double negative in Japanese

My Japanese friend asked me whether I believe in an afterlife. I wanted to say, "I don't believe, but also I don't not believe." My point is that while I do not believe, I like to keep an open mind. ...
4
votes
2answers
416 views

Grammatical justification for でしかない

The song eX Dream by Myuji (which appears in an anime OP) contains the sentence: [夢]{ゆめ}は夢でしかない The general point of the sentence is fairly clear, meaning "a dream is just a dream". But what is ...
4
votes
1answer
501 views

Use of く-form over くて in an い-adjective

何事も最初は難しく、やがてやさしくなる。 All things are difficult before they are easy. I've never seen an い-adjective used in this way (難しく). Would using 難しくて (which is what I would have used) change the meaning of the ...
2
votes
3answers
401 views

Why does the 文語 version of the Bible have so many nonstandard readings?

For example in Genesis 1: 元始{はじめ}に神{かみ} 天地{てんち}を創造{つくり}たまへり Why are the kanji 元始 and 創造 given the interesting readings? Moreover, they seem to be given the readings of the less specific words 始め ...
11
votes
3answers
923 views

What's the difference between 広める 広げる and 広まる 広がる?

I find the difference between 「広める (他動詞) 広げる (他動詞)」 and between 「広まる (自動詞) 広がる (自動詞)」 to be complicated. Can someone explain?
5
votes
1answer
400 views

What's the difference between 以後 and 以降

I've seen these words used in the following sentences: 以後: それ以後彼女に会っていません 以降: それ以降彼は辛い一生を送った Judging from these examples alone, I guess they have some kind of overlap. When is it appropriate to ...
3
votes
1answer
382 views

What is 「何しに」 in 「YOUは何しに日本へ?」

Title basically says most of it. To add more context to that 「YOUは何しに日本へ?」 is a name of a japanese TV show, found it on YouTube. They meet random foreigners at the airport and ask them this question. ...
3
votes
2answers
169 views

What is the nuance of 鬼 in 「鬼十則」?

吉田秀雄{よしだひでお} created the 鬼十則{おにじっそく} while working for 電通: 仕事は自ら創るべきで、与えられるべきでない。 仕事とは、先手々と働き掛けていくことで、受け身でやるものではない。 大きな仕事と取り組め、小さな仕事はおのれを小さくする。 難しい仕事を狙え、そしてこれを成し遂げるところに進歩がある。 ...
3
votes
1answer
590 views

what is the logic for assigning Kanji characters to certain radicals?

Why is 富 character under 宀 40th radical? why isn't it under 102nd radical 田 ? Why is 仏 character under 人 9th radical? why isn't it under 28nd radical 厶 ? etc. what is the logic for assigning Kanji ...
-1
votes
1answer
417 views

Meaning of 伝わる and AよりもB, 温かい, and て-form+から+でも

I need help understanding some Japanese sentences. All the sentences are connected except the last one. 今も手紙はたまに書きますよ。 mailよりも気持ちが伝わるんです。 I know that the first sentence means "people also ...
4
votes
1answer
236 views

Is it possible to write anything long completely in 和語?

I sometimes wonder how feasible is it to completely avoid loanwords, i.e. 漢語 and 外来語, but still using Modern Japanese (i.e. not simply just using Old/Classical Japanese vocabulary). Is the 和語 ...
2
votes
2answers
909 views

What's the equivalent to densha, futsuu, tokkyuu, and kyuukou in the West? [closed]

I know that they are all trains, but what would their counterparts be in the US or even Western Europe? Or better yet, when do you use one train as opposed to the other?
4
votes
1answer
425 views

What's the difference between ~しか~ない and ~だけしか~ない?

Two ways of expressing 'only' in Japanese are だけ + positive verb and しか + negative verb. For example, the following sentences both translate to something like 'I drank only tea'. お茶だけ飲んだ (1) ...
5
votes
1answer
274 views

Difference in usage between exclamations: クソ vs. しまった

I apologize in advance for the possibly vulgar language, but I am asking purely from an academic perspective. My understanding is that both クソ and しまった translate roughly to the English "damn" when ...
4
votes
1answer
477 views

あくまで compared to あくまでも

I never really thought about it before; but, I'm having a hard time explaining the difference concisely, and when to use which. What are the differences in nuances between あくまで and あくまでも? When is ...
9
votes
2answers
781 views

What does “ちるの、びるの” mean?

Context: 織次{おりじ} the protagonist is trying to buy back a set of drawings from his father's friend, who is mysteriously evasive about the matter. [織次]{おりじ}も[後]{のち}に[東京]{とうきょう}から[音信]{たより}をして、[引]{ひき}[...
4
votes
2answers
410 views

Choice of さしあげる in お電話さしあげる

I'm a bit confused by the usage of さしあげる in this sentence from Kanji in Context: ただ今、来客中ですので、後ほどこちらからお電話さしあげます。 We have a guest at the moment, so we'll call you later. To me, お電話いたします or even ...
4
votes
2answers
557 views

Meaning of 話になんない

I have a quote from this anime, FLCL: 「とにかくさ、バット振んなきゃ話になんないよ」. In the official translation it's translated as "nothing can happen until you swing the bat". Now my japanese is pretty rusty, as I ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

Nominalizer の use

Thank you for the so useful site you have. I'm studying by my self and I have found answer to a lot of questions I had. I'm using Nihongo somatome to try N3 and there is a sentence with の that I don'...
4
votes
2answers
506 views

Using 全然 with a positive pejorative [duplicate]

So far, I know that in proper speech, 全然 should be used with negative verbs such as 全然出来ません or in expressions such as 全然だめ or 全然違う. I am curious about the second type of usage. In that case, 全然 is ...
7
votes
1answer
662 views

Pronunciation of しゃ, し, しゅ, しぇ, and しょ

Now I understand that although all the morae mentioned in the title are written in Hepburn as "sha shi shu she sho", they are actually palatalized and sound quite different (the little や makes it ...
2
votes
2answers
280 views

What is the ちょ in こなしてちょ?

I'm playing a video game (Final Fantasy VI), in which a character is reading her lines and stage directions for a play. The stage directions contain the following sentence: この芝居を間奏の間にこなしてちょ。 I ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a Japanese phrase equivalent to the English phrase: “Guilty Pleasure”?

I am at a loss of words to describing to my host family why I sometimes listen to "bad" or embarrassing music. Is there a japanese phrase that can help me tell them it's a "guilty pleasure" of mine?
8
votes
1answer
207 views

How can (の)目指すは be grammatical?

At the very start of final fantasy 9, バクー says: 我らの目指すはアレクサンドリア王国…… I also saw some time ago "目指すは" used in a headline here: シャーラウィ「目指すはシーズン20ゴール」 There's also another example in the full ...
2
votes
1answer
244 views

Is there any reference material for the origins of kanji on-yomi?

I wanted to know if there is any reference source or authoritative material about kanji pronounciations and when they were first imported into Japanese? Any book or electronic source, English or ...
2
votes
1answer
280 views

であります compared to でいます

It might sound like a silly question, but I am just asking for interests sake... I already understand how to use them in which situation. If you were to say 田中さんは先生でいます, it would mean that Tanaka ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

Particle interpretation of 後でも

I've been puzzling over this sentence from the (excellent) Kanji in Context. 昔は、スポーツをして汗をかいた後でも水分をとってはいけないと言われていた。 I get that it means "In the past, I was told not to drink water (even) after doing ...

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