4
votes
1answer
304 views

What is the よっか in はじめよっか?

I'm still playing Game Boy Wars Advance 2, and I keep running into colloquial forms I'm unfamiliar with. Here's one I haven't been able to look up: じゃ、さっそく、はじめよっか。 My guess is that はじめよっか is a ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Polite way of asking if someone's received an email

What's a polite way of asking in an email if you've received a previous email? In my case, "polite" means "I'm emailing the tourism information staff of a place that mainly deals with domestic ...
6
votes
1answer
373 views

Difference between progressive verb forms and i-adjectives

I'm wondering, for adjectives such as 太い and 悲しい that also have a progressive "to be" verb counterpart (i.e., 太っている and 悲しんでいる), what is the difference between using the i-adjective form and the verb ...
3
votes
3answers
681 views

Can Japanese names be anything?

I've read lots of mangas and seen many animes, and it seems a Japanese person can have virtually any kind of name (the meaning of a name can be something completely ridiculous). Is it true in real ...
5
votes
1answer
509 views

How did 冷やかし come to mean “window-shopping”?

I'm curious how 冷やかし came to mean things such as 買わずに見る and からかう. Here's what I can figure out: hiya seems to be a root meaning "cold" (like in hiya-ya-ka) hiya-k-u is an old verb based on this ...
4
votes
1answer
587 views

Why aren't マンション mansions? Or are they?

And no, this isn't about property sizes in Japan! As Katakana Mysteries: 6 loan words Japan got wrong put it: Bill Gates or Warren Buffet might be very surprised if they were to buy a Japanese ...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

What is the background of the phrase 背中で教える, and where does the meaning “to teach with one's back” come from?

I came across this phrase today while doing a lookup on 背中. 背中で教える I checked several sources, and all listed the meaning, amongst others, "to teach with one's back". It seems related to ...
7
votes
3answers
727 views

Sorry, I wasn't listening

What is the Japanese expression for: Sorry, I wasn't listening For example, for when you're asked a question and realize that you have no idea what it's about as you've been thinking about ...
4
votes
1answer
912 views

Why is the Japanese government considering adding kanji such as “cancer” to the jinmeiyō kanji?

The wikipedia article on jinmeiyō kanji states: Before September 27, 2004, there were 2232 government-designated jinmeiyō kanji used in personal and geographical names, with plans to increase ...
5
votes
2answers
756 views

Difference between “そば”, “となり” and “よこ” [duplicate]

While doing exercises, I am bit confused with "そば", "となり" and "よこ". Can anyone explain me the difference between them. Is it so that "よこ" is used when the object is at either left or right side of the ...
7
votes
1answer
920 views

“unfinished” sentences ending in particles like を, に and が

This is something I've always wondered about, but can't find any info about. When native speakers come across a sentence that ends ...を。, ...と。 or ...が!*, how do their brains parse it? Is it just a ...
2
votes
1answer
395 views

Can't parse sentence with 「へったくれもない」

In my JLPT textbook, they have this sentence: 自分{じぶん}のない者{もの}に表現{ひょうげん}もへったくれもない。 The book provides a translation, which is this: You can't talk about expression if you have none (of your ...
5
votes
1answer
247 views

Why is topology called 位相幾何学?

Topology in English is called 位相幾何学 in Japanese; also, topological space is called 位相空間. But why is topology called 位相幾何学? What is the correspondence between topo and 位相? What is the origin of 位相?
3
votes
1answer
559 views

~ろ・~ろも・思うて・~たった in 越後 dialect (新潟弁?)

At the start of this book the family are stated to be from 亀田町{かめだまち}, an area which is now part of 新潟市{にいがたし}, but it's also set historically (1919 at the start of the book). I'm presuming the ...
6
votes
1answer
302 views

Is む sometimes pronounced more like ん?

I'm curious what the relationship is between む and ん. I have the feeling that sometimes, む is pronounced more like ん: むむむ: is this really /mumumu/? Or does it become /mmm/? うむむ: is this really /...
8
votes
1answer
420 views

What is the significance of number of Kanji in a name?

There are several one-character surnames: [林]{はやし}  [森]{もり}  [堤]{つつみ} Most surnames have two-characters: [鈴木]{すずき} [山田]{やまだ} [藤井]{ふじい} [酒井]{さかい} [松村]{まつむら} A few surnames have three-characters:...
7
votes
1answer
645 views

Is there a standard for where to put spaces in kana-only Japanese?

I've noticed that when Japanese is written mostly or entirely in kana, it's often written with spaces. For example, a lot of old video games had spaces. I've also seen this in children's books: ...
5
votes
1answer
638 views

How to say: (one) month through (another) month

I'm working on my Japanese homework, and we're practicing describing weather. We're given charts on temperature to say things like: カイロは九月が一番あついです。Or, "In Cairo, September is the hottest month." ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Is Japanese really an agglutinative language?

In the linguistics topic of language typology, Japanese is often included in lists of agglutinative (or agglutinating) languages, but when learning or reading about Japanese grammar exclusively this ...
5
votes
1answer
284 views

How can I make sense of あるような無いような?

I'm still playing Game Boy Wars Advance 2, and it contains this dialogue: 聞いたことあるような無いような・・・ どこの軍でしたっけ? The first sentence has me confused. My intuition tells me the meaning of the sentence ...
4
votes
1answer
281 views

Are 行きゃあ and 行きゃ both contractions of 行けば?

I started playing another old game, Game Boy Wars Advance 2, and I ran across this bit of dialogue: ま、どのみち、マクロランドに行きゃあ、 いやでも戦わなきゃなんねえんだ。 I think this is something like: ま、どのみち、マクロランドに行けば、 ...
3
votes
1answer
310 views

What does 手になる mean?

As the title says. I found it on weblio dictionary and it says ある人がその事に当たる。, but that doesn't help me a lot, as I can't find example sentences (and the one I have on the book I'm reading isn't too ...
6
votes
1answer
559 views

What is the relation between the two verbs 思われる and 思う?

If 思われる is "its own verb," meaning "to seem;  to appear," and is independent of the separate verb 思う, meaning "to think," is there a conceptual relation between the two? I ask because I initially ...
5
votes
1answer
228 views

Are all words stripped of bikago when listed in dictionaries?

When checking dictionaries (jisho.org and Wiktionary) for お名前, I found that it wasn't listed as お名前, but only as 名前. Do most dictionaries strip bikago from all words, or do they typically strip bikago ...
8
votes
3answers
447 views

what does どことなくつかみどころがなくmean?

I came across this phrase in the sentence: 勘【かん】というものは、しょちゅう経験【けいけん】していながら、どことなくつかみどころがなく、いまの科学【かがく】ではまだその正体【しょうたい】が、明らか【あきらか】にされていない。(Soumatome N1 dokkai, p45) My best effort to translate it ...
3
votes
1answer
306 views

Interpretation of a sentence by Mishima

In Yukio Mishima's "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion," (三島由紀夫によって書かれた「金閣寺」) one of the characters, Kashiwagi, writes a sentence over a poster: 未知の人生とは我慢がならぬ。 Here is the passage: ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

Alternate meaning of 見えない when used as an expression?

I've always learned that 見えない means "unseen" or "invisible". However, lately I've been seeing quite a few Japanese people in online games that, upon failing to complete some (usually very difficult) ...
2
votes
2answers
231 views

Is there a Japanese saying like その頑張りは、すべてむだというかそういう気持ちになる , related to the working conditions of doctors in a hospital?

On NHK NewsWatch 9 yesterday, they were talking about the shortage of emergency room doctors, and the resulting situations lately where hospitals were forced to turn away emergency patients. In many ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

Is this sentence using はず complete?

I have this sentence in my flashcards, which I pulled from a JLPT textbook of mine a while back. Long enough ago that I've lost the source. It looks strange to me now, though, and I wonder if maybe I ...
1
vote
1answer
277 views

Meaning and translation お納めになられる

Tell me please, what is the meaning of お納めになられる in the following sentence. Is it just passive ? Thanks for help!
4
votes
1answer
138 views

How do you read 遅ランチ?

I read 遅ランチ and while I think the meaning is pretty clear ("late lunch" unless I'm mistaken), I wasn't sure how to read it. I wanted to say おそ, but the lack of okurigana suggests to me that isn't the ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Counter for chopsticks

Just curious about this one. I'm never sure what to say when I ask for chopsticks in Japanese. I know that "by-the-book", you can count them with ~そろい (揃い) or ~ぜん (膳). So I always say 「お箸を 一揃い(...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Help with a relative clause + を中心に

Here's the sentence: あるいはまた、東南アジアを中心に世界各地で活躍するいわゆる華僑勢力の多くが福建省出身者である事実を見ても、福建人たちの「海外雄飛」のパワーを知ることができる。 My rough translation is something like: "Moreover, looking also at the fact that a large ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Nominalization with のが、のを

I've just learned to nominalize verbs with のを but as I was looking for more info on the web I saw that this is also done with のが and こと. The question "What is the difference between the nominalizers ...
3
votes
1answer
352 views

What was the base for Japanese numbers?

I'm curious what the numerical base the Japanese used before their introduction to the wider western world. I've been taught in my Japanese language classes that they move the comma to a different ...
7
votes
1answer
239 views

What does 外国人のように imply in this sentence?

My friend is reading a book, and it contains the following sentence: すると、高畑は外国人のように両手を上げる仕草をした。 Why does this say 外国人のように? Are foreigners known for a particular gesture in which we raise both ...
2
votes
1answer
185 views

What is the meaning of 大奥婚?

This headline in today's zakzak news, related to actress Miho Kanno getting married. 堺雅人&菅野美穂、“大奥婚”! 電撃ゴールイン What is the meaning of 大奥婚? I know 大奥 and 婚 by themselves, but not together. I ...
6
votes
2answers
482 views

How do I say “requirements” in an IT context?

So I work at a Japanese company as a developer and I have seen the word "requirements" written as both 要件 and 要求 What is the difference between these 2 words? Which one would I use in these examples? ...
10
votes
3answers
352 views

What's the difference between 三角 and 三角形?

I just had this terrifying conversation: What is "triangle" in Japanese? me: 三角 right? Then what's 三角形? me: Uhh... triangle? I've confirmed both of these translate to "triangle". ...
2
votes
1answer
230 views

Why is なんて the correct answer for this question?

Here's a question from N3文法スピードマスター。 英語も中国語もスペイン語もできる*なんて*、素晴らしいですねえ。 This question is multiple-choice, so the other incorrect choices were: なんと、など、なんか just for your information. Here's my ...
5
votes
1answer
261 views

What's the difference between ことがある or ことはある?

In Tae Kim's guide, he wrote a few example sentences: 徹夜して、宿題することはある。 一人で行くことはありません。 パリに行ったことはありますか。 お寿司を食べたことがある。 そういうのを見たことがなかった。 In these examples, I don't really understand why some sentences ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

なにかと思ったら meaning

なにかと思ったら, I have come across this sentence a couple of times when talking to Japanese people, but I seem to struggle with the actual meaning. I translate it as "if I am thinking of something" but the ...
3
votes
1answer
846 views

Verbs which are more frequently used to built the honorific passive forms

I'd like to ask you a question about this honorific form. I will give an example as detailed as possible to make this question clear. The verb yomu is often used in passive form to show respect: ...
5
votes
1answer
445 views

Can someone further explain the difference between 一緒に and 共に?

This is a follow up to the question “What are the fundamental differences between the ~と一緒に and the ~とともに fragments?” Someone suggested that I post my question as a separate thread. Well, something ...
9
votes
1answer
219 views

「はは」(母) and ハ行転呼

It occurred to me the other day that if ハ行転呼 had affected all applicable environments without exception, 母 /haha/ (or I guess properly it was /ɸaɸa/, right?)should have become /hawa/. The Japanese ...
5
votes
2answers
605 views

Meaning of でもない in this context?

While listening to the song "Yasashisa no Riyuu", I noticed the following sentence: 今は誰の名前でもない 輝きの彼方へ Which by the fansub is translated like this: Now it doesn't matter whose name it may be....
3
votes
1answer
223 views

What's the difference between 程 and 程度?

What the difference between 程 and 程度? I haven't been able to find any using my dictionary.
4
votes
2answers
118 views

なので relationship does not seem to match in そうじが楽なので、部屋にはなるべく物を置かないようにしている

This is from N3文法スペードマスター。 This is one of the questions taken from the book: そうじが楽( )、部屋にはなるべく物を置かないようにしている。 The blank in the bracket is to be filled with one from this set of choices: はず、のに、ため、ところ、...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between 〜に対しての and 〜に対する?

The question understanding 対する details [noun]に対する[noun], but what is the difference between [noun]に対しての[noun] and [noun]に対する[noun]? Space ALC has a fair number of examples for both に対する and に対しての (...
2
votes
1answer
259 views

Past tense of なし in Classical Japanese?

Is it なしかりたらず as a usual し adjective? Or is it something weirder? I need this for a skit.

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