2
votes
2answers
159 views

How best to translate 左右対称 in this context?

For example: 人間の顔は左右対称ではない A person's face is asymmetrical. The above is simple, but how about: 漢字の形が左右対称である。 "The shape of the Kanji character is symmetrical." The problem I have with the ...
8
votes
2answers
507 views

Were women unable to learn kanji during the Heian era?

I've read that The Tale of Genji, and similar Heian-era novels such as The Pillow Book, and The Gossamer Years were predominantly or exclusively hiragana, which is also called "women's writing" (女手). ...
10
votes
4answers
800 views

What is the formula to say “I'm trying to do X regularly”?

I was trying to think of a way to say "I'm trying hard to read a news article every day" (in the sense that I'm trying to find the time to sit down and pay attention long enough to read, not ...
10
votes
2answers
485 views

How to express vague amounts of time?

I'm having trouble figuring out how to express vague amounts of time in Japanese, such as some number of months or some number of hours. I want to use this in a context where the specific number is ...
5
votes
2answers
521 views

How do I accurately convey “enough to make a difference”?

I want to say "it's different enough to make a difference," but I'm struggling a bit to get there. Partly because the two uses of "different" in this sentence are doing two different jobs. The first ...
5
votes
2answers
707 views

Passive verb forms for intransitive verbs

Okay, so I'm confused about passive verbs. From how I understand it, the verb is performed on the subject. but how come you can say something like 明日の会議に行かれるんですか? Are you going to tomorrow's ...
7
votes
1answer
218 views

動作 as opposed to 作用

The linguistics text I’m reading has a sentence with this fragment: 「動詞の表す動作・作用が[…]」。 Consulting dictionaries just made me more confused; what’s the contrast between the two in this context? “Action” ...
11
votes
1answer
335 views

What counter words are used by animals for humans?

In Happy Feet 2, I noticed that the penguins used the hitori, futari, ... counter words for themselves, rather than 羽. In fiction involving talking animals where the humans are regarded as somewhat ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

grammar in a specific sentence

With the following sentence: 自分の唾液を入れたポリ袋を女子高校生の背中に投げ付けたとして、警視庁田無署は6日までに、暴行の疑いで埼玉県新座市野寺、派遣社員工藤清哉容疑者(41)を逮捕した。 Does 自分の唾液を入れた modify ポリ袋? Does it make sense? Is ポリ袋 the object of the verb ...
-1
votes
2answers
483 views

What does 女子高生に唾液かけた疑い 逮捕の男「困る姿楽しい」 mean?

What does the following sentence mean? 女子高生に唾液かけた疑い 逮捕の男「困る姿楽しい」 Especially the relationships between: 唾液 and かけた 困る姿 and 楽しい Is 困る姿 楽しい?
-1
votes
1answer
373 views

男が空き缶などに入れた唾液を女子高生の制服や頭に直接かける

With the following sentence: 西東京市内では昨年12月〜今年2月、男が空き缶などに入れた唾液を女子高生の制服や頭に直接かける事件がほかに3件発生。 Does 空き缶などに入れた modify 唾液? Does it mean 唾液 was put in an empty can?
5
votes
2answers
816 views

This use より baffles me

From the anime Noir, Episode 2. Context: The husband comes home and his wife and son greet him outside. Wife: おかえりなさい。今日は早いのね? Husband: ああ、思ったより早く仕事が終わってね。 The wife's line, I get. The ...
4
votes
1answer
633 views

が早いか versus や否や

が早{はや}いか and や否{いな}や both seem to mean "as soon as". They describe a relation between two actions, where one action occurs when another does. I'm a little fuzzy on the difference, though. I think, ...
5
votes
2answers
672 views

How many verb endings to express “do this (please)”?

I'm familiar with the て and てください forms of a verb to give a command/request and request, respectively. However, I've run across these other forms and really don't know which to use in what situation. ...
6
votes
3answers
826 views

Which ところ is this?

I had my sentence of 今日は友達の車で警告を読んで、和英翻訳してみることにします ("Today I will read the warning in my friend's car and try to do a Japanese to English translation of it") corrected to become: ...
8
votes
3answers
519 views

relative clauses without verbs

I read a sentence in Naruto that challenged some of my ideas about how Japanese works, and I'd like to try and clear this up. I can only assume that アナタがピンチの時 means "when you're in a pinch". First ...
8
votes
2answers
344 views

What's the meaning of ず in 通ず? (Not a negative)

It's from the Japanese saying, 読書百遍意自ずから通ず(Repeated reading makes the meaning clear). In this case, the ず ending doesn't make the verb negative. What is the function and nuance of this usage? Is this ...
5
votes
2answers
803 views

“Dyke” and “Femme”

Warning! This question contains at least one, possibly, derogatory word. I appologise if readers are offended. A friend of mine asked me to translate a passage from a poem in British English into ...
4
votes
2answers
347 views

~たい forms of double-subject sentences

I ocasionally hear sentences such as 髪が長くなりたい I want long hair 心が美しくありたい I want to have a beautiful heart Although I might use similar constructions myself, I do not consider them fully ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

Does 諸元{しょげん} mean “Specification” or “Various”?

I am trying to name a library on a group of forms. The specification names the group 諸元管理画面. I tried to search and the dictionary says it means "various factors or elements". But on other examples ...
6
votes
2answers
221 views

What is the meaning of なす? Specifically when preceded by a color

I came across this phrase in a book: 緑なす半島 Obviously (and also confirmed by Weblio) it is describing a quality of the peninsula, but I'm curious as to what exactly it means, and how/when it can ...
2
votes
1answer
223 views

Could anyone confirm my poor translation of these few sentences? [closed]

For my first question I would like some help on the following message I received(the sentences are relatively simple since my Japanese skills are quite low). But before starting I would like to say ...
2
votes
1answer
635 views

I have no idea what my old shirt says. Can anyone help? [closed]

I have owned this old RVCA shirt for nearly a decade. I have never had any clue what it means, though I suspect it is offensive or awkward (as that is what I would put on a shirt if I knew an ignorant ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

一ヵ条: いちっかじょう? いちかじょう? いっかじょう?

This recent question brought to mind a question of my own. The Japanese name for the Twenty-One Demands made by Japan in 1915 to the Republic of China is romanised on the wikipedia page as 対華二十一ヵ条要求 ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

1カ所: いっかしょ or いちかしょ?

What is the correct pronunciation for 1カ所 ? It means: 1 place Context: ユーティリティ関数として定義されているわりには1カ所からしか呼ばれていない。 It is defined as a utility function, but only called in one place.
3
votes
2answers
171 views

What is the first meaning of たたき台?

たたき台 means a springboard for discussion. According to my dictionary, this word's first meaning is "chopping block". On Google Images, it does not look like the plastic/wood board I use to cut ...
5
votes
2answers
425 views

Questions about ありたい

心がいつも美しくありたいです I want my heart to always be beautiful. 心がいつも美しくして欲しいです (Incorrect) 心がいつも美しくなりたいです I want my heart to always be beautiful.(?) My Japanese friend wrote the ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to write “eastern Tokyo” (or “northern Hokkaido”)

While chatting with a friend about meeting up in eastern Tokyo, I typed in ひがしとうきょう and my Mac dutifully sent 東東京 out the wire. I quickly clarified with ひがし東京 just so she wouldn't think I had made a ...
4
votes
2answers
436 views

What does the うち in ならないうちに mean?

日本人には、見知らぬ人と会話を始めてまだくつろいだ気分にならないうちに、相手の、年齢や地位、既婚か未婚かなどの個人的な事柄を知りたがる傾向がある。 There is a tendency for Japanese to want to know a certain amount of personal information about someone such as age, ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

Reading of 起き上がり小法師

In particular, of the 小法師 part. I this article, we have 小法師 as こぼうし in the title, which makes sense to me given the kanji. However, upon looking up 起き上がり小法師, I find the reading おきあがりこぼし(without the ...
9
votes
2answers
721 views

Origin of onsen term “wani”

Why was "wani" (crocodile or alligator) chosen as a term for a gawker at a konyoku (mixed gender onsen)? Was it because of the animal's ability to stare, the fact that it is a predator, or was it ...
3
votes
4answers
480 views

How does this meaning of 笑えないかな work?

In this Bump of Chicken song, the line 笑えないかな is used a number of times. For example: 全て受け止めて笑えないかな If only I could just accept everything and smile. 誰かに優しく出来ないかな 全て受け止めて笑えないかな If ...
5
votes
2answers
839 views

What is さすが when referring to oneself?

It means "as one would expect" when referring to others, and it's sort of a compliment. But you're not supposed to compliment yourself in Japanese. So does さすが have a different meaning when ...
3
votes
1answer
210 views

What is なのは used in this sentence?

What is the なのは used in "なかでも にんき なのは ポケモンどうしを たたかわせて". I know にんき is a na-adjective but i don't understand the use of なのは.
1
vote
2answers
172 views

Comment dire “dossard” en japonais?

Un dossard est un morceau de tissu qui identifie les sportifs dans un marathon: Comment dire ça en japonais ? 日本語では、フランス語の「dossard」と同じ意味の言葉がありますか? In Japanese, is there an equivalent for the ...
10
votes
4answers
486 views

word search: voluntary pause between desire and action

Some years ago, I read that Japanese has a word (or idiomatic expression) that means roughly: The action of voluntary interposing a pause between the moment you desire something and the moment you ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

味わわせる vs. 味あわせる

Why is 味わわせる often pronounced as 味あわせる? What makes the former form unnatural, and what is the mechanism that changes it to the latter form? In the first place, what it the -waw- attached to aji ...
4
votes
1answer
163 views

Difference between 「来ませんでした」and「来なかったです」 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is じゃないです equally correct as じゃありません? Both have the same meaning ("did not come") and according to my Japanese co-workers both are acceptable while they can't define the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Correct word for “indeed”

What is the correct translation for "indeed"? I found 実際{じっさい}に and 確{たし}かに. If both are correct, what is the difference? Thanks.
9
votes
2answers
345 views

Terms for Japanese/Western name order

Does anybody know of a standard term to describe Japanese and Western name orders (for example, when filling a form): John Somelastname ← "Western name order" Somelastname John ← "Japanese ...
14
votes
1answer
274 views

When would you use 新{あら}たな and 新{あたら}しい

To say new, the first way that I learned is to use the i-adjective 新しい. But I noticed that the na-adjective 新たな is used a lot in written texts. Is there any difference in when either is used?
6
votes
2answers
859 views

Using げ to turn adjectives and nouns into adverbs

「自慢げに話す」「得意げに話す」「誇らしげに話す」 Is this げ a simple way to turn adjectives and nouns into adverbs? (are the first two examples nouns turned into adverbs, or were they adjectives as well to begin with?)
4
votes
1answer
311 views

What does the idiom 体が余る mean?

I found a list of Japanese idioms (without translations) that I wanted to study, so I sat down and looked up the meanings. Most of them I found in my trusty denshi jishyo, and a couple of them I had ...
7
votes
2answers
253 views

What is the difference between あるまい and ありません?

From what I understand, they both mean "is not". But from what I've been able to gather from the few times I've heard it, it seems that あるまい may not be as strong or definitive as ありません. Am I on the ...
7
votes
1answer
147 views

What is the difference in usage between [問]{と}い[合]{あ}わせ and [依]{い}[頼]{らい}

Both 問い合わせ and 依頼 can mean to ask, but my co-workers are using both words in the application we are working on as if they are two different words. I have a suspicion one is transitive and one is ...
3
votes
1answer
390 views

“Rather than”-construction

I found these two sentences which seem to me to be quite similar in the translation but are constructed in a different way: 魚を食べる ぐらいなら 飢えたほうがましだ 'I rather starve than eat fish.' 恥 よりも ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How to ask person to guess for something during conversation?

I was conversing with my Japanese colleague: Me: Do you know how much a melon costs in my home country? Colleague: I do not know. Me: Take a guess. I asked him how to say take a ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you say I am emailing something and attaching it to the email?

I am usually confused if I am going to use 入れます or 付けます when specifying that I attached something to the email. For example: 最新の帳票サンプルを添付して入れます。 or 最新の帳票サンプルを添付して付けます。 I would usually say that ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

食べたそうだ vs. 食べそうだ, 静かだそうだ vs. 静かそうだ

I saw this as a comment on this question, Why does そう in 「美味しいそう」 not mean "seem" the way I think it should?-そう-in-「美味しいそう」-not-mean-seem-the-way-i-think-it-should, and would love to ...
6
votes
3answers
994 views

How do you express “did” + verb in Japanese?

For instance, you can ask someone: Did you go to the store today? or You went to the store today? Would those both be translated as: 今日、乾物屋{かんぶつや}に行ったか? Or is there another way to ...

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