8
votes
1answer
349 views

What is going on with 書けている? What is Potential Form+ている?

I'm having difficulty in understanding 書けている (initially observed from an answer to "パソコンが 得意だ/わかる/上手だ"). Also observed from SPACEALC: この小説は上手に書けている。 最もよく書けている記事。 いくつかのスペルミスを除けば、...
4
votes
2answers
280 views

Meaning of 「おれば」&「大手を振る」

The following sentence and translation appear in my textbook (総まとめ 読解 N1, p114): 視聴率さえとっておれば、どんな"やらせ" をやろうとも、メディアの責任を考えればモラルに反すると思うことをやっても、大手を振ることが出来る世界 A world (media industry) where they ...
6
votes
1answer
330 views

What nuance brings “ですな”?

I often see ですな used in social text posts. Examples: こんにちわ、あついし、ひまですな。 いいてんきですなw A Google search for "ですな" does not show me any explanation. Here is how I understand ですな in such context: ...
6
votes
1answer
335 views

How to describe the inside of one's mind?

On one page in my book, I came across 3 different phrases for, what seems to me, subtly different ways of saying the same thing. The first was: 頭の隅に Then: 脳裏に The information I was able to find ...
1
vote
1answer
742 views

[plain form]-んじゃない

When I was first learning Japanese, I learned that the explanatory form, -んです is always constructed by conjugating the verb in short form and adding -んです, and that the です part is never conjugated. But ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

How should I intepret より in this sentence

きのうは きょうより ひとが すくないです。 Is it saying: X number of people yesterday < Y number of people today? or X number of people yesterday > Y number of people today? I'm getting the ...
6
votes
1answer
418 views

パソコンが 得意だ/わかる/上手だ

So I was studying this book called 日本語生中継, and there was this question where you're supposed to choose the inappropriate word among others. And I got stuck at this sentence: 私は、パソコンが(得意だ.わかる.上手だ.) ...
6
votes
1answer
201 views

たら as an emotional suffix

In this phrase I couldn't find another meaning of たら (I guess it's not -た+ら): 自分たらの事しか考えてなかった I'd translate it as "I think only of my own business" or "I think only of myself". I found in ...
9
votes
2answers
945 views

How to answer someone else's phone?

I am in a Japanese office setup sitting next to my boss. He often gets phone calls but most of the time he is not in his seat. How do I answer his phone say that "This is Mr. XX's seat and this is YY (...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Examples of when passive form in English takes active/non passive form in Japanese

Can anyone give a few more common examples (or even more insight) of when we should be "switching" from English passive into Japanese active/non-passive? (A joint effort might help a lot of us to ...
5
votes
3answers
564 views

Any rules for a suffix on english words?

(Note: I'm part of the "I know bits and pieces of Japanese from watching anime" group, so I lack an in-depth knowledge of Japanese) As I'm hearing Japanese occasionally there will be an English word ...
20
votes
2answers
649 views

Why is it なさそう and not なそう

"It seems there is none" is なさそう, which escapes the usual rule for 形容詞 (イ-adjectives), which says "drop the い and add そう". Is there a historical explanation for this exception? And does it have ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

what do the words OG and OB mean?

In my JLPT workbook, I have the sentence: 就職活動で携帯電話を重用する学生が増えている。OB, OG訪問で約束を取り付けたり、採用担当者から面接日の連絡を受けたりするのも、常に持ち歩いている携帯の方が確実とみられているからだ。 I'm not sure what OB, OG訪問 means.
9
votes
1answer
738 views

Translation of 「そんなことない」

What is a correct translation for 「そんなことない」 and when can it be used? I understand the "this is wrong"/"this is not correct" general sense but is this considered either as harsh or a gentle way of ...
3
votes
1answer
319 views

What is the difference between 「Adj-さと言ったらなかった」&「Adj-いと言ったらなかった」?

Could someone explain the difference between the following two expressions: 恐ろしさといったらなかった 恐ろしいといったらなかった I am struggling with the first which my text book tells me means とても恐ろしかった. Why is ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Can kanji-heavy Japanese be easily translated into Chinese?

How much is changed or lost in translating (say) an old Japanese text that's mainly written in kanji into hanzi? How does it compare to translating into a completely foreign language like English? I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
196 views

~なければならない and ~によって auxiliary meanings

I am having trouble with the bold part of this sentence from wikipedia: バブル経済(バブルけいざい、economic bubble)とは、概ね不動産や株式をはじめとした時価資産の資産価格が投機によって実体経済の経済成長以上のペースで高騰し続け、投機によって支えなければならない市場が、...
6
votes
2answers
208 views

What's the rule for “にしている”?

The sentence that that I heard was 頼りにしている。 Google Translate tells me that means "I'm counting on you". My understanding of Japanese tells me "this doesn't compute". Is there a general rule for ...
11
votes
4answers
631 views

Counters In Japanese

I'm a super beginner in Japanese, so excuse me if this question is really simple. Or stupid. As an exercise, sometimes I count up the things on nearby desks or tables and try to list them in Japanese,...
3
votes
1answer
324 views

What forms of verbs (potential or passive) are more frequent in Japanese?

A simple question to those speaking and the native ones. What of the two forms (potential verbs or passive voice verbs) in Japanese verbs is more frequent? This question may seem strange, but I need ...
2
votes
1answer
280 views

use of word suffixes with 事

In this sentence I've a some doubts"自分 の 事し 考えぬ には、この 氷 は 溶かせない" I think a translation would be" Think to yourself of this matter of you, this ice never will melt" But it's just a guess. I can ...
6
votes
1answer
435 views

What's the difference between 創始者、創業者、創設者 and 創立者?

I have seen 創始者 been used in the following contexts: 仏教の創始者、プログラムの創始者、儒教の創始者 創業者 probably refers to founders of businesses: 店の創業者、紀伊国屋の創業者 However, I only have a vague idea about how these are used. ...
10
votes
1answer
486 views

Etymology and usage of 凸待ち

I've seen the internet slang 凸{とつ}待{ま}ち used for "waiting for incoming (Skype etc) calls" pretty frequently, but what is the etymology and usage of the word? I've read on other sites that it came ...
5
votes
1answer
190 views

The thin line? What is 線がうすい's meaning and etymology?

I just found this phrase in my book (I don't know how much context is relevant, this is the entire sentence): それにな、わたしが商人の線がうすい、といった理由はもうひとつある。 I looked up the phrase and found this 線が細い. It ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

What's the difference between 国家 and 国?

They both mean country don't they? I saw this phrase: 国家公安局部長。 When I looked it up 国家, the definition was just "country". So I'm not understanding the nuance between the two words.
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Which writing system (hiragana, katakana, or kanji) should we use when writing out someone's name?

I know how to read hiragana and katakana, but know nothing else. A lot of people I know want me to write their names in Japanese. Is it right to write them in any system, or are there specific rules?
5
votes
4answers
428 views

おはようございます when it's not morning?

In a comment to this answer it was mentioned that おはようございます can be used in a variety of situations other than in the morning. To me it only makes sense to say "good morning" when it is actually ...
11
votes
2answers
270 views

苦労せん is the contracted form of what?

I'm translating a manga in which one character use a very slangy or contracted way of speaking while the others talk more standard-like. I've already encountered the stem+ん as a short form the ...
10
votes
3answers
761 views

What does “齓” mean?

I've found this kanji during Shodo practice. My teacher (Japanese) didn't know the meaning (she recognized the Tooth bushu/radical but not the "word"). I tried to look it up on the electronic ...
13
votes
1answer
601 views

Do native speakers consciously use phonetic elements in 形声文字?

Do native speakers of Japanese use phonetic elements when reading less common kanji? For example, does the compound 咆哮 look like ほうこう because of the elements 包 and 孝, even if you haven't learned to ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

おっす! An abbreviation for … what exactly?

Going hiking here in Japan, you can hardly pass anyone without either saying お疲れさまです, おはようございます (I go hiking in the morning) or こんにちは. Some people (young males in particular) greet you with either ...
8
votes
2answers
550 views

“Arigatō” and “gozaimasu” combined into a single word?

In Japan for three years, and I've noticed that the locals often sound like they're combining the two words "arigatō" and "gozaimasu" into a single word, "arigatōzaimasu". Am I hearing things (...
7
votes
2answers
325 views

Is there a generally accepted “rule” for truncating loan words?

I've noticed that sometimes loan words (usually pairs) are truncated to just the first two morae from each word: Smash Brothers ➤ スマッシュブラザーズ ➤ スマブラ "Don't mind." ➤ ドンマイ I assume this is ...
6
votes
4answers
871 views

“Opposite” of `和製英語`

Is there an "opposite" of 和製英語 (meaning Japanese words/phrases invented by English speakers)? Maybe like {英・米・欧?}製日本語? Because I always see/hear Japanese words in English and they drive me nuts! ...
6
votes
2answers
688 views

<動詞の辞書形> + がよい ― How is this allowed?

I've come across this form many times in my Japanese Bible. The meaning is quite obvious based on context, and seems to be one of the following: ~べきです, ~ほうがいい, ~なさい, or ~ように (let it be ~). Here are ...
1
vote
1answer
503 views

Where can I get a list of Japanese words with context? [closed]

I want to study for the JLPT with authentic sentence examples, in-context Japanese. Does anyone know a resource for this? I have searched for a long time, and I haven't found anything.
10
votes
1answer
357 views

How figurative can 姿 be?

I've always thought of 姿 as a physical form or shape, but I came across this passage from my book: 彼らの話から浮かびあがってきたのは、・・・・・{この人}の姿だった。 (I took just took out some descriptions of the woman they're ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are wisdom teeth called 親知らず in Japanese?

Why are wisdom teeth called 親知{おやし}らず in Japanese? The literal meaning seems to be something like "unknown to the parents".
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does 「やきもち」 mean to be jealous?

I've heard this word used quite a few times now, and I'm tired of pretending to understand it. Why does 「やきもち」 refer to being jealous? Is this a slang word? How do people use this word?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How should I write “ikigai” in shodō?

I'd like to use ikigai ("something one lives for; purpose in life; raison d'être") for a calligraphy (shodō) work. According to Tangorin there are three possible ways to write this: 生き甲斐 生きがい ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

When is 着ける used in context of clothes? (eg in comparison to 着る, する、履く)

I recently read that: 着る(きる)is used for the wearing clothes for either the upper half of the body (eg 上着)or the whole body in general. 履く(はく)is used for bottom half (eg shoes, socks, trousers)...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the “wa-particle” in katakana ワ or ハ?

Is the "wa-particle" in katakana ワ or ハ? (Just a quick question - I think I have seen both used, but if ワ is correct then I have just seen the results of a computer o/p automatically using ハ)
0
votes
4answers
2k views

Using “ha” instead of “wa” with QWERTY keyboards [closed]

Why is it standard practice to type "ha" when you are translating は{wa} using a QWERTY keyboard? This has always confused me. これは... is pronounced "Kore wa" but when you type it out you type "Kore ha"....
18
votes
1answer
543 views

When to read “その後” as “そのご”, “そのあと” or “そののち”?

I've recently been seeing あと as well as ご as Furigana on top of 後 in その後, but is there a difference in usage or meaning between the different readings? Looking at the Yahoo thesaurus, it seems it can ...
6
votes
1answer
209 views

The meaning and parsing of “はっといた”

In the Kanzen Master N2 listening textbook, there's the following sentence: 女: 昨日、はっといたんだけど。 Of which in the answers the correct reply was specified as: 男: その壁に? Man: On that wall? (?) ...
4
votes
1answer
341 views

Is 「~べくして」 related to 「~べき」 / 「~べく」?

How I understand it, ~べく, meaning "for the purpose of..." / "In order to....", is the conjunctive form of ~べき, which indicates something that should be done. たくさん本を読む べき (you should read many ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What does これ以上 (kore ijou) mean?

The whole sentence reads これ以上 シャレてる時間はない which is from the lyrics of this anime song. which, according to this website, means There's no more time to be fooling around I understand the first ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How to say “Little did I/he/she/they know”?

I found a few examples at ALC, but still not sure about the best way to say it.
13
votes
2answers
876 views

Adjectives functioning both as イ- and ナ-adjective

This question has made me think about the class of adjectives, which can function both as イ- and as ナ-adjective, e.g. 大きい 大きな 小さい 小さな 真っ白い 真っ白な (etc.) 細かい 細かな 暖かい 暖かな 四角い 四角な (etc.) 柔らかい ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

〜しては is this a grammar pattern?

I was trying to translate this sentence: 僕はアルバイトしてはレコードばかり買っていたから、一日半働けばLP一枚買えるな、と思って働いていた。 I think I get the overall meaning as: Because I spent all my wages on records I went to work thinking "If ...

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