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
148 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
997 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

understanding 対する

これが私の手紙に対する彼の返事だ。 This is his answer to my letter. 自分の中の彼に対する気持ちをどう表現していいのか分からないの。I don’t know how to express how I really feel to him. 彼に対して、彼を好きという私の気持ちを、どう表せばいいか、わからない。 I don't know ...
5
votes
1answer
187 views

How can I express “and/or”?

When stating two things e.g. A and B , and not counting the possibility of "neither", there exists A, B and A and B. To express all of them at once, "and/or" is commonly used. What are the ways to ...
2
votes
1answer
222 views

Explain what はめになる is and give some examples

I heard that it means something like "to get stuck with something." Can you explain what this means and give some examples?
4
votes
1answer
302 views

How is 3.11 pronounced?

When referring to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident, is "3.11" pronounced "San gatsu ju ichi nichi", or is there a shortened version, like "nine one one" or "September eleven" for the ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Why biiru hitotsu rather than ippai?

While having Ghengis Khan with some dou-min, one of them asked for "biiru hitotsu". While I could understand the biiru, I was surprised that ippai wasn't used. I understand that (number)-tsu is valid ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Listing using ひとつ?

I learned from Nihongoresources that: An interesting note is on the "number of problems" I mentioned; while in English you would list problems (or rules, or whatever) as "First, ....., second, ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

What's the difference between 両方 and 双方?

What's the difference between 両方 and 双方? I am definitely more acquainted with 両方, so I guess it is used for a wider variety of things, but could anyone tell me the specifics of what they can or cannot ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How to ask for a refund?

I want to ask for a refund? For example, if I want to refund a train ticket. How do I ask the train master? I think it is not a 返品。 Do you need certain politeness?
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it true that the べつに when used to mean “nothing particularly” is pronounced differently from when it is used to mean “separately / apart”?

Is it true that the べつに when used to mean "nothing particularly" is pronounced differently from when it is used to mean "separately / apart" ? Like am I right to say that these 3 examples belong to ...
7
votes
2answers
666 views

What would be the difference in meaning between 違っていた and 違った?

昔は違っていた。 昔は違った。 It was different a long time ago. Do these two Japanese sentences mean the same thing? Here is the sentence in the original context. The translations are not mine, but ...
16
votes
2answers
519 views

Why does 語 contain 五?

I'm aware the two kanji are often pronounced the same, but why does one contain the other in it?
5
votes
3answers
290 views

What role does よかった play in this exchange?

It's from twitter. hetusa: 福岡県筑後、羽犬塚から行方不明になっていた叔母(73才)が発見された、と知らせがありました。 itoi_shigesato: よかった。 hetusa: ありがとうございました My feeling is that it says something like 'just so'. Also, it common to respond ...
4
votes
1answer
418 views

What is the difference between these words for “audience”?

What is the difference in usage between these three words for "audience"? 観客{かんきゃく} (audience, spectators) 聴衆{ちょうしゅう} (audience, attendees) 観衆{かんしゅう} (audience, onlookers) The ...
5
votes
3answers
848 views

How does だからって usually work?

馬鹿だからって知らないわけじゃない I translated this sentence as "It's not like I don't know that I'm stupid," while my friend who wrote it translated it as "I'm stupid, but I know that." So I feel I understand ...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

When to use: “say”, “speak”, “tell” or “express”

When browsing through journal entries by various people, I've recently been noticing the words 述{の}べる and 語{かた}る used fairly frequently but I'm not sure when they should be used over 話{はな}す and 言{い}う ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

Is 東西二つ idiomatic?

I came across this sentence about a traditional festival in Japan: 阿月の神明祭は、阿月地区を東西二つに分けて行われる災厄除けや病気除け、豊作を祈願して行われる。 (link) The general meaning is clear, but what I don't fully understand is this ...
7
votes
1answer
423 views

苦手 in describing dislike of people

率直に言って彼女が苦手なのは、彼女はまず最初に他人の助けを求めるからです。 Frankly speaking, I dislike her, because the first thing she does is to ask other people for help. I would like to better understand the quality of ...
4
votes
1answer
896 views

What is the equivalent use of need and need + Verb?

If I see someone struggling to pick up a box, I'd say: "Do you need help with that?" Or I have to run an errand very soon, I could say: "I need to buy this gift by 4 pm." Or if someone's car has ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Help on a specific usage of こそ

好きこそものの上手なれ。 We tend to be good at those things we like. / People become best at what they love the most. How does the こそ work here? Is this use of こそ common outside of proverbs?
5
votes
2answers
176 views

How do you talk about things in parts?

I would like to say "It is written half in English and half in Japanese." When writing this myself I came up with: これは半分英語で半分日本語で書いていました。 but I think that 半分英語で半分日本語で does not sound ...
5
votes
1answer
602 views

Confusion between causatives and intransitive-transitive

I read the answer to this question How different is 冷やかす from 冷やす? And 散らかす from 散らす? but somehow wasn't satisfied. What's the difference between the 2 causative forms ~す and ~せる, e.g. 待たす and ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

How is 候 used in this line of Nōgaku dialogue?

I am studying some nōgaku. In particular, the play 卒都婆小町, which I find has some interesting, beautiful lines. At the start of the play, a priest says: ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it natural to call elderly men ojiisan?

Is ojiisan an idiomatic word choice for a chronologically gifted man, akin to obaasan for elderly women? For example, when giving your seat to them on the train.
12
votes
1answer
316 views

Is there a keigo expression which can be translated as playing or pretending to do?

I have heard that, in former times, there was a very polite form of speaking in the form of, e.g., "the emperor liked playing to die" instead of "the emperor died". Is this true that there is a style ...
3
votes
2answers
551 views

General rules in negative adjectives in superpolite form

I have trouble trying to find this specific grammar in text books. I have a negative adjective in polite form: 寒くないです I want to use the superpolite form: 寒くないございます That seems right, but I have ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Slang definitions of ハゲ

私に命令するな。何様だこのハゲ。 Don't tell me what to do! Who the fuck does this idiot think he is? Besides meaning bald, or a bald/balding person, when cursing, does ハゲ also just become a generic curse ...
4
votes
1answer
253 views

The gender of 子

Is 子 ever used to refer to a boy, or is it always used for girls? Is 悪い子 used only for girls?
4
votes
1answer
281 views

Appropriateness of the word 膣外射精 in average adult conversations?

In discussing the marriage of Jin Akanishi and Meisa Kuroki, and why many young celebrities in Japan seem to fall into shotgun marriages, I wanted to use an equivalent for the term "withdrawal ...
4
votes
1answer
540 views

Particles in the Passive form causing me confusion (を、に、が)

Sometimes, I dont know what particles to use in the passive form に、を、が。 ワインを飲まれた ワインに飲まれた ワインが飲まれた I REALLY dont understand the difference between those three. Is the first one that uses を ...
1
vote
1answer
405 views

How to use こと when expressing the experience of something?

v.。。。ことが。。。。。 How can i talk about the experience of something using こと? 買うことがdきます。 would this be the experience of being able to buy? If you understand my problem please show me more examples!
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the Japanese for “I'll check it out, I will try and see”?

I found a form using 見て, and it seemed very useful, but I could never remember it. It means something like "I will try it out" or "I will try and see", and the Japanese form is something like 自転車見て... ...
5
votes
2answers
399 views

Does がち mean “in excess”?

I have been reading a daily article during 朝礼. One of the sentence used the word がち. The sample sentence is: 長所{ちょうしょ}は見逃{みのが}してしまいがちです。 Abundant of misses. I tried to ask my colleague ...
8
votes
2answers
161 views

Dismissing an expectation

What can be said when I need to dismiss an expectation? Here are some examples of what I mean by "expectation": I ask someone what time it is, then I remembered that I'm actually wearing a watch. ...
4
votes
1answer
336 views

Proper Terms For Representing GPS Coordinates

In another question, I mentioned using Kana to represent the GPS coordinates for: N 43° 09.725' W 077° 26.688' I used: キタ シジュウ サン ジスウ ク チョボ ナナヒャク ニジュウ ゴ フン kita shijuu san jisuu ku chobo ...
18
votes
6answers
765 views

How can I differentiate agreement with the person and agreement with the idea?

A zillion years ago, before I came to Japan, I took a short introductory course on Japanese. In it, they showed a video of a business meeting where an American businessman is speaking to a Japanese ...
5
votes
1answer
320 views

What does the verb 好く do?

Observation: The verb 好く exists. 好く is transitive. By extension, "to like ~" is predicted to be: a. ~を好く。 However, empirical data shows that this pattern is the accepted form: b. ~が好きだ。 ...
6
votes
2answers
182 views

Is その always or only occasionally a demonstrative adjective?

The following Japanese sentence was translated with その as "the": その 仕事の一部を誰かにやってもらったほうがいい。 You should get someone else to do some of the work for you. while I translated it with その as "that": ...
10
votes
1answer
647 views

Did standalone noun “好き” mean a person in classical Japanese?

In classical Japanese, did standalone noun “好き” mean a person who likes something? I do not think that it does in modern Japanese, although it sometimes means a person when used as a suffix (e.g. ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Nuance of 離{はな}れ

In my JLPT textbook, it has a section on the use of the term 離{はな}れ, "detachment". Some examples: テレビ離{ばな}れ (detachment from television) もの離{ばな}れ (detachment from things) 政治離{ばな}れ ...
1
vote
1answer
503 views

Sokuon Diacritic and Wabun Morse Code

I have created a geocache puzzle based on Japanese Morse Code (Wabun Code). The final coordinates that I translated are: N 43° 09.725 W 077° 26.688 I broke this down as follows: N 4 3 ° ...
2
votes
2answers
249 views

Defining a particular 系

http://mainichi.jp/life/kimochi/archive/news/2012/20120205ddn013070029000c.html The article above, about how a girl wants to be loved, is entitled 愛され系  I am wondering which definition of 系 ...
8
votes
2answers
233 views

The difference between 皮膚【ひふ】 and 皮【かわ】

What's the difference? I got told that 皮膚【ひふ】 only works for mammals (and humans), and 皮【かわ】 for other animals too.

15 30 50 per page