7
votes
2answers
471 views

Role of の in そんなの

Naruto found out that another character had been given a tempting offer and Naruto said: そんなの答えはNOだってばよ What is の doing here, grammatically? is it nominalization? I think I've heard stuff before ...
3
votes
2answers
275 views

Understanding 〜たら良いか〜

The sentence 何と言ったら良いか分かりません means "I don't know what I should say." But what is the literal translation of this sentence? What is the purpose of the か in 良いか?
4
votes
1answer
145 views

When is it appropriate to say ご[機嫌]{きげん}よう?

Denshi Jisho seems to imply that ご[機嫌]{きげん}よう is for really formal situations. I've only heard it spoken by older women, so I was just curious what the appropriate usage for this word is. Would it be ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

How do you write someone's name if you don't know what kanji to use?

Since kanji can have multiple pronunciations, how would you know how to write someone's name if you've only heard it spoken? What's the convention? Would you just guess, or maybe write it out in ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is katakana sometimes used to replace hiragana? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why “dame” is written as katakana (ダメ) in manga? The question title kinda says it all! This confuses me, as I thought katakana was used exclusively for loan ...
6
votes
1answer
446 views

What does もう mean in this sentence?

彼はもう英語を教えるまい。 (Most probably, he won't teach English any more.) I got this sentence from this thread. もう doesn't seem necessary to use or have. Isn't the meaning the same if it was like this: ...
7
votes
2answers
186 views

Can 物 be added to any word to make it mean “things?”

I keep seeing examples of words where 物 is tacked on the end to mean "things." 食べ物, 飲み物, つまらない物, etc. Are there any restrictions as to what can precede 物? Can I, for example, say something like 青い物, ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How can 「うん」 be used to mean both “yes” and “no?”

I was told by my Japanese teacher that 「うん」 can be used as a casual way to say "yes" as well as "no." If this is true, how can you tell the difference, absent any additional information?
4
votes
1answer
208 views

Can ま be used as an interjection to connote an indignant tone?

On occasion, I will hear ま being used in a way that seems to suggest the speaker is responding to something indignantly. Something like, "Well! If that's how you're going to act..." Are there any good ...
3
votes
1answer
984 views

Why are there so many sound symbolic words?

Wikipedia states that "sound symbolic words occur more often in Japanese than in English..." Indeed, Amazon.jp has a 4500-word dictionary just for these words. Is there any research or solid ...
7
votes
2answers
444 views

Why is 「この人」 sometimes pronounced like 「このしと」? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why the “H” is pronounced Sh in some cases. I notice native speakers frequently sound as if they are reading 「この人」 as 「このしと」. I am aware of instances where ...
5
votes
1answer
388 views

What does the pattern ~たりはしない do?

I keep seeing the pattern ~たりはしない and wondering what how the nuance/meaning is different from other forms. For example, how would the following sentences differ? "誰にも話したりはしない" and "誰にも話さない" "I ...
1
vote
1answer
192 views

Conjugation of いけない or いける?

In "宿題をしなくてはいけなかった" meaning "Had to do homework.", is the word "いけなかった" derived from "いける" (verb conjugation) or from "いけない" (i-adjective conjugation)?
5
votes
1answer
305 views

What does ~んじゃなかった do in this sentence?

The following sentence was translated in the following ways: 窓を開けたままで寝るんじゃなかった。 I shouldn't have slept with the window open. I regret (that) I was sleeping with the window open. But why does ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the difference between 見える【みえる】/聞こえる【きこえる】 and 見られる【みられる】/聞ける【きける】?

In Japanese, there is a potential form to express that it's possible for something to be done. My own examples of potential form: 辛【から】い食【た】べ物【もの】が食【た】べられる。 (I can eat spicy foods.) ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Who decides what katakana will be used to form English loan words?

I love katakana, mostly because of how the characters look. But I am constantly baffled by why certain loan words from English are constructed using certain katakana sounds. For example, if someone ...
6
votes
1answer
661 views

Why does furigana occasionally appear as katakana?

I've seen some kanji whose furigana is actually katakana. For example, see the following manga cover for 桜蘭高校ホスト部. When would a kanji character ever be pronounced as a loan word?
4
votes
2answers
762 views

What does なのね at the end of a sentence mean?

A certain character in an anime series I watch would literally end each sentence with なのね. What does this imply? He was a pretty flamboyant character who was supposed to be Italian, if that offers any ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Which kanji has the greatest number of strokes?

I was just curious what the most complex kanji—in terms of number of strokes—is, whether or not it's actually used often.
6
votes
3answers
366 views

What differences, if any, are there between 婦 and 女?

I came across 婦 from this English-language Wikipedia article. Jisho.org says that 婦 (which contains 女 in it) can mean married woman, but it can mean woman or lady, and it then lists words such as 婦警 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Can you use multiple を in one sentence?

I was listening to lastfm.jp the other day, and happened across this line in an artist bio: 14歳の頃にギターを、17歳で作曲を始める。 I've often read here on JLU that a phrase particle should only appear once per ...
6
votes
1answer
298 views

Cohortative ましょう with and without the auxiliary construction ~てみる

In "何かしてみましょう。" meaning "Let's try/do something.", what is the literal translation of "してみましょう"? I've got "して" means "doing" and "みましょう" means "let's watch or let's?". How is "してみましょう" different ...
7
votes
1answer
241 views

Does 換骨奪胎 have negative connotation?

In the book ロボット学論集 by 瀬名 秀明, I saw this sentence (not exact since I'm solely depending on my memory) 2004 年公開の映画 "I, Robot" は,Isaac Asimov の同名の小説を換骨奪胎した別物である. I looked at several online ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

Additional nuance of より with time

It seems to me that より has virtually no meaning when used as shown below. Consider these: Please come before five O'clock: 五時前に来てください 五時より前に来てください Please come after five O'clock: 五時後に来てください ...
6
votes
1answer
505 views

What is the best word to use to mean “to take long-term a break (i.e. from school)”?

Just to add some context to this question: I graduated with a B.A. last June, and am currently taking a two-year break from education to work off some of the inordinate amount of debt I accumulated in ...
6
votes
4answers
264 views

Problem understanding a sentence

The sentence トムは私より身長が高いです。 means "Tom is taller than I me." but I'm trying to find the meaning of each word in order to understand the japanese sentence better. Here is what I have so far: トムは(Tom ...
4
votes
2answers
268 views

Understanding the たがい in 仲たがい

What is the etymology of the suffix(?)たがい in 仲たがい and how is it used to express discord? If this is a suffix as such, is it used in combination with any other words?
3
votes
2answers
244 views

Usage of “~だぴょん”

A fair while ago someone said something like 嘘だぴょーん! in a comment. But what kind of a connotation and usage does ~だぴょん have? Can it be used in a kind of humorous sort of way? Edit: Realized it was ...
5
votes
2answers
531 views

What is that expression used to generally mean “…is what I would say, but…”?

Forgive me if this is a bit anecdotal, but I often hear a sentence pattern in speech which basically is of the form "[statement]...is what I would/want to say, but..." I usually hear this when the ...
3
votes
2answers
278 views

Using な or ね when addressing a mixed-gender group?

I have the basic understanding that ね is generally more formal/feminine and な is generally more informal/masculine. I was told that you tend to use ね as an emphasis if you are a) a female yourself or ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Anki decks for studying Japanese [closed]

I recently came across an awesome application called Anki which has a great number of shared decks (flashcards) for download. With the large number of decks (as well as the possibility of some ...
9
votes
2answers
886 views

How do you use 〜と知る?

I've often seen and heard the expression 〜と知る(知っている). When I think about it, it makes sense in the context of the quoatation-と, like with 〜と言う or 〜と思う. It seems like it means "Know that 〜". ...
8
votes
2answers
472 views

“Grammatically-correct” particle-less phrases/sayings

I know that within an informal/familiar setting, people often leave out particles. Whether or not this is grammatically correct I'm not positive, but for the sake of this question, I'll say that it's ...
11
votes
1answer
389 views

What's the difference between 一応 and とりあえず?

What's the difference between 一応{いちおう} and とりあえず? While I think they can both mean "tentatively" or "for the time being", there seems to be a difference in their usage. How do the two translate ...
10
votes
2answers
459 views

“看護師” vs. “看護士”

Good afternoon all, I was wondering is it true that "看護師" is a gender-neutral way of referring to a "nurse", Whereas "看護婦" implies that it is a girl, And "看護士" implies that it is a guy? ...
12
votes
1answer
834 views

Use of kana iteration marks (ゝ, ゞ, ヽ, ヾ)

Kana iteration marks are are rarely used today, and hence there is not much online information on it besides this Wikipedia article, which leaves me with a couple questions. Is there any kana that ...
7
votes
1answer
298 views

<verb stem>+たかない

Is [verb stem] + たかない different than [verb stem] + たくない? What does it mean?
8
votes
0answers
292 views

Thoughts about event frequencies and “often enough”

I'm having trouble expressing the concept of "not often enough". The most basic way to say "often" is よく, but I think there's a problem in putting qualifiers on this word. For instance, expressing ...
5
votes
2answers
447 views

What does the “~ておく” mean in “任せておく”?

Good afternoon all, From what I understand, "~ておく" basically has 4 meanings: to do something for a purpose / reason used as a softener (source) to do.. for now or for the time being (source, ...
5
votes
1answer
304 views

Questions on the Japanese equivalent of “window of opportunity”

In English we have a saying "window of opportunity" which means that there is specific time period where a certain event can occur. Based on that expression we talk about a "launch window" when it ...
10
votes
1answer
713 views

Usage of て-form in 知っての通り

I have just come across the phrase 知っての通り〜 (as you know...) I have never noticed this usage of て-form before and can't find an explanation. What is the difference (if any) between this and 知っている通り? ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I spell “So! So! So! So! So!”?

I've heard people say "So! So! So! So! So!" (or possibly "Sou! Sou! Sou!" or maybe using "z" instead of "s" - I'm bad at hearing) when laughing in agreement. When middle-aged women speak Japanese ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How does one write P.S. (post scriptum) in Japanese?

How does one write P.S. (post scriptum) in Japanese? Dictionary translates postscript as 追伸, but is that the compound one would use at the end of a Japanese letter or e-mail?
12
votes
3answers
582 views

Alignment of people's names

When people's names are listed with both sides aligned (either in horizontal or vertical writing), for example, in the ending scroll of a movie, there is a seemingly complicated rule (to me). When ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Different ways to say “at least” / 「少なくとも」

I would like to know if there are other ways to say "at least~" (context below), along with the relevant nuances of each way. This is for a piece of writing I'm doing where for the sake of style I ...
11
votes
2answers
739 views

Japanese idiom equivalent to “take with a grain of salt”

Is there a Japanese idiom equivalent to "take with a grain of salt"? In other words, an idiom which means "don't accept this information as completely true or the complete truth".
2
votes
1answer
481 views

What exactly does “るぅ” mean?

Good afternoon all, Sometimes I see that people like to "curl" the last mora of a verb, for example: 瑞生: ああそれから、亜湖にも特別ボーナスだ。 亜湖: えっ。 瑞生: ジャーン! 亜湖: 何それ? 瑞生: かわいいだろう? 瑞生: ...
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Can I refer to the March 11 earthquake without mentioning the word earthquake?

Is it possible to refer to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and nuclear incident in everyday conversation, preferably without using the words earthquake or tsunami or nuclear incident? For ...
8
votes
1answer
150 views

How do I translate a pattern like “Tap to enter comment”?

I find it difficult to translate short software GUI instructional pieces like: Tap to enter comment Press here to talk Sign in to continue Should I put it like: タップしてコメントを入力 or must it be: ...
3
votes
2answers
252 views

Transitive verb particles

How do I learn which particles go with which transitive verbs since it is not always を。 For example: ラップをかける ラップを被せる ...is no problem, but... ラップで包む 役に立てる JDICT says these are all transitive ...

15 30 50 per page