9
votes
1answer
235 views

Can 一杯 be used to express the fullness of things without physical volumes?

According to an answer to this question, the word [一杯]{いっぱい} can be used to expess fullness; especially in relation to the capacity of whatever is containing the quantity. This, however, tends to ...
4
votes
1answer
716 views

Why does 古希 / こき mean 70 years old?

I found out that 古希 / こき can mean a 70 year old person, or the occasion of turning 70 years old. Apparently its etymology derives from an ancient song where this line occurs:七十古希 【しちじゅうこき】 which means ...
9
votes
1answer
285 views

What does ending a statement with 「っ」signify when coupled with 「・・・」?

I have seen a few sentences or exclamations that end a sentence with 「っ」. Specifically, I read the example below: ちなみに純文学について語れなんて言われても私には、無理・・・っ! The following sentence is listed below (However ...
8
votes
2answers
546 views

are there any concrete rules for using いっぱい たくさん and よく?

Of course I can use these but sometimes I am corrected by Japanese people when I use them in the wrong circumstance. For example, 「よくしってるやん」 = "You know it quite well don't you!" 「よくいきます」= "I go (...
5
votes
2answers
769 views

For how long has Japanese been the official language of Japan?

That is to say, in Japan, at which point in time, was it declared that official documents had to be written in the Japanese language? I am also looking for any additional information like where it ...
5
votes
1answer
260 views

What do you call these words?

I'm trying to figure out what the term is that describes words that look like this: やっぱり; さっぱり; うっかり; こっそり; ひっそり; ぐっすり; すっきり They seem similar to 擬態語、義質語、and 擬音語, but I think they have a ...
2
votes
1answer
553 views

What is the difference in terms of grammar between ~かける and ~っぱなし?

Spawned from What is the difference in terms of grammar between きり and っぱなし?; I started thinking about ~かける. Don't these essentially mean the same thing? I'm failing to see any difference except ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

に[配慮]{はいりょ} vs. を[配慮]{はいりょ}

I want to know if there is any difference between に and を when used with 配慮する. Example sentences: [環境]{かんきょう}に配慮した家 環境を配慮した家 [相手]{あいて}の[立場]{たちば}に配慮する 相手の立場を配慮する Are they ...
5
votes
2answers
539 views

What is the difference in terms of grammar between きり and っぱなし?

I'm pretty sure there is a difference between the use of these two words. I came across the example sentences: 息子は、自分の部屋に入ったきり出てこない。 母は入院している父をつきっきりで看病している。 電車が混んでいて、東京まで立ちっぱなしだった。 I ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

What does the nakaguro (・) between these two words mean?

The first sentence on the Mac OS X article on the Japanese version of Wikipedia reads: Mac OS X(マック オーエス テン)は、アップルが[開発]{かいはつ}・[販売]{はんばい}する、Macintoshコンピュータ[用]{よう}の[現行]{げんこう}オペレーティングシステム (OS) である。 ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

だが attached to the subject/topic

だが is often attached to the subject/topic of a sentence as follows, with my supposed translation. 近くに住む叔父だが, 最近具合が悪いと聞いている. 'Speaking of my uncle who lives close-by, I've heard lately he's isn't ...
6
votes
2answers
224 views

What rules should be followed when saying “we”?

I know that, in Japanese, you can say X達【たち】 or Xら (where X is a first person pronoun) to say we. However, what rules should be followed for choosing that "X". Can I use whatever I would use to refer ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

How to translate standalone noun + a ます verb (in a heading)

I would like to know how to translate something like this: ドロボー、つかまえます where there is a noun followed by a verb in masu from without any other details. Is it something like "Burglar, I('ll) ...
2
votes
3answers
641 views

Introducing an indirect quotation with と

I find it difficult to translate Japanese indirect quotations into my own language partly because of different grammatical patterns and verb conjugation altogether; for example, what about this ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the original Japanese for “It's always the darkest under the lighthouse”?

What is the original Japanese saying meaning, "It's always the darkest under the lighthouse"? (reference)
1
vote
1answer
750 views

Beginner: book/ website for reading comprehension and vocabulary [closed]

I'm looking for a book/website that helps me to increase my reading skills and vocabulary. The only "problem" is, that it should be only written with hiragana and katakana. At the very best there ...
2
votes
1answer
186 views

The stylistic use of romaji for the particle “de”

Or other cases when a single word/particle is rendered in romaji within a sentence otherwise written in normal Japanese. This is something I first came across on cooking websites, for example: ...
2
votes
1answer
708 views

Japanese pun to pronounce an English phrase [closed]

I have once heard that, during World War II, when the American Troops invaded Okinawa, they wanted the Japanese civilians to surrender, and in order to let the Japanese say the phrase "I surrender", ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

What's the difference between 赤ん坊 and 赤ちゃん

Are both words interchangeable? Rikai-chan defines them both as "baby, infant". So what would be the difference?
2
votes
3answers
479 views

Translation of 出証意 and 長官殿

These are from a patent related document and I can't understand very well. They are used like these: 1) 特許庁長官殿 2) 出証意2012 Can anyone help me?
6
votes
1answer
379 views

Does the expression 抱えて生きている always imply a situation with negative aspects?

I was studying the expression 抱えて生きている (literally "living while holding"?), and have found the best English equivalent to be "having to live with." In the English expression, the "thing" that one has ...
2
votes
1answer
799 views

The difference between ~ようだ, ~ように見える, ~ように思える and ~みたい

In a Japanese English grammar textbook, "seems" is translated as ~のように見える, for example: He seemed to have been ill. 病気であったように見えた。 I've also seen "seems" written as ~(の)ように思える in various ...
5
votes
3answers
850 views

Is it OK to have more than one が particle in a sentence?

If, for example, I wanted to say "I like the book that my sister gave me", would it be 姉がくれた本が好きです? I'm using Genki to study, but they don't seem to have any examples of this particular structure ...
6
votes
1answer
249 views

Why would you use まいります for rain? (降ってまいります)

I ran across this example sentence in a basic dictionary, but I can't figure out what particular meaning まいります has in this context. 雨が降ってまいりました。 Generally speaking, it's used as the humble verb ...
6
votes
1answer
233 views

Which つける do I use?

So I looked up つける and saw it can be written as: 付ける 着ける 附ける And they all seem to have the exact same definition: to attach, to join, to add, to append, etc. So are these "spellings" ...
7
votes
1answer
307 views

Why is the affixal 子 treated specially when abbreviating people’s names?

Often, names are abbreviated using the initial letter in romanization, or some random letter, like "A". However, when the name has an affixal 子, that part is often left, like "A子". I have not seen any ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

How and when do Japanese children learn kanas and kanji?

I wonder how exactly Japanese children learn to write. It may help a foreigner to know what is important to memorize or not. The only thing I know is that first of all, hiragana are learnt, and then ...
20
votes
2answers
740 views

Can the suffix -人 be used to express heritage?

In English, if I want to talk about my Irish heritage, I would say "I'm Irish". I have an American passport, and I've never set foot in Ireland, but I still consider myself Irish. Both sides of my ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the rules for saying “made of [blank]”

Take these words for example: 木{もく}造{ぞう}: made of wood; wooden and 金{きん}製{せい}: made of gold I have been under the impression that -製 is used for where an item has been manufactured (i....
5
votes
2answers
868 views

What's the difference between 話せる and 話す?

I came across [話]{はな}せます in the Japanese WOTD chat room. あなたは英語が話せますか? Can you speak English? What's the difference between it and [話]{はな}します? (Googling got some hits, but they were from user ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Saying “to miss” (“I missed you over the weekend”)

What's the best way to say "to miss" in the sense of feeling a longing for something, or that something pleasant is missing? I understand there's [懐]{なつ}かしむ, but it seems to me that, like 懐かしい, is ...
3
votes
1answer
345 views

Why do Japanese titles often start with titles/appositions?

Sort of hinted by a recent question How would one express an opinion from the perspective of an inclusive group? . Japanese titles in books, songs, shows, etc. are accompanied with a title (status) ...
10
votes
3answers
477 views

What are the rules for substituting の with ん?

I've noticed that sometimes the hiragana の can be shortened to ん. For example, 部屋のなか → 部屋んなか (inside of the room) 俺のうち → 俺んち (my house) 俺のところ → 俺んとこ (my place) (More examples can ...
2
votes
0answers
83 views

why is “know” expressed as 知っています, and what does 知ります really mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています? I'm posting the question as suggested by Zhen Lin and troyen. What that said, why is that? And a secondary question, when would ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

“Postage stamp” word choice

I have two words that I think mean the same thing: 切手 - きって - stamp (postage)/merchandise certificate 郵券 - ゆうけん - postage stamp When I look at some sample sentences, the first one is used for both ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

Are the meanings of 煙 and 烟 identical?

I noticed that 煙 in the phrase 茶煙永日香{ちゃえんえいじつかんばし} sometimes appears as 烟. For example, here is a teapot with 茶煙永日香 and a scroll with 茶烟永日香. Is there a difference in meaning between 煙 and 烟? 煙 and 烟 ...
10
votes
2answers
206 views

How would one express an opinion from the perspective of an inclusive group?

Often times, it is common for a speaker to make an assertion or opinion based upon a (ethnic or social) group to which they belong. In English it is common to use prefixes like "we" or "us" to ...
7
votes
1answer
652 views

What is the literal meaning of  ”いいかげんにしろ!”?

Some translations for the expression いいかげんにしろ! are: that's enough!;  cut it out!;  get a life! If the correct kanji of this expression is 好い加減, what is the literal meaning of both 好い and 加減 in ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Correct usage of から in this particular sentence

I want to make sure that I understand the basic usage of から. If I say: まどをしめます。さむいですから。  Would this sound natural or stilted to native speakers?
4
votes
1answer
270 views

Questions on the figurative meaning of 食って掛かる

If 食って掛かる is one word meaning "to lash out at someone" or perhaps closer in figurative language, "to bite someone's head off," how should I think of the 掛かる? If I want to understand the logistics ...
2
votes
1answer
322 views

Understanding それを美しいと感じると考え

I've found this sentence in one of my history books and I can't really make heads or tails of it....what does it mean at all? 利休は、茶道の精神は、簡素な中に深く豊かなものをみつけ、それをもっとも美しいと感じると考え、その精神を和敬静寂という葉で表した ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What exactly is 我, and how is it used?

I was taught that [私]{わた(く)し}, [僕]{ぼく}, and 俺{おれ} are the most common first-person pronouns. Recently, I stumbled upon the word [我]{われ}, which supposedly means the same thing. An online dictionary ...
6
votes
1answer
501 views

What is “ブチャイク”?

ブチャイク All I know is it's referring to someone's "looks" or appearance, and is not flattering. I suspect this is simply one of those "modern" Japanese slang phrases popular among young people that's ...
2
votes
2answers
208 views

What is って doing in this sentence?

From Noir, Episode 2 (anime). I don't get what the って is doing in this sentence. For context, the father came home early from work. He quickly answers his wife in the first sentence then in the ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

What is 日本橋{にっぽんばし}?

So I'm doing some exercises in Minna no Nihongo and run across these two sentences: どこで安い電気製品を売っていますか。 大阪の日本橋で売っています。 I looked it up and saw it mean japanese bridge but the way it is in the ...
9
votes
2answers
239 views

Does バラの寝床 come directly from the English expression “bed of roses”?

I came across this phrase in a Haruki Murakami short story, and I was wondering if this is just a literal translation of the English phrase? I tried googling the Japanese phrase, but I could only ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Can Hiragana or Katakana stand alone?

Writing Japanese requires a mix of Kanji and Hiragana, usually some Katakana as well. I have read that some Kanji characters can be replaced with Hiragana characters for easier writing. My question ...
9
votes
2answers
249 views

Terms for 'viewpoint': 視点 vs 観点

I'm not understanding the subtleties of [視点]{してん} vs 観点{かんてん}. I know that they both mean something like "point of view", and given the existence of two of them, one of them probably implies more ...
4
votes
1answer
827 views

List of suppletive honorific and humble forms

Is there a reference that lists words whose honorific and/or humble forms are suppletive? For nouns, I am supposing that 父親, 父, and お父さん are different forms of a single noun differing only with ...
0
votes
1answer
181 views

MySpyPhone Translation [closed]

I have an Android application called MySpyPhone. I want to translate it to a meaningful Japanese name. The application takes pictures on a user defined schedule. Any naming suggestions? Thank you ...

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