4
votes
2answers
3k views

dekireba/dekitara

When "dekireba" or "dekitara" is placed at the beginning of a sentence, is the subject always "you" as in "if you can/if possible", or can it be "I" as in "if I can/if I have the permission to do"? ...
2
votes
0answers
528 views

Best Japanese language learning system? [closed]

I have a friend who speaks Japanese and I would like to learn the language with no prior experience. What commercial teaching approach would you consider the best? Pimsleur, Phonics, or something ...
3
votes
2answers
638 views

Can genki be pronounced as henki?

I've watched a few anime and keep coming across a word that sounds like "henki". In the subtitles, the sentences are like "Are you ok?", "How are you feeling?". With those translations, I'd expect the ...
1
vote
4answers
265 views

When is マイ・ワイフ used?

While looking up マイカー in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gairaigo_and_wasei-eigo_terms, I came across マイ・ワイフ. Is マイ・ワイフ used in real life, or mainly in anime? If the former, what differences ...
3
votes
2answers
378 views

What is the difference between 「余計に」and 「余分に」?

In my textbook 「日本語総まとめN2」, they list the two vocabulary words 「余計に」 and 「余分に」. I am almost unable to differentiate between their appropriate usage. Here are the example sentences from the book: ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Are 弱い相互作用 and 強い相互作用 unnatural?

In introductory physics books, when they introduce 弱い相互作用 "weak interaction" and 強い相互作用 "strong interaction", I almost always see a notification that these terms are supposed to be the name of the ...
1
vote
1answer
422 views

Size adjectives and prefixes

I know some size adjectives like 小さい (small), 大きい (big), and 並 (normal). Does anyone have a list of other size adjectives: something that could describe things ranging from micro things like Legos to ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

不被下候: When was it common, and what were the rules?

In a shrine graffito written in 1559, two carpenters complain: 其時座主ハ大キナコスデオチヤリテ一度モ焼酎ヲ不被下候 'At that time, the high priest (stingy bugger!) gave us not even a drop of shochu to drink.' The form ...
9
votes
1answer
655 views

What does こまけー mean?

Does anybody have a clue what こまけー might mean? Below are some sentences for context and the phrase as it's used: まじめでおカタい感じの女子大生は、やたらとわたしを目を敵にしてきた。わたしが何をやっても文句をつけてくる。「しょうゆの向きは、こうじゃなくてこう!」って こまけー ...
7
votes
1answer
457 views

Katakana words with Kanji. How did that happen?

Some words are written with katakana, but also have kanji. For example: コーヒー 珈琲 ページ 頁 How did this happen? They are loanwords, but no doubt had Japanese equivalents before these variants were ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a Japanese version of urbandictionary?

I came across this phrase today: むぎゅむぎゅ From context, it looks like it should mean something like "cute" or "poor you", but I couldn't find it on jisho.org or goo.ne.jp. Is there a Japanese ...
6
votes
1answer
174 views

What is the difference between キャリアウーマン, OL, and ビジネスウーマン

When I come across the titles キャリアウーマン, OL, and ビジネスウーマン, I seem to have a difficult time picturing what their position is or what they do. I'm wondering if anyone can elaborate on how they are ...
6
votes
1answer
221 views

What is the difference between 詰まらない and 詰らない

What is the difference between 詰まらない and 詰らない? Are they both valid words? Are they pronounced the same and do they have the same meaning?
2
votes
2answers
153 views

Specify who is fond of something

Is it possible to use 好き, and specify who is fond of it? 風呂は好きです。 Would be interpreted as "[I am] fond of baths.", and 風呂は好きですか Would be interpreted as "Are [you] fond of baths?". How ...
5
votes
2answers
375 views

How to form the “chi” sound, and others?

I was looking at a chart of hiragana and trying to find the characters to form the name of a song Inochi no Namae. I started with i, then no, but there's no chi. I then started wondering where chu and ...
5
votes
1answer
197 views

Can ご無沙汰 be used in a sexual context?

I had asked my friend what uses of 「ご無沙汰」exist and the situations people use them in. Among others, she had remarked that it could mean something along the lines of "not having sexual intercourse for ...
1
vote
1answer
149 views

Do you use 投入 to mean any input for a thin paper?

I usually see the 投入{とうにゅう} on labels on ATM or train station gate. Is this kanji applicable to all flat input devices, or does it also include coin slot? I can only infer this means some sort of ...
7
votes
2answers
257 views

What is the etymology of the word プラスアルファ?

What is the etymology of the word プラスアルファ(+α)? This is a neologism I believe, however I hear it quite often nowadays. I'm curious to what the origin would be?
5
votes
1answer
322 views

Does ネガティブ mean “negative”, or “bad”, when describing a person?

ネガティブ is an adjective that's based on the word "negative" (or maybe a word from another European language). But when describing a person, does it mean "negative", as in pessimistic, always ...
2
votes
3answers
537 views

How to resolve two indirect objects? (Prohibition of two に in a sentence?)

Based off sawa's comment from this question: "you cannot have two ...に phrases. Remove either." And using the same verb "同意する", I looked up the dictionary and found: 1.(人)に同意する - to agree ...
8
votes
2answers
851 views

How to say 24 divided by 8 equals 3

Pretty sure you have to use 割 but I don't know which pronunciation to use and how to say "equals" in this context.
1
vote
1answer
886 views

Why did the author use hiragana instead of kanji in the following examples? (長い,幼い)

Could someone please explain why someone would use hiragana instead of the regular kanji? For instance, we have a character for nagai - 長い, but examples using ながい can also be found in dictionaries ...
6
votes
0answers
191 views

What would be the Japanese name of a person with a native Chinese name? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When Chinese personal names are written in Japanese in kanji is there always an obvious reading? What would be the common ways to convert a Chinese name for a person to ...
12
votes
4answers
644 views

What determines whether a word gets a kanji compound or katakana?

I read electronics/computing articles, and I find an incredible amount of terms are written either in kanji (almost similar to Chinese) or katakana. There are times when it's confusing as to know why. ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How to say “Slice of life anime”?

How do I say "slice of life anime/manga" in Japanese? I've tried looking this up. Perhaps it is only english speakers who categorize anime this way?
8
votes
3answers
443 views

What conjugation/form is the ませ (for example: いらっしゃいませ)?

I know it's used for greetings in a restaurant or store. But what type of verb conjugation (ex: polite, plain, honorific, imperative, or something else) is it? Is it used with other verbs? Is it ...
5
votes
1answer
341 views

What does 身の縮む思い mean?

I found a phrase in one vocabulary book about the usage of 縮む. I am not clear on the meaning of this phrase: 身の縮む思い I think it can be the same meaning as 恥ずかしい. Is that right?
8
votes
1answer
283 views

Is いらっしゃいませ only used by staff?

Is いらっしゃいませ only used by staff, or is it used in other circumstances? When I was at a dinner at a restaurant being held after a programmers' meetup, I thought that I heard it being used by one of the ...
7
votes
1answer
459 views

なり as an archaic 'to be'?

In the following saying: 時は金なり。 What exactly is なり? My dictionaries seem to give a number of different options that could all explain its use here. Is it 成る? Is it 也, an archaic version of です ...
8
votes
1answer
452 views

What kind of a thing is a “やつ”?

I've been seeing やつ used for "thing" reasonably frequently in Manga/online etc, for example: ほとんどは本とか食玩とか細かいやつかな。 "It's virtually all stuff like books, those small toys sold with food and small ...
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Difference between the usage of 知恵 , 知能 and 知力

I have read the sentence "12歳の小児の知力しかない". In this sentence , I would like to know the usage of 知力 . In dictionary , it means "intelligence " Can I use 知恵 or 知能 instead of 知力. Is there ...
6
votes
2answers
209 views

Can someone explain the use of 水 in 水商売?

水商売 【みずしょうばい】 (n) (1) chancy trade (business) with a high turnover rate and uncertain profitability; (2) the entertainment, eating, and drinking business; (3) the night entertainment (nightlife) ...
14
votes
5answers
5k views

Is すごい slang or just informal?

Regarding すごい: What is the right way to spell it? Is it vulgar, or is it slang like the English "cool"?, or informal or colloquial? Is it archaic? If it is slang, does it have a non-slang meaning? ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I say “I understand much better than before.”?

Or "I understand much better now." If someone helped me with a translation and I responded with: どうもありがとうございます。前より上手に分かっています。 Would that be the correct way to express that in Japanese?
8
votes
2answers
520 views

Why are the words for prefecture so complicated?

The first level of Japan's political division is called "prefecture" in English. However, in Japanese, there are four words for it: 都, 道, 府, and 県, and depending the particular prefecture, a certain ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of あるある?

I saw it used on Twitter several times, but googling around I couldn't figure it out. Here are some examples. "@mao_sid: 24あるある。シーズン2ぐらいから、あのちょいちょい入ってくるデジタル時計いらないなぁって思いだす。" "@mao_sid: ...
7
votes
3answers
588 views

What does 思いっきりどうぞ mean?

I heard this phrase a few times but I still can't grasp its meaning. Does it mean, "as much as you would like"?
1
vote
0answers
204 views

Practicing Hiragana [closed]

I'm currently learning hirgana and I was wondering what the best way was to learn it. Currently I am reading and writing each character 10 times. I was wondering if there were simple hiragana vocab ...
4
votes
1answer
367 views

Differences between listing particles と, や and に

Consider the following: A, B and C came: AとBとCが来た AやBやCが来た AにBにCが来た What do I need to consider when deciding which of the three (と, や, に) to use? I think a large portion is determined by the ...
6
votes
1answer
615 views

Indicative form of an i-adjective used adverbially

As expected, the adverbial form (aka 連用形) of an i-adjective ...く can be used as an intensifying adverb to an adjectival predicate: すごく速い But there are cases where the indicative non-past ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does 一体 mean “what the heck?”?

the definition for 一体【いったい】: Adverb : ...the heck (e.g. "what the heck?");  ...in the world (e.g. "why in the world?");  ...on earth (e.g. "who on earth?"); —Before an interrogative, forms ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Can totemo be used with daisuki or daikirai

totemo means "very" suki means "like" daisuki means "like very much" If I really like something can I use totemo totemo daisuki desu?
14
votes
4answers
1k views

とっても versus とても

I've had a teacher flatly tell me that とっても is incorrect, but I do see it written here and there and I'm pretty sure I hear it as well. Is it just so informal relative to とても that I should never use ...
9
votes
1answer
677 views

Qualitative intensifiers e.g. とても, とっても, 超, etc. How are they different?

How are とても/とっても, でかい/でっかい, 超 (and others that I have yet to encounter) used differently? I figured that for とても/とっても-type difference is that the double-consonant(geminated) version is stronger i.e. a ...
2
votes
1answer
392 views

Understanding ありやな

貯金も確かにありやな!! お金があったら何でも出来るし. I'm definitely into saving money too! If you have money you can do anything. My young friend wrote this to me. Would someone be kind enough to explain the やな for ...
9
votes
1answer
471 views

What's the difference between ちゃんと, きちんと, きっちり and ぴったり?

The four of ちゃんと, きちんと, きっちり and ぴったり all seem to mean something like "perfectly", "precisely" or "exactly", and there seems to be a lot of similarity between their definitions. Daijisen says that ...
10
votes
1answer
238 views

What's the etymology of 負けず嫌い?

It seems strange to me that 負{ま}けず嫌{ぎら}い means "hate losing" and not "hate not losing". (食わず嫌い for example seems to mean "hate a food without trying it".) Providing credible sources if possible, what ...
6
votes
2answers
148 views

How to read the 動_下一, _下二 pattern found in dictionaries?

There's a common abbreviation system in dictionaries and I'm wondering how they're read and used. Here's an example: I'm guessing it has something to do with how to fill in the blanks in the ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

What is the difference between 直観 and 直感?

I'm trying to understand if there is a difference between the two words 直感 and 直観. After looking both words up in a dictionary, there entries both list "intuition / intuitive". I also tried looking up ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

“XYZ mentioned in newspaper ABC!” in Japanese?

My organization XYZ has been mentioned in a newspaper, and I would like to post a link to the online article, together with a short explanation like "XYZ mentioned in newspaper ABC!" How about ...

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