7
votes
1answer
794 views

Use of 〜ないものか with もうすこし/どうにか/なんとか

Do the following expressions: (もうすこし)上手にでき ないものか I wish I could get a bit better. (どうにか)直せ ないものか I wish I could somehow fix it. (なんとか)でき ないものか I wish we could somehow do ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

A question about the usage of ため and spacing

上下のフロアを繋ぐ階段は各層にひとつのみ、その全てが怪物のうろつく危険な迷宮区画に存在するため発見も踏破も困難だが、一度誰かが突破して上層の都市に辿り着けばそこと下層の各都市の≪転移門≫が連結されるため誰もが自由に移動できるようになる。 There were 2 things I didn't get in this sentence (or maybe a paragraph...?): ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Expressing hope: to nozomu and koto wo negau

I have a question about these two verbs for 'hope': と望む (to nozomu) ことを願う (koto wo negau) I also write down two examples, since I have a particular question about their use: ...
5
votes
2answers
331 views

How do I differentiate all these terms for “illiterate”?

I looked up the word "illiteracy", and was offered many different possibilities. Here they are, with my personal take on the nuance behind their origins: 活字{かつじ}離{ばな}れ ("removed from printing"?) ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How and when to use せや and its variants in Kansai-ben?

Here in Kansai I hear せや, せやねん, and せやな everywhere. I was wondering if anyone could clarify the meaning and usage of these, as well as their equivalent in more standard Japanese? Additionally, are ...
2
votes
0answers
193 views

Can't parse なるうるわけ [closed]

The full sentence is 数学的性質をもつ現象はすべてこの科学の対象となるうるわけであるから、それは数限りなくあり、また日々増えていて、これらをもらさず解説することは不可能に近い。 But I can't parse "なるうるわけ". Ignoring that part, I interpret the sentence as "All phenomena with ...
19
votes
4answers
633 views

Words made from strokes of a kanji like 女 toくノ一

According to Wikipedia, one theory for the etymology of くノ一 (female ninja) is that it's made up of the strokes of the kanji 女 (woman). Other theories include that it means nine and one, talking about ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

What is the difference between こんにちは and もしもし?

I will be in Japan in a few weeks and I am trying to learn the basic to be as polite as possible. One of the first things I did was try some basic stuff with Google Translate but I feel lost already. ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any metaphors in these Japanese sentences?

I'm trying to understand the following three lines from a song: ただ会いたくて 声も無くしそうで でも会えなくて 夢さえ恨んだ 日々薄れてく 記憶を手探りで 感触をただ愛した Each line is progressively difficult to understand. I can read the words but ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

When writing vertically, where do small kana go?

When writing horizontally, small kana go right next to the syllable they modify as in ちょっと. Also, when using katakana, long vowels are indicated by an horizontal dash, as in メール. When writing ...
9
votes
1answer
169 views

What is the name of the wooden hook support on the walls of traditional Japanese rooms?

Traditional (and even not-so-traditional) Japanese rooms have wooden panels running along the walls, about 1m from the ceiling. They are mainly used to affix hooks, to which clothes hangers, ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between 上{あ}げる and 挙{あ}げる?

I searched examples for the verb "ageru - raise" and I found it written with two different kanji: 挙げる 上げる Mostly their meaning is "raise". I found them with the following examples: 棚に箱を上げる。Put a ...
0
votes
2answers
393 views

What is a クリームパン in English? [closed]

A Japanese person learning English has asked me what クリームパン is in English. jisho.org describes it as "a cream-filled roll", but that may be describing it rather than translating it. The Japanese ...
16
votes
1answer
383 views

i-adjectives that end in a 〜ない which doesn't seem to be 〜無{な}い

I noticed there are many 形容詞{けいようし} (i-adjectives) that end in 〜ない, where the な is not part of the kanji, and doesn't seem to have the meaning 無い. Examples: 危{あぶ}ない means "dangerous", while 危 ...
4
votes
1answer
631 views

方 - also read ほう when referring to a person?

The following sentence is from "A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar": 留守番電話は、一方ではかかる方にもかける方にも便利な面もあるが、他方ではお互いに直接話が出来ないから、不自然な面もある "The answering machine is, on the one hand, very ...
37
votes
4answers
12k views

What is the difference between “に” and “には”?

The title should be pretty self-explanatory. What meanings does each convey? And in what kinds of circumstances would one be used instead of the other? For example, what are the differences between ...
5
votes
1answer
476 views

自分の vs 自らの when used for humans

What's the difference between 自分の and 自らの? Both can be used to mean "oneself", but is there a difference in their nuances / usages? (e.g. what would be the difference between あの子は、自らの命と引換に… and あの子は、...
4
votes
1answer
273 views

What is 死す doing in this question?

My friend recently played through a game called Persona 4, and he took plenty of screen shots. He showed me this one containing 死す: It says: 巽 完二 「言っとくがなぁ…  可愛すぎてキュン死すっぞ!」 I understood ...
-1
votes
1answer
141 views

translation of sentence with multiple って/と in it

ストレスが原因だっていわれたって聞いたけど Hi, what is the meaning of above sentence, the multiple って confuses me, I don't get the meaning of this sentence. Can some tell me a English translation for this one?
6
votes
1answer
244 views

How wrong is my constructed poem?

I tried writing a classical Japanese poem: 赤き空 青かりたり根 夢がごとし 元を返るべし 汚さざらまし And here is a rough literal translation: The red sky, The origin that was once blue, Like seeing a dream, It would be best ...
1
vote
1answer
326 views

When is 友 read as とも, and when is it read as ゆう?

友 can interpreted as とも or ゆう right? So in which word/sentence/context do I use first and when do I pronounce it as another transcription?
9
votes
5answers
724 views

A は/が difference [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What’s the difference between wa (は) and ga (が)? I've been trying to wrap my head around the は/が differences, and I'm trying to figure out the differences between the ...
1
vote
1answer
536 views

What's the difference between 平和 and 和平?

If you ask someone how to say "peace" the likely answer you'll get is 平和, which is the common option, but occasionally you'll see the word 和平, which has a very similar meaning, and is indeed just a ...
5
votes
2answers
374 views

How is determined whether a sound should be romanized into an L versus an R?

I know there isn't a particularly distinct difference between L and R in native Japanese, but very often proper nouns and other non-translated Japanese names/words work their way into English ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Fast Food Conversation - Any Practical Guides?

I looked up for fast food conversation but I could not find anything very practical. While most guide always emphasize on how to order, I never found it prepares one to understand what a fast food ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Japanese that lacks proofreading likely to contain bad spelling or grammar?

Regarding written English that isn't proofread ... it's quality definately leaves alot to be desired. I would advise people against treating written English that wasn't professionally written (for ...
11
votes
1answer
251 views

Meaning of せい conjugation of する?

I came upon this line of dialogue in a book I'm reading, from a character who has old-fashioned speech patterns: できる限りの鶏肉を用意せい… I assume this せい is some form of the verb する, though I'm not even sure ...
10
votes
1answer
432 views

Origin of あしからず

Could somebody explain the origin of あしからず , as found in the following expressions? 今回はお断りしますが,どうぞあしからず| This time I have to say no, I hope you don't mind. ・・ですが、 悪しからず。| I'm sorry but.....
2
votes
2answers
436 views

What does コピー mean in this context?

A: 他にもラルクコピーしてましたか? B: じゃあ最後にもう一度聴いてくれ…虹。ってやってた I know that ラルク is the band L'arc En Ciel. What does コピー mean here? What does the first sentence say?
7
votes
1answer
853 views

which instruments use 弾く and which use 引く?

I was wondering how do we identify what instruments may be used with the verb 引く, or 弾く, or both? If both 引く and 弾く can be used is there any difference in nuance between one vs the other?
7
votes
1answer
289 views

What Japanese lullabys are available to provide early Japanese exposure to children?

I'd like to expose my young children to the sounds of Japanese at night as they go to sleep. Specifically, I'd like to play Japanese lullabies or other soothing music with vocals. Where do I find such ...
6
votes
1answer
208 views

Definition of ブラコン when discussing musical preferences

A Japanese person told me that they have ブラコン。I looked it up on Wikipedia and it said something like an emotional attachment to one's brother. But they said that it meant something like someone who ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

What does 本調子 mean in a musical context?

When looking at musical instruments online ([篠笛]{しのぶえ} and 竹笛{たけぶえ} in particular, but I guess this goes for more instruments), their 本調子 is always listed. Some flutes are 6本調子, some 7本調子 and some ...
9
votes
1answer
578 views

Is it actually impolite to say ご苦労様 to a superior?

Conventional ビジネスマナー tells us that ご苦労様 is used by superiors to subordinates and お疲れ様 used by everyone, and this is backed up all over the internet and stated on some questions here, like this. But ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the role of 空書 (writing kanji in the air) in modern Japanese?

What is the role of 空書{くうしょ} in modern Japanese? 空書 is tracing characters in the air with your finger (or on a flat surface), a phenomenon which apparently develops only in users of Chinese ...
13
votes
1answer
608 views

Should I say 失礼{しつれい}します before hanging up the phone if the other person called me?

Phone etiquette is one of those things I still struggle with at times, often fumbling because I'm not sure what expression I'm supposed to use at a given time. 失礼します at the end of a phone call is one ...
9
votes
2answers
396 views

Why is it (usually) wrong to say 人がある but OK to say ある人?

I fear I may be venturing again into "just because" territory, but this one bugs me. We all know that you usually use いる (as in not ある) to refer to living things, as in 私は日本にいる(△ある). Yet it is ...
3
votes
1answer
331 views

What does 懐{なつ}い mean in this context?

Saw this on twitter: A: 懐い B: そういえば私がマオさんの唄初めて聞いたのwinter fallでした。サンタさんでしたね(笑)あの日の衝撃は未だに忘れられないなー「歌うますぎ!この人誰!?」ってみんな言ってましたよ。懐かしい。
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I say “the leader(s) of the club” in Japanese

I would like to ask which one of the following two words could be used to express the word "leader" when I am talking about someone who is the head of a club or at least the member of its board; for ...
3
votes
1answer
500 views

How to say “items remaining from last meeting”?

I am setting up a meeting agenda and of the items is "covering the items left over from last meeting". I though something like "前回のミーティングの残件” Would have worked but it turns out that 残件 isn't a word ...
0
votes
1answer
174 views

Translating ならば受け止めて行くまでさ word for word

I'm going for a word-for-word translation of (miss) understood (you can hear the song here, but I'm having trouble with the verse: 今さらきれい事だなんて 聞くつもりも言うつもりもない 痛みは増える一方だろう ...
5
votes
1answer
343 views

Different meaning of 何?

While reading some lyrics online, I stumbled upon the following phrase: これ以上何を失えば 心は許されるの Which I could myself losely translate as following: If I lose what more (than I already have), will ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between 思う and 考える?

These two words both seem to mean "to think", but is there any difference between them? Is it related to the difference between 言う and 話す by any chance?
2
votes
3answers
777 views

Is “anyone” 人はいます or 誰でも?

So I ran across this example sentence: 食べている人はいますか? And the translation was "Is anyone eating?" However I thought the sentence would be: 誰でもが食べていますか? Is this correct? Also is Xはいます = is any X? ...
9
votes
3answers
738 views

Usage of noun-modifying である

I'm pretty sure I understand the usage of「である」 here: ピアニストである私の姉は、いつも手に怪我をしないように気をつけています My sister, a pianist, is always careful not to injure her hands. (My translation) But I'm wondering if ...
6
votes
1answer
305 views

Function of の in these phrases

I know that の is used as a noun modifier. But recently I've come across these pharases 心の強い人,母の作れる料理. The first phrases will be sth like strong person of heart/mind, which somehow differs from ...
6
votes
1answer
475 views

Legibility of handakuten and dakuten in small font sizes

I occasionally come across text with a small font size where I can tell that there's either an handakuten ゚ or a dakuten ゙ in a kana character, but I need to zoom in to tell which one it is. Does ...
8
votes
1answer
469 views

What does exactly does さま mean in dictionary definitions?

I've been using Japanese-Japanese dictionaries for a while now and this keeps popping up. It seems to me like a kind of usage that is found for the most part only in dictionaries. Can anyone help ...
0
votes
3answers
819 views

Do machine transliteration websites exist? [closed]

Are there web sites that transliterate Japanese text (katakana, hiragana and kanji) into romaji characters without translating the words into the English language? (Note to moderators: I'm merely ...
7
votes
1answer
245 views

What's the difference between 向こう and 向こう側?

My textbook (An Introduction to Modern Japanese) introduced 向こう as meaning "the other side of" and 側{がわ} as meaning "side". On page 76 it states that 側 can be added to some, but not all, of these [...

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