6
votes
2answers
143 views

When to use -さん after an occupation?

When do you use さん after a occupation? For example, would you say "札幌に行って、プログラマーにあいます" or "札幌に行って、プログラマーさんにあいます" to say "I am going to Sapporo, and meeting some programmers?" Is it used to indicate ...
3
votes
2answers
735 views

Does ~たり~たりする mean “and” or “or” in dictionary definitions?

I think that ~たり~たりする generally means "do things like (among other things)", but in dictionary definitions, can the pattern ~たり~たりする mean "and", "or" or "and/or"? In e.g. XたりYたりする would it imply ...
1
vote
1answer
344 views

Is 死ぬ the only verb ending in -ぬ? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Plain verbs that end with ぬ other than 死ぬ 死ぬ{しぬ} is the only verb that I know that is ending in -ぬ. So, are there any other verbs ending in -ぬ?
3
votes
2answers
293 views

Could someone explain the ironic(?) use of よくいうよ?

Dainichi was kind enough to tell me that よくいうよ means "to shamelessly say something you should be ashamed to say." On spacealc, this explanation and translation is provided: よく言うよ。 What are you ...
16
votes
2answers
342 views

Was 俺 ever gender-neutral?

I've heard elderly women in Japan referring to themselves using 俺. This leads me to believe that the usage has changed overtime to become only used by males. Did 俺 used to be gender-neutral?
10
votes
1answer
751 views

Why do TV subtitles use spaces (instead of commas)?

It looks like Japanese text don't use spaces between words, not even in informal messages (yes perhaps in textbooks, but I digress). This page claims that a sentence with spaces inbetween just looks ...
3
votes
2answers
906 views

Particles で and も and でも

In both these sentences, what does でも mean? (I think I know the meaning of the sentences, just not the particles) カードでもいいですか。 なごやでもうっていますか。 I know that で is a particle that can denote location or ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Does ごめん really mean sorry?

Normally ごめんなさい is translated as sorry or excuse me, but that seems like a translation for non-native speakers. In the same way, しつれいします can also be translated as excuse me or pardon me. But it really ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What does ただいま actually mean?

I was wondering what the literal translation really means. I've seen it translated as I'm home but I've also seen it in a few situations where the person wasn't arriving home.
7
votes
1answer
986 views

When trying to convey 'apparently', when do you use, だそう, and when do you use そう?

I have seen both だそう and そう written at the end of a sentence to convey "apparently". Do you use だそう when trying to convey "according to" (によると)?
7
votes
3answers
455 views

Why does 腰抜け mean coward?

Why does 腰抜け mean coward? I see 腰 (waist) + 抜 (missing/losing) = 腰抜け (coward), but I fail to see how they add up.
3
votes
3answers
477 views

善くも as opposed to よく

I found this line in the song,”三年目の浮気”: よくいうよ 惚れたお前の負けだよ How can you say that...you fell for me and lost At first I thought it was the よく meaning often, but someone told me it was an ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

〜ものだから 〜もの What are the differences?

What is the connotation when using 〜ものだから and 〜もの in a sentence? In my text, they state these examples: The first set is 〜ものだから: 上着を脱いでもいいですか。 暑いものですから。 Can I take my jacket off? I'm feeling ...
1
vote
1answer
234 views

Differences between 出るand 去る when expressing someone leaving

When expressing "to leave," as in "I left the store," or "I can leave the country," is there a difference in nuance or meaning between the verbs 出る and 去る? まあ、少なくとも、この国を出ることはできるな。 Well, at ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between ですから, だから, それで、それでは?

I think they have the same meaning: therefore. But my teacher told me they were slightly different. So can you help me distinguish them and how to use please?
3
votes
2answers
600 views

Pronunciation of W

I often see the alphabet W being transcribed or pronounced as "ダブル" rather than "ダブリュー" in Japanese, and I think that in most cases, that was not what was meant. Indeed, there seems to be a practice ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

Can we use すら without negation?

From what I understand, すら is commonly used with the negative conjugation (~ない, ~なかった) of verbs. For example: 「ひらがなすら書けない。」 I expected (him) to be able to write hiragana. But even hiragana, (he) ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

anata no koto suki vs anata ga suki [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the こと in sentences such as あなたのことが好きだ? What are the guidelines of omitting particles? It is possible to say both of these: あなたが好きです あなたのこと好きです The adjective ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some good ways to say “how to spell” in Japanese?

I wanted to know the correct way to spell a compound word in Japanese, and was wondering if there is a verb that correlates to "to spell" in the Japanese language. I found 綴る, but was told this is ...
6
votes
1answer
219 views

Subtitle symbol

My understanding is that a subtitle is expressed with the symbol 〜 in Japanese like this: Main Title ~ Subtitle Main Title ~Subtitle~ I am not sure about whether there is supposed to be a ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Translation for 食べ物を腐らせずに保存する

Saw this in my textbook. The translation is "to preserve food from decay". I get it, but I am not clear about the ず after 腐らせる. Where is it coming from?
3
votes
1answer
235 views

The etymology of the word バックシャン

What is the etymology of the word バックシャン? I understand it commonly refers to a woman beautiful only from behind. See this definition- 女性のうしろ姿が均整がとれて美しいこと。また、その女性。多く、前から見ると失望するような 場合にいう。 I ...
8
votes
3answers
857 views

What does ワソマソ mean?

I'm trying to translate some of the signs in the anime FLCL, and I came across this sign on the side of a train in the first episode: ワソマソ 出入口 The second part means "doorway", correct? But what ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

What does ちがいます。 mean?

I saw this translated in the first episode of FLCL as "It's wrong.", but checking the translation, I get "Different." Could someone clear this up?
6
votes
2answers
224 views

Numbers and Counters

I am still in a very early stage in learning Japanese, and just I have just learnt some numbers and my first counter words, such as the ones for telling time and まい. Do you ever use "regular" numbers ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

Is を[noun]に, as in を条件に, a common construct?

I was a little confused by the following sentence because 条件 is a regular noun, but looking at examples I see that it means "on the condition of [object]": 財政危機におちいっているギリシャは、 緊縮を条件に、...
2
votes
2answers
446 views

Does V~たりする include the verb in a “perfect” sense or “varying” sense?

Does V~たりする include the mentioned verb in a "perfect" (specific) sense or "varying" sense? For example, in the sentence 「映画を見たりした。」, is (1) or (2) a more accurate depiction of the meaning of the ...
2
votes
1answer
423 views

difference of 将来(しょうらい) and 未来 (みらい) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Difference between ゆくすえ, しょうらい and みらい Is there any difference between these two words? I first came across 未来 in a PS3 game (FFXIII-2) and after a bit of digging, I found ...
9
votes
2answers
271 views

Varying word order for stylistic effect

Sometimes, for stylistic or rhetorical effect, one wants to delay mentioning a word/concept until the end of a sentence. For example, it's often best to save the punchline for the very end: I was ...
5
votes
1answer
332 views

What are the rules of using に and で with regard to 住む and 勤める?

I am going over the cases when に and で are used with location. According to the "Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar", に is used when something exists in a specific location (page 299) and で is used ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

The meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって

What is the meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって? Space ALC defines ~を中心に as "with a focus on" and ~をめぐって as "centering on", but I'm having trouble figuring out the meaning and ...
9
votes
2answers
442 views

Kanji 何: why is it missing in 今なにしてる (facebook text in status editbox)?

I had the impression that 何 is pretty common kanji and that it is used in situations as above (after all, 今 is there, so it is not that it wanted to be hiragana-only). Do I understand it right that it ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

What is the etymology of どんちゃん騒ぎ?

WWWJDIC defines it as this: どんちゃん騒ぎ【さわ】 (n) merrymaking; high jinks; spree 観光客は町中飲み歩いてどんちゃん騒ぎをした。 The tourists painted the whole town red What is the etymology of this word? Is it in common ...
4
votes
1answer
657 views

Ruby text in Documents

Note: I know they might not strictly be interchangeable, but I might end up using "Furigana" and "Ruby text" in an interchangeable manner in this question. Hi all, I'm in the process of writing a ...
6
votes
1answer
181 views

Is ノシ considered 絵文字?

My friend ended a letter thusly: あとでノシ ノシ symbolizes a waving arm. Is this considered 絵文字 or does it have a different name?
3
votes
2answers
170 views

Are most counter words made up of two parts? What are those two parts called?

When looking at counter words, there seems to be a part that has a number, and a part that stays more or less the same. For example, the counter words for hours of a day are ichi-ji, ni-ji, san-ji. ...
9
votes
1answer
434 views

understanding hōgejaku — an archaic imperative?

I would like to understand this Zen calligraphy:                          &...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a logic behind the different endings when counting things in Japanese

So far I don't see any logic to it. It seems like it's just something you have to memorize, or is there a trick that I'm missing. Update To clarify, I'm not so much questioning the existence of the ...
11
votes
2answers
511 views

What's the difference between どうしたらいい and どうしていい?

Particularly in the following phrases, what's the difference between どうしたらいい and どうしていい? The following both seem to mean something like "I don't know what to do": どうしたらいいか分かりません どうしていいか分かりません ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the most common usage and meaning of もったいない?

もったいない (勿体無い)(勿体ない) can mean "what a waste!" / "too good". Apparently it is originally (?) a buddhist term meaning “The essence or quality of the thing does not exist,” and supposedly has been ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

Is まい as in あるまい really only used in literary texts or TV?

My understanding --admittedly limited-- is that in Japanese, people say as much as they can with as little words as possible. So I wondered why ないだろう would be used in everyday speaking instead of まい? ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What do you mean, “In Japanese there are no words for ”I’m suffering“”?

Today I noticed this article about eating disorders in Japan, which I got to via the News on Japan site. The first line jumps out at me. Supposedly, in an interview, a 25 year old Japanese woman ...
1
vote
1answer
510 views

At what level should we be able to understand Yojijukugo?

In my experience, Chinese language learners are introduced to these 4-character phrases at an early stage (around Chinese 3 in my high school); what I want to know is there a certain aptitude level ...
7
votes
1answer
829 views

Why do some kanji have furigana that are not valid readings?

In my text I read the sentence: あなたが体験したよりもっと[巨]{おお}きく、もっと深くさせてくれる力があるからだ。 (furigana is from the text) I understand 大きく, and I understand some words with 巨 like 巨大. However, when I looked up ...
9
votes
2answers
376 views

(noun) です vs. がある when either is appropriate

~するつもりです ~するつもりがある ~する予定です ~する予定がある These are just two examples. Obviously you can't stick in any noun, but I don't know if these fall into some well defined class either. Anyhow, ...
2
votes
2answers
283 views

Different versions of より?

Here is one definition for より: より (adv,prt) (1) from; out of; since; at; (2) than; (3) other than; except; but; (4) more; I see that one of the definitions of this word is "more". Is より一層 a ...
4
votes
2answers
715 views

Does だけが mean “but only” or “not just”?

Earlier today I saw this sign: 煙{けむり}の行方{ゆくえ}。本人{ほんにん}だけが、他人{たにん}事{ごと}だった。 The English is different enough that I think we can mostly ignore it for the purposes of this question. It helpfully ...
5
votes
3answers
422 views

Does 切った mean to “cut out” or “cut from”?

I was pretty sure that 切{き}った meant something was cut from something else. So ケーキから一人分{ひっとりぶん}を切{き}った would mean, "one piece was cut from the cake." However, I came across a usage which, at least at ...
9
votes
1answer
922 views

Ancient practise of sneaking into women's bedrooms…?

I was looking up the meaning of スマ婚{こん}, when my mouse happened to roll over the kanji 婚{こん}, and this definition popped up in Rikaichan: 婚 よばい ancient practice of creeping at night into a woman's ...

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