11
votes
2answers
395 views

Why do some Japanese men use お袋 to address their mothers?

I often hear Japanese males use the word お袋 in place of お母さん when annoyed or irritated. Is this word slang? How did this word come to mean 「お母さん」 and what are the circumstances it is used in? I am ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do children call themselves by their name?

Why is that young children call themselves by their first name when referring to themselves? This question is similar to Speaking in the third person; however, young children do not understand the ...
3
votes
1answer
316 views

Please help to understand the verb suffix 掛ける

I have a sentence フライト・アテンダントはよく話しかけてくれて親しみがありました。 Where 話しかけて is what I can't understand. What sort of suffix is "shikakete"? Or is it two suffixes, shi + kakete?
5
votes
1answer
201 views

クラウド上で - pronunciation?

I've seen 上で quite a few times recently, in contexts like: In the cloud クラウド上で and: On the computer コンピュータ上 In this case, is it pronounced うえ, as in クラウドうえで, or じょう? Silly ...
9
votes
2answers
516 views

Why is it that ~かねる can refer to oneself, yet ~かねない must refer to another person?

When I tried to use ~かねない to express my own feeling about a situation, I was told by a native that it sounds incorrect and strange. However, ~かねる is appropriate and fine. For example, this is the ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

what does 自己PR mean?

I keep coming across this word often 「自己PR」when looking at applications. I'm not sure what the "PR" part means in Japanese, but in English it usually means "public relations". What does this word mean,...
13
votes
1answer
466 views

Why does 「目がない」mean “something you like”?

I came across the phrase 甘いものに目がない which roughly translates to "having a sweet tooth". Then I wondered why 目がない refers to "something that you like". Is there an explanation for why "having no eyes" ...
9
votes
1answer
208 views

What is the difference between 恰好 and 格好?

Is there any difference between the words 格好 and 恰好? Can I actually call them different words, or is it that they are just the same word written differently? I've been told that they have exactly the ...
10
votes
1answer
973 views

Is it true that にしたって is the colloquial form of にしたところで?

I've been thinking if it is true that にしたって is the colloquial form of にしたところで. In other words, are the bottom two sentences identical in meaning and nuance? 1) 彼は日本語を20年も勉強しているが、その彼にしたところで、...
7
votes
2answers
247 views

Does くりかえし mean a single iteration or multiple ones?

For example, in this sentence: 彼は、失敗をものともせず、 何度もくりかえし 挑戦し続けた。 くりかえし is modified by 何度も, implicitly stating that the action was repeated multiple times. My question is that if the sentence was ...
7
votes
1answer
769 views

What does the word ゆける signify?

I have the sentence: この国に生まれ老い、良かったと死んでゆける高齢化社会。 This is the first time I've seen 「死んでゆける」 or 「ゆける」. What does it mean? Is this a grammatical form? I also tried looking up more examples with 「...
15
votes
1answer
322 views

Is there a difference between に伴う and を伴う?

In a report I handed in earlier this week, my professor corrected my sentence to 日本において、金融政策の目的に関する考え方が時間を伴い、変わってきた。 from 「に伴い」. Is there a practical difference between the two? ALC shows a ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is “kanji illiteracy” (kanji yomenai) in the context of native Japanese speakers?

In the context of native Japanese speakers (not non-natives), is there a concept that roughly translates as "kanji illiteracy"? If so, what are the Japanese terms for it? Also, what does it mean? Does ...
3
votes
2answers
467 views

Adverbial form: 楽しみに or 楽しみで?

I'm quite familiar with the different uses of the particles に and で. However, right now I'm stuck, because I want to say the following in Japanese, and as I understand it, either one of these ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Which word to use for “butterfly”?

I am aware of these words that mean "butterfly": [蝶]{ちょう} 蝶々 (Is the alternate form of チョウチョ more common than 蝶々? Because 蝶々 would be チョウチョウ instead and it seems ウ is removed because of shortening) ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Why are the katakana important to learn?

I've just started, and everything says learn your hiragana and katakana first. The hiragana, very clear. I guess you can say an awful lot of things in Japanese with hiragana. But everything I've been ...
4
votes
1answer
826 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between 彼氏が出来る and 彼氏を作る?

I often hear both of the following phrases: 彼氏が出来る 彼氏を作る Both of them seem to mean the same thing(?). Why is it that 作る is used in this way? I had previously thought 作る meant to "create" or ...
8
votes
1answer
162 views

What is the difference between あっての and とあって?

From what I can tell they both mean "Because of", and the only differences in meaning I can see seem to be very subtle. あっての: Because of A (strong emphasis), B Thanks to (various things),...
12
votes
3answers
386 views

What is the difference between 防止 and 予防?

My dictionary defines both 防止 and 予防 as "prevention", with 予防 having the additional definitions of "precaution" and "protection against". I sort of understand the latter definitions for 予防 as acting ...
6
votes
2answers
238 views

… が決定しました rather than … が決定されました

Can someone explain what rules for が come in play that make the sentence: 発売延期となっていたネットワークレコーダー「nasne(ナスネ)」の発売が8月30日に決定しました grammatically correct? I would have formulated it 「nasne(ナスネ)」...
6
votes
1answer
278 views

Is あたり used only to enumerate items?

I usually read that あたり is used to enumerate things like A あたり, B あたり. But lately I can also hear ひとつひとつあたり also used. Is this the same word? How do you use the あたり in general? A search on a ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the meaning of 女子力?

What is 女子力? I see it often recently, and understand that it does not worth discussing seriously about it. I know it is a stupid word. Just curious how people are interpreting it.
10
votes
1answer
170 views

Word order: what does 迷惑きわまりない modify?

In my JLPT practice book, there is a question that asks you to put words in the correct order: 朝の満員電車の中で、大きな音で ____ ____ ____ ____ 若者がいる。 What I put down was: 朝の満員電車の中で、大きな音で ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

do people actually respect the nuances of 探す vs 捜す?

Part 1 I understand 探す to be to search for something (general) and 捜す to be to search for something lost But do people actually care about the difference in nuance when they use it? I mean do ...
4
votes
0answers
125 views

same reading, similar meaning, different Kanji [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: do people actually respect the nuances of 探す vs 捜す? There are many kanji that I have come across with similar meanings, and (seemly coincidentally) identical readings. But ...
9
votes
3answers
821 views

In general/Generally: 概【がい】して, 一般【いっぱん】に, 全体【ぜんたい】に, 総【そう】じて, なべて, 一体{いったい}に, etc

When I look at them in the dictionary, they all mean the same thing. How to know which one to use? If I want to say: "Generally, I go to school by bus" or "Generally, people grow taller" or even "...
10
votes
2answers
260 views

What's the difference between 迷う and 紕う?

I was looking in a dictionary and both were listed as being defined as "to lose one's way, to hesitate, or to waver," but I don't understand why there are two different kanji for the word.
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 ...
12
votes
6answers
442 views

Computer: 計算機 or 計算器?

What is the difference between the two kanji variants for 「けいさんき」, the other word for 「コンピューター」? 計算器 計算機
8
votes
1answer
813 views

Use of を and に with 頼る (to depend on)

Why is the direct object taking を in (1) and に in (2)? What are basic rules that drive these two sentence constructions? (1) 叔母は父を頼っている 'My aunt is counting on my father's help.' (2) 農民は収入を[...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

The plural 等 in おいら, おら

Why do the singular first person pronouns 俺{おい}等{ら} and 俺{お}等{ら} involve the plural affix 等?
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Does 被【かぶ】る have any relation to “cover”?

Topic. I've heard/seen somewhere that 被【かぶ】る was "gairaigo-fied" (?) from the English word "cover" (similar to ダブる or デモる), and then presumably given ateji from 被【おお】う since the meanings overlap so ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Did any writing systems exist before kanji was imported?

Did any writing systems, or even failed attempts at them, exist for Japanese before kanji was imported from China?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Which kanji for はじめます? There seem to be two

I thought the kanji for はじめます was: 始めます However, one of my friends tweeted using 初: トマト鍋初めて食べたけどおいしかった Which is correct? Is there a difference in nuance between the two? jisho.org brings ...
5
votes
2answers
219 views

Difference between 颜 and 顔

I have seen both used like 笑颜 and 笑顔 to mean smile (noun). afaik both are pronouced as えがお (somebody correct me if I'm wrong, ビギナーだ). So what exactly is the difference?
11
votes
2answers
307 views

What do the parts of じゃんけんぽん mean?

I imagine that in じゃんけんぽん, けん corresponds to 拳 which I interpret as "fist" which is "rock". Do じゃん and ぽん correspond to "scissors" and "paper" ? If not, then do the individual parts of じゃん, けん and ...
8
votes
1answer
142 views

The expressions 後へ引く and 後を引く

What is the logic behind the similar sounding expressions 後へ引く and 後を引く? Are they idioms? Apple dictionary lists these examples: 後へ引く もう後へは引けない 'It's too late to turn back now.' 'We're in ...
3
votes
1answer
273 views

Usage of くれる in くれてやる

くれる usually means that the giver is not on the first person's side and the receiver is on the first person's side. Why is it used in くれてやる, where the giver is the first person and the receiver is not ...
8
votes
1answer
174 views

Is it normal to put さん after an internet handle?

Is it ok to put さん after an internet handle, such as a twitter name or a username? My suspicion is that you'd avoid adding さん if it'd confuse the software, and that addressing someone by their ...
3
votes
2answers
258 views

What is the ったい / -ttai suffix called?

In response to my question about くすぐったい, I was told of the specific suffix in use, the "ったい." What is this ったい / -ttai suffix called in English and in Japanese (or what would one call it if it does ...
5
votes
2answers
861 views

ii na to omoimasu

I read that ... to ii na to omoimasu means "I hope that ...". Is the na here a final particle that adds the first person's subjective feeling to the proposition as in sawa’s answer to using なafterい-...
7
votes
2answers
546 views

When is it appropriate to choose にわたって or を通じて in regard to time?

I seem to have a hard time recognizing when to choose either にわたって or を通じて in the following question: この地方は一年(  )暖かく、とても過ごしやすい。 The correct answer is を通じて. My idea is that を通じて would make this ...
5
votes
1answer
761 views

The logic behind “くすぐったい”

I am interested in the literal meaning of くすぐったい. If くすぐったい is equivalent to the English expression, "That tickles!" (said by someone being tickled), what is the literal meaning of this word? If it is ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of 疾風伝?

I am trying to understand the title of an anime series called: Naruto Shippuden. Searching google, I found that shippuden can be translated as hurricane chronicles or legend. I looked for hurricane in ...
14
votes
2answers
465 views

What is the difference between 日曜日【にちようび】and 日曜【にちよう】?

In all the japanese learning books, they teach you that xxxday ends with 曜日. But sometimes I get to see xxx曜 only without the "Day" Kanji. Can I shorten it when speaking too or is it only written ? ...
4
votes
4answers
296 views

Why is 一緒に needed when it's already clear two people will be together?

A father is talking to his kid about their plans tomorrow and says, けんしんくん、お父さんと一緒に買いに行きましょうか? Why not: けんしんくん、お父さんと買いに行きましょうか? (The sentence is supposed to say, "Kenshin, would you like ...
5
votes
3answers
541 views

What is the difference between 寿司, 鮨, 鮓, 寿斗, 寿し, and 壽司?

It is likely that this is due to my poor understanding, but why are there so many names for「すし」? I think for the most part I have only seen the first three (寿司、鮨、鮓). For whatever reason in some ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

外回り, 内回り instead of 時計回り, 反時計回り

Why were the terms 外回り and 内回り chosen for the directions on Yamanote line (railway) rather than the more straigntforward 時計回り and 反時計回り? Is it expected that people should know which matches which?
24
votes
2answers
4k views

The difference between が and を with the potential form of a verb.

When using the potential form of a verb, I was taught that the particle を becomes が. However, in real life this seems to not always be the case. I've even heard Japanese people use を instead of が ...

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