5
votes
1answer
774 views

Why do ~なんてもんじゃないよ/~たのなのって=とても?

Both the following two expressions from my text book 完全マスター聴解N1 are explained as とても(高い/人が多かった): 高いなんてもんじゃないよ 人が多かったのなのって Could someone explain what they are based on/where they come from ...
8
votes
2answers
298 views

Questions on the (underlying) meaning of the word お化け

If ばけもの / ばけもん / お化け can, in general, be understood to mean ghost/apparition/monster, what is the connection to the meaning of 化け, meaning "transform?" (or "transforming one's appearance") Is it ...
6
votes
1answer
216 views

How do we roll a ball along a street from A to B?

This question is a follow up to この道をまっすぐ行ってください。Why “を” and not “で”? posted earlier. If: 道で転ぶ = fallover on the road ボールが道を転がる = a ball rolled along the street 〜を転がす = roll something (...
9
votes
1answer
388 views

Why is there a 分 in 自分?

I didn't find anywhere why is the minute's kanji there in 自分? Is it because a meaning of 分 is "part". Please clarify.
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Are the 4-byte UTF-8 Kanji rare enough that I can ignore them?

I'm writing a programming algorithm which converts code points of Kanji characters to their respective UTF-8 octets. My problem is, if I don't include 4-octet characters, and only deal with 3-octet ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Actual phonetic realization of “devoiced” vowels

Descriptions of Japanese phonology (such as Wikipedia's) usually describe high vowels between voiceless consonants (or word-finally) as "devoiced". For example, the pronunciation of ⟨圧⟩ 'pressure' and ...
10
votes
2answers
832 views

けど vs. が for “but” conjuction

This question covers the difference between でも and けど for "but", the difference being that でも can be used at the beginning of a sentence. But けど and が are used in very much the same way, syntactically....
5
votes
1answer
148 views

How to choose between 「いれる」 and 「はいれる」?

The questions is how to choose between 「いれる」 and 「はいれる」. As far as I know, the same kanji is used for both (入れる). How can one make the distinction when reading a text?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Help with the difference between causative and the causative-passive for the verb 笑う

I've always had a hard time immediately understanding the differences between passive, causative, and causative-passive. If I really sit down and try to work out the meaning I can generally get it, ...
7
votes
1answer
239 views

Explain Noun + へ particle?

I have a sentence 来年にはテレフォニカが製品投入へ. This is translated by google: "Telefonica is to rollout next year." Where is the verb in this sentence as 製品投入 looks like "noun" + "noun"? And what is へ doing after ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How to say “Little did I/he/she/they know”?

I found a few examples at ALC, but still not sure about the best way to say it.
7
votes
2answers
351 views

ひき or 頭 for horses?

Initially I'd thought ひき is for small animals and 頭 is for animals that are not small ("big" animals) however EDICT (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUE%E3%81%B2%E3%81%8D) ...
4
votes
1answer
226 views

What is the function of の particle after Conjunction?

Here is the sentence: それなのにの言い換えや別の言い方。 Taking it apart: それなのに_Conjunction + の_Particle + 言い換え_Noun + や_Particle + 別_Noun? + の_Particle + 言い方_Noun。 This construction puzzles me. What is の doing right ...
10
votes
2answers
264 views

Understanding of the character 叉

I see the character 叉 in a lot of words that do not seem to have anything in common: [夜叉]{やしゃ} [三叉路]{さんさろ} [叉焼]{チャーシュー} [音叉]{おんさ} Is there any commonality here? What does 叉 ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

Equivalence of Traversal Verb + て and で of Means/Instrumentality

Consider: XにYで行く 学校に自転車で行く "Go to school by bicycle" ("means/instrumentality" interpretation) "Is* bicycle and go to school" (Questionable?) (Verb conjunctive interpretation) XにTraversal Verb-...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています?

I'm reading Minna no Nihongo (Chapter 15) and it says what I wrote in the question. I would think the negative would be 知っていません。
8
votes
1answer
1k views

To take responsibility: 責任を 取る・負う・持つ

What are the nuances between these three verbs when paired with 責任? I understand they all mean "to take responsibility", but are they interchangeable, etc? 責任を取る 責任を負う 責任を持つ 負う's definition says (...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What does 逃げっこなしにしよう mean?

So, I was reading a children's story and came across this sentence: 「いいか、この最後のローソクが消えたら、本当のお化けが出るかもしれん。だが、どんなお化けが出ようと、お互いに逃げっこなしにしよう」 What I'm having trouble understanding and dictionaries haven't ...
6
votes
2answers
545 views

Do Japanese study classical Chinese? [closed]

Kinda out-of-topic. I know that old Japanese books are written in Classical Chinese (or Written Chinese), like 日本書紀/Nihon Shoki. As I have known, Chinese people learn Classical Chinese quite well and ...
6
votes
1answer
332 views

What nuance brings “ですな”?

I often see ですな used in social text posts. Examples: こんにちわ、あついし、ひまですな。 いいてんきですなw A Google search for "ですな" does not show me any explanation. Here is how I understand ですな in such context: ...
4
votes
1answer
190 views

What's the difference between 申し出 and 提案?

In the Kanzen Master N2 listening textbook, there's a table of phrases to be aware of, and it includes both 申{もう}し出{で} and 提案{ていあん} in the "function" part of the table: 提案: 〜たらどう? こっちの色にしたらどう? ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Online source for Kanji etymology [closed]

Is there a good website that contains etymological explanations about the 2000 most important Kanji? I'm looking for something like this: http://tokyogreenspace.com/2009/08/05/weed-in-kanji-the-...
4
votes
1answer
430 views

Difference between 切る and 切れる?

This question is prompted by the earlier question on the use of 書ける. Initially I thought the answer might explain the difference between these two (eg 彼は頭がよく切れる| he is (very) sharp) but in most cases, ...
13
votes
8answers
1k views

Is the word ハーフ derogatory?

Is the term ハーフ (mixed-race Japanese/other) derogatory? Can you use it in a newspaper article? Can you use it to describe your boss? If it is derogatory, what word(s) should one use instead?
23
votes
1answer
764 views

How is the wind related to illness?

I've seen the kanji 風 appear in several different illnesses: 風邪 (a cold), 中風 (paralysis), and 痛風 (gout). Conceivably there may be others, but I haven't seen them. What does the wind have to do with ...
6
votes
1answer
403 views

referring to children: 子, 子供, or お子さん?

This is an issue that came up with my host family quite often. I have never been quite clear on which to use. In particular, 子 seems somewhat rude (much to the same effect as 男 or 女). On the other ...
8
votes
1answer
356 views

What is going on with 書けている? What is Potential Form+ている?

I'm having difficulty in understanding 書けている (initially observed from an answer to "パソコンが 得意だ/わかる/上手だ"). Also observed from SPACEALC: この小説は上手に書けている。 最もよく書けている記事。 いくつかのスペルミスを除けば、...
4
votes
2answers
285 views

Meaning of 「おれば」&「大手を振る」

The following sentence and translation appear in my textbook (総まとめ 読解 N1, p114): 視聴率さえとっておれば、どんな"やらせ" をやろうとも、メディアの責任を考えればモラルに反すると思うことをやっても、大手を振ることが出来る世界 A world (media industry) where they ...
6
votes
2answers
379 views

What is the pun in 猥シャツ?

Could someone explain why 猥シャツ is defined as "obscene shirt (pun)"? I don't understand how this is a pun. 猥シャツ 【わいシャツ】 (n) (See Yシャツ) obscene shirt (pun) Source: http://www.csse.monash.edu....
1
vote
1answer
744 views

[plain form]-んじゃない

When I was first learning Japanese, I learned that the explanatory form, -んです is always constructed by conjugating the verb in short form and adding -んです, and that the です part is never conjugated. But ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

How should I intepret より in this sentence

きのうは きょうより ひとが すくないです。 Is it saying: X number of people yesterday < Y number of people today? or X number of people yesterday > Y number of people today? I'm getting the ...
5
votes
3answers
568 views

Any rules for a suffix on english words?

(Note: I'm part of the "I know bits and pieces of Japanese from watching anime" group, so I lack an in-depth knowledge of Japanese) As I'm hearing Japanese occasionally there will be an English word ...
5
votes
1answer
327 views

Usage of なんて in this sentence

”正直友達が死んだらこんなにへこむなんておもってみなかった”  I cant understand this sentence.
6
votes
1answer
202 views

たら as an emotional suffix

In this phrase I couldn't find another meaning of たら (I guess it's not -た+ら): 自分たらの事しか考えてなかった I'd translate it as "I think only of my own business" or "I think only of myself". I found in ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Examples of when passive form in English takes active/non passive form in Japanese

Can anyone give a few more common examples (or even more insight) of when we should be "switching" from English passive into Japanese active/non-passive? (A joint effort might help a lot of us to ...
9
votes
3answers
13k views

What does チャラ mean?

What does チャラ mean? It was explained here that チャラ男 means light image. Does that mean cool image of a person? A cool person? チャラ男とは言動が軽いさまを表す「チャラチャラ」またはこれが形容詞化された「チャラい」を男性名っぽくしたものである(単に「チャラチャラした男」「...
7
votes
2answers
519 views

Utterance initial [ɾ]

According to The sounds of Japanese (Vance 2008): When /ɾ/ is the first phoneme in an utterance, the tip of the tongue is already resting lightly on the alveolar ridge, and /ɾ/ is produced by ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

In what situations can you use "ぞ” as a sentence ender

When can one use the sentence ender ぞ? I've only ever heard it anime, so I'm unsure of it's actual usage in the real world. Is it not used that often or limited to specific age/gender groups?
5
votes
2answers
312 views

What is the etymology of the word しょーむない?

しょーむない更新失礼しました(T^T) Sorry for the boring update From my understanding, しょーむない means something along the lines of くだらない and つまらない. Where does it originate from and is it specific to a certain ...
7
votes
3answers
370 views

How to sound more manly when sneaking popcorn into the cinema

OK, really esoteric question time: So I went to the cinema with a female friend on the weekend. I was going to buy some of the horrendously overpriced popcorn there, but then she said: 持ってきちゃった! ...
3
votes
2answers
283 views

Using な or ね when addressing a mixed-gender group?

I have the basic understanding that ね is generally more formal/feminine and な is generally more informal/masculine. I was told that you tend to use ね as an emphasis if you are a) a female yourself or ...
16
votes
3answers
577 views

Can I end sentences with ん?

One friend of mine told me when she was living in Japan, she liked to end her sentences with ん (maybe instead of の). Examples: 明日学校にいくん? 明日学校に行かないと思う…風邪引いたん。 Actually I've never seen it! But my ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

In what situation can I use ~かい (for interrogative question)?

One day, I asked my japanese friend how I could invite some friends to eat. He said "一緒に食べに行くかい?" I know that we could also say: 行きましょうか(行こうか)? 行きませんか(行かない)? 行きますか(行くの)? but I got interested ...
18
votes
4answers
642 views

Questions with ~か or without: how to choose?

Studying Japanese on my own, I've learned that in order to make a question, you usually add the particle "~か", like this: 今何時ですか。 It's also true that a question can be asked without it, using ...
18
votes
2answers
8k views

When asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'?

As per the title, when asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'? For example, we are taught this: おしごとは。 'What is your job?' But I don't understand why it isn'...
13
votes
3answers
876 views

Are there any situations where かしら is considered appropriate/normal for males to use?

かしら is generally considered to be a question particle for use by females; are there any situations or dialects in which it is usable by males? I'm aware that historically, it was used by both male and ...
6
votes
3answers
264 views

Why is it that the っけ suffix can only be attached to a question-sentence

Why is it that the っけ suffix / け particle (indicating that the speaker is trying to recall some information) can only be attached to a sentence when the sentence itself is a question-sentence? ...
5
votes
1answer
191 views

は as sentence final particle

I meant to gather more examples before posting this question, but here we go. These are some lines out of various Ghibli movies I saw last weekend. わからないは - when asked to take a guess about something ...
15
votes
1answer
4k views

わ usage at the end of sentences

What is the difference between the "わ" sentence ender used by women in general and the one that is used by both Males and females in the Kansai area? I've asked my Japanese co-workers about it ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

When and how did USA and UK come to be written as [米]{べい}[国]{こく} and [英]{えい}[国]{こく}?

I know of four countries with a specific kanji besides Japan: China, the Netherlands, the USA and UK. The last two must be quite recent (I presume 19th century) but I wonder on the details and context ...

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