10
votes
3answers
740 views

Are honorifics used for dead people?

Are honorifics used for dead people? For example, would チンギス・カン have something after the name (presumably not just a mere さん!) when you're not referring to the dish?
8
votes
1answer
218 views

How do you read zeros in abbreviated years? (i.e. 03年)

I came across 03年度 and 09年度, and while the meaning is clear I didn't know the actual way of reading it. My first reaction was ゼロさんねんど, but I have no way of checking if that's right. I thought it might ...
11
votes
1answer
410 views

What does さようなら (左様なら) have to do with “left”?

What is the relationship between 左様なら and 左? I assume there's some idiomatic meaning for "left" but how does it fit?
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Internet speak - orz

I've seen several of my Japanese friends use "orz" in various types of posts on Facebook. What does "orz" mean? It's driving me nuts!
5
votes
1answer
209 views

Meaning and spelling of1対1で対応

In a recent email conversation, an acquaintance used the expression: 1対1で対応するそれは、大変だね。 Although I can vaguely infer the meaning of the expression 1対1で対応する (いちたいでたいおう), I am having a hard time ...
12
votes
3answers
684 views

Nuance, usage and etymology of お[出]{い}で

I observed in drama and anime (being outside Japan, those are my only ways of keeping in touch with spoken 日本語) that elder people sometimes say お出で to younger people when they want to say something ...
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Can the volitional form be used to nominate yourself for something?

I did a quick search on this site to see if I could find any answer to this and found this question: Does the volitional form of a verb mean both "lets" and "I want to"? But ...
6
votes
2answers
395 views

What is the meaning of お気の毒に and how is it used?

Although the there are several definitions in the dictionary: my condolences that's too bad my sympathies What does お気の毒に literally mean? I'm guessing that it might have something to do with ...
4
votes
2answers
241 views

What does it mean to be “over a law”?

I was a little confused after reading this on Wikipedia article for 宇部港, a harbor in Ube, Yamaguchi: 港湾法{こうわんほう}上の重要港湾...に指定されている。 I'm really not used to reading very technical writing, so there ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

How to speak in Kansai dialect

For someone who has studied standard Japanese, how hard is it to learn Kansai dialect? Is there a lot to learn, or not much? What are the basic things to learn in order to speak in this dialect? All I ...
6
votes
1answer
676 views

Usage of 目を覚ます and 目が覚める

What's the difference between 目を覚ます and 目が覚める? It seems both of them have the sense of literally waking up and also to wake up from some delusion. How are they different in usage? Perhaps because ...
8
votes
1answer
276 views

Meaning of “マスオさんする”

What is the meaning of "マスオさんする" in the following self-introduction extract? 家は表参道と近所ですが、特段お金持ちなわけではありません、妻の実家でマスオさんしてます。 My translation attempt: I live near Omotesando, but I am not rich: I ...
13
votes
3answers
754 views

What's bugging the Japanese language?

In my JLPT workbook, it has a section which gives a list of idioms that use [虫]{むし}. 仕事{しごと}の虫 (worker bee) 点取{てんとり}虫 (derogatory term for a student who tries too hard) 虫がいい (selfish) ...
5
votes
1answer
210 views

の versus が used to mark the subject of an appositive clause?

A friend of mine wrote this sentence in Japanese: 彼女のどんな困難からも逃げない態度を尊敬しています。 'Her attitude of not running away from any hardships is something I respect.' 'I respect that she has this attitude ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Help with newspaper shorthand

I was reading a short news article on students taking entrance exams in Japan, and it listed the number of students from the prefecture who took what test. Here is the excerpt I had a question about: ...
5
votes
1answer
738 views

How to express “more than something”?

I was wondering if there is a form I can use to express "more than X". For example, "reading more than 200 pages a day is a challenge". Or maybe something like, "reading as much as 200 pages a day ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

What's the difference between 少{すこ}し (sukoshi) and 小{ちい}さい (chiisai)?

What's the difference between 少{すこ}し (sukoshi) and 小{ちい}さい (chiisai)? In what situations would I use each one?
6
votes
2answers
868 views

Changing a question into a request for advice

How can I change a statement like どこへいきますか to mean "Where should I go"? Basically, what is the rule for changing a question into a request for advice?
5
votes
1answer
465 views

Can もの be used to imply the value of something that is a こと?

I thought of this question and quickly realized that I already knew a possible example. Japanese band ZONE's most popular song is called 「secret base~君【きみ】がくれたもの~」. The lyrics can be read here or at ...
6
votes
1answer
278 views

i-adjective specific intensifiers/qualifiers? e.g. 物凄い {ものすごい}

I noticed that some i-adjectives have specific prefixes that can be used to intensify the quality of the states that are described by the adjectives, similar to "flaming hot", "freezing cold" etc in ...
8
votes
1answer
240 views

When to use 種別 and when to use 区分 when programming

I am having trouble when naming a variable, deciding if I should use ABC種別 or ABC区分. I have been reading a lot of software specifications and the Japanese description usually uses 種別 and 区分 to specify ...
3
votes
1answer
982 views

Honorific form of i-adjectives (e.g. はやい → おはよう) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: ~うございます - keigo い-adjectives I still remember the introductory lecture of the first Japanese course I took in college, my sensei told the class that おはようございます does not ...
5
votes
3answers
275 views

Is there a past tense conjugation form for ば?

I have been looking at conjunctive forms of verbs and my grammar books shows me a negative and affirmative version of ば but what about a past tense and a past tense negative? Would they be じゃなてれば and ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I speak in the local dialect and/or accent of an area? [closed]

I'm planning to go to Tohoku for at least a week, and Lonely Planet, Wikitravel and TVTropes all mention that Tohoku-ben is a bit different from how Tokyoites would speak. TVTropes also mention that ...
6
votes
1answer
228 views

How can I express “you make a…/you'd make for a…”?

Do you know the English expression, "you make a"? It's pretty simple: You make a fine wife. It might be more correct as You'd make for a... but they're tenses are different then. I could ...
4
votes
2answers
691 views

How to Convert Na-adjectives and Nouns to the ば-form?

I am practicing the ば-conditional and my main reference right now is the oxford grammar book. It only mentions how to convert keiyoushi or i-adjectives and not keiyoudoushi or na-adjectives. Can ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

How to define 羨ましい?

羨【うらや】ましい! You're so lucky!/ I envy you!/ I'm jealous of you! As I learned it, 羨ましい as an exclamation does not carry much of a negative context, so perhaps a combination of these three ...
6
votes
1answer
288 views

“Dive” = “fly into”?

The words 飛ぶ and 跳ぶ are both read as とぶ, the former meaning "to fly" and the latter meaning "to jump" (generally; don't know if they are interchangeable at all). The compound-verb suffix 〜込【こ】む means ...
8
votes
1answer
303 views

can we use ねー as a question?

I've read that people usually change ない to ねー to make it more manly, like: したくないよ becomes したくねーんだ So basically i often heard questions ending with ない but have not heard anyone end a question with ねー ...
12
votes
2answers
356 views

Colloquial Contraction Confusion

This is taken from one of the mindless pop songs I shouldn't even be listening to: なんてったって ラッキー! I know what なんて and ラッキー mean, of course, but I can't figure out in a way that makes sense to me ...
1
vote
1answer
239 views

What is やっちゃるけんな?

This looks like やる in a colloquial form. Can someone clear up what this says?
9
votes
1answer
269 views

What's the difference between 電光石火【でんこうせっか】 and 疾風迅雷【しっぷうじんらい】

They both seem to mean "quick as lightning". What are the nuances between them? In what sort of context would they be used? Are they interchangeable? etc.
5
votes
2answers
379 views

What does カイデー mean?

I saw this in a tweet just a few minutes ago. アメリカ…俺よりカイデーな選手がゴロゴロ(゚o゚;; This could be talking about the world cup. I can't find カイデー defined anywhere. What does it mean? What does that tweet say?
3
votes
1answer
204 views

What does そうべ mean?

It is in the title of a book named そうべえまっくろけのけ. How to split そうべえまっくろけのけ?
16
votes
3answers
791 views

When is it okay to use あります with a living subject?

When learning Japanese everyone's taught いる is for a living thing and ある is for non-living things. However, I recently saw the following sentence ... あと、サッカー選手でもあります。 ... which ends in ある / あります ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

What is koshinashi?

I can't find コシなし defined in any dictionary. It looks like it might have something to do with udon noodles.
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Japanese translation for “bakka!” (Not Baka)

I'm in the midst of creating a show flyer for an upcoming event and one of the artists uses the name "Bakka!" (without quotes) I'm aware that the real word for this is Baka, so I'm curious as to how ...
11
votes
1answer
652 views

usage of「ご迷惑をおかけ・・・」variants for a business apology

I have to apologize for a procedural error at work, and am unsure about selecting the right form of apology from the variants of 「ご迷惑をおかけ・・・」: 1.「ご迷惑【めいわく】をおかけして申【もう】し訳【わけ】ございません。」 ...
7
votes
1answer
398 views

How to parse the proverb [艱難]{かんなん}[汝]{なんじ}を[玉]{たま}にす?

I found this particular proverb on WWWJDIC when I looked up for なんじ : [艱難]{かんなん}[汝]{なんじ}を[玉]{たま}にす. It is translated into English as: Hardship makes the man. How do we parse the proverb? I know 艱難 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What does ~頂ければと思います mean? Why does such a construction happen?

I've heard phrases sometimes like: チェックいただければと思います。chekku itadakereba to omoimasu "If you check this ... I think."? Why is that ~と思います at then end of the phrase?
0
votes
2answers
531 views

Which kana/kanji are used to write Yoshitoshi's death poem?

Browsing for art late at night, I came across this beautiful poem by Yoshitoshi, said to be his death poem: yo o tsumete terimasarishi wa natsu no tsuki translated as: holding back ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I say “I am the best” ? の,は or が and 私 or 俺?

I'm making a shirt for a (rather egotistical) friend of mine and so am trying to do something with the slogan "I am the best" for fun. I need something with four characters only, and would like to ask ...
5
votes
2answers
472 views

How is 「なう」most commonly appended to verbs?

I read the other two questions on なう on this site, and I want to know what the most common way to add なう after a verb is. I've seen なう most frequently with nouns. This is supported by ...
8
votes
2answers
543 views

Strange use of であった in narrative

In the middle of the Famicom game Bucky O'Hare, a cutscene starts with this text: こうして 4人を きゅうしゅつした バッキーであったが・・・じつは それは バッキー オヘアを とらえる ために トードぐんが しくんだ わなだったのだ!! The meaning of the sentence is ...
13
votes
2answers
755 views

Meaning of 〜あれだ

Recently I encountered this phrase: _____ってあれだよね What is あれ in this context? Is the speaking making a positive or negative statement about ___?
9
votes
2answers
226 views

[潔]{いさぎよ}い meaning

Can anyone tell me more about 潔い? I've looked in Goo, Alc, Kenkyusha, and Edict, and the definitions refer to "sportsmanlike", "gracious", or "take it like a man". However, I'm doubtful if these are ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

the different usages of つもり?

Hi all I understand that つもり means "intention" like say 夏休みにはゆっくり休むつもりです。 = I intend to rest during the summer vacation. But what does 分かっているつもりだ。 means? Well if I translate directly, it seems to be ...
5
votes
1answer
599 views

Why the mixture of *on* and *kun* readings of numbers?

One thing that always puzzled me was why some terms and names that are based on numbers will mix the on and kun readings. I never really understood the rules for that, but it occurs to me that there ...
9
votes
2answers
491 views

Why is を used in this situation? 私は先生がネコを好きだと思います

私は先生がネコを好きだと思います Why を and not が twice?
4
votes
1answer
170 views

What is the Japanese song-metric filler?

In English we have some common sounds that are used to fill spaces in songs like "ah" "la" "nah" "oh" "yea". What do we use for Japanese songs? So far I think I have only heard る used.

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