6
votes
1answer
426 views

Using な after い-adjectives

What does it mean to put a な after an い-adjective? For example, many Youtube videos are called begin "いいなCM", and a Japanese text book I have uses this sentence as an example: この通りを行くと 大きな 交差点がある。 ...
12
votes
2answers
306 views

What is the difference between 首相 and 総理?

I learned 総{そう}理{り} as the word for Prime Minister, but I've recently learned that 首{しゅ}相{しょう} is also used. Is there a difference in usage or meaning? Is one more polite than the other?
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the Hepburn system of romanization generally used over the Nihon-shiki system?

Generally when you see romanization of Japanese it is in the Hepburn system; however, I recently came across the Nihon-shiki system which seems to be preferable. Why is it that the Hepburn system ...
12
votes
2answers
546 views

Pronunciation and meaning of  [closed]

I just received an email ending like this: 是非是非また誘って How to read the  ? Zero results on Google. As for the meaning, is it equivalent to よ ?
5
votes
2answers
429 views

So what is the difference between の and こと in this sentence?

So Sawa in another thread says that こと cannot be used in the example below. Even though it performs the same function as の (as far as I can see). 料理が(前より(もっと)) {上手だ/上手い/上手になった/上手くなった} 料理するのが(...
3
votes
2answers
598 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
477 views

What are the rules for substituting の with ん?

I've noticed that sometimes the hiragana の can be shortened to ん. For example, 部屋のなか → 部屋んなか (inside of the room) 俺のうち → 俺んち (my house) 俺のところ → 俺んとこ (my place) (More examples can ...
8
votes
1answer
355 views

Kanji use in these words, 今 vs 未

I'm learning vocabulary from 日本語総まとめN2. In one section they describe four words and group them together (I assume because they have slightly different meanings but somewhat similar). They group them ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How did the verb 掛ける come to have many meanings?

I think that this verb is the only one I've seen in Japanese that has so many definitions. とる and つく have multiple definitions as well (quite a bit IIRC). But not as much as 掛ける. In any case, I am ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

“causative of negative” vs “negative of causative”?

Wikipedia (Japanese Verb Conjugation): Negatives [verb negative-conjugations] are not normally made into causatives. Instead, a negative ending is added to the causative of the verb. Thus, for ...
8
votes
1answer
342 views

How is this もって used?

I have this sentence as an example for the grammar point をもって: I国が起こした戦争は、世界中に衝撃をもって伝えられた。 をもって can either refer to [1] the means through which something is done, or [2] a point in time where ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

What is 在り方 used for?

Consider the extracted original Japanese text from the translation attempt in "Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています?" : これは「知る」という動詞の"意味特徴"と、私たちが「知る」に抱く"イメージ=認知の在り方"に原因があると考えるのが妥当だと思う。 Also ...
5
votes
2answers
769 views

For how long has Japanese been the official language of Japan?

That is to say, in Japan, at which point in time, was it declared that official documents had to be written in the Japanese language? I am also looking for any additional information like where it ...
6
votes
1answer
416 views

ところ vs どころ: Interchangeable or different meanings altogether?

I have two questions. A) Why do they use どころ instead of ところ in this sentence? Is it possible to use ところ without changing the meaning? 写真では建物と池の風景だけで静かな雰囲気を味わうことができますが、実際に行くと、観光客が大勢いて、...
2
votes
2answers
12k views

How many translations of “ichigo” are there? [closed]

"Ichigo" can be the pronunciation of a person's name (as in the cartoon "Bleach"), or words meaning "strawberry", "one and five", or a part of the word "一期一会". Are there any additional meanings of "...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I translate Romaji text to English? [closed]

I have a block of Japanese-language text that has been transliterated to Romaji that I would like to translate to English. They are lyrics to a song. I have very little experience with the Japanese ...
5
votes
1answer
590 views

How to decide to use どうせ or しょせん?

The dictionary translates both どうせ (WJDIC) and しょせん (WJDIC) as "anyway / in any case / after all". But what exactly is the difference in nuance between them? For example, what is the difference ...
0
votes
1answer
242 views

Using だということ to mean “that”

I was helping to translate this passage on the website Lang-8.com: Lang-8をやって良かった点は、どんな間違いをしても恥をかかないようになったという点と、ネイティブの人でも英語を話すときに同じような間違いをするんだということに気付いた点です。 The great point about having used ...
1
vote
1answer
242 views

Is there a word or phrase for “run around”?

I'd like to know if there is a phrase similar to the English phrase of "running around". To explain more clearly, it should mean to be able to go out freely and do whatever one like's without being ...
2
votes
2answers
228 views

Meaning of given character [closed]

I was just wondering the character shown in image is Japanese or not. If yes then can you please tell me the meaning of it.
6
votes
2answers
376 views

What does the phrase らしいと言えばらしい mean?

I am reading a book where one character describes another's reading habits, and the person she is talking to says 「らしいと言えばらしいな」. From context, he seems to be saying that her reading habits are ...
2
votes
3answers
479 views

Translation of 出証意 and 長官殿

These are from a patent related document and I can't understand very well. They are used like these: 1) 特許庁長官殿 2) 出証意2012 Can anyone help me?
6
votes
1answer
177 views

How does adding なる make this phrase more “natural”?

Recently, I wanted to express the sentence "Maybe they'd make good pets." in Japanese. I initially tried to say it as such: [多分]{たぶん}いいペットでしょうね! I was then corrected by a native speaker, and he ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you say “You have gotten better at X”?

I was just reminded on another site that "being good at something" is expressed as [上手]{じょうず}/[上手]{うま}い, not いい. How do you tell someone they "have gotten better at something"? Xさん, 料理することがもっと上手いですね。 ...
5
votes
1answer
353 views

What is the meaning of ぶさかわ?

I was talking to my language partner and she mentioned ぶさかわ being used in situations when you want to describe something not pretty but nice. Apparently the word is relatively new and was first used ...
9
votes
1answer
236 views

Can 一杯 be used to express the fullness of things without physical volumes?

According to an answer to this question, the word [一杯]{いっぱい} can be used to expess fullness; especially in relation to the capacity of whatever is containing the quantity. This, however, tends to ...
6
votes
2answers
689 views

Are first, second, and third person in Japanese all the same as in English?

Are first, second, and third person nominals in Japanese used in the same way as in English? What should English speakers keep in mind when considering the three persons in Japanese? Particularly for ...
4
votes
1answer
716 views

Why does 古希 / こき mean 70 years old?

I found out that 古希 / こき can mean a 70 year old person, or the occasion of turning 70 years old. Apparently its etymology derives from an ancient song where this line occurs:七十古希 【しちじゅうこき】 which means ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

How close was the Japanese writing system from becoming abolished after World War II?

I remember hearing that the Japanese government planned on abolishing the use of Chinese characters entirely after World War II. I also remember hearing that there was a movement by the American ...
13
votes
3answers
902 views

What is the difference between 残念ながら and 残念なことに

I hear both 残念ながら and 残念なことに when expressing that something was unfortunate before the actual sentence, much like the English "Unfortunately, ...". However, I'm not sure on where these two phrases ...
4
votes
2answers
327 views

Difference between Noun+な and Noun+だという

I came across this sentence: 四月だというのに、結構寒いね。 "It is April, but it is rather cold isn't it?" Recalling what I learned about the のに conjunction, I can also make the sentence: 四月なのに、結構寒いね。 (...
5
votes
2answers
539 views

What is the difference in terms of grammar between きり and っぱなし?

I'm pretty sure there is a difference between the use of these two words. I came across the example sentences: 息子は、自分の部屋に入ったきり出てこない。 母は入院している父をつきっきりで看病している。 電車が混んでいて、東京まで立ちっぱなしだった。 I ...
9
votes
1answer
285 views

What does ending a statement with 「っ」signify when coupled with 「・・・」?

I have seen a few sentences or exclamations that end a sentence with 「っ」. Specifically, I read the example below: ちなみに純文学について語れなんて言われても私には、無理・・・っ! The following sentence is listed below (However ...
5
votes
1answer
260 views

What do you call these words?

I'm trying to figure out what the term is that describes words that look like this: やっぱり; さっぱり; うっかり; こっそり; ひっそり; ぐっすり; すっきり They seem similar to 擬態語、義質語、and 擬音語, but I think they have a ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

だが attached to the subject/topic

だが is often attached to the subject/topic of a sentence as follows, with my supposed translation. 近くに住む叔父だが, 最近具合が悪いと聞いている. 'Speaking of my uncle who lives close-by, I've heard lately he's isn't ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

に[配慮]{はいりょ} vs. を[配慮]{はいりょ}

I want to know if there is any difference between に and を when used with 配慮する. Example sentences: [環境]{かんきょう}に配慮した家 環境を配慮した家 [相手]{あいて}の[立場]{たちば}に配慮する 相手の立場を配慮する Are they ...
2
votes
1answer
708 views

Japanese pun to pronounce an English phrase [closed]

I have once heard that, during World War II, when the American Troops invaded Okinawa, they wanted the Japanese civilians to surrender, and in order to let the Japanese say the phrase "I surrender", ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

How and when do Japanese children learn kanas and kanji?

I wonder how exactly Japanese children learn to write. It may help a foreigner to know what is important to memorize or not. The only thing I know is that first of all, hiragana are learnt, and then ...
1
vote
1answer
182 views

What is the correct reading for べき乗打切り待機法?

On this page, different readings are give in different dictionaries for べき乗打切り待機法: べきのりうちきりたいきほう in JMDict and ベキジョウウチキリタイキホウ in コンピューター用語辞典. The English translation given in both dictionaries are the ...
4
votes
1answer
209 views

Can ま be used as an interjection to connote an indignant tone?

On occasion, I will hear ま being used in a way that seems to suggest the speaker is responding to something indignantly. Something like, "Well! If that's how you're going to act..." Are there any good ...
7
votes
2answers
353 views

Why does お[馬鹿]{ばか}さん contain honorific お?

Why does お[馬鹿]{ばか}さん contain an honorific? If you're basically calling someone silly, why be "polite" about it? Also, what is the difference in meaning between お馬鹿さん and just 馬鹿 (I hear the former ...
6
votes
1answer
379 views

Does the expression 抱えて生きている always imply a situation with negative aspects?

I was studying the expression 抱えて生きている (literally "living while holding"?), and have found the best English equivalent to be "having to live with." In the English expression, the "thing" that one has ...
1
vote
1answer
750 views

Beginner: book/ website for reading comprehension and vocabulary [closed]

I'm looking for a book/website that helps me to increase my reading skills and vocabulary. The only "problem" is, that it should be only written with hiragana and katakana. At the very best there ...
2
votes
1answer
186 views

The stylistic use of romaji for the particle “de”

Or other cases when a single word/particle is rendered in romaji within a sentence otherwise written in normal Japanese. This is something I first came across on cooking websites, for example: ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

What's the difference between 赤ん坊 and 赤ちゃん

Are both words interchangeable? Rikai-chan defines them both as "baby, infant". So what would be the difference?
2
votes
1answer
799 views

The difference between ~ようだ, ~ように見える, ~ように思える and ~みたい

In a Japanese English grammar textbook, "seems" is translated as ~のように見える, for example: He seemed to have been ill. 病気であったように見えた。 I've also seen "seems" written as ~(の)ように思える in various ...
5
votes
3answers
851 views

Is it OK to have more than one が particle in a sentence?

If, for example, I wanted to say "I like the book that my sister gave me", would it be 姉がくれた本が好きです? I'm using Genki to study, but they don't seem to have any examples of this particular structure ...
6
votes
1answer
501 views

What is “ブチャイク”?

ブチャイク All I know is it's referring to someone's "looks" or appearance, and is not flattering. I suspect this is simply one of those "modern" Japanese slang phrases popular among young people that's ...
6
votes
1answer
249 views

Why would you use まいります for rain? (降ってまいります)

I ran across this example sentence in a basic dictionary, but I can't figure out what particular meaning まいります has in this context. 雨が降ってまいりました。 Generally speaking, it's used as the humble verb ...
6
votes
1answer
233 views

Which つける do I use?

So I looked up つける and saw it can be written as: 付ける 着ける 附ける And they all seem to have the exact same definition: to attach, to join, to add, to append, etc. So are these "spellings" ...

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