11
votes
1answer
258 views

How do I use うく as casual slang (as in ういた)?

Sometimes I hear Japanese people say ういた in conversation when describing something (usually someone) unpleasant. I asked my coworker once "what is this word", but I got a very poor explanation (not ...
16
votes
3answers
11k views

What to say after someone dies

What is the proper response when someone tells you, for example, that their mother has died? Relatedly, what should you do to express your sympathy? Do you send a card? flowers? bake a casserole?
3
votes
0answers
138 views

What's the standard for making plurals of Japanese words in English? [closed]

There's the movie "Seven Samurai", which would sound strange as "Seven Samurais", but in the news you often read about "hundreds of tsunamis". Some people say they know 500 kanjis, but I've always ...
6
votes
1answer
240 views

What is the counter used for doors?

This is from deceze, but what is the counter used for doors. Is it 枚(mai) or something else?
14
votes
5answers
531 views

Can I say なるほど when talking with customers?

I was told in class by a Japanese teacher that なるほど can not be used when talking with people above, but in the same lesson we listened to a CD (training material) where a student was saying なるほど to ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

When to use 「とにかく」 and when to use 「とりあえず」?

This is a variant of the top definition question @ Area51: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/7526/japanese-language-usage/7529#7529 When to use 「とにかく」 and when to use 「とりあえず」? I have heard ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

What does -komu (ー込む) at the end of a word mean?

There are loads of word in Japanese which end in 込む, like 吸い込む, 読み込む, 入り込む, 打ち込む, 売り込む, 送り込む, 押し込む. How does adding ー込む change the meaning? What is the meaning that links all these words?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Can anyone explain the obsolete, non-phonetic use of hiragana from pre war times?

At university our most learned lecturer in Japanese once mentioned there were non-phonetic usages of hiragana at the end of kanji verbs and adjectives pre WWII. Apparently books printed prewar used ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between [plain form of verb]~そう and [root of verb]~そう?

I heard both forms of [plain form of verb]~そう and [root of verb]~そう in an anime I watched, reproduced below, so I'm wondering how are they different and how to choose to use one over the other? ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I differentiate between 「もう」 that means “already” and 「もう」 that means “more/additional”?

I noticed that 「もう」 can mean both "already" and "additional", such as the following sentence: もう二本飲みましたよ。 Can mean either one of: I already drank two glasses. I drank additional two glasses. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I thank somebody for pointing out my mistakes?

Thanking and apologizing in several forms is essential in a Japanese working environment. I currently have the following list that I have picked up from mails amongst my Japanese coworkers but I'm ...
7
votes
2answers
695 views

Concretely, on what scenarios should I say either お世話になっています or いつもお世話になっております?

Furthermore, what is its different in meaning between the both? When I was in training as a fresh graduate at a Japanese company, they told me to use いつもお世話になっております all the time and so I did. But ...
3
votes
1answer
848 views

The differences and similarities between ーたら and ーば [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Differences among -たら、なら、-んだったら、-えば, etc. There are different ways to say "if" in Japanese. I want to concentrate on these two verb endings which mean "if": たら and ば. ...
13
votes
2answers
7k views

How to use へ (-e), に (-ni), まで (made) and の方 (no-hō) with destination and direction?

It is common to ask the difference between just "へ" (-e) and "に" (-ni) but it seems to get even more complicated when you also mix in "まで" (made) and even "の方" (no-hō). When Japanese people ask me ...
43
votes
1answer
2k views

Why were ゐ and ゑ eliminated?

Sometime in the early 20th century, usage of the now-historical kana ゐ and ゑ (and their katakana equivalents) dropped off, being replaced with い and え in modern Japanese. What exactly happened here ...
1
vote
0answers
292 views

How to thank someone in different ways? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can somebody explain the various words and combinations thereof used for thanking? There are numerous ways of saying thanks. To give the ones I know: ありがとう ありがとうございます ...
4
votes
3answers
190 views

Looking for expressions similar to なるほど or やっぱり for situations that are opposite of speakers' previous suspicion

This is an extension of the question: Using 「なるほど」 {naruhodo} and 「やっぱり」 {yappari} in the same situation From what I understood from the answers to the question above, なるほど and やっぱり imply the ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

「~たじゃない」 expression in spoken Japanese

I noticed in an anime I watched, one of the characters said something like below: さっき食べたじゃない。 And what I think the meaning is: Didn't you just eat a few while ago? From what I have learned in ...
14
votes
4answers
887 views

What's the difference between ね and な as tag questions?

What's the difference between ね and な as tag questions? For example: そうですね vs そうだな Is there any difference in level of politeness? Does one sound more masculine than the other? Edit: The examples ...
10
votes
2answers
399 views

Why are furigana for number kanji almost always omitted?

Here's an example sentence from 北斗の拳 which uses a fair amount of furigana throughout. xxxに残された命は三日... Which includes furigana for のこ, いのち, and, bafflingly, even the か of 日, but none for 三. While ...
9
votes
1answer
631 views

In which dialects have the sounds “ゐ” (wi) and “ゑ” (we) been preserved, and are their kana still occasionally seen?

In Nate Glenn's answer to bdonlan's qestion "Why were ゐ and ゑ eliminated?" he states: "Wi" and "we" are still in some dialects, but standard Japanese does not have those sounds. My question is ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

ありがとうございます vs. ありがとうございました

When thanking someone, what is the rule for using ありがとうございます vs. ありがとうございました? My sensei taught us to use ありがとうございました when the action you're thanking someone for occurred in the past, but I've heard ...
9
votes
2answers
409 views

What's the difference in usage and nuance between やはり and やっぱり?

I know that we say にっぽん instead of にほん when we want to inject a little national pride into the word, but I've never had a good understanding of the difference in meaning/nuance/usage between やはり and ...
11
votes
2answers
621 views

Do people actually look down on you if you use a regional dialect as a Gaijin?

My brother got on a scholarship to go to university in Japan, he was given a year an half language training and then had to apply to Japanese universities. I suggested he study in Osaka as I'd ...
7
votes
2answers
208 views

About cutting the sentences short

I've been told during my Japanese classes, and I've also observed in anime and Japanese dramas & movies, that sometimes when talking Japanese people tend to stop halfway and omit the end of ...
13
votes
1answer
323 views

Difference between 重い and 重たい

In some situations everybody around me uses 重い, and when I went to the bicycle shop everyone was only using 重たい. Both mean heavy, but what is the difference in meaning or context between them?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between 「はじめてのX」 {hajimete no X} and 「はじめのX」 {hajime no X}?

There is a song with title {hajimete no asa} and another song with title {hajime no hi}. There is also a manga title {hajimete no aku}, and not to forget the popular boxing manga {hajime no ippo}. So ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Chinese words in Japanese

I have heard that Japanese has the largest number of words of any language because every Chinese word can also be a Japanese word. Is there any truth to this statement?
8
votes
1answer
398 views

What are the most prominent features of Yamagata-ben?

I'll be visiting Yamagata City soon and would like to ask: as an armchair linguist what features of the local dialect to look out for? what are some common words, phrases, pronunciation differences ...
10
votes
1answer
325 views

What is the difference between these four forms of “to do”?

There are at least four verbs that mean "to do" in Japanese: する, なさる, いたす, and やる. What is the purpose of each, and when is it appropriate to use them?
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a difference between ほんとう (hontō) and ほんとうに (hontō-ni) when used alone as interjection or question?

As the equivalent of Enlgish "Oh really?" / "Yes really." as lone utterances I seem to hear both "本当" (hontō) and "本当に" (hontō-ni) in Japanese - is there a difference? It seems that hontō is a noun ...
6
votes
2answers
180 views

What is the difference between 指摘される and 突っ込まれる?

I always get this two whenever I make a mistake. I think that more or less they are similar but kind of have the feeling that 突っ込まれる has a bit stronger meaning than 指摘される, is this correct? For ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the difference between the kanji forms for わかる?

The verb わかる can be written using either 分かる, 判る, or 解る - what's the semantic difference between these forms, if any?
20
votes
2answers
659 views

Why is 二十歳 pronounced はたち?

二十歳 is a (to me) bizarre exception to the usual number+さい rule for discussing age. Is this rooted in 20 being the Japanese age of majority? Added: To be more specific: why isn't it pronounced にじゅうさい ...

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