8
votes
1answer
2k views

What does ただいま actually mean?

I was wondering what the literal translation really means. I've seen it translated as I'm home but I've also seen it in a few situations where the person wasn't arriving home.
3
votes
2answers
894 views

Particles で and も and でも

In both these sentences, what does でも mean? (I think I know the meaning of the sentences, just not the particles) カードでもいいですか。 なごやでもうっていますか。 I know that で is a particle that can denote location or ...
7
votes
3answers
441 views

Why does 腰抜け mean coward?

Why does 腰抜け mean coward? I see 腰 (waist) + 抜 (missing/losing) = 腰抜け (coward), but I fail to see how they add up.
8
votes
3answers
839 views

What does ワソマソ mean?

I'm trying to translate some of the signs in the anime FLCL, and I came across this sign on the side of a train in the first episode: ワソマソ 出入口 The second part means "doorway", correct? But what ...
6
votes
1answer
218 views

Subtitle symbol

My understanding is that a subtitle is expressed with the symbol 〜 in Japanese like this: Main Title ~ Subtitle Main Title ~Subtitle~ I am not sure about whether there is supposed to be a ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between ですから, だから, それで、それでは?

I think they have the same meaning: therefore. But my teacher told me they were slightly different. So can you help me distinguish them and how to use please?
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Can we use すら without negation?

From what I understand, すら is commonly used with the negative conjugation (~ない, ~なかった) of verbs. For example: 「ひらがなすら書けない。」 I expected (him) to be able to write hiragana. But even hiragana, (he) ...
1
vote
1answer
229 views

Differences between 出るand 去る when expressing someone leaving

When expressing "to leave," as in "I left the store," or "I can leave the country," is there a difference in nuance or meaning between the verbs 出る and 去る? まあ、少なくとも、この国を出ることはできるな。 Well, at ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Translation for 食べ物を腐らせずに保存する

Saw this in my textbook. The translation is "to preserve food from decay". I get it, but I am not clear about the ず after 腐らせる. Where is it coming from?
5
votes
1answer
3k views

anata no koto suki vs anata ga suki [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the こと in sentences such as あなたのことが好きだ? What are the guidelines of omitting particles? It is possible to say both of these: あなたが好きです あなたのこと好きです The adjective ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

The etymology of the word バックシャン

What is the etymology of the word バックシャン? I understand it commonly refers to a woman beautiful only from behind. See this definition- 女性のうしろ姿が均整がとれて美しいこと。また、その女性。多く、前から見ると失望するような 場合にいう。 I ...
6
votes
2answers
221 views

Numbers and Counters

I am still in a very early stage in learning Japanese, and just I have just learnt some numbers and my first counter words, such as the ones for telling time and まい. Do you ever use "regular" numbers ...
9
votes
1answer
962 views

Gregorian calendar year to Japanese era name, and vice versa [closed]

Just for fun, I'm curious about how native speakers do mental translation from Gregorian calendar year (e.g 2011) to Japanese era name 年号 (e.g. 平成23年), and vice versa. Do you have special and ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Is を[noun]に, as in を条件に, a common construct?

I was a little confused by the following sentence because 条件 is a regular noun, but looking at examples I see that it means "on the condition of [object]": 財政危機におちいっているギリシャは、 緊縮を条件に、...
2
votes
2answers
442 views

Does V~たりする include the verb in a “perfect” sense or “varying” sense?

Does V~たりする include the mentioned verb in a "perfect" (specific) sense or "varying" sense? For example, in the sentence 「映画を見たりした。」, is (1) or (2) a more accurate depiction of the meaning of the ...
8
votes
2answers
325 views

What does それに伴い at the start of a sentence mean?

I have a sentence that starts with それに伴い which I'm trying to translate. I'm assuming that it's a more polite version of それに伴って. My best guess for the meaning would be "With regard to (a previous ...
9
votes
2answers
376 views

(noun) です vs. がある when either is appropriate

~するつもりです ~するつもりがある ~する予定です ~する予定がある These are just two examples. Obviously you can't stick in any noun, but I don't know if these fall into some well defined class either. Anyhow, ...
3
votes
2answers
170 views

Are most counter words made up of two parts? What are those two parts called?

When looking at counter words, there seems to be a part that has a number, and a part that stays more or less the same. For example, the counter words for hours of a day are ichi-ji, ni-ji, san-ji. ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Expressing “don't work too hard”

I've read at other sites that "don't work too hard" isn't something that's generally said in Japanese. Is there any truth to this? Are there any alternatives if that is the case? In which ...
2
votes
1answer
414 views

difference of 将来(しょうらい) and 未来 (みらい) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Difference between ゆくすえ, しょうらい and みらい Is there any difference between these two words? I first came across 未来 in a PS3 game (FFXIII-2) and after a bit of digging, I found ...
9
votes
2answers
436 views

Kanji 何: why is it missing in 今なにしてる (facebook text in status editbox)?

I had the impression that 何 is pretty common kanji and that it is used in situations as above (after all, 今 is there, so it is not that it wanted to be hiragana-only). Do I understand it right that it ...
1
vote
2answers
270 views

What does 御用の向きとは mean + usage of うぬ in the meaning of “you”

I have two questions: What's the meaning of a phrase: 御用の向きとは? Is it a set expression? I found a few examples where it was ended with a question mark, in some cases preceded by addressing an ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

What is the etymology of どんちゃん騒ぎ?

WWWJDIC defines it as this: どんちゃん騒ぎ【さわ】 (n) merrymaking; high jinks; spree 観光客は町中飲み歩いてどんちゃん騒ぎをした。 The tourists painted the whole town red What is the etymology of this word? Is it in common ...
4
votes
1answer
646 views

Ruby text in Documents

Note: I know they might not strictly be interchangeable, but I might end up using "Furigana" and "Ruby text" in an interchangeable manner in this question. Hi all, I'm in the process of writing a ...
6
votes
1answer
181 views

Is ノシ considered 絵文字?

My friend ended a letter thusly: あとでノシ ノシ symbolizes a waving arm. Is this considered 絵文字 or does it have a different name?
11
votes
2answers
508 views

What's the difference between どうしたらいい and どうしていい?

Particularly in the following phrases, what's the difference between どうしたらいい and どうしていい? The following both seem to mean something like "I don't know what to do": どうしたらいいか分かりません どうしていいか分かりません ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What do you mean, “In Japanese there are no words for ”I’m suffering“”?

Today I noticed this article about eating disorders in Japan, which I got to via the News on Japan site. The first line jumps out at me. Supposedly, in an interview, a 25 year old Japanese woman ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

Is まい as in あるまい really only used in literary texts or TV?

My understanding --admittedly limited-- is that in Japanese, people say as much as they can with as little words as possible. So I wondered why ないだろう would be used in everyday speaking instead of まい? ...
5
votes
3answers
420 views

Does 切った mean to “cut out” or “cut from”?

I was pretty sure that 切{き}った meant something was cut from something else. So ケーキから一人分{ひっとりぶん}を切{き}った would mean, "one piece was cut from the cake." However, I came across a usage which, at least at ...
9
votes
1answer
913 views

Ancient practise of sneaking into women's bedrooms…?

I was looking up the meaning of スマ婚{こん}, when my mouse happened to roll over the kanji 婚{こん}, and this definition popped up in Rikaichan: 婚 よばい ancient practice of creeping at night into a woman's ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What does 氏 mean after a name, how is it different from さん or 様?

If you look in the dictionary for the definition of 氏 you'll find it defined as: family name; lineage; birth. However I have seen it used in such a way that it is doubtful that it means any of those ...
7
votes
1answer
806 views

Why do some kanji have furigana that are not valid readings?

In my text I read the sentence: あなたが体験したよりもっと[巨]{おお}きく、もっと深くさせてくれる力があるからだ。 (furigana is from the text) I understand 大きく, and I understand some words with 巨 like 巨大. However, when I looked up ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

difference between やかましい and そうぞうしい

these two words came up when I was looking at a vocabulary list that I'm supposed to study. I'm having trouble with understanding the difference and the usage of the words. If possible would someone ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How to say “quarter to” or “quarter past” some hour?

For example, how do you say: It's quarter to 3. and It's quarter past 3.
2
votes
2answers
278 views

Different versions of より?

Here is one definition for より: より (adv,prt) (1) from; out of; since; at; (2) than; (3) other than; except; but; (4) more; I see that one of the definitions of this word is "more". Is より一層 a ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

What does 勝つべくして勝った mean?

I came across this phrase while looking at the meaning for べく: 勝つべくして勝った It seems to be a set phrase, but I'm not 100% on the meaning. To win in order to win? To try really hard to win? To be ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Which readings would you use to pronounce people's names?

I'm confused whether it is normally appropriate to use On-readings or Kun-readings when dealing with people's names; I'm fine when its just two character names; I just make a logical deduction in my ...
10
votes
3answers
347 views

What do we call things that are neither kana nor kanji?

I was wondering Is there a Japanese name (or term) for written stuff that are neither kana nor kanji? By that, I mean stuff like: ゠ (ダブルハイフン, for indicating the dash in foreign words) ・ (ぽつ, for ...
3
votes
2answers
253 views

Transitive verb particles

How do I learn which particles go with which transitive verbs since it is not always を。 For example: ラップをかける ラップを被せる ...is no problem, but... ラップで包む 役に立てる JDICT says these are all transitive ...
12
votes
1answer
218 views

What is the significance of a large く character in literary texts?

I am currently reading an early story by Tanizaki Junichiro in Japanese. I have come across both the hiragana く and ぐ written twice the size they usually are, taking up the same amount of space on the ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

Different permutations of 気 [closed]

Lots of words/expressions/phrases use 気 in one way or another. For example 気をつけて, 気味, 気になる, 気がつく, 気がする, 天気 etc... Is there a reference somewhere for the seemingly more "interesting" phrases (like the ...
12
votes
2answers
424 views

Rare/Obsolete verb forms

I have noticed that some verbs have this "rare" or old form that is no longer used much (if at all). Here are some examples. おそる: おそるべき者 → One who is feared ほむ: ほむべきお方【かた】 → Seen often in my ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

混信 and 干渉 difference in terms of communications and computing?

I read an article that had the sentence 1.9GHz帯を使うため、ZigBeeやWi-Fiで使われている2.4GHz帯の機器と干渉しないことが特徴。 I previously learned that 混信 means "interference" or "jamming". I saw this word used often. I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
323 views

Difference between 十分 and 十二分

Is there a clear difference between the meanings of 十分 and 十二分? I rarely have ever seen the second one. When should the second one be used and in what context? EDIT: To avoid confusion, I'm talking ...
4
votes
1answer
221 views

擦れ違う usage and etymology?

擦れ違う is one of my new vocabulary words, so I try to understand as much as I can. I looked up a couple of meanings for the word and I found that it is used to describe 1) when two things pass each ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Thank you for X: ~をありがとうございます

I've often heard this pattern, particularly in things like メッセージ/メール を ありがとうございます。 Since ありがとうございます is an adjective, why is it acceptable to use を in this situation? That seems about as ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

What is a 両県 (as seen in newspapers)?

I've seen this a couple of times in newspapers. For example: ....は山口、広島両県の.... I can't find it in any dictionary. My gut feeling is that it indicates a sort of union between the two prefectures, ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

What is the grammar behind 朝6時 (as opposed to 朝の6時)?

朝の6時 seems to be consistent with using の to have one noun modify another, while 朝6時 appears to be just two successive nouns (which I wouldn't think would be a grammatically valid construction).
4
votes
1answer
93 views

difference between 連載 and 順次

I usually see the word 連載 pertaining to articles or books in a series. However, when I read 順次 I was confused (I saw this is a technical article). They seem to both hold the meaning "serial" or "...
3
votes
2answers
581 views

“俺が一番” vs “俺が最高”

I was reading through " How do I say "I am the best" ? の,は or が and 私 or 俺? ", and I was wondering what's the difference between "俺が一番" and "俺が最高"? From what I know, both roughly equates to ...

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