9
votes
1answer
1k views

Why biiru hitotsu rather than ippai?

While having Ghengis Khan with some dou-min, one of them asked for "biiru hitotsu". While I could understand the biiru, I was surprised that ippai wasn't used. I understand that (number)-tsu is valid ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

Listing using ひとつ?

I learned from Nihongoresources that: An interesting note is on the "number of problems" I mentioned; while in English you would list problems (or rules, or whatever) as "First, ....., second, .......
3
votes
1answer
173 views

What's the difference between 両方 and 双方?

What's the difference between 両方 and 双方? I am definitely more acquainted with 両方, so I guess it is used for a wider variety of things, but could anyone tell me the specifics of what they can or cannot ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How to ask for a refund?

I want to ask for a refund? For example, if I want to refund a train ticket. How do I ask the train master? I think it is not a 返品。 Do you need certain politeness?
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it true that the べつに when used to mean “nothing particularly” is pronounced differently from when it is used to mean “separately / apart”?

Is it true that the べつに when used to mean "nothing particularly" is pronounced differently from when it is used to mean "separately / apart" ? Like am I right to say that these 3 examples belong to ...
7
votes
2answers
702 views

What would be the difference in meaning between 違っていた and 違った?

昔は違っていた。 昔は違った。 It was different a long time ago. Do these two Japanese sentences mean the same thing? Here is the sentence in the original context. The translations are not mine, but are ...
17
votes
2answers
532 views

Why does 語 contain 五?

I'm aware the two kanji are often pronounced the same, but why does one contain the other in it?
5
votes
3answers
294 views

What role does よかった play in this exchange?

It's from twitter. hetusa: 福岡県筑後、羽犬塚から行方不明になっていた叔母(73才)が発見された、と知らせがありました。 itoi_shigesato: よかった。 hetusa: ありがとうございました My feeling is that it says something like 'just so'. Also, it common to respond ...
4
votes
1answer
473 views

What is the difference between these words for “audience”?

What is the difference in usage between these three words for "audience"? 観客{かんきゃく} (audience, spectators) 聴衆{ちょうしゅう} (audience, attendees) 観衆{かんしゅう} (audience, onlookers) The ...
5
votes
3answers
942 views

How does だからって usually work?

馬鹿だからって知らないわけじゃない I translated this sentence as "It's not like I don't know that I'm stupid," while my friend who wrote it translated it as "I'm stupid, but I know that." So I feel I understand the ...
16
votes
1answer
6k views

When to use: “say”, “speak”, “tell” or “express”

When browsing through journal entries by various people, I've recently been noticing the words 述{の}べる and 語{かた}る used fairly frequently but I'm not sure when they should be used over 話{はな}す and 言{い}う ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

Is 東西二つ idiomatic?

I came across this sentence about a traditional festival in Japan: 阿月の神明祭は、阿月地区を東西二つに分けて行われる災厄除けや病気除け、豊作を祈願して行われる。 (link) The general meaning is clear, but what I don't fully understand is this ...
7
votes
1answer
441 views

苦手 in describing dislike of people

率直に言って彼女が苦手なのは、彼女はまず最初に他人の助けを求めるからです。 Frankly speaking, I dislike her, because the first thing she does is to ask other people for help. I would like to better understand the quality of ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the equivalent use of need and need + Verb?

If I see someone struggling to pick up a box, I'd say: "Do you need help with that?" Or I have to run an errand very soon, I could say: "I need to buy this gift by 4 pm." Or if someone's car has ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Help on a specific usage of こそ

好きこそものの上手なれ。 We tend to be good at those things we like. / People become best at what they love the most. How does the こそ work here? Is this use of こそ common outside of proverbs?
5
votes
2answers
182 views

How do you talk about things in parts?

I would like to say "It is written half in English and half in Japanese." When writing this myself I came up with: これは半分英語で半分日本語で書いていました。 but I think that 半分英語で半分日本語で does not sound ...
5
votes
1answer
679 views

Confusion between causatives and intransitive-transitive

I read the answer to this question How different is 冷やかす from 冷やす? And 散らかす from 散らす? but somehow wasn't satisfied. What's the difference between the 2 causative forms ~す and ~せる, e.g. 待たす and ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it natural to call elderly men ojiisan?

Is ojiisan an idiomatic word choice for a chronologically gifted man, akin to obaasan for elderly women? For example, when giving your seat to them on the train.
12
votes
1answer
327 views

Is there a keigo expression which can be translated as playing or pretending to do?

I have heard that, in former times, there was a very polite form of speaking in the form of, e.g., "the emperor liked playing to die" instead of "the emperor died". Is this true that there is a style ...
3
votes
2answers
583 views

General rules in negative adjectives in superpolite form

I have trouble trying to find this specific grammar in text books. I have a negative adjective in polite form: 寒くないです I want to use the superpolite form: 寒くないございます That seems right, but I have ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Slang definitions of ハゲ

私に命令するな。何様だこのハゲ。 Don't tell me what to do! Who the fuck does this idiot think he is? Besides meaning bald, or a bald/balding person, when cursing, does ハゲ also just become a generic curse word ...
4
votes
1answer
255 views

The gender of 子

Is 子 ever used to refer to a boy, or is it always used for girls? Is 悪い子 used only for girls?
4
votes
1answer
282 views

Appropriateness of the word 膣外射精 in average adult conversations?

In discussing the marriage of Jin Akanishi and Meisa Kuroki, and why many young celebrities in Japan seem to fall into shotgun marriages, I wanted to use an equivalent for the term "withdrawal method",...
4
votes
1answer
606 views

Particles in the Passive form causing me confusion (を、に、が)

Sometimes, I dont know what particles to use in the passive form に、を、が。 ワインを飲まれた ワインに飲まれた ワインが飲まれた I REALLY dont understand the difference between those three. Is the first one that uses を ...
1
vote
1answer
421 views

How to use こと when expressing the experience of something?

v.。。。ことが。。。。。 How can i talk about the experience of something using こと? 買うことがdきます。 would this be the experience of being able to buy? If you understand my problem please show me more examples!
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the Japanese for “I'll check it out, I will try and see”?

I found a form using 見て, and it seemed very useful, but I could never remember it. It means something like "I will try it out" or "I will try and see", and the Japanese form is something like 自転車見て... ...
5
votes
2answers
418 views

Does がち mean “in excess”?

I have been reading a daily article during 朝礼. One of the sentence used the word がち. The sample sentence is: 長所{ちょうしょ}は見逃{みのが}してしまいがちです。 Abundant of misses. I tried to ask my colleague ...
8
votes
2answers
164 views

Dismissing an expectation

What can be said when I need to dismiss an expectation? Here are some examples of what I mean by "expectation": I ask someone what time it is, then I remembered that I'm actually wearing a watch. ...
4
votes
1answer
349 views

Proper Terms For Representing GPS Coordinates

In another question, I mentioned using Kana to represent the GPS coordinates for: N 43° 09.725' W 077° 26.688' I used: キタ シジュウ サン ジスウ ク チョボ ナナヒャク ニジュウ ゴ フン kita shijuu san jisuu ku chobo ...
18
votes
6answers
836 views

How can I differentiate agreement with the person and agreement with the idea?

A zillion years ago, before I came to Japan, I took a short introductory course on Japanese. In it, they showed a video of a business meeting where an American businessman is speaking to a Japanese ...
5
votes
1answer
349 views

What does the verb 好く do?

Observation: The verb 好く exists. 好く is transitive. By extension, "to like ~" is predicted to be: a. ~を好く。 However, empirical data shows that this pattern is the accepted form: b. ~が好きだ。 ...
6
votes
2answers
182 views

Is その always or only occasionally a demonstrative adjective?

The following Japanese sentence was translated with その as "the": その 仕事の一部を誰かにやってもらったほうがいい。 You should get someone else to do some of the work for you. while I translated it with その as "that": ...
10
votes
1answer
657 views

Did standalone noun “好き” mean a person in classical Japanese?

In classical Japanese, did standalone noun “好き” mean a person who likes something? I do not think that it does in modern Japanese, although it sometimes means a person when used as a suffix (e.g. ...
5
votes
2answers
163 views

Nuance of 離{はな}れ

In my JLPT textbook, it has a section on the use of the term 離{はな}れ, "detachment". Some examples: テレビ離{ばな}れ (detachment from television) もの離{ばな}れ (detachment from things) 政治離{ばな}れ (...
1
vote
1answer
526 views

Sokuon Diacritic and Wabun Morse Code

I have created a geocache puzzle based on Japanese Morse Code (Wabun Code). The final coordinates that I translated are: N 43° 09.725 W 077° 26.688 I broke this down as follows: N 4 3 ° ...
2
votes
2answers
280 views

Defining a particular 系

http://mainichi.jp/life/kimochi/archive/news/2012/20120205ddn013070029000c.html The article above, about how a girl wants to be loved, is entitled 愛され系  I am wondering which definition of 系 ...
8
votes
2answers
259 views

The difference between 皮膚【ひふ】 and 皮【かわ】

What's the difference? I got told that 皮膚【ひふ】 only works for mammals (and humans), and 皮【かわ】 for other animals too.
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Passive vs. active form of verb (past) What is the difference?

I was wondering what the difference is if I use passive form or active form of a verb. For example: ネズミは猫に食べられた。The mouse was eaten by the cat. 猫は、ネズミを食べた。The cat ate the mouse. What EXACTLY is ...
10
votes
1answer
331 views

Fun with synonyms - “flattery"

What are the difference in the following words meaning flattery / to flatter: お世{せ}辞{じ} 追{つい}従{しょう} おべっか 胡{ご}麻{ま}をする 阿{おもね}る 諂{へつら}う 煽{おだ}て(る) 美{び}辞{じ}麗{れい}句{く} Which ones are honest, sincere ...
6
votes
2answers
421 views

What is the difference between 照{て}れる and 照{て}れてる?

According to my dictionary, both 照{て}れる and 照{て}れてる mean to be shy, or be awkward. I don't think one is a different verb form of the other. The て+いる form of 照れる would be 照れている, not 照れてる. So I think ...
5
votes
1answer
202 views

Fun with synonyms - “freeze”

I'm a little confused on the difference between 凍る 【こおる】 and 凍える 【こごえる】. From what I've researched, it seems like 凍る focuses more on the physical process of something freezing, and the result being ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

When to use ご返事 and お返事?

Here is a discussion about whether to use ご返事 and お返事, but there seems to be diverging opinions: ご返事: ご返事 is 謙譲語 (according to No.1) ご返事 is seldom used for 尊敬語 (according to No.5) ご返事 is for 謙譲語 ...
8
votes
2answers
238 views

Prefixing `一` to numbers

It seems to me that 千 is exceptional in having it prefixed with 一. As for 一, 十, 百, they work together with 千 to describe the numbers from 1 to 9999, so they compete with one another, or are ...
4
votes
2answers
508 views

〜(ら)れる - Ambiguity between passive and Keigo

In my Japanese Bible, it often uses the 〜(ら)れる Keigo form when talking about God's actions. However, there are certain cases when talking about both people and God in the same sentence where the use ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is water polite but ice not?

I was amused by, and interested in, this little sign on a water dispenser in a sandwich shop: The options are that you can have ice only, ice and water, or just water. What intrigued me was that ...
7
votes
2answers
366 views

What to reply when the ladies sweeping the steps outside a temple tell you 「ご苦労様」?

I was at a temple the other day, and as I was leaving and going down the stairs, the ladies that were cleaning the steps said to me 「ご苦労様」. I replied with 「ありがとうございます、おつかれさま」, but I felt sort of ...
7
votes
2answers
924 views

How is 〜んじゃない different from 〜じゃない?

Is it possible to say ~んじゃない? If it is, how it differs from ~じゃない? In what situation I should use ん/の for it, and what does ん/の express? Examples: [~い + ん] いいんじゃない 行きたいんじゃない 吸えないんじゃない ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Term for health retreat accommodation

I've been trying to google some Japanese pages for health retreats. I've tried a few different combinations, but all I seem to get are yoga class studios or beauty salons. What term best describes the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it cool to use かっこいい in this way?

The other day I was playing sports, and I yelled at a guy for what I thought was a cheap play. However, later, after the game ended and I had chilled out, I realized that I had over reacted. It's ...
3
votes
1answer
464 views

What's the difference between 理系{りけい} , 理科{りか}, and 科学{かがく}?

In my dictionary, 理系{りけい}, 理科{りか}, and 科学{かがく} are defined simply as "science". What, if anything, differentiates them? Especially in terms of the feeling or nuance when used in everyday ...

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