5
votes
1answer
287 views

What is the harshness of についてとやかく言う?

あなたの私生活についてとやかく言うつもりはありません。 I don't give a damn about your personal life. I have also seen についてとやかく言う translated as "quibble over". Could another translation of this sentence be: ...
-4
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “jukai” mean? [closed]

Does anyone know what "jukai" means? Does it exist in the Japanese language? Some said it means 'birth or emergence'. Some said it is not "jukai" but maybe "jetai" 'fertilization, conception ...
7
votes
1answer
278 views

What does 意外と mean?

I heard the expression [意]{い}[外]{がい}といい in a video. I know that 意外に expresses something you didn't expect: 意外においしいよ。 It's delicous! (and I didn't expect that) Why did I hear 意外と instead of ...
6
votes
1answer
226 views

What does なんたらという mean?

What does なんたらという mean? I searched なんたら's meaning and it showed. The following oojah oojahkapiv oojamaflip oojar oojiboo I used eow.alc.co.jp to search. ...
16
votes
1answer
461 views

Why does the narrator switch tenses here?

I'm currently reading The Tale of Peter Rabbit in Japanese, but the opening to the story is confusing me a bit. The actual text reads: ...
3
votes
1answer
281 views

Can the よう ending signify an imperative?

Can the よう ending be used for imperatives like て? If so then can you show some examples?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

一応: Usage and meaning

I've never really fully grasped the meaning of [一]{いち}[応]{おう} since it seems to have no good English equivalent. What is the meaning, usage, and nuances of 一応?
2
votes
0answers
314 views

Fun ways to learn japanese [closed]

What are your favorite fun ways to learn Japanese? (At any level)
11
votes
2answers
479 views

Etymology of 土産 {みやげ}

The pronunciation "みやげ" does not correspond to on'yomi nor kun'yomi of 土産, so I thought it was a gikun (義訓), but the combination of kanji 土 and 産 does not seem to provide the meaning of "souvenir" ...
11
votes
2answers
349 views

About ご[馳走]{ちそう}: two “runs” would give you “a feast”?

ご[馳走様]{ちそうさま}でした is the greeting that people say after being treat a meal while ご馳走 by itself means “a feast”. I looked up this word in the dictionary to learn more about the kanji characters. It ...
4
votes
3answers
503 views

Article versus postposition [closed]

I have come to the conclusion that to the beginner it is useful to equate the particle は with the article ‘the’ in English. Even more so for a Swedish speaker since the Swedish article is an ending. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How are 〜上, 〜上は and 〜上に different?

I'm wondering about these, mainly because I don't see how they change the meaning. これほど確かな証拠がある上は、Aが犯人だと認めないわけにはいかない。 Since there's such solid evidence, there's no denying that A's the culprit. ...
10
votes
2answers
583 views

What dialects use だべ?

I feel like I hear だべ all the time (through TV and on the streets of Yokohama where I live), but I'm wondering about it's origins and modern usage.
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What does the だと mean in 日本だと?

I found this sentence on a video game review site: 日本だと「不思議のダンジョン」と言ったほうがわかりやすいかもしれないローグライクゲーム。 I am not sure whether だと means 'in Japan' or 'if it were in Japan'. The translation in one case ...
5
votes
2answers
333 views

How to exhaustively list predicates in a non-temporal way?

Supposing that you want to express a list of events or actions exhaustively and without significance in ordering (for example: Yesterday, I ate some ice cream, went to the store, and read a book, but ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Does it matter whether you drop vowels in spoken Japanese?

(This question started as a dual question about when to drop vowels and whether it matters. The first question is well answered at What are the rules regarding "mute vowels" ("u" ...
6
votes
1answer
207 views

What kind of conjugation is 済{す}ませた?

This is from the anime Noir, Episode 1 starting at 23:13 at the school: [The two characters A and B are leaving the country.] A: 出国{しゅっこく}の手配{てはい}は済{す}ませた。  'I've made the arrangements to ...
-3
votes
2answers
161 views

Who is the subject of Aにはaction?

Here's an example. メイドにはびびった Who was scared, the speaker, or the maid?
9
votes
2answers
484 views

What's the word to use for “confidential”, as in a company report?

I'm preparing a sales presentation; it contains some company data and I want to indicate that the entire presentation is confidential. In English, this would likely be accomplished by stamping the ...
8
votes
1answer
560 views

What's the difference between 腹切り and 切腹?

I need to add a body to submit my question, so I'll just say the Mortal Kombat seemed to believe that the term 腹切り (はらきり harakiri) was more appropriate for self slaughter (i.e., throwing a boomerang ...
5
votes
1answer
537 views

らしい / っぽい / みたい question: Why 黒{くろ}っぽい車{くるま} and not 黒{くろ}みたいな車{くるま}?

I'm using Nihongo So-Matome 文法{ぶんぽう} while preparing for JLPT N3, and having some issues with some of the grammar descriptions. This StackExchange answer was awesome in clearing up most of my らしい / ...
8
votes
1answer
362 views

What is this English doing in the middle of my Japanese?

Note: I understand this question is on the edge of being off topic. I'll accept the community assessement if enough people feel that is the case. I'm reading 脳{のう}は0.1秒{びょう}で恋{こい}をする by ...
19
votes
1answer
639 views

Why is a place that sells さけ a さかや?

Is it known why a さかや normally has a か, rather than a け like in さけ? Are there many other -や constructions for stores that change the spelling of the word added to?
7
votes
1answer
452 views

what does 可哀想{かわいそう}でならない mean?

I came across this expression in my JPLT N2 study materials. I deciphered the parts as 可哀想{かわいそう} means pitiable, pathetic でならない means can't help feeling so does it mean "can't help feeling ...
-3
votes
1answer
205 views

Passive + Noun. Who did what?

Here's an example: みなさんに愛される人。 Does this mean, "the person that everyone loves," or "the person that loves everybody?"
6
votes
1answer
278 views

How is たら used as a particle?

The other day I came across どうたら and while looking it up I noticed that たら is classified as a particle. どうたら is apparently an abbreviation of どうたらこうたら, so I see that it should work for ああ and そう (by ...
7
votes
1answer
736 views

Was desu and masu originally geisha-speak?

Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo (The Japanese language the Japanese people don't know) seems to be claiming, at around 6:20 of this YouTube clip of language-specific portions of episode 4 of the show, ...
6
votes
1answer
246 views

How did the ざ in 様{ざま}みろ get the dakuten?

I am under impression that the first syllable in a word gets a dakuten when it is transformed into voiced form under the effect of rendaku. But in the idiomatic expression 様みろ {ざまみろ}, the kanji 様 ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Understanding て in 言葉{ことば}を失{な}くして 壁{かべ}は無関心{むかんしん}

This is from a song lyrics (転{ころ}がる石{いし}になれ by AKB48) 孤独{こどく}は いつでも 自由{じゆう}の代償{だいしょう}に 言葉{ことば}を失{な}くして 壁{かべ}は無関心{むかんしん} 耐{た}えるしかないよ Does て here indicate a command, as in "lose the talk"? Or, is ...
4
votes
2answers
700 views

Is there a list of popular surnames organised by region/prefecture?

I've seen a lot of 'Top 100 Japanese surnames' sorts of lists, but obviously some names are much more popular in some regions than others. Is there a resource (preferably in Japanese!) that would take ...
16
votes
2answers
892 views

Pronunciation of “何” as “なん” or “なに”

"何" is pronounced as "なん" before counter-words like in "何時{なんじ}", "何歳{なんさい}" etc; or before particles like in "何で", "何とか" etc. However, it remains to be pronounced as "なに" in some words like ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the different ways of saying to agree or disagree with a person?

There seems to be many different ways of saying either to agree or to disagree with a person. Which words are there, in what circumstances should they be used, and are there any relevant examples of ...
3
votes
1answer
348 views

What are the different ways of saying to agree or disagree with a person?

There seems to be many different ways of saying either to agree or to disagree with a person. Which words are there, in what circumstances should they be used, and are there any relevant examples of ...
6
votes
1answer
224 views

What makes using ある for people okay in this context?

Yep, I'm reading a lot of Tintin in Japanese recently, and he keeps throwing me curve balls with the language. Here's another one. The situation is that the car he was in has been run off the road ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Are there words so bad that they aren't allowed on television?

Warning: We're all adults here, but just in case, this question may contain words, in both Japanese and English, that some may not like to read. A long time ago, when I was working with a translator, ...
5
votes
2answers
451 views

In customer settings, is it ok to ask for keigo to be repeated in more “normal” Japanese?

In the context of restaurants, convenience stores and similar situations, is it ok for a customer to ask for something that was said in keigo (or in manual keigo) to be repeated in more "normal" ...
8
votes
3answers
275 views

How to read words like テスト with ordinal numbers?

Consider this: テスト1, テスト2, テスト3 etc. (Taken from my exercise books. The tests are labelled as such up to 30) (Question) Should numbers that are used with loanwords like テスト be read with いち, に, ...
4
votes
1answer
404 views

Homographs: how to deal with them?

For example: 一日{いちにち} = one day (duration); 一日{ついたち} = first day of the month. First of all, are the meanings correct? Because I found contradicting answers. I suspect the meanings are ...
5
votes
2answers
852 views

壱, 弐, 参 vs 一, 二, 三

Can you tell me the difference between 壱 and 一, 弐 and 二, 参 and 三? Do these pairs have the same meaning? If yes, why do we use different Kanji? If no, what is the difference in their meanings? Can ...
3
votes
1answer
237 views

Dictionary entry and derived forms, were they equal at some point?

I will first state the dictionary entry, and then other formations that also yield the dictionary entry. Consider the following : 思える - to seem/appear, potential form of 思う - can think 合わせる - ...
5
votes
1answer
382 views

Pronunciation of 家

In this sentence: ゆうむら家の3人は、半年前にこの家を購入し、転居してきた。 この家を is pronounced as "kono yo" as opposed to "kono ie o". And this phrase あんたは一人でこの家から学校に通っている。 この家 is pronounced as "kono ye" as opposed ...
4
votes
1answer
364 views

What are the different nuances of saying 変{へん}?

I recently came across the term 変{へん}てこ, which, if I understand it, means "strange", but is softer than saying 変{へん}な. Is it similar to 変{へん}なちょこ? I think this also means strange, but also in a ...
4
votes
1answer
290 views

Making a sentence that ends in なかった polite

What are the different ways to make a sentence that ends in なかった polite?
6
votes
1answer
243 views

で終わります: trying to close by? で帰ります, trying to leave by? It depends on the sentence?

I can say 売り場は九時で終わります、 and 三時で帰ります、 which I've learned mean something like, "They'll be trying to close from," and, "I'll be trying to leave from." I've also learned that 2月25日で帰ります is not correct. ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

のちほどスタッフは彼女の元を去りました。 Could someone explain how 元を去りました。works here?

のちほどスタッフは彼女の元を去りました。 This was written on screen at the end of a video skit about a girl at a 女子会 at a restaurant. 元を去りました means the staff left her alone? If anyone could translate this sentence, I ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

Reading a non-numerical range

Expanding on my previous question, What if the range is not numerical? I encountered these on a book for learning Japanese. The 初~中級編 book for beginner to intermediate level and 中~上級編 for ...
12
votes
1answer
349 views

Does a list using と end with が?

Asking this other question has reminded me of another confusion I often have, one of my long standing bad habits that you'd think I'd have sorted after all this time in Japan. I'm never quite sure ...
5
votes
1answer
286 views

“きのう、何をしていた。” vs. “きのう、何をした。”

What is the difference in nuance between きのう、何をしていた。 vs きのう、何をした。? To be fair, I can't really tell the difference between these two english sentences: What were you doing yesterday ? What did you do ...
5
votes
1answer
235 views

“トムと話した” vs. “トムと話し合った”

This book (Chap. 29) says that for some verbs which can be unilateral or bilateral (like 相談する, 話す, 合う), The particle と implies that the verb is shared 50/50 between the two participants (bilateral), ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “〜がる” and “〜がっている”

I want to know the difference between 〜がる and 〜がっている, and in what situations I can use them. My friend said 〜がる is used for a regular activity that someone does every day or every week, and the ...

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