12
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is 空【くう】, and not 無【む】, used to define “void”, “emptiness” in a buddhist context? What are their nuances?

Feel free to participate to the meta-discussion on whether this type of question (relying on buddhist terms) should be allowed on JLU. A while back, looking at a reproduction of some famous zen ...
11
votes
2answers
213 views

Why use the kanji compound 惑星 for ほし?

The title of a manga I'm slowly working through is 惑星のさみだれ, but there is furigana above the two kanji that says ほし (star) instead. Why did it use both kanji, which seems to be normally read as わくせい ...
7
votes
1answer
297 views

What is the difference between 予想、期待、予期、思惑 for the meaning of “expectation”?

What is the difference between these 4 words for the definition of "expectation": 予想{よそう} 期待{きたい} 予期{よき} 思惑{おもわく} Specifically, which would you use for "managing customer expectations (for project ...
18
votes
1answer
742 views

is there a difference between さみしい and さびしい?

Both mean "lonely" and appear to be valid readings for 寂しい. Is there a difference in nuance? Is this difference due to dialect?
10
votes
3answers
467 views

Why is it お[腹]{なか}が[空]{す}いた but [腹]{はら}[減]{へ}った?

Is there any particular reason why the noun おなか goes with verb すく while the noun はら goes with the verb へる? Would it be weird if I use おなかへった or はらすいた? While on the same topic, does the 'starving' ...
9
votes
4answers
244 views

When is a person referred to with 様 in the mass media and what does it signify?

In media like TV and newspapers, it appears certain classes of people can be referred to with the honorific "様": The Imperial family: 皇太子殿下と美智子さま The Crown Prince and Michiko-sama Celebrities ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the meaning and usage of ネタ?

For example in this phrase: 話すネタはもっていそう I translate it into "he might have some stories", but I have the impression it has many other meanings.
1
vote
2answers
192 views

are the usage of うるさい to mean “fussy” and the usage of 草 to mean “substandard” archaic? [closed]

I was thinking what things could be described with 草 (3) not genuine; substandard;) Can we describe someone who is a ゴミ as 草? Like say: アイツはどうおもう? くさだ! Or is the "substandard" meaning of 草 already ...
15
votes
3answers
560 views

Can I end sentences with ん?

One friend of mine told me when she was living in Japan, she liked to end her sentences with ん (maybe instead of の). Examples: 明日学校にいくん? 明日学校に行かないと思う…風邪引いたん。 Actually I've never seen it! But my ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

What is the usage of 先 vs. 元?

I think that the both of them mean before, but I have seen that they are sometimes use in parent-child metaphors, but I always get confused with these. Some examples of ○○先、○○元 words would be ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any metaphors in these Japanese sentences?

I'm trying to understand the following three lines from a song: ただ会いたくて 声も無くしそうで でも会えなくて 夢さえ恨んだ 日々薄れてく 記憶を手探りで 感触をただ愛した Each line is progressively difficult to understand. I can read the words but ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference in nuance between 間違う and 間違える?

I've heard from a Japanese native speaker friend of mine that both 間違う and 間違える are correct usage, but he wasn't able to explain the difference in nuance between them. Is there a difference, and if ...
12
votes
2answers
587 views

what is the difference in the usage of [成]{な}るべく and できるだけ?

Hi guys what is the difference in the usage of 成るべく and できるだけ? Don't they both mean as [x] as possible? E.g.: 1) できるだけ多くの本を読みなさい vs なるべく多くの本を読みなさい 2) できるだけ早くお願いします vs なるべく早くお願いします
1
vote
4answers
644 views

What are some sentences that exhibit わがまま

わがままはもう言わない gets translated as "won't say anything selfish anymore." However, this doesn't really make sense. If I google "say anything selfish," what I find are sites that have translated わがままはもう言わない ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

About the な part in negative imperative verb form (e.g. 飲むな)

In the Japanese version of "don't drink and drive" slogan, 【乗るなら飲むな】 (also 【飲んだら乗るな】), what part of speech is the な that follows the plain verb 飲む (or 乗る in the second variation) to form the negative ...
12
votes
2answers
356 views

Colloquial Contraction Confusion

This is taken from one of the mindless pop songs I shouldn't even be listening to: なんてったって ラッキー! I know what なんて and ラッキー mean, of course, but I can't figure out in a way that makes sense to me ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Using Japanese honorifics with non-kana names

Some Japanese websites have no problem addressing me as Amandaさん, but how common is this in human-produced Japanese? Under what circumstances would someone refer to someone else as Amandaさん, בועזくん, ...
9
votes
2answers
664 views

how do we tell if ばかり means “about” or “only” ?

If ばかり could mean approximately; about; and could also mean only; merely; nothing but;, then how should we know if this sentence 5000円ばかりもっている。 means: 1) I have about 5000 yen. or 2) I have only ...
9
votes
1answer
746 views

天気 vs. 天候, what's the real difference? [duplicate]

What's the real difference between 天気 and 天候? In at least one of my dictionaries, 天候 just redirects to 天気. I've always thought (read: "felt") that 天候 is the general "concept" of weather, or even ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

The reason for using 何も+negative, but 何でも+positive

In one of the Japanese classes I attended, I've been taught that while we use 「何も出来ない」to say "He cannot do anything", to say "He can do anything" we use 「何でも出来る」 instead of 「何も出来る」. Why is there a ...
15
votes
2answers
769 views

Difference and nuance between することはない and する必要はない/する可能性はない

I understand the grammar point "Verb (Dictionary Form) + ことはない" can mean either "There is no need" or "There is no possibility" depending on context. However, what are the differences? Are there any ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the meanings of ~とも [tomo] and ~かしら [kashira]?

Sometimes I think: ~とも came from ~と思う ~かしら came from ~かしらん(知らない) It's possible I'm wrong, so I would like to know the real meaning of those suffixes. Also, I'd like to know when I can use them ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Other meanings of でしょう besides “probably”

でしょう can usually be understood to mean "probably." But does it sometimes mean the same thing as ですね? What other meanings can it have? Can it mean "you know?"
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a study available on the similarities between Japanese and Turkish grammars?

No I'm not claiming the Altaic hypothesis so try not to bring that up in answers. Still there are grammatical similarities between Japanese and Turkish such as agglutination and use of postpositions ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

How to say: “I am returning your call”

Title says it all! If somebody called and left a message, when calling them back, is there a set expression for that? I generally just use "さっきにお電話頂いた...", but wondering if there is a more idiomatic ...
10
votes
3answers
962 views

芸能人・スポーツ選手・公人に「さん」などの敬称を付けなくてもよい理由は?

Reasons for omitting titles like 'さん' after names of entertainers, performers and public figures 「記者ハンドブック 新聞用字用語集」によると、 運動、芸能欄などのスポーツ選手、芸能人には敬称をつけない [出典] ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Are there cases when two or more particles will occur next to each other without intervening lexical words?

Most particles seem to be postpositions but I'm sure I've seen say a noun followed by a location particle followed by "wa" or "ga" or possibly "wo" but when I've tried to use it I've only confused my ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Using な particle after common nouns (non na-adjectives)

Is な particle allowed to be used after common nouns (i.e non na-adjectives) for whatever reasons, e.g. cuteness, trendy, humor etc? Dictionary@goo website seems to use (normal noun)+な in a couple of ...
28
votes
2answers
4k views

Where does “もしもし” (moshimoshi) for answering the telephone come from?

Does the term "もしもし" (moshimoshi) predate the telephone? Does it have any use besides answering the phone? Where does it come from, is it just a reduplication of "もし" (moshi) "if", and if so how does ...
14
votes
6answers
994 views

Are there any common Japanese words which were borrowed from Ainu or other indigenous languages?

I know plenty of Japanese words that came from English and a few from other European languages (obviously tons from Chinese), but what about words from Japan's indigenous languages such as Ainu? Also ...
14
votes
2answers
523 views

Can we optionally include (or exclude) an を particle in between the noun of the する-verb and the する itself?

When we have a する verb (e.g. 支度する、案内する、心配する), is it true that we could optionally insert an を particle in between the noun and the する? Because in the example sentences here and here, we can see this ...
15
votes
3answers
541 views

How are 化け物, 妖怪, 幽霊, etc. related to each other?

In the past few years, reading light novels and the like, I have come across many different terms for ghosts, spirits, monsters, etc. in Japanese, and I'm wondering how they relate to each other. What ...
10
votes
1answer
595 views

what's the difference between 返事 and 答え?

both have the similar English of "answer," but when do you use one over the other?
12
votes
1answer
387 views

What do the question marks on these gas station signs mean?

ハイオク: 148? レギュラ: 137? 軽油: 115? What meaning do the question marks have?
19
votes
2answers
5k views

How does ほど work in the 〜すれば〜するほど construction?

I understand that 〜すれば〜するほど is used to mean "the more you do ~ the more ~". However, I don't see how this meaning is derived from this sentence pattern. I assume the ば is from the conditional form ...
7
votes
1answer
865 views

Is ~がる suffix limited to specific adjectives only?

I noticed that there are some adjectives that have ~がる suffix to make them into verbs. Some examples from WWWJDIC: ほしがる こわがる いたがる くるしがる さびしがる うれしがる Apparently ~たい form also can take ...
7
votes
2answers
903 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
216 views

How can [数]{す}[寄]{き}[者]{しゃ} both mean a tea ceremony master and a “lewd man, a lecher”?

I would like to understand better the etymology or the cultural context surrounding 数寄者 If I believe wwwjdic, this compound is used to denote a tea ceremony master (with a reference to a ...
7
votes
3answers
317 views

Are there inflections/endings that can be applied to verbs but not i-adjectives? (or vice versa)

After reading in an answer to another question that Japanese adjectives are less inflected than Japanese verbs I'm wondering if there are inflections that can be applied to verbs but not i-adjectives? ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

way to use さっぱり (sappari) and すっかり (sukkari)

Maybe it's just me, but I keep mixing up As in すっかり忘れてた I've completely forgot and さっぱりわからない I haven't the faintest idea / I really don't know are there other expressions to use ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Is Japanese really an agglutinative language?

In the linguistics topic of language typology, Japanese is often included in lists of agglutinative (or agglutinating) languages, but when learning or reading about Japanese grammar exclusively this ...
15
votes
2answers
571 views

Why is 五右衛門 read “goemon”?

Why is the name 五右衛門 read as ごえもん? How can the three kanji 五右衛 be read with only two syllables?
9
votes
2answers
258 views

What's the difference between 迷う and 紕う?

I was looking in a dictionary and both were listed as being defined as "to lose one's way, to hesitate, or to waver," but I don't understand why there are two different kanji for the word.
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What does the “〜やしない” conjugation mean?

In episode 76 of Fairy Tail, Gildarts said this to Natsu: 本気でそう思ったら、止めやしないよ。 (honki de sou omottara, tomeyashinai yo) Which was translated in the subtitle as: If that's what you honestly ...
1
vote
0answers
113 views

Usage of ~じゃん for verbs [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Usage of ~じゃん (~じゃない) usage of ~じゃん for verbs Sometimes when i talk to a japanese, they use a lot this. I dont know if there's a rule for it, and when i can or cannot ...
6
votes
2answers
161 views

What's the difference in the nuances that 呪縛【じゅばく】 and 呪い【のろい】 convey?

Is 呪縛 usually used to refer to a good spell or a bad one (like a curse)? I mean the dictionary writes the english meaning as: spell/curse but I was wondering what sort of nuance would be attached to ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Usage of ~じゃん (~じゃない)

I'd like to know if I can put ~じゃん at the end of every adjective, if there are any exceptions to that usage, and if it's different from ~じゃない. Adj (na) + じゃん 便利じゃん 便利だったじゃん 便利じゃないじゃん ...
10
votes
1answer
299 views

How are the giongo/gitaigo double form and tto form related (きらきら vs. きらっと)

With many 擬音語 (ぎおんご, onomatopoeia) and 擬態語 (ぎたいご, mimetic words) there is a double form, where the word is repeated, and a form with っと at the end. For example: きらきら -> きらっと (sparkling) ぴかぴか -> ...
12
votes
4answers
854 views

To not have: 持っていません or ありません?

Whenever I go to the Life supermarket near my house, they ask me at the check out: ライフカードを持っていますか? (Do you have a Life [members] card?) I always respond with something like: いいえ、持っていません。 ...
12
votes
2answers
545 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 ?

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