7
votes
4answers
1k views

Have you tried XYZ before?

I English I can ask somebody if they've experienced or sampled a food or drink, or even an activity with this verb: Here try this and tell me if you like it. I tried koregusu once but I didn't like ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How accurately can 使い be translated as “angel”?

On jisho.org, 使い is translated with words such as "errand", and the same holds true on translate.google.com. Neither site is offering "angel" as a suggestion. Yet in Matthew 1:20, the phrase:     ...
7
votes
2answers
431 views

why do some kanji have multiple stroke counts?

A few years ago, I came across the issue of one kanji having multiple stroke counts. Now, I need to review this: 牙 = (4 or 5 strokes) 瓜 = (5 or 6 strokes) 邑 = (6 or 7 strokes) .... If native ...
7
votes
1answer
540 views

Pronunciation of しゃ, し, しゅ, しぇ, and しょ

Now I understand that although all the morae mentioned in the title are written in Hepburn as "sha shi shu she sho", they are actually palatalized and sound quite different (the little や makes it ...
7
votes
2answers
183 views

Questions on the word シクシク

I understand that the word シクシク is 擬声語/giseigo/onomatopoeia equivalent to the English "boo-hoo/boo-hoo-hoo." 恐怖でシクシク泣く To whimper in fear 彼女はボーイフレンドに捨てられた時、あまりの惨めさにシクシクと泣いた。 She wailed in misery ...
7
votes
1answer
184 views

Understanding the particle や in the phrase “今や”

(Moved from Insertion of "y" sound between vowels since it appeared to be unrelated.) In the following quote: 私の世界へようこそ。 今やこの世界をコントロールできる唯一の人間だ。 What is the function of the particle や ...
7
votes
2answers
389 views

Where does the phrase 「ノリが悪い」 come from and what is the meaning?

What is this phrase 「ノリが悪い」? I've seen it in a few places, but I haven't been able to find it in a dictionary yet. I had first thought it meant that "the seaweed was bad". What is the meaning of ...
7
votes
3answers
397 views

what does どことなくつかみどころがなくmean?

I came across this phrase in the sentence: 勘【かん】というものは、しょちゅう経験【けいけん】していながら、どことなくつかみどころがなく、いまの科学【かがく】ではまだその正体【しょうたい】が、明らか【あきらか】にされていない。(Soumatome N1 dokkai, p45) My best effort to translate it ...
7
votes
2answers
965 views

What is the meaning of 女子力?

What is 女子力? I see it often recently, and understand that it does not worth discussing seriously about it. I know it is a stupid word. Just curious how people are interpreting it.
7
votes
2answers
444 views

Utterance initial [ɾ]

According to The sounds of Japanese (Vance 2008): When /ɾ/ is the first phoneme in an utterance, the tip of the tongue is already resting lightly on the alveolar ridge, and /ɾ/ is produced by ...
7
votes
1answer
210 views

Can 一杯 be used to express the fullness of things without physical volumes?

According to an answer to this question, the word [一杯]{いっぱい} can be used to expess fullness; especially in relation to the capacity of whatever is containing the quantity. This, however, tends to ...
7
votes
1answer
293 views

Why is the affixal 子 treated specially when abbreviating people’s names?

Often, names are abbreviated using the initial letter in romanization, or some random letter, like "A". However, when the name has an affixal 子, that part is often left, like "A子". I have not seen any ...
7
votes
2answers
155 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
225 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 ...
7
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?
7
votes
2answers
503 views

Strange use of であった in narrative

In the middle of the Famicom game Bucky O'Hare, a cutscene starts with this text: こうして 4人を きゅうしゅつした バッキーであったが・・・じつは それは バッキー オヘアを とらえる ために トードぐんが しくんだ わなだったのだ!! The meaning of the sentence is ...
7
votes
1answer
425 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
224 views

What's the difference between じき and すぐ?

すぐ, and especially 今すぐ, is my habitual way to express "soon", or "right after this". I know that じき means more or less the same thing, and when I hear it or see it written, I get the general meaning ...
7
votes
2answers
460 views

What is the difference between 言うな! and 言ってんじゃねぇぞ?

1) What is the difference between 言うな! and 言ってんじゃねぇぞ!, in other words can we use them interchangeably at all times? 2) which is ruder?
7
votes
1answer
674 views

What does it mean if a sentence is in all-kana?

I came across this sentence in a manga: なにすんじゃこんガキャ―――!! There is no kanji use in that speech-bubble, making it hard to work out the meaning. In fact, I haven't been able to find the meaning of ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Does “おつまみ” (otsumami) mean “snack” or “rice crackers” or “crunchy snack” like chips and peanuts, or something else entirely?

This is a word I learned by reading and not by studying or in conversation with Japanese. After learning the kana years ago I had occasion to fly with JAL and the pre-meal snack was a little packet ...
6
votes
2answers
395 views

Is there a word that describes greenish-blue colours (of any shade)?

I'm looking for the most natural-sounding way to express the general concept of blue-green colours (such as cyan or teal) in Japanese. By "general concept", I mean all colours that are neither ...
6
votes
2answers
220 views

What is being abbreviated as っちゃあ in 「忙しいっちゃあ忙しいけど…」?

I see the pattern [Adj1]っちゃあ[Adj1](けど) relatively often, and I know that I've learned it before... I even know what it means. ...but what is it an abbreviation of? It is an abbreviation of something, ...
6
votes
1answer
198 views

What do you do if a genkoyoshi line ends with e.g. す。」?

Suppose that you're writing on genkoyoshi (原稿用紙), and you are writing a quotation, e.g. 「これはペンです。」 And let's say that each line of the genkoyoshi has 8 blocks. The first block would, I presume, ...
6
votes
1answer
108 views

Plain form as imperative

Is the plain form ever used to give a command? What does "sugu ni tatsu" mean?
6
votes
1answer
433 views

Is there a kanji for しか?

Is there kanji for しか as in 商品がひとつしかありません。
6
votes
2answers
147 views

Modifying adjectives: カンペキ [に or な?] 思ったとおりの仕上がり

I have a question about カンペキに in the following sentence. As far as I can guess it modifies the whole 「思ったとおりの仕上がり」, but grammatically I cannot understand why. Well, 仕上がり is a noun, so wouldn't カンペキな ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Writing the name Harriet in Japanese

Sorry for the trivial question, but I've just started learning Japanese and thought that I should know how to write my name in hiragana. My name is Harriet. My first guesses were はリえた or はリえと. I ...
6
votes
2answers
183 views

Where does “歩けど” come from?

The other day I came across this line in a game: しかしそれ以外は誰とも出会わず、そして 歩けど歩けど 代わり映えしない通路と部屋ばかり。 I guessed that 歩けど meant 歩いても from the context, but I had never seen a verb conjugated like that before. ...
6
votes
2answers
226 views

What is the difference between 乗り場 and バス停?

I've seen them both with the meaning of 'Bus Stop.' Could someone please explain how they're different? Thank you in advance!
6
votes
1answer
210 views

Multiple usages of 学習{がくしゅう}

My understanding is that 「学習{がくしゅう}」 is a very interesting word. It has all of the following meanings? (1) 「勉強{べんきょう}」. To study new material. We learn new kanji, vocab, grammar, etc. (2) ...
6
votes
3answers
561 views

Sorry, I wasn't listening

What is the Japanese expression for: Sorry, I wasn't listening For example, for when you're asked a question and realize that you have no idea what it's about as you've been thinking about ...
6
votes
1answer
252 views

Is む sometimes pronounced more like ん?

I'm curious what the relationship is between む and ん. I have the feeling that sometimes, む is pronounced more like ん: むむむ: is this really /mumumu/? Or does it become /mmm/? うむむ: is this really ...
6
votes
2answers
236 views

What is a better translation for 「自分だけバカを見る」?

I have this phrase in my JLPT textbook, as one example of the use of バカ: 自分{じぶん}だけバカを見{み}る The translation offered in the book is: Waste time and money among others The English is both ...
6
votes
2answers
165 views

Difference in nuance between 証明 and 証拠?

I know that both of these words mean "proof", but I can't figure out what the difference is, or if there's any at all. Can anyone explain to me the difference in nuance between these two words?
6
votes
1answer
162 views

What is the difference between 口元 and 口?

When talking about the body part (not, for example, entrances/exits), what is the difference between these two words. Based on looking at these two pages (for 口 and 口元) I'm guessing that the ...
6
votes
2answers
297 views

Is being called an オタク derogatory?

This question spawns from the comments here. I've heard that オタク could or could not be derogatory. During the times I've been in Japan and heard it used, I didn't think that it had any connotation ...
6
votes
3answers
948 views

Explain the meaning of という or と + いう?

Here is the sentence: それは改良を必要としますが、すぐにということではありません。 I can't understand this part: すぐに_Adverb + という_Particle? + こと_Noun + では_DEWA + ありません_Verb. I know that という is an expression "said; called thus", ...
6
votes
1answer
357 views

Using な after い-adjectives

What does it mean to put a な after an い-adjective? For example, many Youtube videos are called begin "いいなCM", and a Japanese text book I have uses this sentence as an example: この通りを行くと 大きな 交差点がある。 ...
6
votes
2answers
537 views

「様」vs「殿」, which is more respectful?

Ammy claims that 殿 is more respectful than 様: 様 -sama: a respectful honorific used for those of a higher social standing 殿 -dono: even more respectful than -sama, less likely ...
6
votes
1answer
546 views

Why does furigana occasionally appear as katakana?

I've seen some kanji whose furigana is actually katakana. For example, see the following manga cover for 桜蘭高校ホスト部. When would a kanji character ever be pronounced as a loan word?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Which kanji has the greatest number of strokes?

I was just curious what the most complex kanji—in terms of number of strokes—is, whether or not it's actually used often.
6
votes
3answers
756 views

Which ところ is this?

I had my sentence of 今日は友達の車で警告を読んで、和英翻訳してみることにします ("Today I will read the warning in my friend's car and try to do a Japanese to English translation of it") corrected to become: ...
6
votes
2answers
350 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
489 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
218 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
292 views

Mukashi-banashi. Do they borrow from other current dialects in addition to older Japanese?

At my schools 日本語クラブ, we studied a 昔話 (舌切り雀), which like most of the others I've read, had some nonstandard grammatical constructions. I've heard that many of these constructions are archaic forms ...
6
votes
1answer
459 views

How to invoke God/spirits in Japanese

No, this is not about any Buddhist chant or mantra that can be used to call forth Japanese gods or heavenly spirits, but rather about any specialized words or interjections that attract attention of ...
6
votes
1answer
302 views

Using に twice in the [Verb-連用形]に行く sentence pattern

Consider these example sentences given by my grammar dictionary: (1) 私はデパートへ贈り物を買いに行った。 (2) そこへ何をしに行くんですか。 Observation: The location is marked by へ instead of に. Considering that a ...
6
votes
1answer
388 views

から and ので formation/conjugation differences

Consider the case when から and ので follows a noun, な-adjective, or noun-equivalent: から:静かだから... "Because it is quiet..." (Subjective causality) ので:静かなので... "Because it is quiet..." (Objective ...

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