12
votes
1answer
386 views

How do you pronounce みずうみ? (lake)

I was wondering, I learnt an う lengthens the sound before it. When I learnt the word みずうみ I thought it is a long u and saw it as a whole new word, but I noticed みずうみ exists of 2 words: みず (water) and ...
2
votes
1answer
332 views

Double negatives in Japanese

To be clear, I'm talking in this case about double negatives originating in Japanese, not ones that are being translated into it. When I was in college, one of my professors taught the class to use ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

が vs を in sentences of desire (-たい)

According to Genki, expressions of desire ( -たい sentences such as in the examples below) which use the particle を can also use the particle が interchangeably and besides stating that they give no ...
0
votes
2answers
100 views

Deciphering Kanji [closed]

The kanji are very confusing to me. Not quite sure how to read them phonetically. Of course ' I am just getting familiar with katakana and hiragana. Is there a way to decipher kanji into hiragana? Or ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

When an -i form (連用形{れんようけい}) of a verb seems to be a suffix rather than a prefix?

In a previous question about コーヒー割り I learned that 割り is a form of the verb 割{わ}る "to dilute". Now I'm trying to understand the grammatical process by which this 割り form of 割る can be added to nouns ...
7
votes
1answer
141 views

Are both spellings for ふけ (fuke) “dandruff” ateji? If not what's actually going on?

The other day after washing my hair I decided to add the Japanese word for "dandruff" to my vocabulary. It turns out to be an interesting word. It has only one pronunciatation, ふけ (fuke), but two ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

can あいだ / あいだに be used with non-past tenses

Last week I learned to use あいだ and あいだに to express things that happen at the same time (are parallel) or things that happen while other are occurring. But I noticed that all the examples on the book ...
1
vote
1answer
386 views

Is 行かされた a typo?

I have the following to translate for class. 病気になって 頭と首が痛くて 熱もあったので 銀行の隣の病院に 行かされた This is what I have so far. I became sick and my head and neck hurt and I also had a fever so ...
8
votes
2answers
122 views

どうしますか vs 何をしますか

I always interpreted 何 as "what" and "どう" as more of a "How or How about?" and thus was under the impression that if one wanted to ask "What will you do?" or "What did you do?" you would say 何をしますか ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

Do you find this use of 信じてもらえなくなる to be odd?

On the following reddit thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/21l6aa/meaning_of_自分も信じてもらえなくなるってことだ/ the following sentence was posted, with a number of people trying to interpret ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Is this transcription correct?

I saw a video clip with English subtitles and tried to transcribe the Japanese audio. Can anyone tell me if I did it correctly? English subtitles: monster get out ; you've got no right to drink ...
4
votes
3answers
119 views

Why is coffee with shochu or awamori called コーヒー割{わ}り “split / divided coffee”?

About five nights ago I went out with a local friend to a traditional Okinawan club in Naha. We were of course drinking 泡盛{あわもり} (awamori) with water and ice. But the girl working there had a drink ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

How do I know whether 毎月 should be まいげつ or まいつき

This is my first question here and I'd like to ask something that has been bothering me for a while. Some words written in kanji can be read using both onyomi and kunyomi of some of the kanji and the ...
7
votes
1answer
336 views

How to use やんの?

Here is an example from the comic GANTZ. (This should be fair use of the image at least in the US as it's for scholarly commentary.) It's easy to tell that emphasis is being added, and the speaker is ...
4
votes
1answer
54 views

逃げさせる vs 逃す or 逃がす

i know 逃す is like let someone escape (but you tried to prevent it), and 逃がす is let someone escape (but you didn't try to prevent it) How about the causative form of 逃げる, which is 逃げさせる?
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Are there general rules on when to use kanji vs. kana?

This post is inspired by Tokyo Nagoya's comment in 出来できる vs ~えます form for “can”, “able to” asking why everyone was writing 出来る in kanji in their responses. As I mentioned in my reply to his comment, ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Grammatically correct but good writing?

The following sentence comes from 中上級の日本語 magazine for february: 新聞記事は、記者がコツコツと取材をしてデータを集め、それをもとに出来事を調べたり、関係者の話を聞いたりして書かれています。 It is grammatically correct but I find the change from active to ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Origin of 夜露死苦?

I've seen よろしく written out as 夜露死苦 on a couple of occasions where it's being used sardonically. At first I thought it was just authors having fun substituting characters that sound the same, but it ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

On “おてもと” and its many variants for “chopsticks”

I've always known the Japanese word for "chopsticks" to be (お)箸{はし}. Today in my usual practice of reading everything around me I looked up what was written on the wrapper of the disposable ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

Forms and conjugation of Intransitive Verbs

Can Intransitive verbs be used in Meirei form, Volitional form, ください form and other forms? According to my knowledge, Intransitive verbs are just used to state facts. So these forms should not ...
3
votes
1answer
404 views

What is the most common word in Japanese?

What is the most common word in Japanese?
3
votes
2answers
185 views

How is the word まさか used?

Plain and simple. The Jisho definition "by no means; never!; well, I never!; you don't say!" doesn't seem to coincide with any of the sample sentences I find either on Jisho or Tatoeba. Can someone ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

音{おん}訓{くん} for 肉{にく} and 皿{さら}

As per a "中学{ちゅうがく}漢字{かんじ}ドリル" textbook used by native speaker students in Japan, this is the 音訓 readings specified for "肉" and "皿": 肉 音: ニク 訓: none given 皿 音: none given 訓: さら Yet, at ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Meaning of “[気張]{きば}らずゆっくりやっていこうね”

気張らずゆっくりやっていこうね 'ゆっくりやっていこう’ means "I'll keep on going slowly", right? But what is 気張らず?
3
votes
1answer
106 views

What special kana are used to write foreign words?

How does Japanese handle sounds outside the 五十音図【ごじゅうおんず】? Are there ways of distinguishing sounds such as V or L in katakana renderings of foreign words? How are the missing sounds in the ワ column ...
5
votes
3answers
106 views

Where does 見 come from in 見捨てる or 見殺し?

I wonder if there is a certain meaning of 見 that isn't immediately obvious or straight-forward. 見捨てる and 見殺し both carry this idea that, through inaction, something bad is allowed to happen. There may ...
2
votes
1answer
201 views

In the japanese The legend of Zelda (e.g. Ocarina of Time), why is navi spelled ナビィ and not just ナビ?

I started playing the Japanese version of Ocarina of time and noticed that navi is spelled as ナビィ instead of just ナビ. I know that you can combine e.g. フ and イ for フィ, but the one in ナビィ seems ...
4
votes
3answers
211 views

If 校 is the kanji for school, why do I need 学 to actually say school?

Perhaps a dumb question, but something that I was wondering and couldn't find a clear answer via search. Since 校 is the kanji for school, why do we also need the kanji for learning 学 to say "school" ...
4
votes
2answers
432 views

What does it mean for the 'feel' of a sentence / text when it's written in all hiragana?

When a Japanese-language sentence is written out in all katakana, it's supposed to be either stilted, robot-like speech or something to simulate ALL CAPS. How is that with hiragana? Does it make te ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What does '~にゃい' mean?

What does the 'にゃい' mean in the phrase '働きたくにゃい' or 'はたらきたくにやい'? (not sure if it's a small ya or not). It's in a line sticker.
3
votes
1answer
331 views

Potential and Causative form clarification - 倒せる / 倒せない

Hopefully this is a nice easy one, but it's something I need clarification on. So I have a sentence here, using (I think) -せる form. (倒せない) アイテムを使わないと倒せない敵もいるが、戦いの基本はやはり剣だ。 My question is a ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Trying to make sense of some JLPT practice questions

Last year's JLPT tests were made available for download recently, and so to gauge my progress and plan what to study I decided to take the N2 test. I'm right at the threshold of passing (58% overall ...
4
votes
2answers
416 views

Meaning of それだけ in this sentence

Here is the sentence : 人数が多ければそれだけお前達が有利になる。 I've difficulties finding information about this word. From the examples I read, it seems to me that, when used after a clause ending in ば its ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

Nuance between でいい and でもいい

Follow up question to this one : Sentence structure and meaning About this sentence : 「ただしお前達の相手は私一人でいい。」 It seemed to me that in Tokyo Nagoya's answer, でいい sounded a lot like でもいい : " ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

雨 pronunciations

I have a question about this character: 雨 I know each kanji has so many pronunciations, this is pronounced "ame" but it has other pronunciations, could you please tell me when to pronounce it ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Sentence structure and meaning

here is an extract from a manga that gives me troubles : (|| = column breaks in the manga) ただし||お前達の相手は||私一人でいい||一対一で闘い||私が勝ったら||次の者が||また 私と闘うのだ... First : can you confirm that there are 2 ...
5
votes
1answer
165 views

is ~だ~だ another way of listing things, or does my JLPT book have a typo?

In my JLPT practise book, there is this sentence: 学生{がくせい}時代{じだい}は学費{がくひ}だ合宿{がっしゅく}だとお金{かね}がかかり、就職{しゅうしょく}したらしたで給料{きゅうりょう}だけで生活{せいかつ}できず、親{おや}に頼{たよ}ってしまい申{もう}し訳{わけ}ない。 I'm really just wondering ...
4
votes
1answer
274 views

Natural way of saying “Once you take away the unnecessary bits, it works”

In my earlier question "Line of code" in Japanese I was trying to figure out a word for the following sentence: 余計【よけい】な行【ぎょう】を抜く【ぬく】と状況【じょうきょう】が直った【なおった】。 "Once the unnecessary lines ...
5
votes
2answers
110 views

漢字 classification: 象形、指事、会意、形声

I'm looking at this table of classifying 漢字 into the types 象形文字、指事文字、会意文字、形声文字 (and 転注文字 and 仮借文字, but I'll focus on the first four for now). I like the idea of 見 "to see" being an "eye" on "legs", ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

“決{き}まっている” and “決められている” have the same meaning, right?

I came across this sentence written by a native speaker: (1) "学年{がくねん}ごとに学習{がくしゅう}する漢字{かんじ}が決められています。" To communicate the same meaning, I would have said: (2) "学年ごとに学習する漢字が決まっています。" #1 is passive ...
8
votes
0answers
133 views

Is it true that the meaning of あ可よろし is unknown?

One of the cards in a Hanafuda deck looks like this: The character that looks like の is actually , a hentaigana for ka derived from the kanji 可. The card says あかよろし, not あのよろし. According to ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

“Line of code” in Japanese

I've been doing a bit of work with rendering 縦書き【たてがき】 in HTML, and was having a running internal monologue in Japanese about how things were progressing when I hit on a missing word: "line" as in ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

What time of day does [後]{のち} cover in 天気予報?

Often the weather forecasts will say something like 晴れ [後]{のち} 所により曇り → Sunny/Clear; later Partly Cloudy In English, most weather reports use more precise with time ranges, like (early/mid/late) ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

Meaning of inversion in questions: 「何ですか、今の音は?」

I often hear questions where a phrase marked with は is moved to the end of the sentence: 今の音は何ですか? 何ですか、今の音は? I heard the second sentence above in the anime となりの関くん. A student has just ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

ー vs small kana vs long kana for writing long vowels

I had thought that for writing long vowels in Japanese, that small kana was mostly used with hiragana and ー was mostly used with katakana. I was actually thinking of asking whether there were ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

Usage (correctness) of だと after verbs

I've noticed だと showing up after verbs for a while now in various forms of media, such as blogs, anime, regular TV shows & also when speaking to Japanese people. However, I was originally told ...
1
vote
3answers
86 views

An appropriate word for “psyllium seed husk powder” that doesn't describe it as a laxative? (Plantago psyllium L)

I'm thinking about translating a recipe in Japanese and I'm kind of astonished that there isn't a wikipedia page for psyllium seed husk powder, but there's a brief one for psyllium. I'm not sure if ...
8
votes
2answers
300 views

Likely Sentences (Nuance in use of 〜てもらう vs Passive form)

Our professor gave us some problems where you are suppose to circle which statement the person is more likely to say. Below is an example. おまわりさん よく道を聞かれます。 よく道を聞いてもらいます。 I think this means ...
5
votes
2answers
163 views

Meaning of sentences ending in の

How does putting a の at the end of a sentence change the meaning? For example, here are some sentences: 明日何時に来るの What time will you come tomorrow 昨日何を食べたの What did you eat yesterday
1
vote
3answers
71 views

Syntactic rule for the “⇔” character?

The character "⇔" is used in the definitions in 国語{こくご}辞典{じてん} to specify antonyms. I have questions: (1) Is "⇔" a formal character in Japanese syntax? Or, is it sort of an ad-hoc way to specify ...

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