12
votes
1answer
419 views

Why are points used where furigana would be normally?

Sometimes in mangas there points where you would expect normally furigana. What meaning is it supposed to have?
40
votes
8answers
1k views

How should I choose between [知]{し}る and わかる?

Both 知る and わかる get used for "know", "understand", "learn", "find out", and various other concepts. How do you know which to use when? Are there any rules to help you decide? Additionally, both of ...
2
votes
1answer
264 views

How to write the name !xobile in Katakana?

So I have been wondering from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiWiYjW1Xrc How would one write the Katakana for this name that has an exclamation mark? And how would we pronounce it? ...
1
vote
2answers
154 views

~った with a noun (生い立ち > 生い立った) - what's really going on?

I just started trying to read the Japanese translation of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha. I've struck a problem in the first sentence that my native Japanese speaking friends can't seem to help me with. ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

present perfect tense in Japanese [duplicate]

How often does Japanese use present perfect tense? My friend has been asking to watch a Japanese anime movie called 風たちぬ, this is the first time I have ever seen this 'nu' particle usage. Before I ...
1
vote
2answers
118 views

What does だ mean at the end of a sentence or following a noun

The sentence in question is それはとってもいい話【はなし】だ。 Which is translated as "That's a really nice story". I don't understand what だ is doing at the end though. 話 seems to mean story with or without it and ...
8
votes
2answers
164 views

In Okinawan, what is the ン in ウチナーンチュ?

The Okinawan word for "Okinawa" is ウチナー, for "person" is チュ, and for "Okinawan" (person) is ウチナーンチュ. I'd like to know where this ン comes from between the part for "Okinawa" and the part for "person". ...
4
votes
0answers
216 views

Is correct to use adjectives before 限り?

I'm studying for level N2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and have a question about 限り. I find in my book that 限り meaning "as long as" can be preceded by adjectives, but in A Dictionary of ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

What is the origin of ポイ as in “タバコのポイ”?

I was trying to see how much of the writing on the signs in the park I could make sense of today and found something of interest. A sign stating what not to do in the park covered not littering and ...
6
votes
3answers
603 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

What is the difference in usage between 夜【よ】 and 夜【よる】?

As I understand, both よ and よる mean 'night'. I guess that the difference might be purely idiomatic. In this sense: What are idioms where only one of them is correct? What are idioms where you can ...
10
votes
4answers
279 views

kanji 有る, usage in the negative be verb

I am curious about a bit of academic pedantry of trivial importance. If I wanted to put kanji in 日本人ではありません, would I use 有りません? This looks weird to me because 有 has some connotations of possession as ...
3
votes
1answer
218 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

Do people write ありがとう in katakana?

Since サヨウナラ, when written in katakana it gives a more cool/deep nuance. How about ありがとう? Do Japanese people choose to write it in katakana if they want the nuance of the word to look cooler? It's ...
3
votes
2answers
157 views

は and が in this sentence

i think my understanding of these two is getting better though i have a question about this sentence: 新しい合金が開発された。医療用や通信用など、用途は広い。 the が i think i get. it is because the new alloy is new ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

Difference between った and ってた

Can someone explain to me the difference between the following forms? 思った 思ってた 思っていた
7
votes
1answer
245 views

What is the etymology of お陰で/おかげで and how does the expression relate to the kanji?

If おかげで / "okagede" is an expression that means thanks to ...;  owing to ...;  because of ...; and the correct (?) kanji that this expression derived from is 陰 as in お陰で which by ...
3
votes
2answers
173 views

Again question about modifying nouns

Seems that I stuck with modifying a noun again, in the following sentence is it only「破壊し尽す」 modifying 「背徳の欲望」 or both verbs 「玩弄し、破壊し尽す」 ? 浮世離れした幼い少女を思うさま玩弄し、破壊し尽す背徳の欲望が掻き立てられてやまない。 Full ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Are there words which consist of katakana and hiragana letters together?

Obviously many Japanese words consist of kanji characters plus hiragana since the latter are used for okurigana: 食べる 水割り 鷹の爪 Recently I'v started to discover a few words that use kanji characters ...
5
votes
1answer
273 views

Ellipsis: does this と=として, what is the relevant verb in this extract?

The following is attributed to フジテレビHP/経済新聞. I wonder if someone could explain the grammar around the と? (I think it might be an "abbreviation" of として but it is very difficult to find an explanation ...
1
vote
1answer
219 views

How to read this kanji? (see image)

All the methods I know failed. My count is 7 strokes, but may be wrong. I think the key is the bottom part, but no radical matches its shape. The rest of the word, including particle, is: きながらでも ...
5
votes
3answers
143 views

Explain how 向{む}く “to face” can take “上{うえ}” as a direct object using を?

There's a famous old song that's actually the only ever Japanese language song to reach #1 on the US pop charts: "上{うえ}を向{む}いて歩{ある}こう". This is both the title of the song and a frequently repeated ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Meaning of ~かといえばそうではない

another question from me. Reading a text, I stumbled upon the following sentence. If you can help me out, I'd be very grateful for any help. では、テレビがあれば、万事それで済むかといえば、そうではない。 As always, thanks in ...
6
votes
1answer
244 views

Was the の particle sometimes written in katakana?

In "Maiko Haaaan!!!", a bridge going over Yumekawa (a fictional river in Kyoto) apparently has "夢ノ橋" written on it, rather than "夢の橋". I had two theories about why that may be the case. One was that ...
9
votes
1answer
177 views

Was “乎” the manyogana spelling of the accusative/object particle “を”?

In the English Wiktionary entry for "を" there is a quote or example sentence using the character "乎" with no explanation seemingly where the particle "を" would normally occur. Now I couldn't find ...
5
votes
1answer
192 views

Pre-Kana Kanji readings

How did Japanese know how to read kanji before invention of kana? (having only kanji to write a language) Without kana and romaji, if they heard a new word - how could they look it up in a ...
2
votes
2answers
127 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
199 views

Use of から vs を with 出て行く?:

Why are we using から and not を in the following sentence?: 出て行く:同居している恋人が家から出て行って、別に住むようになる。 I ask because the normal particle with 出る is を (eg 家を出る) so why do we have から here? My dictionary has ...
4
votes
3answers
226 views

Using negative verb forms with はず

In the chapter Things that should be a certain way of Tae Kim's guide, the author states that in order to express the expectation of something not happening, one should use something like 「~はずがない」. I ...
5
votes
2answers
385 views

Some words I'm not understanding

So this is from the manga Kochikame: Basically the guy on the ground was asking the cop directions while the cop was listening to a horse race on the radio and found out his horse lost. Anyway, in ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

How to say Out of [a set or group] in Japanese.

I'm not really sure, but after looking at some example sentences in Jisho.org, I came to the conclusion that in order to say, for example, "Out of all of the people that I know", you would say ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Kanji identification

What's the 2nd kanji in the image below? I know that the first one is for oni, the second is 'mushi'. Can't seem to figure out what comes before 'mushi' though !
4
votes
1answer
129 views

Repetitive words (e.g. どんどん, ぺらぺら, いらいら…)

This is one area that sometimes dings me on tests. While I can generally figure out what is meant from context, I only know a handful offhand. The question here is twofold: Is there a specific ...
25
votes
4answers
3k views

Usage of すみません (sumimasen) versus ごめんなさい (gomen'nasai)

There are several situations in which one of these words (phrases?) should be used but there's not usually a 1:1 mapping between any two languages. Get somebody's permission. English: "excuse me", ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Cartel, syndicate, anti-competitive practice

I've heard this story from several foreigners in Japan: I hired Japanese Company A for a service. I didn't like Japanese Company A, so I went to Japanese Company B in the same industry and tried ...
8
votes
1answer
174 views

Are there any rules governing voicing in words formed via reduplication?

Consider the following words: 燦々 sansan 散々 sanzan Both of them are formed via the reduplication of san, but the latter word has the second instance voiced, while the former doesn't. Was there ...
10
votes
2answers
315 views

What is the difference in usage between a plural using (a) the kanji repetition character 々, (b) a plural using -たち, and (c) the singular?

I know that there are some noun that are made plural by the kanji repetition character, such as 人々 and 国々. My question is, how does this differ from using the non-plural form of the noun? And how does ...
4
votes
1answer
87 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

Which readings were changed in the 2010 Jouyou kanji reform?

I'm looking for pointers on which readings (on/kun) were changed in the 2010 reform. By that I mean which kanji has additional readings and which kanji has had one or more readings removed? Is there a ...
4
votes
2answers
502 views

Should I use On reading or Kun reading for numbers?

I've just started to learn Japanese, and I've been looking at the Joyo Kanji. Most of the words have On reading and Kun reading. I was wondering, which one is most popular and when should I use one ...
5
votes
1answer
454 views

Legal characters for first names include: hiragana, katakana, jinmeiyo and joyo kanji. What about latin letters?

Is it legal for parents to give to their child a first name with latin letters (romaji, I guess), instead of using katakana, hiragana, or kanji? For example, if Japanese parents want to give their ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

What is the basic knowledge before starting Japanese language lesson? [closed]

I am trying to learn Japanese from the start. I live in Penang, Malaysia. We have Penang Japanese Language Society (PJLS) here but before I join, I would expect some basic course or level that I can ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

What are the most common words made with numbers,aka 語呂合わせ (4649)

This is partly inspired by the recent question on words with both types of kana. I am referring to words such as: 39=さんきゅう=Thank you 4649-> よろしく、46 in internet slang 5963-> ご苦労さん I know ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Meaning of 過去形の動詞+上で

Lately, I've been wondering what's the meaning of past tense verb connected to 上で, like in the 3 examples below: 両親とよく相談した上で、留学することにした。 家を買う場合は、十分調べた上で、決めた方がいい。 よく考えた上で、返事をするつもりだ。 As ...
2
votes
2answers
259 views

Enthusiastically accepting an offer or invitation

In English when somebody offers you something or invites you somewhere you can just say "yes" or you can answer more enthusiastically in a pretty standard colloquial manner like this: Would you like ...
5
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Specific differences to consider between any individual katakana and hiragana?

I already know hiragana and I am teaching myself katakana now. Both are essentially two different versions of each sound, but I am wondering if there are actually any functional differences between ...
12
votes
1answer
389 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

What kinds of things can be an 愛機?

大辞泉 gives the following definition for 愛機【あい.き】: 日ごろ好んで使い、大事にしている写真機などの機器。また、愛用の飛行機。 Meanwhile, the 大辞林 第三版 gives the following definition: 使い慣れて,大切にしている写真機などの機器。また,愛用の飛行機。 Also, 明鏡国語辞典 ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Meaning of させてもらう + 事にする in this sentence

The sentence is taken from a manga in which the character kills people at a TV station in order to threaten the world : おはよう世界の諸君...これからほんのわずかな時間だけ... Hello (ladies and gentlemen of the) ...

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