7
votes
1answer
257 views

Why is 口が軽い the opposite of 口が堅い?

Why is 口が軽い the opposite of 口が堅い ? It seems interesting to me why 軽い/堅い would be chosen for this phrase. As far as I know, most of the time phrases that are coupled with 軽い usually have the ...
7
votes
2answers
232 views

When is the correct situation to use 案外 or 意外?

I think this is a question I should have asked a long time ago.. What is the difference between 案外 and 意外? What does the correct situation look like when using either? Example with 案外: ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is there a “tsu” in Nippon (にっぽん)? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How did “little tsu” become a lengthener? On Wikipedia and elsewhere, Japan is written like so: Nippon ( にっぽん ). What is that tsu doing in there? Why isn't ...
9
votes
2answers
498 views

います and あります usage

I just learned about: います and あります. I know I should use います for people and moving things and あります for plants and inanimate things. I have two doubts: Which one should I use with "dead body". For ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

particles for dekiru [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: が and に interchangeability and difference in meaning I have another question with “dekiru”. When this verb is used the particle “ni”? For example, like in the following ...
8
votes
1answer
351 views

Change of kanji like 大坂 to 大阪

Wikipedia says that Osaka used to be spelt 大坂, and is now spelt 大阪. Is there a term for what happened, and does it happen often? Related question: On the replacing of kanji obsoleted in the 1946 ...
13
votes
3answers
261 views

Why can some words be written with or without okurigana? How do the uses differ?

What is the difference for word compounds that can exist with 送り仮名 and without and still retain the same pronunciation? As an example: 巻き貝 と 巻貝 取り引き と 取引 If I'm correct, both of these are ...
-1
votes
4answers
382 views

How to know what Okurigana signify? [closed]

For example, the kanji for "one" has a kun reading of "hito(tsu)." I looked it up and found that it's the difference between "one" and "one thing," but how could you have known that without ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Can anyone explain 涼しげで?

In reference to Japanese sweets (わらび餅), I found this sentence: 見た目も透明感があり、涼しげで夏にピッタリです。 Its clear and cool appearance makes it perfect for summer. Is 涼しげで two words? 涼しい + で? Could I also ...
2
votes
3answers
201 views

How to know which On reading to use?

Just something as simple as the character for "one" has the On readings "ichi" and "itsu." So how would I know which one to use if I saw this as part of a compound?
2
votes
3answers
552 views

Is the difference between On and Kun readings greater than just the pronunciation of the character?

Here is my present state of understanding: A kanji's meaning is the same regardless of reading. A reading is a way of speaking the kanji out loud. Kun readings are always used when the kanji appears ...
5
votes
2answers
208 views

What is the grammar form with “にした” in this sentence?

I have another sentence from 合格できる、日本語能力試験N2: そこで私はいつも考えるのだが、各国にある日本大使館は日本人旅行者のため、こういう留学生、研究家を講師にした講座を現地で開いてくれないだろうか。 The part in the sentence where it says 「講師にした講座」 is hard for me to ...
4
votes
1answer
357 views

When should I use あそこで / そこで?

I have the sentence from 合格できる、日本語能力試験N2: 私は外国旅行をするたび、「 」専門の勉強をしている日本人の若い学者に会うと、思いがけない収穫をえる。 The choices for the blank are A)あそこで B)そこで C)ここで D)どこかで I narrowed it down to either A or B, but ...
9
votes
1answer
245 views

difference between も and でも when used with the て-form

First of all, is there such a pattern as て-form + でも? I can't find it in my grammar dictionary. If there is, is it related to the て-form + も pattern, meaning something like "even if"? What is the ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

“scope” of は particle

In the sentence below, does 外からは apply only to the part of the sentence up to 見られずに, or does it apply to the entire sentence? あれなら外からは姿を見られずにテレビ局内に入れますね。 In other words, which one of these is ...
2
votes
2answers
267 views

Is there a difference between these words for “hero”?

I've learned that hero could be translated as: ヒーロー えいゆう ゆうしゃ けっし Aside from ヒーロー (which seems just to be roumaji version of hero), is there any usage difference among them?
1
vote
1answer
346 views

“Mari” or “wari” ? Is this a consonant sound that changes with inflection?

In my audio learning, I hear the beginning consonant sound of the same word spoken by two different speakers to be as a "w", as in "wari", or to be an "m", as in "mari". While it seems clear that the ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

When does こいつ refer to a situation?

I've always heard こいつ refer to a person. (That guy!) However, in my JLPT Reading workbook there is a line where it refers to a situation. The explanation says: 「こいつ」が状況を表し....ことに気づくこと。 It goes ...
5
votes
1answer
477 views

しらゆきひめ 'Snow White'

I am trying to understand the title of a tale. しろ 'white' ゆき 'snow' ひめ 'princess' しらゆきひめ 'Snow White' If white is しろ, why is 'Snow White' not しろゆきひめ?
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Is “V Vないにかかわらず” grammatical?

In my textbook, they list the example sentence: 来る来ないにかかわらず、連絡をください。 This「来る来ない」part looks strange to me. Is it incorrect? If so, then how should it be fixed? Would it need to be 「来る?来ないにかかわらず」? ...
8
votes
2answers
252 views

Why is「ん」the only kana without a vowel?

I've always wondered why「ん」is the only kana without having a vowel sound attached to it. The only thing I've ever heard is that 「ん」 is a special kana that can be the last kana in some words. I've ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

What's with this “On reading”/“Kun reading” thing? Is it important to learn both as a beginner?

I was reading this article on Japanese numerals and I first encountered the whole On reading/Kun reading thing, with an additional column on "Preferred reading," which was almost always the On ...
4
votes
2answers
365 views

How can I say “we met at x event” politely in an email?

I'm trying to email someone pretty high up in a company and want him to remember who I am. Edit: I met him briefly at a trade show. We exchanged business cards and spoke for less than five minutes. ...
5
votes
2answers
583 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.
10
votes
3answers
466 views

Is it standard practice, or acceptable, to connect strokes in certain characters of hiragana?

I've been learning my hiragana from here: http://yosida.com/en/hiragana.html For the characters fu, mu, mo, na, ra, yu, and ya, I see a discrepancy between what's in the little box and what shows up ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

What is the appropriate usage of example names?

Sometimes it is the case that fake or example names will be used in place of actual names for purposes of explaining something. For example: 田中さんの主張には、その点において疑問があります。 I have a question ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

dekireba/dekitara

When "dekireba" or "dekitara" is placed at the beginning of a sentence, is the subject always "you" as in "if you can/if possible", or can it be "I" as in "if I can/if I have the permission to do"? ...
1
vote
0answers
361 views

Best Japanese language learning system? [closed]

I have a friend who speaks Japanese and I would like to learn the language with no prior experience. What commercial teaching approach would you consider the best? Pimsleur, Phonics, or something ...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

What is the difference between 「余計に」and 「余分に」?

In my textbook 「日本語総まとめN2」, they list the two vocabulary words 「余計に」 and 「余分に」. I am almost unable to differentiate between their appropriate usage. Here are the example sentences from the book: ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

Are 弱い相互作用 and 強い相互作用 unnatural?

In introductory physics books, when they introduce 弱い相互作用 "weak interaction" and 強い相互作用 "strong interaction", I almost always see a notification that these terms are supposed to be the name of the ...
6
votes
1answer
288 views

Katakana words with Kanji. How did that happen?

Some words are written with katakana, but also have kanji. For example: コーヒー 珈琲 ページ 頁 How did this happen? They are loanwords, but no doubt had Japanese equivalents before these variants were ...
7
votes
1answer
136 views

Employed by one institution but work for another

I've worked my current job for a few years, and I can't believe I've never thought of this question. I have a unique employment situation. I am employed by a university, but the work I do is for the ...
3
votes
1answer
579 views

Is there a Japanese version of urbandictionary?

I came across this phrase today: むぎゅむぎゅ From context, it looks like it should mean something like "cute" or "poor you", but I couldn't find it on jisho.org or goo.ne.jp. Is there a Japanese ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

不被下候: When was it common, and what were the rules?

In a shrine graffito written in 1559, two carpenters complain: 其時座主ハ大キナコスデオチヤリテ一度モ焼酎ヲ不被下候 'At that time, the high priest (stingy bugger!) gave us not even a drop of shochu to drink.' The form ...
1
vote
4answers
230 views

When is マイ・ワイフ used?

While looking up マイカー in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gairaigo_and_wasei-eigo_terms, I came across マイ・ワイフ. Is マイ・ワイフ used in real life, or mainly in anime? If the former, what differences ...
2
votes
2answers
305 views

Can genki be pronounced as henki?

I've watched a few anime and keep coming across a word that sounds like "henki". In the subtitles, the sentences are like "Are you ok?", "How are you feeling?". With those translations, I'd expect the ...
6
votes
2answers
299 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
342 views

Does the kanji 妾 still get used by women to refer to themselves?

In this answer, the kanji 妾 was defined as "mistress". I'm not so familiar with this kanji, so I looked it up, and it seems to have about four readings and two definitions. Although I think some of ...
6
votes
1answer
149 views

What is the difference between キャリアウーマン, OL, and ビジネスウーマン

When I come across the titles キャリアウーマン, OL, and ビジネスウーマン, I seem to have a difficult time picturing what their position is or what they do. I'm wondering if anyone can elaborate on how they are ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

What is the difference between 詰まらない and 詰らない

What is the difference between 詰まらない and 詰らない? Are they both valid words? Are they pronounced the same and do they have the same meaning?
1
vote
1answer
588 views

Why is the Japanese government considering adding kanji such as “cancer” to the jinmeiyō kanji?

The wikipedia article on jinmeiyō kanji states: Before September 27, 2004, there were 2232 government-designated jinmeiyō kanji used in personal and geographical names, with plans to increase ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Specify who is fond of something

Is it possible to use 好き, and specify who is fond of it? 風呂は好きです。 Would be interpreted as "[I am] fond of baths.", and 風呂は好きですか Would be interpreted as "Are [you] fond of baths?". How ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Can ご無沙汰 be used in a sexual context?

I had asked my friend what uses of 「ご無沙汰」exist and the situations people use them in. Among others, she had remarked that it could mean something along the lines of "not having sexual intercourse for ...
6
votes
1answer
210 views

Is くろじん a word?

I used to call black people くろじん, either because I mistakenly read 黒人{こくじん} as such or because I heard it somewhere (or both), until I was told by another Japanese learner that こくじん is more ...
10
votes
2answers
837 views

How do I “understand” kaomoji? (Japanese smilies)

When I see something like this: ヘ(´∀`ヘ)ヘ(´∀`ヘ)ヨイヨイ(ノ´∀`)ノ(ノ´∀`)ノヨイヨイ♪ I think some voodoo demon wants to say something to me. o_O My Japanese friends often use kaomoji. But, when they add (´▽`) ...
6
votes
7answers
709 views

Why are the katakana important to learn?

I've just started, and everything says learn your hiragana and katakana first. The hiragana, very clear. I guess you can say an awful lot of things in Japanese with hiragana. But everything I've been ...
4
votes
2answers
207 views

How to form the “chi” sound, and others?

I was looking at a chart of hiragana and trying to find the characters to form the name of a song Inochi no Namae. I started with i, then no, but there's no chi. I then started wondering where chu and ...
5
votes
1answer
209 views

Does ネガティブ mean “negative”, or “bad”, when describing a person?

ネガティブ is an adjective that's based on the word "negative" (or maybe a word from another European language). But when describing a person, does it mean "negative", as in pessimistic, always ...
4
votes
3answers
286 views

What makes に基づいて instead of に応じて the correct choice for this question?

I'm working on some example questions from my grammar textbook. One of them I listed below:  税金はこの表(  )計算されています。  ア)につれて イ)に応じて ウ)に比べて エ)に基づいて I'm unsure why 「に基づいて」is the only correct ...
5
votes
1answer
340 views

Why is it that some temporal nouns cannot be marked with に? And why do they become more acceptable with には?

Consider the following: に here is used in its function of denoting the time where an event occurs (に1): ◯ 一時に1 ◯ 一時半に1 ◯ 月曜日に1 ◯ 正月に1 * 昨日に1 ?/◯ 昨日には * 今日に1 ?/◯ 今日には * 明日に1 ?/◯ 明日には * 去年に1 ?/◯ 去年には ...

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