4
votes
1answer
272 views

Appropriate “wishes” for pregnancy

What is the appropriate way to express your best wishes to a woman who is having a baby? (This is for a colleague, if there are different ways depending on different contexts please explain those, ...
3
votes
1answer
246 views

What does this use of kanji in ruby text mean?

In the manga らんま 1/2, a character from China says the following: 気{き}をつけるよろし、ムースは[暗器]{かくし武器}の[達人]{たつじん}よ。 My question is about [暗器]{かくし武器}. The ruby is just as I've typed it, with two tiny ...
4
votes
1answer
529 views

Are there any issues with sexism in the Japanese language?

The only example I can think of/that I know of at the moment that has ever been of controversy with regard to sexism in Japanese was the change from 看護婦 to 看護師. I'm sure there are probably many more ...
4
votes
1answer
267 views

Why does 赤 have a negative connotation?

赤 is generally understood as meaning 'red' (which can explain combinations like 赤子 (red face of a crying baby)). However, I have seen some words with 赤 that have a negative meaning, 赤 possibly ...
3
votes
1answer
568 views

What's the meaning of “という” at the end of a sentence?

I'm reading about this grammar in my book but I don't get it. According to the book it means - そうだ and - らしい. Here is an example: UPDATE: Full Sentence: 従来、病院といえば白い壁が基調の空間であった。 しかし、白くて冷たい壁を見ていると ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

Casual speech particles in Classical Japanese

I'm writing a simple Japanese skit for our JAPAN 112R class and there is a place where an ancient samurai needs to speak a few sentences of Classical Japanese. I can mostly make the sentences, but it ...
9
votes
1answer
243 views

What is the proper pronunciation for 十分/10分? じっぷん or じゅっぷん?

My Japanese textbook only lists じゅっぷん. Our Japanese sensei (a quite old woman) says じっぷん but notes that it's optionally じゅっぷん. Our TAs all say じゅっぷん. I understand that Middle Chinese 十 was "jip" and ...
4
votes
1answer
556 views

What is the meaning of ようで?

I think ようで means "to look/look like", but I'm having trouble understanding it in the context of this sentence: 感動に水を差すようで悪いのだが、さっさと爾子に乗ってくれ。でなくば、城とともに潰れるぞ。 Also, is でなくば another form of でなければ?
3
votes
1answer
400 views

Joining adjectives with し before a noun

A recent question asked about joining two adjectives together. It used the following example: (example 1) きれいで静かな町 As I understand it, this is the combination of the 連用形 of きれいだ with the 連体形 of ...
0
votes
1answer
211 views

What is the correct romanization of イー?

According to the rules of Hepburn, (http://www.halcat.com/roomazi/doc/hep3.html) しいたけ is correctly romanized as "shiitake". What is the correct romanization of イー as in シート? Should it be "shiito" or ...
0
votes
1answer
201 views

What do these two phrases mean?

I need some help with translating this: 君の後ろ姿さえ 明日への希望に思えた日を 幻にしないように 瞼へと刻んだサヨナラ These two phrases are from certain Japanese song and I can't understand them. The parts I have difficulty with are: ...
8
votes
2answers
410 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

When you combine adjectives with the て-form does it imply a relationship between them?

For example, if I said... きれいで静かな町 Does that mean there's a relationship between きれい and 静か (like the relationship that happens when you combine two verbs with the て-form)? Or do the two ...
16
votes
1answer
496 views

what is the difference between ごとに and おきに?

Both ごとに and おきに appear to mean "repeatedly at intervals". What is the difference between these two expressions?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How does pitch accent work in Japanese?

My studies taught me there's two ways to say each mora in Japanese, with the way you normally talk and when you put a bit more emphasis on a mora, i.e. when someone says なつかしい, the word would be ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

Is まで inclusive or exclusive when marking a range of dates?

I've recently received a notice from a library. It says: あなたへの貸し出しは2013/02/13まで停止されています。 Should I visit the library on 13 or 14 of February? To put it another way, does まで include the date ...
1
vote
1answer
170 views

How do I use がする? (ex: いい香りがする)

I know the basic usage behind it, like saying "I wanna have lunch at Wendy's today", but I feel like there's a bunch of subtleties to it that I'm not really seeing yet
5
votes
2answers
330 views

What does 母を恋はずや mean?

What is the meaning of 母を恋はずや in the film title? Edit: the meaning of "恋う" according to the dictionary is "romantic love" as in "koi suru". E.g. ...
2
votes
1answer
208 views

What's the difference between the constructs (adverb) なる[naru] and (adverb)する[suru]?

e.g. what makes 相手になる different from 相手にする. I know that 「~になる」 is to be/become something, and 「~をする」 is to do something, but what does each imply when used?
4
votes
2answers
661 views

興味が湧く vs 興味が沸く​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Which kanji should we use for the phrase 興味がわく (to mean that something has caught our interest)? Some quick googling shows that both 興味が湧く (~11m hits) and 興味が沸く (~9m hits) are widely used. Is one of ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

Expressing a sequence of actions using 〜たとき?

I am aware that one can explain that to things happen at the same time using plain non past form + とき: 電車に乗るとき転びました。"I fell when I got on the train (I was going through the door when it happened)" ...
0
votes
1answer
362 views

Colour connotations in Japanese language?

In English cultures there is a thin line (that usually isn't crossed) between symbolism (usually used in visual arts) and lingual connotation which is usually used in creative writing, and colour is a ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

What is the English equivalent of「ひとこと欄」?

I believe this a kind of word-game, but cannot find a reference to it...
0
votes
0answers
105 views

Is my translation program right to use 「ある」 instead of「いる」 here? [duplicate]

When I ask Google to translate "a person is at location" I get 「人は場所にある」. To me the use of 「ある」 seems wrong since we are talking about a person. Is it right to use 「ある」 or should 「いる」 be used ...
0
votes
1answer
323 views

The forward slash (English vs Japanese)

In English it's common to list multiple items as item/item/item, with the / representing or. What about in Japanese? Do I keep the forward slash, or maybe 「・」 so it would be アイテム・アイテム・アイテム? ...
4
votes
3answers
845 views

How to say “you may not [verb] here”?

たとえば、おすしを食べてもいいですか? is for "May I eat sushi?". However I know that ちょっと、食べなくてもいいです。Is not the right phrase because that means: "Well, you don't have to eat (that)." So what is the response for ...
6
votes
1answer
203 views

What does ドン引き mean?

While i was talking with my japanese friends, that word just came up they could't explain that. Can you tell me what does ドン引き mean?
6
votes
1answer
637 views

Difference between the many words for son and daughter

There are three words to refer to somebody else's daughter (According to my dictionary): 娘さん、お嬢さん、令嬢。 There are also three words to refer to somebody else's son: 息子さん、子息、坊ちゃん。 What are the ...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

Difference between ささぐ and ささげる

beginner Japanese language self-learner here. I hope my question isn't a bad question. As title suggested, I would like to know about the difference between the two verbs which I understood have the ...
3
votes
1answer
676 views

How to say “to ride a bicycle”?

Is it 自転車に乗る or 自転車を走る? I know I've read the latter somewhere before. But I just came across the former today and didn't know if there was a difference.
5
votes
2answers
214 views

How can I say “counted in (specific unit)”?

Specifically, I am trying to say something like "a semester's length is counted in months" in order to imply how short it is as compared to, say, your whole life. When I tried to look this up in my ...
7
votes
2answers
170 views

Can んだった and んじゃなかった be used like the past version of んだ and んじゃない?

I know that んだった and んじゃなかった can be used to say "Should have done" and "Shouldn't have done". I am wondering, however, if they can be used as a past version of んだ Take for example this conversation: ...
6
votes
1answer
125 views

Questions on the use of 動物 in reference to mankind/humans

I got this quote from a journal an online associate writes. I provided the translation. Some of the wording in Japanese struck me as strange, so I am wondering about whether in fact this quote is a ...
7
votes
1answer
363 views

Working with parentheses (English vs Japanese)

In English I could write, "Birds (various kinds)". In Japanese could I translate the version using parentheses as something like 鳥類(各種), or should the language/parentheses be used differently? I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Verbs in application drop down lists

I am working on translating pick list items that appear in a piece of software from English to Japanese. There is a mix of verbs and nouns on the lists, ex: workplace, attack, wolf, assault, etc... ...
7
votes
1answer
204 views

Why do we use 子ども to refer to a singular child (and 子供たち for plural)?

I was just thinking about how the term 子どもたち seems redundant since ども and たち are both plural markers. Of course you can use just 子 to refer to a child, but how did 子供 (and thus 子供たち) come to be the ...
6
votes
2answers
456 views

What function did あり perform in classical Japanese 形容詞?

In classical Japanese, many uses of 形容詞{けいようし} had あり "embedded" in them, e.g.: 熱からず = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の未然形{みぜんけい}+「ず」 熱かりたり = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の連用形{れんようけい}+「たり」 熱かれ = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の命令形{めいれいけい} 熱かる人 = ...
3
votes
3answers
326 views

Which personal pronouns and sentence ending particles would an old man use?

I'm somewhat informed on gendered speech in Japanese, however, I have also heard that age may play a part in which pronouns and sentence ending particles you use and can get away with. For instance, a ...
3
votes
4answers
329 views

Parsing a specific sentence from a book

I have this following sentence:   横線――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれは、俺の生命の残量を可視化したものだ。 There are a few questions I came up with about this sentence: The first part of the sentence is: 横線―――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれ, ...
4
votes
1answer
217 views

Question on expressing a half-completed action — 動作が中途である状態

手紙を書きかけたんですが、まだ書いていません。 I got started on the letter, but I haven't finished writing it yet. The ending かける indicates that an action has been started but has not been brought to a finish or ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How many kanji do Japanese people know? [closed]

I am curious how many kanji a normal Japanese person is able to read. Since the Joyo kanji are learned by middle school, I assume that as a person goes through high school and university many more ...
0
votes
2answers
416 views

How are し, ち, and じ pronounced differently than in English?

I know that sh, ch, and j are pronounced differently in Chinese than in English, but what about Japanese? I have read that し, ち, じ are pronounced slightly differently than they would be in English ...
0
votes
2answers
284 views

Why is this sentence grammatically incorrect?

On a separate question about Japanese pitch, one of the examples I left was: '甘美(うまみ)の花は赤を見える' (Your flower looks red [talking to Umami]). One of the commenters claimed that it was ...
4
votes
1answer
900 views

What qualities characterise girlish Japanese handwriting?

In English, handwriting is generally seen as girl is the mini. caps are almost as large as the maxi. caps, the edges are rounded out, and if the dots are replaced with little cirles reminiscent of the ...
5
votes
1answer
457 views

What are the pronunciation differences between speaking and singing Japanese? [closed]

I've noticed that some pronunciation is different in singing than in speaking. For example, I often hear を pronounced as /wo/ rather than /o/. What other pronunciation differences are there?
2
votes
2answers
163 views

Two definitions of けれども

In this dictionary I checked, there are two definitions for けれども. I also checked in my Japanese to English printed dictionary and there was only one definition, but in my Japanese to Chinese printed ...
5
votes
2answers
591 views

Why do English sources for learning Japanese leave out pitch?

I always thought that besides Kanji, one of the most difficult things about Japanese was its immense amount of homophones. For example, 花 (はな), which means flower, and 鼻 (also はな) which means nose. In ...
2
votes
1answer
243 views

Is Japanese understandable without pitch? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How important is one’s pitch when speaking Japanese? I know that the system to avoid confusion between homophones (regardless of if that was its original purpose) is ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Did the Japanese have a word for surrender before WWII?

I had always thought that the Japanese didn't have a word for surrender before WWII. It seemed to be plausible given their culture. However, I can't seem to find any solid evidence of this. Is it just ...
6
votes
2answers
226 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 ...

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