4
votes
2answers
668 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

pronounciation of じょ and よ

Spanish is my mother tongue and I almost can't differentiate じょ and よ sounds. Maybe the same thing happens to english native speakers. How do you solve that problem in english... are there a common ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

Explain づき in the given sentence

First of all, hi everyone. In the beginning of an anime episode I often see a message to turn on the lights in the room and not to sit too close to the screen. Leaving some stuff out it looks like ...
2
votes
1answer
193 views

What does the 「っち」 in @「見守りっち」 translate into?

What does Verb in 「ます」form +「っち」 mean? What does the 「っち」 in @「見守りっち」 translate into?
2
votes
1answer
282 views

Why are こんにちは and こんばんは used for greetings?

If they are translated literally it gives "today is" and "tonight is". Is it some sentence that got shortened ? (Also not sure how to classify this question so forgive me if I used the wrong ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

What does 正宗で大根を切る。 言い出しっぺ。 mean?

I'm not sure if this off-topic for this site but I would like to know what "正宗で大根を切る。 言い出しっぺ。" means. I tried translating it through google but I don't think it translated it properly. I found this ...
6
votes
2answers
400 views

What does “ごうと音がして” mean?

I am currently practicing Japanese by reading a novel but I have reached a sentence that I could not understand. ごうと音がして Can you please translate the vocabulary and verb used along with any unique ...
4
votes
3answers
645 views

Usage of kanji for words usually written in kana

From a small discussion on chat, I currently can think of three categories where the word is usually written in: Hiragana but have kanji (成る, 有る, [炬燵]{こたつ}, etc) Katakana but have kanji ([頁]{ページ}, ...
3
votes
3answers
264 views

Problem understanding some parts in a sentence -てくの and -んだろうって

The sentence is this one: 私は立場的に何を着てくのが正しいんだろうって思って。。。 I think I got the rough meaning of the sentence: I (私) am wondering (思って) what's (何を) is the right thing (が正し) to wear (着) for her ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

Kanji pairs that mean and are pronounced the same by themselves

I have found several pairs of kanji that are pronounced the same and mean the same when they are used individually: 目 and 眼 足 and 脚 木 and 樹 This especially bugs me because, in Chinese (my native ...
3
votes
1answer
397 views

Usage of simplified chinese in place of some kanji in handwriting

Of course I'm talking about casual writing as opposed to formal or polite writing. There are many 新字体 that were kind of "half" simplified in to the equivalent simplified Chinese forms such as 関 and 広 ...
3
votes
2answers
261 views

What is なく・ない and why is it used?

This question showed the following: 言わない (negative) 言わなく・ない (negative+negative) 言わなく・なかった (negative+negative+past) I've never seen this conjugation before. Why would you have a negative + ...
15
votes
1answer
755 views

Why do we say 頼もしい instead of 頼ましい?

In a previous question, I posted a list of adjectives produced from verbs using the しい suffix. In each example, it seems that しい attaches directly to the 未然形: 勇む  →  勇ま + しい    isam-a-sii 悩む  → ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How many Kanji characters are there?

I have been searching around, but all the sources give completely different answers ranging from 2,000 to 50,000. So my question is how many Kanji characters that have ever existed since the dawn of ...
2
votes
2answers
267 views

adjective before adjective

As far as I know an adjective can be before noun(for ex. 美しい花) or before other adjective, but with て(for ex. 寂しくて眠れない夜). But in the following sentence「指定席みたいなコジンマリとした少年 」- this part is a bit of odd. ...
1
vote
1answer
214 views

What does “一味一禪” mean?

I have found a small Shodo fragment stating "一味一禪" - which is not the classical "Zen and Tea are of one taste" (禅茶一味). What is this supposed to mean? Is it correct Japanese (I suppose it is, coming ...
8
votes
2answers
299 views

Which particle is better に or から?

〇〇さんにプレゼントをもらいました。 〇〇さんからプレゼントをもらいました。 I feel it is more natural to use particle に, but I'm not a native speaker. Can someone please help me out on this? Both these options are listed in the current ...
1
vote
1answer
182 views

What is particle と means here

I'm a bit of confused with と in the following sentence, what does it mean here and how can we translate the whole sentence? その名に恥じず放置すればするだけ存分と進行してくれればそれは非常に楽だけど。 Thank you very much for help!
1
vote
2answers
315 views

What is the difference between 怖い and 恐い

As a follow-up to Would 私は怖い mean "I'm scared" or "I'm scary"? We know that 怖い can mean both "to be scared" and "to be scary to somebody". What about the difference ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Would 私は怖い mean “I'm scared” or “I'm scary”?

Or does it mean both? If so, is there any way to explicitly distinguish between "I'm scared" and "I'm scary"? If it only means one and not the other, how would you say the other?
4
votes
1answer
218 views

How is の方 used in this sentence?

This is a conversation between two people: A: [金]{かね}は? B: いつもの[通]{とお}りだ。それより[公安]{こうあん}の[方]{ほう}は? A: 心配するな。 私がついている。 A: The money? B: Planned as always. Aside from that, public safety の方は? A: ...
4
votes
1answer
290 views

What is the difference between 出す and 始める when used as a suffix?

Judging from examples I've seen, these are some differences I think there are: 始める: 1: More formal than 出す 2: When the focus in more on the beginning of the verb than the verb itself 3: When the ...
7
votes
1answer
401 views

Is 暖かった standard Japanese?

I know Google hits aren't necessarily reliable, but I nonetheless searched for the following two forms: 暖かかった - 約 2,770,000 件 暖かった - 約 2,810,000 件 The numbers are much further apart if I search ...
2
votes
3answers
542 views

Difference between 学生・生徒・児童

As the title says^^ I think 生徒 is for elementary school, what about the other two?
6
votes
2answers
703 views

Etymology of もん・もの

How do I make sense of the 終助詞 もん as in おいしいもん そうなんだもん Although I have only heard it in 時代劇 speak, I guess it comes from もの, which I think should be も + の. But what も can follow the 終止形 and ...
5
votes
1answer
208 views

Why does どれだけ seem to mean the opposite of どれ + だけ?

The other day I read the word どれだけ which means how long; how much; to what extent. I've read several example sentences, and I that's all well and good, but I cannot shake the feeling that it's really ...
4
votes
3answers
484 views

What the difference between these two uses of toki?

国へ帰るとき、かばんを買いました。 国へ帰ったとき、かばんを買いました。 According to the book I'm reading, they both translate to: I bought a bag when I went back to my country. Now the nuance, if I understand correctly, is that 1. ...
5
votes
1answer
180 views

What is その doing in そのあの子?

The following speech is from a video game called ファイアーエムブレム 新・暗黒竜と光の剣:   父上に万一の事があれば   マルスは   アリティア王家唯一の男子。   世界でただ1人の   神剣ファルシオン   継承者となるのです。   あの子は   アリティアの希望   アリティアの未来。   ...
4
votes
1answer
256 views

What distinguishes 丁重語 from other honourific forms?

On my bookshelf I have a book on formal speech, 敬語{けいご}, and it delineates respectful speech, 尊敬語{そんけいご}, from humble speech, 標準語{ひょうじゅんご}. And it combines both of these with polite speech, 丁寧語{てねいご}, ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How to separate words in a Japanese sentence?

Unlike some languages (English, French ...) , written Japanese sentences don't have spaces between words. I know that it is the same in Chinese for example, but the fact that the Chinese language ...
3
votes
2answers
417 views

With whom to use different honorific forms? 丁寧語より尊敬語・謙譲語・丁重語

With whom is it considered proper to use 尊敬語・謙譲語・丁重語 instead of 丁寧語? I mean saying おいでになります・伺います・参ります instead of 行きます. The often given example is for a service-person speaking with a customer, but ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

Japanese word for Operation, in the sense of a project or task - slang

What would be the Japanese equivalent of the word operation, in the sense of a project or task? Some examples would be: Operation Infiltrate-the-Castle Operation Human Shield (from South Park) ...
2
votes
2answers
175 views

Talking about what other people think

As far as I know when we talking about other people thoughts in japanese we have to use something like よう、と思う etc. But I've got a problem in the following sentence, I cannot understand と考え here about ...
5
votes
1answer
229 views

What is the わ in 忌まわしい and 嘆かわしい?

On chat, Chocolate helped me find some examples of adjectives produced from verbs using the しい suffix. In the following examples, it appears to attach directly to the 未然形: 勇む  →  勇ま + しい 悩む ...
4
votes
2answers
22k views

Konnichiwa and Konbanwa

What is the difference between Konnichiwa and Konbanwa? Is it appropriate to use either one in everyday conversations?
2
votes
2answers
200 views

しゅみについて meaning

My Japanese lesson has an oral exam, the title is しゅみについて. Can anyone explain what is the meaning of the title? Can I start the conversation with this? しゅみについてどう思いか?
4
votes
2answers
194 views

Is there a way to differentiate て and って when transcribing speech?

I was wondering if there was some kind of rules to differentiate them, or if it was something we have to remember, like spelling in English. The same question can also extend to お vs おう ; I learned ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

What does 撥の音も加えたgliss. mean? (in sheet music)

I am a musician playing the Marimba. Because quite a bit of music for marimba is written by famous Japanese composers, occasionally I come across some Japanese text I would like to understand. In the ...
6
votes
1answer
257 views

Difference between progressive verb forms and i-adjectives

I'm wondering, for adjectives such as 太い and 悲しい that also have a progressive "to be" verb counterpart (i.e., 太っている and 悲しんでいる), what is the difference between using the i-adjective form and the verb ...
2
votes
2answers
323 views

Is there some way that a Japanese (sur)name must be written for it to make sense?

I understand surnames and given names usually have some reason for existing, and have existed for several years. My question, I guess, really is: if someone were making up a completely different name ...
5
votes
3answers
310 views

What is the difference between the wave dash 〜 and long vowel marker ー when marking long vowels?

I know that the wave dash 〜 can be used in place of the long vowel marker ー sometimes, but I'm not exactly sure what the differences are. Is there any difference in pronunciation? I read once that ...
5
votes
1answer
251 views

How did 冷やかし come to mean “window-shopping”?

I'm curious how 冷やかし came to mean things such as 買わずに見る and からかう. Here's what I can figure out: hiya seems to be a root meaning "cold" (like in hiya-ya-ka) hiya-k-u is an old verb based on this ...
2
votes
1answer
266 views

What is the etymology of 〜ません(でした)?

I have always been interested in the negative polite (〜ません) and negative past-polite (〜ませんでした) inflections of verbs. My understanding is that ます is an inflectable function word (助動詞), so I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
302 views

Why aren't マンション mansions? Or are they?

And no, this isn't about property sizes in Japan! As Katakana Mysteries: 6 loan words Japan got wrong put it: Bill Gates or Warren Buffet might be very surprised if they were to buy a Japanese ...
7
votes
1answer
375 views

Etymology of 赤字/黒字

赤字 and 黒字 seem to correspond directly to the English expressions 'red ink' and 'black ink', meaning a (financial) deficit/loss and surplus, respectively. If Wiktionary is to be trusted, Mandarin, ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

What is the background of the phrase 背中で教える, and where does the meaning “to teach with one's back” come from?

I came across this phrase today while doing a lookup on 背中. 背中で教える I checked several sources, and all listed the meaning, amongst others, "to teach with one's back". It seems related to ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

Question regarding えば〜ほど

I have a question regarding えば〜ほど。My understanding of it is that it means, the more/less (property), the more/less (property). If I want to say, the more experiences one has, the more ~ , should it ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

When we should use kanji?

I just confuse about kanji. I just learn a bit of kanji. But I want to know when exactly we use it? is there a rule about that?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Polite way of asking if someone's received an email

What's a polite way of asking in an email if you've received a previous email? In my case, "polite" means "I'm emailing the tourism information staff of a place that mainly deals with domestic ...
4
votes
1answer
290 views

What is the よっか in はじめよっか?

I'm still playing Game Boy Wars Advance 2, and I keep running into colloquial forms I'm unfamiliar with. Here's one I haven't been able to look up: じゃ、さっそく、はじめよっか。 My guess is that はじめよっか is a ...

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