All Questions

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
257 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
420 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
230 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
23k 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
259 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
324 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
313 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
253 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
305 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
136 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
532 views

Can Japanese names be anything?

I've read lots of mangas and seen many animes, and it seems a Japanese person can have virtually any kind of name (the meaning of a name can be something completely ridiculous). Is it true in real ...
8
votes
3answers
446 views

Why is the meaning of人一倍 opposite of what it seems to say?

This could be just me, but at first glance the word (phrase?) 人一倍 looks like it would mean "one's own share of the work". I assumed 人 to mean one person, and 一倍 means "one share, one amount". I was a ...
3
votes
3answers
324 views

へうげもの - Hyouge Mono?

There's this manga that is called へうげもの. However, this name is romanized as Hyouge Mono. Although I know little Japanese, I think the kana there spell something like Heuge Mono. Why does this ...
-2
votes
1answer
229 views

Usage of そして、ごかぞく、ときどき and some questions on forming sentence [closed]

I'm trying to write a simple japanese composition using phrases i have learnt (yes, it's a homework). And I encountered a number of questions and would greatly appreciate any advice. Below I have ...
7
votes
1answer
372 views

“unfinished” sentences ending in particles like を, に and が

This is something I've always wondered about, but can't find any info about. When native speakers come across a sentence that ends ...を。, ...と。 or ...が!*, how do their brains parse it? Is it just a ...
2
votes
1answer
246 views

Can't parse sentence with 「へったくれもない」

In my JLPT textbook, they have this sentence: 自分{じぶん}のない者{もの}に表現{ひょうげん}もへったくれもない。 The book provides a translation, which is this: You can't talk about expression if you have none (of your ...
4
votes
2answers
331 views

Difference between “そば”, “となり” and “よこ” [duplicate]

While doing exercises, I am bit confused with "そば", "となり" and "よこ". Can anyone explain me the difference between them. Is it so that "よこ" is used when the object is at either left or right side of the ...
6
votes
3answers
427 views

Sorry, I wasn't listening

What is the Japanese expression for: Sorry, I wasn't listening For example, for when you're asked a question and realize that you have no idea what it's about as you've been thinking about ...
3
votes
1answer
357 views

What's the difference between どうして and どうやって?

I've read on Stack Exchange that どうやって can be used to mean "what did you do in order to x" どうやってお医者になったか? — What did you do in order to become a doctor? This definition makes a lot of sense to ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

Is む sometimes pronounced more like ん?

I'm curious what the relationship is between む and ん. I have the feeling that sometimes, む is pronounced more like ん: むむむ: is this really /mumumu/? Or does it become /mmm/? うむむ: is this really ...
5
votes
1answer
205 views

Why is topology called 位相幾何学?

Topology in English is called 位相幾何学 in Japanese; also, topological space is called 位相空間. But why is topology called 位相幾何学? What is the correspondence between topo and 位相? What is the origin of 位相?
7
votes
1answer
290 views

Is there a standard for where to put spaces in kana-only Japanese?

I've noticed that when Japanese is written mostly or entirely in kana, it's often written with spaces. For example, a lot of old video games had spaces. I've also seen this in children's books: ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

How can I make sense of あるような無いような?

I'm still playing Game Boy Wars Advance 2, and it contains this dialogue: 聞いたことあるような無いような・・・ どこの軍でしたっけ? The first sentence has me confused. My intuition tells me the meaning of the sentence ...
5
votes
1answer
476 views

How to say: (one) month through (another) month

I'm working on my Japanese homework, and we're practicing describing weather. We're given charts on temperature to say things like: カイロは九月が一番あついです。Or, "In Cairo, September is the hottest month." ...
3
votes
1answer
343 views

~ろ・~ろも・思うて・~たった in 越後 dialect (新潟弁?)

At the start of this book the family are stated to be from 亀田町{かめだまち}, an area which is now part of 新潟市{にいがたし}, but it's also set historically (1919 at the start of the book). I'm presuming the ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

Are 行きゃあ and 行きゃ both contractions of 行けば?

I started playing another old game, Game Boy Wars Advance 2, and I ran across this bit of dialogue: ま、どのみち、マクロランドに行きゃあ、 いやでも戦わなきゃなんねえんだ。 I think this is something like: ま、どのみち、マクロランドに行けば、 ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

Meaning and translation 働かせっぱなし

Help me please with translation 働かせっぱなし in the following sentence それって、朝からずっと働かせっぱなしの人間に対して、掛ける言葉じゃ、ないと思うんだけど The main problem is that I cannot understand how to correctly translate 働かせっぱなしの人間, ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

What does “僕が来る前からこーだったんですが?” mean?

Well, the title says it. The sentence is from a manga, where a boy lives together with her very lazy aunt, so the boy has to take care of laundry, cleaning dishes, cooking etc. while she's drinking ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

Are all words stripped of bikago when listed in dictionaries?

When checking dictionaries (jisho.org and Wiktionary) for お名前, I found that it wasn't listed as お名前, but only as 名前. Do most dictionaries strip bikago from all words, or do they typically strip bikago ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

Alternate meaning of 見えない when used as an expression?

I've always learned that 見えない means "unseen" or "invisible". However, lately I've been seeing quite a few Japanese people in online games that, upon failing to complete some (usually very difficult) ...
3
votes
1answer
247 views

What does 手になる mean?

As the title says. I found it on weblio dictionary and it says ある人がその事に当たる。, but that doesn't help me a lot, as I can't find example sentences (and the one I have on the book I'm reading isn't too ...
8
votes
1answer
362 views

What is the significance of number of Kanji in a name?

There are several one-character surnames: [林]{はやし}  [森]{もり}  [堤]{つつみ} Most surnames have two-characters: [鈴木]{すずき} [山田]{やまだ} [藤井]{ふじい} [酒井]{さかい} [松村]{まつむら} A few surnames have ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Is this sentence using はず complete?

I have this sentence in my flashcards, which I pulled from a JLPT textbook of mine a while back. Long enough ago that I've lost the source. It looks strange to me now, though, and I wonder if maybe I ...
3
votes
1answer
284 views

How do you break down “かといって”?

In the phrase かといって or かと言って, meaning having said that, on the other hand, I'm not sure what the か and と are. My first guess is that these are the generic particles (か+と+いって), but I couldn't find any ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

help checking a sentence

[...]その天の命により、陛下がこのたび皇帝として即位し、天下を平和にし、文明を一層促進するための治世を開かれました。 My rough interpretation: "by virtue of the Mandate of Heaven, Your Majesty now sits on the throne as an emperor, keeps all the world in ...

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