1
vote
1answer
175 views

difference between きれい and キレイ

I was reading the lyrics of a song called 春先小紅 by 矢野顕子  There is this line that says: きょうはなんだかキレイです I was wondering why キレイ above is written in Katakana and not in Hiragana? Isn't katakana used for ...
4
votes
1answer
350 views

Japanese 濁音 dyslexia

I'm wondering if there is a real type of dyslexia in Japanese with [濁音]{だく・おん}, where the person sees the word written, but mentally pronounces the 濁音 for a different mora. Not to diagnose myself ...
5
votes
3answers
203 views

What's the relationship between 'e' and 'wa' in some words?

Can someone explain how 'e' and 'wa' are related in some words / 音便? Presumably the 'e' was originally the obsolete ゑ since it's in the ワ行. Some examples: 上(うえ) ←→ 上着(うわ・ぎ) 声(こえ) ←→ ...
3
votes
2answers
183 views

How does the derogatory term “小便芸者” work?

In Liza Dalby's book "Geisha", while talking about onsen geisha, she mentions various pejorative terms from the general public. She mentions "korobi" (roll-over, presumably 転び) geisha, and "Daruma" (a ...
5
votes
2answers
168 views

Is there a name for this furigana convention

...where the furigana is a different "word"/"synonym" for the actual kanji in song lyrics, titles, etc.? A couple references to this: Why are some lyrics' words written in kanji whose usual reading ...
8
votes
3answers
867 views

What is the radical which is written by two dots on the top of a Kanji?

I have seen a lot of kanjis with two dots on the top as in 前、咲く、呼ぶ、etc. What is that radical? In http://jisho.org/kanji/radicals/, I see they have mentioned this two dot radical in their list, but ...
7
votes
2answers
959 views

How accurately can 使い be translated as “angel”?

On jisho.org, 使い is translated with words such as "errand", and the same holds true on translate.google.com. Neither site is offering "angel" as a suggestion. Yet in Matthew 1:20, the phrase:     ...
5
votes
2answers
320 views

あれで for surprise - confusing example sentence

My book explains that あれで can be used to indicate mild surprise, and gives some example sentences. They all make sense to me except this one: ...
5
votes
1answer
198 views

“You and I both know full well” = 「二人ともよく知っている」?

I'm writing a section of a relay manga for Hokkaido University's Manga Research Society. How you do you express "You and I both know full well..." and "our actual skills" in formal お嬢様っぽい Japanese? ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to say “Should we [do something]?”

I recently started talking with a Japanese "pen friend" on Skype, and I'd like to ask her "Should we speak in Japanese or English?" If I said: わたしたちは 日本語を はなしますか。 英語を はなしますか。 does that convey ...
6
votes
3answers
219 views

What is the difference between 乗り場 and バス停?

I've seen them both with the meaning of 'Bus Stop.' Could someone please explain how they're different? Thank you in advance!
2
votes
1answer
165 views

“高{たか}くっても” vs. “高くとも”、“低{ひく}くっても” vs. “低くとも”, etc. usage?

I'm really confused about the meanings of these two similar adjective inflections: 高い ---> 高くっても 高い ---> 高くとも   難{むずか}しい ---> 難しくっても 難しい ---> 難しくとも   "っても" might possibly be less formal(? because of ...
2
votes
2answers
546 views

What does the expression くそかわ mean?

I read many times the expression くそかわ referred to babies, what does it exactly mean in english? I know that くそ means "damn" while かわ comes from かわいい, right? So damn cute? Thank you!
2
votes
1answer
389 views

Meaning of あります in the following sentences

I don't quite get how あります is used in the following sentences from the Genki textbook: あなたの学校に何がありますか。 デパートに何がありますか。 動物園に何がいますか。 あなたの国に何がありますか。 あなたの家に何がありますか。 Is あります used as in "where," "what," ...
4
votes
1answer
279 views

The use of ~た、~ている、~ていた to refer to a resultant state (new question)

Can someone explain why 持った is used in place of 持っている in the following sentence (from Monday's Japan Times)? 会話能力を持った初の人間型ロボットキロボが宇宙飛行士の若田幸一さんと国際宇宙ステーションで雑談した。 The first humanoid robot with ...
9
votes
1answer
448 views

semantic difference between two keigo verbal forms : に なる(ni naru) and なさる(nasaru)?

Japanese grammar has a rich subset of grammatical forms named 敬語 ("keigo", formal language or respect's language). The rules allowing to transform a normal verb into a keigo verb are complex and I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

Does this sentence using も twice say that the speaker doesn't have 女子力?

I am participating in a relay manga through a university student group in Japan, and the previous member's contributed pages to the manga about a 女子力バトル introduced a sole male character who seems to ...
-4
votes
1answer
123 views

Translating “僕は神様”

I initially thought that 僕は神様 meant "I am God", but when putting it through Google Translate, I've instead received "My God" as the English translation. Is the latter equally or more likely to be the ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

The difference between 一流 and 五つ星 in hotel classification

What is the difference between 一流 and 五つ星 in the context of hotel classification? They both mean "5-Star" or "Luxury" but is there a subtle nuance that differentiates them for native Japanese ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

Verbs for bending and turning

I'm having some difficulty with the various verbs that exist for bending and turning and could really use some insight into them: 曲がる - Intransitive 曲げる - Transitive 回る - Intransitive 回す - Transitive ...
7
votes
1answer
198 views

What do you call the hooked tip of a kanji stroke?

When writing a kanji, some downstrokes have a clean end (such as in 木) while others end with a little hook (e.g. the center stroke of 小). What are the names of such stroke tips?
7
votes
1answer
329 views

Why is it である not にある in this sentence?

Today I saw this sentence: イラクで戦争がある。 I didn't understand why that would be the case instead of イラクに because if it is で I feel like it could be rewritten: 戦争はイラクである。 which just sounds like Iraq is ...
4
votes
1answer
443 views

Difference between intransitive and passive?

I was thinking about Japanese passive and made the following example 壊すー>壊される which means the be broken But looking at the English definition of to be broken, isn't there another Japanese word for ...
2
votes
1answer
685 views

Why do signs use kenjougo and not sonkeigo?

I was under the impression that signs requesting that people do things would be in honourific rather that humble speech, however so far I've noticed the opposite. Could anyone please explain why this ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

kanjis have 音読み{おんよみ}、訓読み{くんよみ}、and something like “人名読み{じんめいよみ}”. But, what is the real term for “人名読み”?

sorry that I could not come-up with a better title... The readings of the kanjis in a person's name, is theoretically arbitrary. But in reality, a kanji tends to have a set of maybe 3 or 4 probable ...
2
votes
2answers
191 views

What could リル mean in this situation?

I'm reading a children's story called きつつき商売. Here's an excerpt: 『音屋』 それだけでは、なんだか分かりにくいので、きつつきは、そのあとにこう、書きました。 「できたての音、すてきないい音、おきかせします。四分音符一こにつき、どれでも100リル」 I'm assuming リル is some sort ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Saying something is like/not like something else

How does one say "this is like/similar to that" or "this is not like that" in Japanese in essence? An example sentence is "In this way, the English are like the Japanese" ; I have not been able to ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

Is the word マガ a shortened form for マガジン ?

Is the word マガ a shortened form for マガジン ?
3
votes
2answers
221 views

What are the rules for verb bases(?)

I am quite confused as to how "見る" has suddenly changed into another word, albeit similar meaning when you do this: "見な." My question is, how has the "na" appeared and the "ru" disappear?
3
votes
2answers
135 views

Are both of these sentences grammatically correct? (stem+に+行く vs て+行く)

These are the sentences: ユニオンへサンドイッチを買いに行きました。 ユニオンへサンドイッチを買って行った。 Are they both grammatically correct? Also do they both mean the same thing, which by my translation is "I went to the ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Sentence with いいわけない

いいかと聞かれたら、いいわけないと答えるな The second part of the sentence is bother me. If いいわけない must mean "no excuse", then the rough translation will be: "When you asking "It's ok?" don't answer "no excuse". So, ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Using いちばん、にばん (first, second, etc.) in a sentence

こんにちは 皆さん、 I want to use first, second, etc. in a sentence, i.e. say "first car, first love, etc". In this case, would using の be correct as the linking particle, e.g. いちばんの車、 いちばんの愛? ありがとう ございます!
-1
votes
1answer
94 views

Place to find name popularity rankings? [closed]

Is there any kind of public database to look at popularity of given names?
8
votes
2answers
433 views

What is this 「も」?

In Final Fantasy IV, a character says this line: 陛下にもお考えがあってのことだ。 "His Majesty must have his reasons [for sending you to steal the crystal]." Contextually, it does not make sense for it to be ...
6
votes
1answer
257 views

Can two consecutive の particles be used in the following way?

We can use の as a substitute in successive sentences for something we've already mentioned so that we don't need to keep saying what it is: どのTシャツが好き? → 赤いのが好き。 Then there is the ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

Why is the き in 充電器 器 not 機?

A charger is a machine. Why is it 器 not 機?
3
votes
2answers
108 views

Distinguishing between んな/な, んの/の, etc

I'm learning Japanese, but I'm still very early on in my education (Rosetta Stone, some books and a Japanese-speaking friend). I'm pretty sure I'm grasping the basic concepts okay, but I'm having ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

What are the different ways to use ように&如く?

Ex:美しい空が美しいままでありますように/空の如く、水の如く I've seen a few things on the former, but nothing in my materials mentions anything about the latter. Everything I have turned up has revealed precious little about ...
2
votes
1answer
665 views

using ように pattern to mean “so that” and its use in negative verbs

I have read this to learn about ように: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/surunaru Part - 1 Going by the definition of よう which is more like "appearance/manner", I don't quite get how the ...
1
vote
1answer
158 views

“あそこ” is for daily conversation? "あちら is for writing / formal speaking?

(-) Strictly with regard to meaning, "あそこ" and "あちら" are exactly the same, right? (of course, "あそこ" also has a slang meaning). (-) Isn't "あちら" used more in writing? "あそこ" used in speaking? (-) ...
2
votes
1answer
693 views

How do you say “question”, and which counter should be used?

I'd like to know the word for "question" itself. For example if I wanted to say: I have a question わたしは (question) があります。 I've had a hard time finding an answer to this question because ...
1
vote
1answer
203 views

The meaning of 蹴り脚 and translation of the sentence

I cannot completely grasp the meaning of 蹴り脚 in the following sentence. I would translate it as "the hitting leg" or rather "the leg which is doing an act of hitting"(not the best way to express it ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Correct Particle Usage

Just wondering about the correct particles in this sentence... 毎朝、何時にうちにでまか。 Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
6
votes
1answer
189 views

When is 兄弟 interpreted as “siblings” and when is it interpreted as “brothers”?

I know that people often ask [兄弟]{きょうだい}いますか but does this mean "do you have siblings?" or just "do you have brothers?". Since the answer would be different in either case: (Has a sister) "No, but I ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

Is there a shorter way to say 下の名前?

Since 名前 can also mean full name, it would be nice to have a single word that is complimentary to 苗字. Is there one available for common use?
10
votes
1answer
428 views

What is the difference between 沸く【わく】, 炊く【たく】, 茹でる【ゆでる】, 煮る【にる】, and 蒸す【むす】?

I am learning JLPT N2. I came across these words in one sentence. I couldn't find the difference between 沸く【わく】, 炊く【たく】, 茹でる【ゆでる】, 煮る【にる】, and 蒸す【むす】. All the words have similar meanings. Can anyone ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Simultaneous actions with the -te form

In English you can use conjunction to express two simultaneous actions: I was standing in front of an audience and presenting a new technology. Or simply juxtapose two participles where one ...
1
vote
1answer
254 views

What particle to use as *of* when saying “X percent *of* something”?

皆さん、 Hi, and thanks in advance for good advice! I would like to be able to say X percent of something, but I haven't been able to find the particle that would correspond to of. Could you use の? For ...
4
votes
1answer
263 views

Use of ながら in this instance.

One of my textbooks is telling me that the sentence using ながら below is incorrect… いすにすわりながら、音楽を聞いている人はウィリアムさんです。 …whilst the following sentence is correct. いすにすわって、音楽を聞いている人はウィリアムさんです。 ...
2
votes
2answers
392 views

Can ガム mean “bubble gum”?

A quick Edict, Kotobank, Excite.co.jp, and Goo search on ガム shows that it is an abbreviation for チューインガム. Google results for ガム also seems to suggest so. (Notice that the results only show チューインガム ...

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