2
votes
2answers
81 views

Word order of actions when using nagara (while)?

I am studying Japanese using the Michel Thomas Method. It says you can use nagara to show that one action happens while another occurs. It then gives the following example: nominagara shigoto o ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

呼んでいたのが and 呼んでいるのが which is right?

There are two conversations: A:李さんが呼んでいたのが聞こえましたか。 B:いいえ、聞こえませんでした。 And: A:李さんが呼んでいるのが聞こえましたか。 B:いいえ、聞こえませんでした。 The only difference is た and る. If I want to ask "have you heard Li's ...
24
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it ok for non-japanese to refer to themselves as 僕{ぼく} and if not why?

Grammatically speaking it shouldn't be an issue, but I have heard from some people that a non-japanese using 僕{ぼく} sounds really weird. Has anyone else heard this? And if so, is there a reason?
3
votes
1answer
138 views

The use of 「ん」 in 「どうしたんですか」 [duplicate]

In class we've been learning about sickness, so we went over「どうしたんですか。」and「…がいたいんです。」. I asked the teacher and she said the use of 「ん」 is to provide an explanation, but she didn't explain what rules ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Must a relative clause with な adjective be ended with な rather than だ?

In my opinion, the usage of だ is already correct in the following sentence. But someone in my other questions said it is incorrect. For example, 映画を見ることが好きだ女性は私の妹です。The woman who likes watching ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

Do you really have to say “かれ” (3rd person pronoun) here?

The context is that A, B, and C just got home. They are now wandering around a big house looking for a group of kids. The 3 are wondering if the kids have been studying. A has not yet talked with C: ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

What does に do in this sentence?

怖い想像をするけど、僕にはこのダンジョンが下界にヒューマンと亜人{デミ・ヒューマン}を創造した神様達と同等のような 存在に思えてならない。 Why is に used here and what does it do? Thanks!
1
vote
1answer
86 views

How would you translate 常に思念工夫せよ?

It's is one of the Niju kun of Funakoshi, the meaning seems quite "cryptical" to me, also seeing the english and italian translation. The italian translation is something like "be always creative", ...
2
votes
2answers
192 views

The meaning of 手が出せない

Take for example the sentence below ケンカができたとしても俺には手が出せない。 Does this mean something like "Even if we did get into a fight, they wouldn't be able to touch me/lay a hand on me(i.e. they would be no ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

How to say “I'm going to spank you if…”?

I am just doing some homework and I can't make the sentence I want. Concretely, I want to write "If you start smoking again, I'm going to give you a good spanking." If I say this in England ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

What to say if you want to comfort your superior who is sick?

Usually, some Japanese in our company say to us 気をつけてください but in that case they are the superior. Now one of our superior is sick and we want to comfort him like "please take care of yourself and get ...
1
vote
2answers
116 views

最も有名なのがウーロン茶で : What is the usage of なの here? [duplicate]

What is the usage of なの in: 最も有名なのがウーロン茶で To me, it seems to transfer a adverb [有名] to a noun, is that so? Could someone help to explain, thx. Update: To make the question more clear, the whole ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Origin of the kanji for 叶う

One thing that has always confused me is how the word 叶【かな】う took on the meaning of for a (wish) to come true. I find this perplexing because in Chinese, the word has never had this meaning. 叶's ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

であるので and であるのだ vs なので and なのだ

In these pairs, are the ones containg である simply more formal? I think I've seen both in writing.
5
votes
1answer
128 views

When and why use という/ということ

One thing that I could never really understand about Japanese is the usage of という/ということ. But first let me clarify which という I'm talking about. 「Small」と「little」の違いということはなんですか? vs ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

How do you say the language of instruction is in Japanese or if something is taught in Japanese?

There is a Japanese school in a foreign country. I want to ask if this school's main language is Japanese, if the language of instruction is Japanese? How do I ask this? I know the term, teach ...
3
votes
2answers
139 views

What does 背後に流れていく視界 mean here?

If (衝撃、そして背後に流れていく視界)の中~ means "amid 衝撃 and X視界 (field of sight), where X is 視界's predicate, then what does 背後に流れていく視界 mean? Looking back? Literally seeing what's behind? The "field of sight ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

Meaning of the different elements of this sentence

I'm reading a Shin Chan strip and he and his friends are discussing who is going to take care of the stray dog they found. One by one he asks his friends, and they all say they can't. Then, he says ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

The nasal allophones of /g/

In this this post's comments, Zhen Lin said that the rules surrounding the nasal allophones in compound words are 'complicated', but couldn't remember them. I'd like to know what these complex rules ...
3
votes
2answers
483 views

Meaning of おん after a name

I was talking with a Japanese girl by message and she asked me how to read my name, which is Andrea (Spanish female name). I told her it's アンドレア but that some friends call me あんちゃん because it's ...
11
votes
1answer
317 views

Meaning of 増える in this sentence

In the following sentence: 魚は三匹に増えていた。 I don't know whether to interpret に as to or by. So if I start with one fish then: The number of fish increased to three (there are now three fish), or ...
5
votes
2answers
149 views

How to compare the ages of people in Japanese?

This is probably a simple question but something I've seemingly never considered while studying Japanese, but how would one compare ages of people in Japanese? For example if I wanted to say "I'm two ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Please tell me how to use Japanese 終助詞 の and だ

I've been learning Japanese for a while, but I usually use 敬語, like です、ます, so I still can not understand how to use something that is not 敬語 correctly, especially the 終助詞. Like の and だ. For example, ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

The grammar of “虎から食べられた” and “虎に食べられた”?

MORE INFO In an effort to make my question as short as possible, I abbreviated too much. This is the complete sentence that originated my question: 少年時代から20年間もずっと過ごしてきて、他人から軽んじられるのに慣れていなかった。 ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Can なっている represent an ongoing change as well as a resultant (completed) change?

From reading a bunch, I've been under the vague impression that [adverb]+なる can be interpreted both progressively and resultatively; according to this chat log, since it can take time, it is a ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Is this the correct way of saying attending a school?

My friend and I were having a debate. Basically, the line 「あんたは一人でこの家から学校に通っている。」 in an anime was translated as "And you live here alone, attending school." A direct literal translation of the ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

I assume this means next episode number 6 “第 六話”

I've noticed this season two shows end the preview with the episode number and title underneath - 第六話 - but this confuses me. How should I read this? Is 話 still はなし or is it something else? What is ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

The gender of the word 素敵

素敵 is often described as a feminine word. Just how feminine is it? What would be the impression of a male speaker using it, if he didn't already use feminine speech?
2
votes
1answer
88 views

How are 憧れる and 憬れる different?

Both verbs have the same reading, and both seem to have meanings of "yearning", "longing" or "admiration". I can't figure any difference between the two; are there any situations where you would use ...
5
votes
2answers
368 views

Is キモい a feminine expression?

I understand that キモい comes from 気持ち悪い and I have only heard it used by women. I am wondering if it is exclusively used by women like how ending sentences with わ or かしら is only used by women.
4
votes
2answers
45 views

How to explain the use of the -te form in “takasugite kaemasen”?

In the exercise section of the chapter on potentials in my textbook, the answer to the question "kimono wo, kaimashita ka?" is given as "iie, takasugite kaemasen deshita." Unfortunately, in neither ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

What dialects change ます into やす?

What dialects change ます into やす, as in these examples: 「何が出やしたか…?見ておくんなせェ」 「そう決めやしたね…?」 「ならあちらさんの勝ちだ…今夜は逮捕しやせん」 It appears to be Edo dialect. Is that correct?
2
votes
1answer
229 views

Meaning of 根づいていた / 根づく

In the opening to the popular anime Fairy tale, they say this: 魔法は 普通に売り買いされ 人々の生活に根づいていた。 This is translated in the subtitles as: Magic is traded like common goods. It has become a part of ...
15
votes
3answers
893 views

Business Japanese: what's the proper way to say “please visit [this URL]”?

I'm writing a business e-mail to a Japanese speaking person, and I need to direct them to a certain URL. In English I would write "please visit http://www.example.com". I'm not sure the best way to ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of ~んです?

This sentence ending has started to creep up more and more in my current Japanese classes, and I'm still a bit unsure what all it can mean, how to use it, or even when I should think to use it. My ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

What's the difference between 早い and 早め?

On Lang-8, for 'early birthday present' I used 早い誕生日プレゼント but this was corrected to 早めの誕生日プレゼント What's the difference between 早い and 早め?
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Is there any significant difference in meaning between 便利な安い物 and 便利で安い物?

Is there any significant difference in meaning between 便利な安い物 and 便利で安い物? 便利な安い物: handy cheap thing 便利で安い物: handy, cheap thing
6
votes
2answers
234 views

Difference between passive form and てある [duplicate]

I'm confused about the difference between the passive form and the てある form. 飲み物はもう買ってあります。 The drinks have already been bought. 飲み物はもう買われました。 The drinks were already bought. Are ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Asking someone to sing a song with me?

I would like to say "Ryura! Would you like to sing 'Isshin Furan' with me and a friend?" This is what I have so far... Ryuraさん!「一心不乱」を私と一緒に歌えませんか? Please help me make it sound more fluid if ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Where can I find full katakana combinations list?

Katakana have some combinations beyond low ャ, ュ and ョ that uses low ァ, ィ, ゥ, ェ, and ォ. But I can't find complete list of such combinations. Where are lists like http://goo.gl/Lai88W available, but ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

What is the word to convey the same meaning as the replacement money?

Consider the following scenario. I go to a shop and buy many electronic components using my own money. Later, the company will give me money with the same amount as a replacement. What is the ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

How to choose between 取る and 受け取る

When the meaning is 'to take' why would I choose to use 受け取る rather than just 取る? Are they equivalent or do they carry different nuances? Here's an example: ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

When did the word 「女性観」 come into standard usage? Is it a more politically-correct form of 「婦人観」?

I need to know when 「女性観」 was coined and, more importantly, when it became widely known/used. Was 「女性観」used in the early to mid-19th century? Did it replace 「婦人観」later on? Nitobe Inazo used 「婦人観」 in ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

What does the word 「よっとな!」 mean?

It is said by a guy who is bullying another one by twisting his hand. Is it related to Kansai dialect?
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Difference between “前々から” and “昔から”?

(1) 準備{じゅんび}は 前々 から万端{ばんたん}だった。 (2) 準備は 昔 から万端だった。 What is the difference in meaning / usage between #1 and #2? Why choose one instead of the other?
2
votes
2answers
78 views

Farewell message - 悔しさをバネに

On my last day my co-worker told me this. I'm not sure what バネに means. I tried looking it up but didn't get anywhere. ここでの悔しさをバネに、次のとこでもがんばってくださいね
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Is there a traditional Japanese kana song or otherwise how are babies familiarised with kana?

I have a newborn son from my Japanese wife. I try to sing to him. I sing the alphabet song (English). Japanese kana and their order is the same value for dictionaries. My wife says there isn't one but ...
0
votes
2answers
85 views

How to approximate the phrase “bring to life”

Saying that a character was brought to life is common in the english speaking world of movies to describe characters being made more human and real through acting or scripting. In Japanese, how would ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

What does the word 「どいとれっ」mean?

After a guy having watched his friend poorly jumped to the ground, he said the following sentence. けっ へたっくそめ パラシュートってのはだな ええい どいとれっ。 Another questions 1) Is there any meaning for the word 「けっ」at ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

Need help understanding causative and passive form

I was reading up some lesson on causative and passive form online. I am still a little confuse as to when and why use these form. For this example: plain form: 答える passive form: 答えられる ...

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