4
votes
1answer
98 views

Common origin of uses of the か particle

The particle か pops up in various places (among others): Turning interrogative pronouns into indefinite ones: なに -> なにか, だれ -> だれか, etc.; Listing alternatives (like the English conjunction 'or'); ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

か at the end of a news story title. Is it a question?

The title of a story on NHK News Web Easy is バスの事故{じこ} スピードを上{あ}げながら走{はし}り続{つづ}けたか Which, with my abilities, translates as Bus accident. As speed increased it kept running? I don't ...
3
votes
3answers
113 views

Does this sentence make sense? [closed]

Does this sentence make sense? 山本さんは水曜日の食事が体に悪いと思います。 It's supposed to mean: I think Yamamoto's Wednesday meal was unhealthy (lit. bad for the body) I'm particularly unsure about my use of ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Causative Form - Difference between 子供に本を読ませる and 子供を本を読ませる

What is the difference between these two examples? 子供に本を読ませる 子供を本を読ませる Please give me some other example to illustrate the difference.
2
votes
1answer
58 views

漂わせる meaning in this context

先ほどまでの憂いは影をひそめ、その仕草に優雅ささえ漂わせる. The hardships from before hide the shadow, (and through) that gesture give off elegance. Is this a correct way to understand it? Is 仕草 the agent? Is 漂わせる a ...
2
votes
2answers
178 views

Translation question on part of a lullaby

I was looking for Mama's Lullaby on Youtube (Once there was a mama bear / sitting in her rocking chair etc.), and I bumped into this. After the astonishment that a video of an evidently Japanese song ...
24
votes
4answers
4k views

What differences should I look out for between male vs female speech?

I was told a story where a male westerner learnt Japanese from his girlfriend and ended up speaking more like a female. The storyteller thought this was hilarious. What important differences should I ...
1
vote
0answers
403 views

How important is gendered language in reality? [closed]

Many people say that gendered language is especially important in Japanese. To a point, I can understand this, but only to a certain distance. For example, if I (Fe/male) were to say 'Wow, that show ...
16
votes
4answers
7k views

Which is correct: こんばんわ or こんばんは?

I've seen both こんばんわ and こんばんは used; which is correct here? If we interpret the は as the topic particle, は would seem correct, but it seems that わ is used quite frequently anyway...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

When women use わ at the end of a sentence, is it different from よ?

My understanding of using わ at the end of a sentence is that it's essentially just for emphasis, just like using よ, and that only women can use it. However, as far as I know, women can, and often do, ...
9
votes
3answers
255 views

Is 〜たち used for groups of only two people?

In a recent comment, Sjiveru wrote: 親たち isn't really valid for 'one's two parents', it means more of 'a group of parents (necessarily several families' worth)'. Outside of very modern uses with ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

What is the meaning of らと?

I was reading this news article today: 阿部サダヲが4年ぶりの主演ドラマで水原希子、山口智子らと共演 In the heading and again in the text is 「山口智子らと共演」 My question is what is the meaning of the らと between Yamaguchi Tomoko and ...
24
votes
6answers
1k views

Pluralization in Japanese: usage of -たち and -ら

I know that -たち and -ら pluralize the nouns they come after (or indicate a group that the noun is part of), but most of the time the plural in Japanese is implicit. When is it appropriate or necessary ...
6
votes
2answers
220 views

What rules should be followed when saying “we”?

I know that, in Japanese, you can say X達【たち】 or Xら (where X is a first person pronoun) to say we. However, what rules should be followed for choosing that "X". Can I use whatever I would use to refer ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Meaning of ~したいぐらい

I want to understand the meaning of this sentence 壁紙にしたいぐらい写真。 I was thinking the meaning literally could be "Your photograph is beautiful to be set as my wallpaper", but I argue about the ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

meaning of 楽{たの}しむ, the verb being used intransitively

I read in the Asahi Shimbun the following article's headline (furigana are mine) : 神様{かみさま}も楽{たの}しむ? 桜{さくら}の新{しん}品種{ひんしゅ}、京都{きょうと}で発見{はっけん} 北野天満宮{きたのてんまんぐう} my translation : Do the gods ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

Please enlighten me about a haunting "が”

I came across a long sentence in a story, which I have googled around and struggled for a couple of days. Here is what it reads: この頃わかってきたのだが、旅人の中には用心のためか、こちらの挨拶に頷くぐらいしか、挨拶を返さないものが少なくない。 My rough ...
5
votes
1answer
129 views

だんだん読めないようになった versus だんだん読めなくなってきた

What are the differences between the following 2 sentences? A: 僕は小さい字がだんだん読めないようになった。(Lit: I gradually became unable to read small characters.) B: 僕は小さい字がだんだん読めなくなってきた。(Lit: I gradually became ...
5
votes
3answers
109 views

What's the difference between 上手い, 美味い, 旨い, and 巧い?

All four of these words are read as うまい and have the same meaning in my dictionary so I was wondering, can these four words (上手い, 美味い, 旨い, and 巧い) be used interchangeably?
3
votes
1answer
162 views

Can と AND や be used in a sentence for a list of things

I have been reading about using と and や. Now, I understand the basic idea that や is for a list where the list is not all-inclusive. と on the other hand essentially informs the listener that "only ...
7
votes
1answer
128 views

自分 How to know what it means?

自分 can mean myself and yourself but, how do you know when the speaker is referring to him/herself or to you? As in, how could you know when the speaker is saying "myself" instead of "yourself" (to the ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

What is the function of というのは in this sentence?

その場面というのはどういった場面かというと、ナチスの兵士がですね、ユダヤ人を職業別で分けていきます。 Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xs-XWk_oQA 0:55 Translation from subtitles: There’s a scene where the Nazi’s are separating the Jewish by ...
3
votes
0answers
110 views

Usage of か I keep encountering

Maybe I'm an idiot, but no matter how much I Google I can't seem to grasp the concept of か being used mid-sentence. I've already run into it a number of times. Like here: ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

思う pronunciation

I checked in google translate but I wanted to be sure. Is 思う pronounced as "omou" or "omoo"? Usually when there is a お (or こ、ど etc), followed by a う, the う is pronounced as お, but I was not sure if ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the general principles of using verbs to modify nouns (e.g. 焦げるトースト/焦げたトースト)?

In all the time I've studied the language, I've never heard or seen anybody even hint at whether the principles from a given language (like using “burnt toast” vs. “burning toast”) carry over, or if ...
5
votes
2answers
109 views

腸が痛い: How do you know when your intestines hurt?

I am a foreigner working at a company in Japan. My native language is English but I believe I can converse somewhat moderately well in Japanese. After dinner one evening, I heard the following ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Use of と in these two sentences + のぼる or あがる

I've got these two sentences: 屋上にあがると景色がきれいです。 駅の前に銀行ができると便利になります。 I understand the vocabulary, but I don't get the usage of と. Also, I don't get why あがる is used instead of のぼる. I think ...
6
votes
2answers
534 views

Understanding why に particle means “because” in this sentence

I am struggling to understand the syntax of this sentence that I found in a grammar book. あまりの言葉にあきれてものが言えませんでした。 I could not say anything because of the outrageously unkind words. I read it ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

difference between 級 and 位

As the title indicates; I'm doing some kanji studying, and these two came up with the exact same translation which is "rank", there are no synonyms given so I'm not sure what is the difference between ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

What does “ごゆるりと” mean?

What does this mean:「まあ、ごゆるりと」?
4
votes
2answers
110 views

On the interpretation of an ambiguous(?) sentence from 「風立ちぬ」

I encountered a seemingly ambiguous sentence when reading the novel 「風立ちぬ」 by 堀辰雄 as below: お前の父や、それからまたそういう父をも数に入れたお前のすべてを絶えず支配しているものに、素直に身を任せ切っているのではないだろうか? My first impression was that the ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Usage of を in 自らを豊作を司る

I came across this while reading 「狼と香辛料」and was confused by the usage of を in the sentence below: 少女は狼の耳と尻尾を有した美しい娘で、自らを豊作を司る神ホロと名乗った。 In particular I'm interested in 「自らを豊作を司る」which I would ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

独{ひと}り善{よ}がりの考え - what does it mean?

I'm struggling to understand this definition: [名・形動]他人の意見を無視して、自分だけでよいと思い込んでいること。また、そのさま。どくぜん。「―な(の)言動」. 「デジタル大辞泉」 Namely this part: 自分だけでよいと思い込んでいる I am not sure what "thinking that only ...
4
votes
2answers
84 views

「いつまで待つつもり」 v.s. 「いつまで待っているつもり」

Both seem to be possible. But what's their difference? Instances of the former are everywhere, e.g. a line from 「華麗なるギャツビー」 「信じられるもんですか、あんな男」「いつまで待っているつもりです?」 The latter may be less common (?), ...
4
votes
2answers
413 views

What does シャリン mean here?

So, I have this sentence: 身動きすると、シャリンと涼やかな音が鳴り響く。 And I have no idea what シャリン is doing here. As far as I can tell, it's modifying 音, sound, but the only word "シャリン" that I've been able to find is ...
5
votes
2answers
298 views

女性の身体は本来美しいもの. Is this sentence grammatical?

I found the sentence: 女性の身体は本来美しいもの。 'The female body is a fundamentally beautiful thing.' in the following passage: 毎食後2錠から3錠、油っこい食事のあとは少し多めに飲むだけと、とっても簡単にダイエットできてしまいます。 'An effective ...
4
votes
3answers
719 views

Usage of ~まんねん (関西弁)

Steven Seagal stars in two TV advertisements for the energy drink アリナミン, as seen here and here. In the first commercial he is shown using martial arts two dispatch his opponents, while in the second ...
4
votes
1answer
78 views

「星のカービィ」- Why ィ and not ー?

The Nintendo character Kirby's name in Japanese is 「星のカービィ」, pronounced "Hoshi no Kābī". For the カ, a ー is used for extending the vowel sound. For the ビ, though, a small イ is used. I thought the ...
11
votes
1answer
937 views

加える/増やす and 加わる/増える or even 増加する/殖/足, various kanji for “adding things”

I'm a bit confused regarding the choice between the 加 and 増 kanji for any meaning related to "adding one thing to another". I assume that, as usual, the suru-verb combination 増加する is somewhat more ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

The significance of 前 {まえ} in Japanese language and culture

I noticed that the 前 is a handy kanji character in Japanese language. It is used in many words including but not limited to: 名前 {なまえ} : Given name 手前, お前 : You [当]{あ}たり[前]{まえ} : ...
4
votes
2answers
72 views

Just like “ら抜き” is there also “い抜き” such as “見ている” --> (い抜く) --> “見てる”?

With ichidan verbs, you create potential, and passive voice, as such: 食べられません If you want to get slangy, you can do "ら抜き" as such: 食べれません So, is there い抜き as well? ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Use of で in 小川さんは語学が得意で、フランス語もイ夕リア語もできます

In 'All About Particles', I have come across the sentence: 小川さんは語学が得意で、フランス語もイ夕リア語もできます。 (Ogawa is good at languages, he can speak both French and Italian.) What is the use of で in this ...
5
votes
2answers
127 views

Is「挑発に対応しなかった」another way to say「挑発に乗らなかった」?

「挑発に乗る」 and 「挑発に対応する」 both sound to me like: "To respond to a provocation." Is this correct? Any important differences? --- extra question #2 --- As per the given answer, 「挑発に乗る」 is to respond ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

-た form of a verb followed by です [duplicate]

I came across the sentence: 花子はこんなすばらしいプレゼントをくれたんですよ。 Hanako gave me this wonderful present. Why does it use くれたんですよ rather than just くれたよ? My guess is that it makes the sentence more ...
5
votes
2answers
114 views

several difficulties reading an extract about Kobayashi Issa's works

I'm still reading "小林{こばやし}一茶{いっさ}" (a book written by 宗左近/Sō Sakon about the famous poet). I'm facing several difficulties with the following extract : 愛{あい}の歌{うた} 怒{いか}りの歌{うた} ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

を and と used with 考える

I thought that 考える was used like 思う in that particle と always preceded it. However I found the following sentence from a reading task for class: まるで英語を公用語と考えているかのように、英語の言葉を多く使う。 What does it ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

そうです expressions

I've been learning Japanese for a few years now but I still haven't fully grasped the ways そうです is used in conversation. What I'm concerned with are the following expressions: そうです/そうなんです ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

What does “俺も俺か” mean?

What does "俺も俺か" mean? Anyone please help me >__
4
votes
2answers
206 views

「床屋」と「髪床」の違いは何ですか?

「床屋」と「髪床」という単語の意味は何か違いますか? どちらが古いですか?もし両方とも古かったら、今の時代に「美容院」以外に髪を切る場所に関してどんな単語を使ったほうが良いですか? よろしくお願いします。
3
votes
2answers
86 views

Japanese Nouns problem

Okay, this is my first question on this page so bear with me, I was studying Japanese nouns but I'm not sure if you use ではありません or じゃない to deny a noun, so if someone could please explain it to me, ...

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