9
votes
3answers
939 views

How did 服 come to have meanings related to both “clothing” and “submission”?

服 by itself means "clothing" (e.g. 服を着る), and there are also some related derivative terms like 私服, 制服, 和服, 洋服, etc. On the other hand, you have words like 征服 "conquest", 克服 "overcoming", 承服 ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

Why does Japanese TV News and magazine programs have “mandatory” subtitles/legend?

(I never thought I would ask one of these questions and even considered if it was off topic but this is a very distinct feature of the language as it is really used. Is it due to some characteristic ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Katakana ダメ to end a sentence - emphasis?

In the following sentence (from the Legend of Zelda guidebook I am translating) this sentence appears when talking about fighting enemies. My question is about the purpose of ダメ at the end. ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Archaic “Keri” Origins

I read that "Keri" is a verb suffix used to denote the realization of something, and is also poetic- I was wondering if anyone knew where it came from, kanji etc. For more context it was used with ...
12
votes
1answer
872 views

How should one respond to “お大事に”?

I came across a situation where I went to a volunteer class wearing a mask since I have a cough. My sensei told me "お大事に", and I did not know what to reply. In this case, should I just say "はい"? Or ...
4
votes
3answers
135 views

Difference between 研究所 and 研究室

What is the difference between 研究所 and 研究室? Do both mean a research institute?
6
votes
2answers
151 views

Difference between って and は as topic marker

I often see って being used to mark a topic, such as in the sentence 新宿ってどこ? I'm aware that this is more colloquial compared to the topic marker は. Other than the formality aspect, are って and は ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

過去形+のだ versus 現在形+のだった

I'm puzzled by the bold part of the following paragraph which occurs in my Japanese learner's version of 雪女: 二人は毎日、川まで来ると、渡し守に船で川の向こう側へ運んでもらった。 山から帰るときは、また、渡し守に船で川のこちら側まで運んでもらうのだった。 My current ...
3
votes
2answers
125 views

金 pronunciation

I read that the kanji 金 ("gold") can be pronounced both as kon and as kin. When should it be pronounced kon and when kin? Is there any rule about picking one or the other? Thanks.
5
votes
1answer
273 views

Ellipsis: does this と=として, what is the relevant verb in this extract?

The following is attributed to フジテレビHP/経済新聞. I wonder if someone could explain the grammar around the と? (I think it might be an "abbreviation" of として but it is very difficult to find an explanation ...
6
votes
1answer
323 views

Can どっち mean which one of many?

Given my understanding, it seems like "どちら" has the exclusive meaning of "which one (of two)" and "どれ" means "which one (of many)". Does どっち include both of these meanings? Also, do all of these ...
1
vote
2answers
215 views

Rosetta Stone uses は instead of わ

Just started learning japanese again. My college offers no class on this so I am learning on my own. I have been using Rosetta Stone on and off again for awhile now. One this I have noticed is that ...
4
votes
3answers
172 views

Meanings of ちゃんと

I always thought ちゃんと meant "properly" or "exactly", but I begin to think that its meaning is broader, more like "as it is supposed to be" or "as you're supposed to do" because in some sentence it ...
4
votes
2answers
230 views

Difference between 学習する and 習う?

Is there any difference between 学習する and 習う?
5
votes
2answers
199 views

Use of から vs を with 出て行く?:

Why are we using から and not を in the following sentence?: 出て行く:同居している恋人が家から出て行って、別に住むようになる。 I ask because the normal particle with 出る is を (eg 家を出る) so why do we have から here? My dictionary has ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Use of が vs を with transitive verb, 受け入れる(+もらえる)

This is probably fairly basic but, not being a native speaker, I'd like to confirm if my understanding of grammar of the following sentence (from 中上級日本語, Feb'14) is correct and what is natural. In ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

how to say a kanji is ON-yomi ONLY

how best to say that a kanji such as 句 has ONLY 音読み , i.e., there is NO kun-yomi. 読みは音読みのみ ?? I want to tag posts at https://www.facebook.com/kanjirecog to indicate this without using romaji or ...
1
vote
0answers
133 views

あなたがこの文のおかしいと思うところは?

私は、この質問自体がおかしいと思います。どうして あなたがこの文のおかしいとあなたが思うところは にならなくていいのでしょうか。ほかにも 僕が君の好きなところ などがあります。文法の面から、このような構文の解説を聞きたいです。解説しなくても、参考になる文献でも紹介してくれればたいへん助かります。 日本語でおk :) You can answer in ...
5
votes
1answer
72 views

Difference between と・や and も for lists?

I know that you use と for complete lists, and や for incomplete ones, but when would you use xもyも instead of xとy or xやy? Doesn't も usually replace は or が? Why is も used for lists at all?
4
votes
2answers
96 views

訓読み for 歳: とせ vs. とし

There are two 訓読み readings of 歳: とし and とせ. Looking at はたち (二十歳), a reasonable hypothesis would be "ち is a contraction of とし". I know very little about sound shifting in Japanese. Is とせ more recent ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Would educated Japanese people without special training be able to understand Buddhist mantras/真言?

A well-educated speaker of Hindi (a modern descendant of Sanskrit) who doesn't have any special training in Buddhist (or Hindu) liturgy would probably be able to more or less understand the following ...
0
votes
2answers
104 views

Is it hard to write Japanese? [closed]

I see the Japanese symbols, but never asked myself how hard is to write using these symbols. It seems very inviable. How do you guys do when writing at Japanese? Is it really harder than, for example, ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

What are the reasons for the huge amount of loanwords in Japanese?

It seems that Japanese has far more loanwords than any other language I've heard spoken. I understand that English is far-reaching and a global language, but are there many known reasons that English ...
0
votes
1answer
168 views

Can anybody tell me what this means?

I have an ornament, the picture, and I do not know what it means. I'm not even sure if it's Japanese but any help would be gladly taken.
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there native Japanese numbers greater than 10? What use are they?

Most people who've taken a Japanese 101 class know the 10 native Japanese numbers (一つ、二つ・・・十). It's always seemed odd that a system would stop at 10 when so many things in life need larger numbers. ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

whats the difference between し and と?

I thought I knew this but it has just been explained to me in Japanese class and now I am totally confused. I had always thought と was "and" but apparently it more usually means "or"; when you want ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

What is an example of how the 推量の助動詞 「む」 can be used to mean 反語?

One of the listed meanings of the 推量の助動詞 「む」 on Wikipedia is that of 反語, which I understand to mean "saying the opposite of what one means for rhetorical emphasis" in this context (as opposed to just ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

Why should not put 一 before 千,百,十, but ok for 万?

I've heard that should not put 一 before 千,百,十, for example, we can say: 千三百円 or 百二十円 or 十円 but not: 一千三百円 or 一百二十円 or 一十円 But we can say: 一万千三百円 So my question is: Is it correct? And why it's ok ...
4
votes
2answers
150 views

心配なく surely it should be 心配ない?

To outline the context, this is from a Legend of Zelda videogame guidebook I am translating. I'm pretty sure the meaning below is that you should not worry about not being able to control the ...
4
votes
2answers
104 views

meaning of て-form + られない

I assume that 死んでられない is 死んでる in the negative potential form, which means it would mean something like "I can't be dying" or "I can't be dead". Can anyone help me understand this better?
6
votes
2answers
99 views

Modifying adjectives: カンペキ [に or な?] 思ったとおりの仕上がり

I have a question about カンペキに in the following sentence. As far as I can guess it modifies the whole 「思ったとおりの仕上がり」, but grammatically I cannot understand why. Well, 仕上がり is a noun, so wouldn't カンペキな ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

causative passive potential form

I've been reading into a little bit of more advanced grammar and am trying to get my head around the causative and the passive form. (yes yes N1 people. That's not actually advanced.) The causative I ...
6
votes
2answers
175 views

What´s the (entire) direct object in this sentence?

人の手を刺す        stab someone in the hand. 人の手に短剣を刺す     stab a dagger in someone's hand. What's the direct object in the second sentence? Is it just 短剣 or 人の手に短剣? I ask because in the first ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

Are 清酒{せいしゅ} and 日本酒{にほんしゅ} two words for the same thing?

As well as the several other kinds of Japanese alcoholic drinks I seem to have found two words which both mean the drink known in the west as "saké". Now I know 酒{さけ} can be used for many kinds of ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What does さあ (saa) mean?

I have seen this term used a lot in many different ways. 「さあ、忘れましょうその未来が」 saa, wasuremashou sono mirai ga — in this sense, I assume it means "come". But I have also seen it used as 「でもさあ」 demo saa — ...
6
votes
3answers
523 views

What does 私たち imply?

I know that 私たち means "we", but in what sense? Does it simply mean the last two people talked about? Or does it always mean the speaker and the listener? So say I'm talking to Shota about Sawako, and ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Using 次 as a counter

In cases such as [第二次全世界戦争]{だいにじぜんせかいせんそう} or [第二次]{だいにじ}スーパーロボット[大戦]{たいせん}, is [次]{じ} effectively just acting the way a number followed by st/nd/rd/th would in English?
5
votes
1answer
143 views

Shinjitai kanji that existed prior to simplification?

I've been doing some researching on kanji characters, and was wondering if there were cases where already-existing characters were used as the final 新字体 form of a character. To clarify, I'm not ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

無茶 - “bad tea” = absurd; unreasonable

I have the following in a Zelda guide book I am translating. It is talking about being faced with a problem and trying various ways to solve it (you know the Zelda games). I am interested in "むちゃな". ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

それが人生{じんせい} vs 仕様{しよう}が無{な}い

For years I have been saying それが人生{じんせい} in Japanese to mean "such is life" / "c'est la vie". Japanese friends always understood, seemed to enjoy it, and never corrected me. On my current trip to ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Having a little trouble understanding the meaning of this particular sentence. Could anyone please help me out?

I'm steadily learning the language, but sometimes I find these little things I cantt really grasp. Today doing some reading for fun I found this particular sentence "彼奴め調子にのってやがりますから、我らでこらしめてやりましょう" ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

Is there a way to say “crisis averted” in Japanese that retains its sarcastic meaning?

You know, as in situations that are clearly not crises. I've looked around but can't find an answer.
2
votes
2answers
208 views

Struggling to translate parts of this particular sentence.

I'm having difficulty translating this particular sentence into English, and even thus understanding it fully. 私は成田空港で外国でも使えるけいたい電話を借りて来たから、問題がないよ。 My best attempt at a translation - I had a ...
7
votes
2answers
178 views

How else can you use 「だい」as in 大好き or 大嫌い?

I understand that you can use だい in the sense of "very", to emphasise すき and きらい. So だいすき is "very loved" and だいきらい is "very hated". Can だい be used for the same meaning in any other words? Can you use ...
4
votes
2answers
125 views

Unusual usage of 勝 (勝たしてくれ?)

I was reading a comic and came across the following usage of 勝 which confused me. この試合でオレを三橋に勝たしてくれ! I know what it means (Help me beat Mihashi in this game), but I'm not sure about how to ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What does ぶつまね (ぶつ真似?) mean?

I'm just wondering what does the word "ぶつまね" (or also ぶつ真似 as turned up by a google search) mean? I tried guessing from the context of some 10 example sentences but still can't come up with the ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Do Japanese's sister languages have equivalents of the particles は and を?

Okinawan definitely has a particle equivalent to the Japanese subject particle が. But I can't seem to find something like the topic particle は or the object particle を. Then again I only have ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

Volitional form - used in a title

I have always struggled to understand the volitional form and translating into English. From a videogame guide I am going through, translating, I have this title: 時には自分を疑おう ”うたがう” meaning "to ...
5
votes
1answer
366 views

How is となりのトトロ supposed to be perceived in Japanese?

How is the title of the well-known cartoon となりのトトロ supposed to be perceived in Japanese? What is the device behind the トトロ? Is it alliteration, word-play or something else?
2
votes
1answer
132 views

知る vs わかる and when to use が and を in “how to” questions

"I don't know how to use honorific language." 敬語の使い方がわかりません。 "Do you know how to make a flight reservation?" 飛行機の予約のし方を知っていますか。 The above two sentences were taken from my homework -- which were ...

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