4
votes
2answers
94 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
102 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
85 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
167 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
124 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
155 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
72 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
102 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
98 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
200 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
174 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
125 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
520 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
151 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
207 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
161 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
131 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Using declarative だ with negative i-adjectives

I am complete beginner and I've got a question that I wish to ask you: When negating an i-adjective (-くない), should we, as in the affirmative form, omit the declarative "だ"? For example, is it ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

How to say “Episode 22”, “Chapter 22”, “Act 22”, etc?

I just wanted to make sure that my understanding is correct. When saying Chapter 22, Act 22, or Episode 22 (basically parts of a larger piece), it normally starts with 第22 (or 第[number]) and then the ...
7
votes
1answer
175 views

What old Japanese texts can be used in the same fashion as the latin “Lorem Ipsum”?

"Lorem Ipsum" is used as a place holder when creating designs or formatting media that will have actual text and functionality. Question I would like to know what the Japanese equivalent is of this ...
5
votes
2answers
143 views

とまる / とめる and such pairs of verbs

I'm a beginner in Japanese. At my classes I'm taught like this: とまる / とめる is a pair intransitive/transitive verb. This I understand and can memorize a table of such verbs. I can't help, though, ...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

Use of が with certain adjectives

Recently, the が particle has been a little iffy for me especially with adjectives. Some nouns when modified by an adjective can seemingly use が and は interchangeably while others cannot, is this ...
8
votes
2answers
164 views

In Okinawan, what is the ン in ウチナーンチュ?

The Okinawan word for "Okinawa" is ウチナー, for "person" is チュ, and for "Okinawan" (person) is ウチナーンチュ. I'd like to know where this ン comes from between the part for "Okinawa" and the part for "person". ...
1
vote
1answer
208 views

推量の助詞、「う」… does this particle exist?

On this site, when asking about でしょう・だろう, as well as ましょう etc, I have been told that it is a combination of the verb's 未然形 and the 推量 particle "う". However, I have never been able to find anything on ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

What does やっちまえ mean?

As the title says: What does やっちまえ mean?
6
votes
1answer
217 views

Orthography at the turn of the previous century

A couple of days ago I purchased an old book published in 1908. It uses a strange orthography I haven't encountered before. Everything that is not in kanji is written in katakana, including ...
4
votes
2answers
85 views

Meaning of 「臨徴す」?

I'm currently reading the novel 「学生街の殺人」by 東野圭吾, and on page 230 the following sentence is spoken: 「商店街の会費を臨徴して作ったんだろう?まさしく背水の陣だな」 The character is referring to all shop owners of the district ...
8
votes
2answers
192 views

Confusion about 一千億 and 一千兆

I recently created a web app called Kazu which aims to help speakers of Japanese and English learn to read numbers in both languages. I found a web page which said that 'for numbers over 1万, "1000" ...
5
votes
2answers
171 views

What does 「声室」mean in this context?

I found the following sentence in a document relating to this webpage: 「お客さまの声室」受付時間を2012年11月3日(土)より以下の通りに変更いたします。 My initial guess is that 「お客さまの声室」 is some kind of feedback room where costumer ...
4
votes
1answer
483 views

The meaning of く

I was browsing fairly random old questions to see if I could learn a few little things ( I could) and stumbled across this one- The topic is the restaurant, or the conversation is at the restaurant? ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

How would I say “Courageous warriors called Samurai?”

How would I go about saying "Courageous warriors called Samurai? Would さむらいと言うゆうきなせんし make sense?
4
votes
1answer
330 views

Could somebody please translate this and show me what I'm missing?

Just for a little bit of context: There's a flyer about a Japanese church's beach retreat that's been sent around, and I'm trying to translate it for practice. That being said, the flyer has been ...
4
votes
1answer
196 views

Are the expressions 桜咲くand 桜散る only used for exams?

Those expressions mean respectively to pass and to fail an exam. I have the feeling that those expressions convey something that is not in the neutral verbs to pass and to fail. That is to say that ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

I'm confused about the English title for the movie “Kaze tachinu” [duplicate]

風立ちぬ has just been released where I live. I'm a bit confused about the translation of the title, "The Wind Rises". I would have thought the title should have been translated "The wind doesn't rise." ...
3
votes
1answer
304 views

How to understand “きざみ角煮{かくに}”

In today's endeavour to augment my ability to read onigiri labels I came across this in Naha, Okinawa: きざみ角煮 Google Translate does a terrible job: Boiled angle increments WWWJDIC has an ...
1
vote
1answer
166 views

What is the meaning of もらう here?

I know that もらう has the meaning of 'get' or 'receive', but I am confused with it when it is used in the sentence below: 面白いのでたくさんの人に読んでもらいたい How do I understand the auxiliary verb 'もらう' in this ...

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