4
votes
1answer
289 views

Different meaning of 何?

While reading some lyrics online, I stumbled upon the following phrase: これ以上何を失えば 心は許されるの Which I could myself losely translate as following: If I lose what more (than I already have), will ...
5
votes
1answer
280 views

Legibility of handakuten and dakuten in small font sizes

I occasionally come across text with a small font size where I can tell that there's either an handakuten ゚ or a dakuten ゙ in a kana character, but I need to zoom in to tell which one it is. Does ...
5
votes
1answer
220 views

What does exactly does さま mean in dictionary definitions?

I've been using Japanese-Japanese dictionaries for a while now and this keeps popping up. It seems to me like a kind of usage that is found for the most part only in dictionaries. Can anyone help ...
4
votes
1answer
628 views

Why is ローマ字 spelt without an ン?

Why is ローマ字 spelt without an ン? As far as I can tell, it's not because you can't have an ん sound before a じ sound, because 漢字 has an ん sound before 字. Did early Europeans' term for Roman letters not ...
4
votes
2answers
256 views

餌食 vs 獲物​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What is the difference between 餌食{えじき} and 獲物{えもの}? Both mean "prey", so how do we decide when to use which? What is the difference in their nuances?
6
votes
1answer
145 views

What's the difference between 向こう and 向こう側?

My textbook (An Introduction to Modern Japanese) introduced 向こう as meaning "the other side of" and 側{がわ} as meaning "side". On page 76 it states that 側 can be added to some, but not all, of these ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Where is the personal comparison in this phrase?

I was browsing a language exchange site and came across: 私のように明るく、前向きな方がいいです。 And the text under it (translation from the user who posted the entry) was: I'm hoping that you are cheerful and ...
5
votes
2answers
321 views

Do Chinese loanwords have special connotations as foreign words?

I once heard that the Japanese like to use words like 「トイレ」 and 「お手洗い」 to refer to the water closet/bathroom because they are neutral and don't have dirty connotations, especially the English ...
6
votes
2answers
318 views

What's wrong with using 内に in this sentence?

My textbook claims that this is an incorrect usage of uchi ni: 彼が会社に行っている内に、贈り物が届きました While he is commuting to the office, a present arrived. Why is this wrong? It looks fine to me.
5
votes
1answer
241 views

The difference between (な形容詞)さ and (な形容詞)性?

I'm in the middle of writing a paper in Japanese, and I can't quite figure out which is right. If I want to nominalize a な形容詞, should I affix さ or 性 at the end? I've been checking on search engines, ...
4
votes
1answer
146 views

origin of 気にくわない/use of 食う

Does anybody know where the くわない comes from? あいつの態度が気にくわない |i don't like his attitude My dictionary tells me the expression means: 不満である。気にいらない。and the kanji is 食う but I wonder does anyone ...
6
votes
3answers
669 views

How can I say “the leader(s) of the club” in Japanese

I would like to ask which one of the following two words could be used to express the word "leader" when I am talking about someone who is the head of a club or at least the member of its board; for ...
8
votes
1answer
194 views

島人{とうじん} vs 島民{とうみん}

I was looking for a word to say islander, i.e. someone that lives/was born in an island. I've come across 島人 and 島民 and asked two native speakers about their user meaning. While they both agreed that ...
7
votes
1answer
246 views

When to use 洗濯する and 洗う?

今日ふくを洗う。 今日ふくを洗濯する。 昨日食器を洗った。 昨日食器を洗濯した。 I know that 洗濯する means: washing or laundering (clothes). And 洗う just means washing. When I'm talking about washing in general can I use the two words ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

勤め vs 役目​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What is the difference between 勤め and 役目? Both seems to mean duty (something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation), but what is the difference in their nuance and ...
4
votes
1answer
347 views

Can someone further explain the difference between 一緒に and 共に?

This is a follow up to the question “What are the fundamental differences between the ~と一緒に and the ~とともに fragments?” Someone suggested that I post my question as a separate thread. Well, something ...
13
votes
2answers
340 views

What is the subject when time passes in a narrative (eg 1ヶ月を経る)

(This might be a quick easy question but sometimes the answers to these are unexpected.) What is the subject in the following sentences? I've given my best efforts for the examples 1-4 below. (I am ...
8
votes
1answer
228 views

Relation between -ますよ and -ましょう

They sound alike. Are they cognate historically? Morphologically, is よ in both cases a particle or part of the morpheme in -ましょう?
8
votes
1answer
285 views

Why is Jordan (the country) spelt ヨルダン?

I recently found out that Jordan (the country) is spelt ヨルダン, not ジョーダン, which is how it's spelt in a person's name. Is this based on how it's pronounced in Arabic and/or Hebrew, or how it's ...
6
votes
1answer
303 views

Can the term メリークリスマス be seen as politically incorrect?

In some countries, some people avoid using "Merry Christmas" and instead say Happy Holidays: Thought by some to be a politically correct alternative to Merry Christmas and/or Happy New Year when ...
8
votes
2answers
267 views

What function does 「しいて」 serve in this sentence?

I have this sentence in a JLPT study textbook, as an example of the use of しいて: 食{た}べたくなければしいて食べることないから、食べられるものだけ食べてね。 The translation is, "If you don't want to eat it, you don't have to, so ...
5
votes
1answer
343 views

How should I bid farewell to a superior?

My boss is leaving soon after years of service. What would be a good way for me to express my gratitude for all of his guidance and help? I am somewhat familiar with the expression お世話になりました but am ...
6
votes
1answer
447 views

What is the function of と in とある?

What is the function of と in とある? It doesn't seem to be the particle と--it doesn't seem to attach to whatever comes before it, which particles generally do. It also doesn't seem to fit any of the ...
5
votes
3answers
303 views

に vs で with state of being (but no verb)

All the に vs で comparisons I can find discuss using them with verbs. However I recently wanted to say something like "I am alone at home", and phrased it without a verb: 家で一人です But that got me ...
2
votes
1answer
249 views

“Klugscheißer”?

Does Japanese have a term more-or-less equivalent to the German Klugscheißer (literally, "clever-shitter"; in English: smartypants, smartass, know-it-all, etc.)? (Needless to say, this is not a term ...
7
votes
2answers
607 views

What does はくださらない mean?

I am having problems finding a word in this sentence in the dictionary: 一体全体なぜこんなところにおいでになったのか、たぶん話してはくださらないのでしょうね? Unknown word: - はくださらない The English translation is: "And I don't suppose ...
6
votes
3answers
274 views

Equivalent of someone's valentine

How would I describe the designated object of someone's affections on Valentine's Day? The meaning I'm referring to is meaning 2 on Wiktionary: A person to whom a valentine is given or received, ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

Questions about the term 自殺志願者

My Japanese friend used the term 自殺志願者 jokingly in a journal entry, saying she sometimes wondered if she qualified for such a position. I could not find a specific dictionary definition for this ...
8
votes
1answer
679 views

How do you normally say calendar and date in Japanese?

If you were to say: I have to buy a new calendar next month. or Look at the calendar and see when X holiday is? or Have you seen the calendar?, would you use カレンダー or 暦{こよみ}? Is there a difference ...
7
votes
3answers
409 views

AはB emphasizing B, rather than A

There are quite a few comments on another question discussing the sentence 彼が持っているのは二百円です, in which the emphasis apparently falls on 二百円. I posted a comment asking if this could be explained as the ...
7
votes
1answer
478 views

Is ない an “auxiliary verb”?

My dictionary says 助動詞{じょどうし} means "auxiliary verb". This sounds intuitively correct; 動詞 means verb, so 助動詞 sounds like a type of verb. But the 助動詞「ない」 looks like an auxiliary adjective, not an ...
5
votes
1answer
278 views

What does “クズな” mean?

Original sentence: 審判がクズなだけ! Google translates it as "Referee just scrap!" So if we analyze the sentence: 審判(referee) が(GA particle) クズな(???) だけ(only?) What part of speech is クズな and what does the ...
13
votes
1answer
316 views

What's the (real) difference between 飲む and 食べる?

When I first started learning Japanese, I learned that 飲む meant "drink" and 食べる meant "eat". These translations seemed to work for a while, but then I learned that you could 飲む things that you can't ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

How does のは work in this sentence?

彼が持っているのは二百円です。 Supposedly this means "It is 200 yen that he has.". But I am really not familiar with this sentence construction. Therefore, I'm not sure how everything before の works with the rest of ...
5
votes
1answer
222 views

Does 寒気がする really mean “have a chill” or is it just cold?

Can the expression: 寒気{さむけ}が する really mean feel cold and also have a chill (as per many dictionaries)? To me, to have a chill/bug means to be sick from a virus/cold for a short period: have I ...
5
votes
2answers
182 views

Help to understand the ending verb “動かねーんじゃね”

Original sentence: アドビやら、お絵描き系のアプリは、誰かが実証しない限り、動かねーんじゃね? I can't understand the structure of the last verb. So far I understood that 動か(conjugated form) + ねー(negative particle) + んじゃ(???) + ね(question ...
15
votes
3answers
765 views

Difference between 〜といい〜といい & 〜といわず〜といわず

Can somebody explain the difference between these two expressions? I have pasted the definitions and some examples from 日本語表現文型辞典 to help but they seem to come down to the same thing. (When can one ...
5
votes
2answers
346 views

How do you use counters past 10?

Counter words have different readings for 1 through 10. How do I use them for number 11 and beyond? Do I change the counter's pronunciation based on the last digit of the number? So if the number ...
7
votes
1answer
168 views

What's the difference between 姿{すがた} and 形{かたち}?

Could someone explain the difference between 姿{すがた} and 形{かたち}? I've looked up both words, but I'm still not clear on what the distinction is, or how much overlap there is between the two. My mental ...
5
votes
2answers
466 views

Plural in ancient Japanese?

It is known to Japanese learners that the Japanese verb isn't affected by the subject (number or gender). Today, a linguistics professor of my university told me he heard from his teacher that ancient ...
7
votes
2answers
248 views

How does ウァ differ from ワ and ヴァ?

I know Wine is written as ワイン. I've also seen Whiskey as ウィスキー. In both english words, the 'w' sound are relatively similar (although slightly different). I'm assuming ウァ would be somewhat like ワ. But ...
8
votes
1answer
196 views

X is near or next to Y. Is my understanding of this correct?

So I know that a few words could be used interchangably. But I wasn't sure if I got the nuance(s) correct. So I have this sentence: 車はどこにありますか。 車庫のそばです。 And as far as I can see, I can change そば in ...
11
votes
1answer
409 views

Why is 間{かん} used to denote some amounts of time but not others?

I've been thinking about how to express a duration of time and how in the past I have added 間{かん} in situations where I found that I shouldn't have. Take the following sentences as examples. ○: ...
9
votes
2answers
245 views

Where does the suffix 〜がる come from?

I've read that several bits of Japanese come from contractions with ある: だ comes from で + ある (source) なる comes from に + ある (source) たり comes from て + あり (source) たり comes from と + あり (source) ...
5
votes
2answers
415 views

What are the differences between「目的」and 「目標」?

Both「目的」and「目標」have a common meaning which is "goal", but what is the difference? When can we use one but not the other?
10
votes
2answers
295 views

Double subject construction?

I've recently been having trouble with constructions that seem to mark two subjects in the same clause. I've only encountered them in ~の方が... constructions, but I can't seem to make sense of them ...
2
votes
2answers
248 views

I am confused about the meaning of the conjugations of [買]{か}う

I am on Livemocha and it says that 買います。 means "I am going to buy it." But I figure that should be 買いに行きます。 . Also I know that ぎゅうにゅうを買っています。 is "I am buying milk." But for some reason, I thought that ...
0
votes
1answer
270 views

meaning of 名種設定? [closed]

A friend of mine asked me to give him a quick translation of an app he downloaded. One of the buttons in the main menu had this 名種設定 written. I wasn't able to find what it means.
2
votes
1answer
215 views

Is みんな being used as a “counter”?

This is from Minna no Nihongo Chapter 15. It's a description of Santa Claus. でも世界の子供はみんな私を知っています。 みんな seems like a counter of sorts (I don't know how else to describe it) for 世界の子供. I always thought ...
5
votes
2answers
217 views

The origin of one of the usages of 狼{おおかみ}

I was watching the anime かんなぎ, and heard the following line: 男はみんな[狼]{おおかみ}だわ! "Men are all wolves!" I was curious as to what it means to call someone a "wolf", so looked 狼 up in Daijisen and ...

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