4
votes
1answer
186 views

もらう level of politeness

When describing もらう DBJG says "The first person or s.o. the speaker empathises with recieves some benefit from an action by someone whose status is not as high as the receiver's" It then goes on to ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

How do you express “the person I did something to”?

I want to say: One person I told about XYZ said, "...". Knowledgeably incorrect translation: XYZについて話した一人は「…」と言いました。 This makes it sound like they were the one telling me about XYZ. How do ...
3
votes
2answers
175 views

Dictionary definition of multiple words with identical pronunciation but different kanji

Recently I've been using the スーパー大辞林 Japanese dictionary, because it is built-in to all my Apple devices. But I frequently find words where there is a single entry in the dictionary, but 2 or 3 ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

Are most kanji characters morphemes?

I've always assumed that kanji characters are almost always morphemes, but I've hardly seen anyone explicitly state that. I think the idea that kanji usually represent ideas, not pronunciation, played ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

How to understand when adverb modifies another adverb and when verb?

Is 薄く and ほのかに both modify 輝く in the following sentence? Or, maybe I'm mistaken something, but since 薄く and ほのかに have the similar meanings, 薄く modifies ほのかに and ほのかに 輝く? Please, explain me how can you ...
7
votes
3answers
162 views

What is the difference between 殺{さつ}人{じん} and 殺{さつ}害{がい}?

What is the difference between 殺人 and 殺害? As I know, both of them mean "killing". I found the words in these sentences: 秋田運転手刺殺事件、男を逮捕 強盗殺人容疑で。 金品を奪い取る目的で殺害した疑い。
3
votes
3answers
592 views

How would you say “I like sth/sb because of [that reason]” in Japanese?

For example how would you say I like John, because I think he is charming and attentive. Is there any other way to say "because" besides of kara (& node)? kara makes the sentence sound like ...
6
votes
2answers
290 views

How does past tense work with なら?

The way I thought of past tense working with なら was that if X had happened in the past, then Y would have resulted. For example, 車ががけから落ちていたなら彼らは死んでいただろう。 They would have been killed if the ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it okay to use つ counting for everything?

Instead of using the proper counter for each thing, is it okay to just use the つ counter? Like in: 彼女は子猫2匹を持っている。 Use つ instead of 匹: 彼女は子猫2つを持っている。 Are there situations when this is ...
4
votes
2answers
180 views

Ambiguity in giving suggesting and asking for suggestions?

When giving/asking for advice using a conditional (Such as たら) can there be ambiguity as to if the speaker is giving or asking for advice? For example 1.) アルバイトを探したらいいですか? Could the above ...
6
votes
2answers
672 views

<動詞の辞書形> + がよい ― How is this allowed?

I've come across this form many times in my Japanese Bible. The meaning is quite obvious based on context, and seems to be one of the following: ~べきです, ~ほうがいい, ~なさい, or ~ように (let it be ~). Here are ...
4
votes
2answers
553 views

How to create 'although' sentences in Japanese

I know there are different ways to get the sense of 'although..., but...' in a sentence. Too many ways for me to be clear about how to express it at all, to be honest. In Chinese it's as simple as can ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

What does にございます mean in this line?

Here's the line: この光は、本物の太陽の光、地上より導きいれた聖なる光にございます I would translate it something like this: "This light, genuine solar light, is holy light let in from the surface". I ignored the に, so I assume ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Syntax of くびきを共にする

In the book 数学ガール ガロア理論, the phrase くびきを共にする, which I would infer means something like "to yoke together", appears repeatedly as a metaphor for phenomena where a number of elements are related. Some ...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

Can an adjective modify a na-adjective?

I assumed not, but I saw 言い知れぬ甘美なもの Translated as "something inexpressibly sweet", as if 言い知れぬ modified 甘美な. Is it just a quirk of translation and both the adjective 言い知れぬ and 形容動詞 modify もの ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

What do 「はな」 and 「いうとな」 mean?

Here is the sentence including the words. このおっさんはな更{こう}生{せい}だとか なんだとか そんな しゃれたことを考{かんが}えるようなおやじじゃねえよ まあ ごくかんたんにいうとな Another question: Do the 「な」 in both words work as particle?
8
votes
2answers
247 views

What's the difference between 去年 and 昨年?

I learned 去年 well before 昨年, so I just always use 去年 out of habit. But now I'm wondering if they really are interchangeable or if there's even a subtle difference that would make one more appropriate ...
5
votes
1answer
244 views

Native pronunciation of the character "し”

I have recently become aware of the difference between the English and Japanese "sh" sounds, which I understand are formalized as the palato-alveolar fricative [ʃ] and the voiceless alveolo-palatal ...
4
votes
1answer
565 views

Xとした usage and grammar?

I've looked over my books but I can't find the answer. All I know is that とする can be used to express something you assume. Such as 温度は一定とする。 We assume the temperate is constant. Also I read we can use ...
5
votes
1answer
159 views

Usage of 合える with verb stems

Occasionally I come across an interesting usage of 合える with a verb stem, mostly when I listen to music. One such example can be found here at approximately 0:42: ...
4
votes
2answers
237 views

The usage of 侮れなかった

This question is a mix between the usage of 侮れない and the usage of なかった instead of ない in the sentence 意外と、うちのカノジョも侮れなかった The usage of 侮れない like in the example below seems to refer to one who you ...
-3
votes
2answers
194 views

Is knowing Kanji vital? [closed]

I'm, as a beginner, pretty bad with Kanji. I've heard that even some native japanese are. Is it really necessary to get the hang of it to be able to read/write in Japanese?
6
votes
2answers
311 views

Using both と and を with the verb 言う?

I've recently been reading Tobira and there was a sentence that I was really having trouble finding exactly what was going on in it. ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

言え used both as negative and positive imperative

In the following examples the same imperative form is used for two opposite meanings: 「ウンと言え!」 "say yes!" "agree!" 「バカを言え!」 "don't talk stupid!" Clear from context, but I wonder what do Japanese ...
10
votes
1answer
267 views

How can one stop “去年【きょねん】教職【きょうしょく】” from looking like a weird 4 kanji compound?

In writing, sometimes you get the illusion of a 4-character compound: Xさんは去年教職を退【しりぞ】いた。 This bothers some non-natives. To correct the "problem", can I always just place a comma between the ...
8
votes
2answers
195 views

Japanese novels 上・下

I have a couple of Japanese novels and textbooks that have the kanji 上 & 下 on them. Now, intuitively, I would say that the 下 kanji would be the book I start with. Whereas the 上 would be the one I ...
11
votes
3answers
7k views

When/why did 電話する replace 電話をかける?

In some older learning material I came across, they use 「電話をかける」 for "to make a telephone call". When/why did this come to be replaced by 「電話する」 in popular usage?
3
votes
0answers
40 views

電話する and 電話をかける [duplicate]

From what I have seen, they are both used to say " to call someone" by phone, but I was wondering if there was a difference between the two. Is one more formal? Is there a nuance in meaning? Are ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

To learn English vocabulary, I ate a dictionary page-by-page

I was reading an article on ohtabooks.com which had the following sentence: 英単語を覚えるため、1ページごと辞書を食べた To me, this looks like: To learn English words, I ate a dictionary page-by-page. Usually, ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Meaning of もう一度やり直す?

もう一度やり直した In this sentence, what is the minimum number of times やる was done, two or three times? At first, I thought it was three times because もう一度 means to do something again, and if you were ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

How to distinguish between う/よう of volition and suggestion?

Reading a lesson on 国語文法.com, I'm having difficulty telling 意志 from 勧誘. E.g. 「今度こそ成績をあげよう。」 is stated is that of volition (意志). However, why can't it be "(I suggest you to) improve your grades!"? ...
5
votes
2answers
156 views

What is the meaning of the suffix 之助?

I know that 之助 is a suffix for generating names. But what is its intended meaning? Also, there's a lexical item 承知の助 which I understand is meant to be an interjection "Understood!". What's going on ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Meaning of 散斎条 in this context?

I'm trying to translate the following sentence, 八世紀の「養老神祇令」散斎条に、唐の令にはみられない肉食禁止条項が挿入されていること , but can't figure out the meaning of 散斎条. Searching the almighty google didn't yield any results either. ...
54
votes
10answers
3k views

How should I choose between [知]{し}る and わかる?

Both 知る and わかる get used for "know", "understand", "learn", "find out", and various other concepts. How do you know which to use when? Are there any rules to help you decide? Additionally, both of ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

childish manner of speaking

I've heard that this phrase: 王様のベッドで寝ちゃおっと is spoken in a child-like way. The full translation is "let's sleep in the king's bed", and the portion that is child-like would be 寝ちゃおっと (let's sleep). ...
4
votes
2answers
194 views

The usage of ので etc to leave sentences “hanging”

This is a question I've wanted to ask Japanese natives for a while but have never gotten the chance. In Japanese there are many more "sentences" that end unfinished(at least if we are comparing to ...
7
votes
2answers
195 views

The difference between する and している with onomatopoeias

For example, what would the difference between 膝がガクガクする or 膝がガクガクしている be? I believe the correct definition in Daijirin is 恐怖・疲労・緊張などのために体の一部が小刻みに震えるさま, but that doesn't help me see how the two ...
5
votes
4answers
788 views

“over in the blink of an eye”?

What is the idiom "in the blink of an eye" in Japanese? I want to use it to say that two years will be over in the blink of an eye or "before you even notice". (For a detailed discussion and ...
4
votes
2answers
180 views

Voiced stops pronounced as their unaspirated voiceless counterparts

In this Japanese song, there is a line saying: まるで夢かまぼろし The /d/ in 「で」 and the /b/ in 「ぼ」 sound to me as if they (especially the /b/) are pronounced as unaspirated /t/ and /p/ respectively. ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Is there any phonetic rule behind readings 馬場{ばば} and 馬場{ばんば}?

I understand that place names often undergo changes separate from regular language, but I always wondered if there was any phonetic rule behind reading for the word 馬場. Meaning "horse riding grounds" ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

Distinguishing between homophones in everyday speech

While trying to figure out the polite imperative form of 呼ぶ I figured the correct conjugation to be 呼んで下さい。I found instead that, colloquially, the imperative is 呼び出して下さい。 Am I correct in assuming that ...
-2
votes
3answers
157 views

The proper use of ご確認ください [closed]

I often see in Japanese business letters ご確認ください。what and how do I use this phrase?
5
votes
1answer
143 views

What does さらせ do?

見さらせと言わんばかりに威風堂々と胸を張るその姿は.... What does さらせ do in this sentence? Is it a type of conjugation or is it another verb attached to 見? Thanks!
5
votes
1answer
95 views

How is 置く used here?

A dialogue between a monk and a shogun (fiction), fragment for context: Shogun: 「生きておれば死を望み、死に果てれば生を望む……全く、御坊に言われるまでもない。 人の心の働きというのは本当に勝手なものよ。どこまでも満足せぬように出来ておる」 Monk: ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

The meaning of そうなる in this context

Does そうなる have a meaning besides "become so" when used in this sorta context? Speaker A:あなた、それに興味ある? Speaker B: うん...まあ、そうなるかな It looks to me like it doesn't mean "become so", but something ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

What's the meaning of ぴっと。

Here is the sentence : 1年たったらここんとこをピッとおせばレーダーに反応がでるとおもうわ! I didn't find any information about ぴっと in the dictionaries I searched in...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

What does the word 「部下となし」mean?

Here is the sentence including the word. そのドヤ街{がい}に住{す}む子{こ}どもたちをそそのかしてかれらを部{ぶ}下{か}となし
2
votes
1answer
129 views

The difference among ずに、ず、ないで、なくて

I know they are all the negative form of a verb, but I just don't know the difference. I still remember when I was learning Japanese, my teacher told me that ずに equals ないで in a more ancient way, but ...
7
votes
3answers
240 views

Email greeting for a teacher I've never met

I've only studied Japanese for two semesters, 10 years ago, so this is a really basic question... If I'm emailing a teacher at an American university (let's call him 塚中) that I've never met before to ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Vocabulary related to bid rigging

In a bid rigging (談合入札) how do you call the suppliers: the one to win the contract others who are intended just to take part and to lose (I recall some expression with 馬) As we are talking about ...

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