All Questions

9
votes
5answers
388 views

When is a door a ドア and when is it a [扉]{とびら}?

I've been in Japan for the summer and noticed that the announcement for the closing doors (in the Kansai area, at least) is always 扉が閉まります. However, the equivalent announcement on buses appears to be ...
4
votes
2answers
229 views

Grammatical justification for でしかない

The song eX Dream by Myuji (which appears in an anime OP) contains the sentence: [夢]{ゆめ}は夢でしかない The general point of the sentence is fairly clear, meaning "a dream is just a dream". But what is ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Use of く-form over くて in an い-adjective

何事も最初は難しく、やがてやさしくなる。 All things are difficult before they are easy. I've never seen an い-adjective used in this way (難しく). Would using 難しくて (which is what I would have used) change the meaning of the ...
2
votes
3answers
330 views

Why does the 文語 version of the Bible have so many nonstandard readings?

For example in Genesis 1: 元始{はじめ}に神{かみ} 天地{てんち}を創造{つくり}たまへり Why are the kanji 元始 and 創造 given the interesting readings? Moreover, they seem to be given the readings of the less specific words 始め ...
8
votes
3answers
503 views

What's the difference between 広める 広げる and 広まる 広がる?

I find the difference between 「広める (他動詞) 広げる (他動詞)」 and between 「広まる (自動詞) 広がる (自動詞)」 to be complicated. Can someone explain?
4
votes
1answer
197 views

What's the difference between 以後 and 以降

I've seen these words used in the following sentences: 以後: それ以後彼女に会っていません 以降: それ以降彼は辛い一生を送った Judging from these examples alone, I guess they have some kind of overlap. When is it appropriate to ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

What is 「何しに」 in 「YOUは何しに日本へ?」

Title basically says most of it. To add more context to that 「YOUは何しに日本へ?」 is a name of a japanese TV show, found it on YouTube. They meet random foreigners at the airport and ask them this question. ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

What is the nuance of 鬼 in 「鬼十則」?

吉田秀雄{よしだひでお} created the 鬼十則{おにじっそく} while working for 電通: 仕事は自ら創るべきで、与えられるべきでない。 仕事とは、先手々と働き掛けていくことで、受け身でやるものではない。 大きな仕事と取り組め、小さな仕事はおのれを小さくする。 難しい仕事を狙え、そしてこれを成し遂げるところに進歩がある。 ...
2
votes
1answer
354 views

what is the logic for assigning Kanji characters to certain radicals?

Why is 富 character under 宀 40th radical? why isn't it under 102nd radical 田 ? Why is 仏 character under 人 9th radical? why isn't it under 28nd radical 厶 ? etc. what is the logic for assigning Kanji ...
-1
votes
1answer
203 views

Meaning of 伝わる and AよりもB, 温かい, and て-form+から+でも

I need help understanding some Japanese sentences. All the sentences are connected except the last one. 今も手紙はたまに書きますよ。 mailよりも気持ちが伝わるんです。 I know that the first sentence means "people also ...
2
votes
1answer
187 views

Use of は with 自分 in a subordinate clause

Another sentence from Kanji in Context: 自分は偉いと思って人を見下しているとそのうち逆に他の人から見下されるようになる。 Those who think highly of themselves and look down on others will eventually themselves be looked down upon (by ...
4
votes
1answer
213 views

Is it possible to write anything long completely in 和語?

I sometimes wonder how feasible is it to completely avoid loanwords, i.e. 漢語 and 外来語, but still using Modern Japanese (i.e. not simply just using Old/Classical Japanese vocabulary). Is the 和語 ...
2
votes
2answers
333 views

What's the equivalent to densha, futsuu, tokkyuu, and kyuukou in the West? [closed]

I know that they are all trains, but what would their counterparts be in the US or even Western Europe? Or better yet, when do you use one train as opposed to the other?
4
votes
1answer
204 views

What's the difference between ~しか~ない and ~だけしか~ない?

Two ways of expressing 'only' in Japanese are だけ + positive verb and しか + negative verb. For example, the following sentences both translate to something like 'I drank only tea'. お茶だけ飲んだ (1) ...
4
votes
1answer
197 views

Difference in usage between exclamations: クソ vs. しまった

I apologize in advance for the possibly vulgar language, but I am asking purely from an academic perspective. My understanding is that both クソ and しまった translate roughly to the English "damn" when ...
4
votes
1answer
261 views

あくまで compared to あくまでも

I never really thought about it before; but, I'm having a hard time explaining the difference concisely, and when to use which. What are the differences in nuances between あくまで and あくまでも? When is ...
9
votes
2answers
567 views

What does “ちるの、びるの” mean?

Context: 織次{おりじ} the protagonist is trying to buy back a set of drawings from his father's friend, who is mysteriously evasive about the matter. ...
4
votes
2answers
224 views

Choice of さしあげる in お電話さしあげる

I'm a bit confused by the usage of さしあげる in this sentence from Kanji in Context: ただ今、来客中ですので、後ほどこちらからお電話さしあげます。 We have a guest at the moment, so we'll call you later. To me, お電話いたします or even ...
4
votes
2answers
240 views

Meaning of 話になんない

I have a quote from this anime, FLCL: 「とにかくさ、バット振んなきゃ話になんないよ」. In the official translation it's translated as "nothing can happen until you swing the bat". Now my japanese is pretty rusty, as I ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Nominalizer の use

Thank you for the so useful site you have. I'm studying by my self and I have found answer to a lot of questions I had. I'm using Nihongo somatome to try N3 and there is a sentence with の that I ...
4
votes
2answers
406 views

Using 全然 with a positive pejorative [duplicate]

So far, I know that in proper speech, 全然 should be used with negative verbs such as 全然出来ません or in expressions such as 全然だめ or 全然違う. I am curious about the second type of usage. In that case, 全然 is ...
7
votes
1answer
430 views

Pronunciation of しゃ, し, しゅ, しぇ, and しょ

Now I understand that although all the morae mentioned in the title are written in Hepburn as "sha shi shu she sho", they are actually palatalized and sound quite different (the little や makes it ...
2
votes
2answers
237 views

What is the ちょ in こなしてちょ?

I'm playing a video game (Final Fantasy VI), in which a character is reading her lines and stage directions for a play. The stage directions contain the following sentence: この芝居を間奏の間にこなしてちょ。 ...
6
votes
2answers
566 views

Is there a Japanese phrase equivalent to the English phrase: “Guilty Pleasure”?

I am at a loss of words to describing to my host family why I sometimes listen to "bad" or embarrassing music. Is there a japanese phrase that can help me tell them it's a "guilty pleasure" of mine?
6
votes
1answer
195 views

How can (の)目指すは be grammatical?

At the very start of final fantasy 9, バクー says: 我らの目指すはアレクサンドリア王国…… I also saw some time ago "目指すは" used in a headline here: シャーラウィ「目指すはシーズン20ゴール」 There's also another example in the full ...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

Is there any reference material for the origins of kanji on-yomi?

I wanted to know if there is any reference source or authoritative material about kanji pronounciations and when they were first imported into Japanese? Any book or electronic source, English or ...
1
vote
1answer
181 views

であります compared to でいます

It might sound like a silly question, but I am just asking for interests sake... I already understand how to use them in which situation. If you were to say 田中さんは先生でいます, it would mean that Tanaka ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

Particle interpretation of 後でも

I've been puzzling over this sentence from the (excellent) Kanji in Context. 昔は、スポーツをして汗をかいた後でも水分をとってはいけないと言われていた。 I get that it means "In the past, I was told not to drink water (even) after doing ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Use of どうして わかりましたか

どうして わかりましたか。 My teacher said this in a conversation and my brain translated it to "Why did you understand?" (which didn't make much sense given the context!) but I think what she meant was "How did ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Is ば derived historically from は?

The way I visualize how the particle は works is that it opens a giant circle underneath the word it is attached to wherein you can discuss things related to it. Sort of like this: When I use ば I ...
4
votes
2answers
366 views

Difference between 間 and 間に

I have some problems with understanding what is the difference between these two grammatical forms. The explanation that 初級日本語 gives me, is that 間 refers to certain time frame, while 間に refers to ...
5
votes
2answers
174 views

What is the difference between 要するに and つまり?

I read that 要するに and つまり are not always interchangeable. Still, I don't really understand the difference between the two...
5
votes
2answers
223 views

Pronunciation of 天爾遠波 (てにをは)

Straightforward question. 天爾遠波 (or 弖爾乎波) - written as てにをは - is a term used to refer to the Japanese particles (助詞) or sometimes Japanese grammar as a whole (文法). So how to do pronounce the は at the ...
6
votes
3answers
652 views

The meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって

What is the meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって? Space ALC defines ~を中心に as "with a focus on" and ~をめぐって as "centering on", but I'm having trouble figuring out the meaning and ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

what does 何(+counter)+も+volitional mean? e.g. 何機も買おう

I found this sentence as an answer to the question "what are some of the symbols of Japan's wealth?" 次期主力戦闘機を何機も買おうとしていること I'm not sure wether it means they're buying a lot of next-generation ...
4
votes
1answer
324 views

What is the difference between [利用]{りよう}, [活用]{かつよう}, [使用]{しよう} and [用]{もち}いる?

I feel 活用 has some kind of feeling of "put to the use", as a politician would use his charm in a campaign. The other three seem confusing to me, however. What are the differences?
1
vote
2answers
195 views

What is the yomikata of 値 in 破格値?

My kanji textbook contains this example text excerpt from a leaflet [1]: 各種家具を破格値で! I would assume that it would be 「チ」 because 「ハカク」 is an Onyomi-Reading, but I believe I have heard 「はかくね」before. ...
2
votes
1answer
273 views

What does にゃ mean at the end of a sentence or as a particle?

From the title of a YouTube video: だるまさんが転んにゃ From the song じょんから女節: 春は私にゃ 遠すぎる I suspect the second usage might be a contraction of に and the 関西弁 copula や, but I'm not sure. Did the first ...
5
votes
2answers
330 views

What's the meaning of ブチブチ?

I'm having some trouble to find the meaning of this word. I already saw this 2 times in a game and I can't find the meaning in any dictionary that I use. Examples: あやせ:「そうなると私のことなんか放っておいて…」 ...
1
vote
1answer
256 views

“Possession” of time: 時間 or 時?

I'm a bit confused in the usage as "possession" of time. I know 時間 is time and 時 would be more like when, but... Some thing's time would be Jikan or toki? If it was someone, would it still be the ...
2
votes
2answers
185 views

How do you say thank you for or sorry for?

the "for" should be followed by an arbitrarily long and complicated sentence like: Thank you for waiting for me after the football match! or Sorry for spilling my drink on the carpet that ...
4
votes
1answer
259 views

Is there a Japanese word for “finding the pleasantest point of an interior”?

I recently read a quote from architect Sverre Fehn that stated: "Japan has a word for finding the pleasantest point in an interior..." I was wondering if anyone might know what this word is. Thanks ...
1
vote
2answers
184 views

What does “自己修養” mean, in western terms?

I am looking for something that expresses the concept of self-cultivation, especially in the sense of "practicing self-cultivation through traditional japanese arts" (see also this book, which I don't ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Why does the right side radical of 踵 have different stroke order than 重?

Why does the right side radical strokes order 踵 are different than 重 alone?
10
votes
1answer
519 views

歩{ある}く vs 歩{あゆ}む

I always know that 歩く is the verb to use when talking about walking. But I'm aware the kanji 歩 has another verb 歩む. In WWWJDIC, the example sentence given is: ビルはあの会社の社長になるまで成功への道を歩み続けた。 Bill ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Difference between 検索する and 探す

I have always stuck with [探]{さが}す for "search", but in an anime I heard one of the characters say インターネットを[検索]{けんさく}おねがいしてもいいですか。 I suspect that one of the differences is that 検索 is more likely ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Plums: プルーン or プラム?

I bought these plums at a supermarket in Kyoto today and noticed that they were labeled プルーン (prune?). According to jisho.org, a plum is a プラム. Is it common to not distinguish between prunes and plums ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

what does the とは mean in this phrase?

Hello pretty new to Japanese and I have a question. So I know this is supposed to be something like "he differs from his former self" but I can't really make sense of what the とは is supposed to mean ...
5
votes
2answers
270 views

What's the meaning of 〜というものではない?

I have two textbooks, and they seem to give opposite definitions for 「〜というものではない」. The first one says it means "it's not just a matter"; while the other one says that [It follows] a statement to ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the longest word in Japanese?

What is the longest (based on their representation in romaji) word in Japanese? Are there any longer than リュウグウノオトヒメノモトユイノキリハズシ? If it depends on criteria for a word, then list them by their criteria. ...

15 30 50 per page