5
votes
1answer
184 views

How to hear the difference between て and で, た and だ, か and が, etc.?

How can I learn to hear the difference between て and で, た and だ, か and が, etc.? For example, when I people say "わたし", it sounds to me like "wa da shi" instead of "wa ta shi". The same things happens ...
8
votes
1answer
916 views

How do I say “without (noun)” using なしに or なしで?

I know how to say "without" when it comes to verbs using 〜ないで. But I was wondering how to use "without" when it comes to nouns. For example: I left without my wallet. or I left without my ...
7
votes
3answers
340 views

When is it acceptable to use “Newspaper grammar”?

It is often said that Newspapers use grammatical forms/ellipses not used elsewhere and, on the whole, these do not present a problem to read and understand. However the ellipses do not seem to be ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Why is an anachronistic modern conjugation thrown into the lyrics of 軍艦行進曲?

軍艦行進曲 seems to be written mostly using Classical Japanese grammar. Here's the first stanza: 守るも攻むるも黒鐵{くろがね}の 浮かべる城{しろ}ぞ頼{たの}みなる 浮かべるその城{しろ}日{ひ}の本{もと}の 皇國{みくに}の四方{よも}を守{まも}るべし ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

How does one express “late” or “lateness”?

So I know that おそい, ちこく, and おくれる all can mean late. But I don't know what context to use which in. Can I just swap おそくなります, ちこくする, and おくれる at will?
2
votes
1answer
144 views

How does one use しめしめ?

デジタル大辞泉 defines しめしめ as follows: 物事が自分の思ったとおりに運んで、ひそかに喜ぶときに発する語。 「―、思いどおりになった」 I get the first part ("When something has gone as you planned for it to go..."), but I'm a bit confused about ...
2
votes
1answer
202 views

What are the origins of the names of tanuki and kitsune noodle dishes?

Two of Japan's native wild animals are the きつね fox and たぬき raccoon dog. Interestingly there are also noodle dishes apparently named after each. (Not containing the meat of those animals!) The terms ...
4
votes
1answer
295 views

The use of passive voice to describe the Emperor's activities

The Imperial Palace gardens were opened to the public recently to celebrate the Emperor's 80th birthday. Can someone confirm the use of the passive voice in the following sentence on the subject in ...
6
votes
3answers
268 views

In which terms, if any, is へつ used as an On-reading of the character 閉?

Just now in the chat room we came across a reading of the kanji 閉 that seems to be either rare or erroneous. In the English Wiktionary's entry for 閉 there is the following "Readings section": On: ...
8
votes
2answers
242 views

What nuance does ガールフレンド have?

Does ガールフレンド have a meaning of a female friend (like girl friend), or a female romantic partner? Someone told me it had the former meaning, and I should use "彼女" for a romantic partner. However, the ...
2
votes
1answer
173 views

On the two equivalents on maps of “you are here” (現在地{げんざいち} and 現在位置{げんざいいち})

I've noticed on my travels around Japan that on maps there are two ways of indicating the viewers position in the manner of the English "You are here": 現在地{げんざいち} is common on maps in Japan, and ...
4
votes
1answer
271 views

Inequality symbols in Japanese writing

In English, when we wish to write a non-strict mathematical inequality, we will write something like this: x ≤ 3 or y ≥ 5 In Japanese writing, however, I have also seen the symbol ≦ used to mean ...
4
votes
1answer
258 views

Is there a general purpose equivalent for the “agent suffix” -er of English?

In English any verb can be turned into a kind of noun called an "agent noun", that just means the do-er of the action: to drive - driver to walk - walker to think - thinker to drink - drinker ...
6
votes
1answer
727 views

How to Make a Large 々 With the Keyboard

I have only seen the sub character 々 used before. Now I am encountering the full size character, but cannot figure out how to enter it into a keyboard. Also, I know 々 is a repetition marker. Is ...
5
votes
1answer
119 views

Prefix お for names - how is it used?

I recently watched a Japanese drama titled 「おせん」. The title comes from the first name of the main character - the character's name is 半田{はんだ}仙{せん} who is a young お上{かみ} of a traditional restaurant. ...
1
vote
2answers
187 views

Usage of て Form Plus も (Translation)

I have the following sentence to translate. だれが来てもいいですが 少なくても 一人は 必ず 来させて下さい So far I have the following. Anyone can come but even if there is few/little 1 person definitely please let me ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

受ける Usage (Translation)

I have the following to translate for class. 漢字クイズは 習った漢字を全部暗記しなくてもいいですが 例文を読んだ後で 受ければ いい点が取れるようです。 So far I have the following. As for the kanji quiz it is okay if you don't memorize all of the ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

Question about mixed kana in おススメ

I read this line in a blog today: 料理に使えるおススメ品や、ご飯屋さんを紹介しています。 and I have two questions: 1) I know that the writer can use katakana for emphasis or for some other reason, but why is it mixed ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Why is there an unmatched parenthesis in this title?

This Asahi Shinbun article has an unmatched right parenthesis in its title: 岩手)震災の教訓を考える 「人間復興大学」10日開学 Surely, Japanese syntactic rules disallow unmatched parenthesis, right? Asahi Shinbun just made ...
7
votes
2answers
348 views

Sentence (question) ending かい - how is it different from just か?

I sometimes find questions that are normally ended with the question particle か to end with かい. For example: いいかい? そうかい? あいつがどうかしたかい? And sometimes with just い without か (if I ...
6
votes
2answers
847 views

What's the difference between そうかな and そうなんだ?

I've always thought that they both mean something like "I see" or "Is that so?" and I was told that they have different meaning. Is that so?
4
votes
1answer
113 views

What's the etymology and/or reasoning behind 目撃?

Witness (to a crime), as a legal/technical term, is 目撃 in Japanese. Now why is this? It doesn't seem to relate well with any of the other possible translations for witness, such as 証人、見送る、 or 見届ける. A ...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Isn't ずらっと並んでいる redundant?

I have this sentence in a practise JLPT question: サッカー選手{せんしゅ}がずらっと並{なら}んでいる。 According to the dictionary I referenced, ずらっと means to "be in a line", and 並{なら}ぶ means "to line up", so wouldn't ...
2
votes
1answer
289 views

How to say “Indicates something that is not easy for one to do.”

I'm trying to write my grammar explanation notes in Japanese. I'm trying to write an explanation like "Indicates something that is not easy for one to do." I've come up with 自分にされやすくないことを示す。 ...
1
vote
1answer
256 views

Intuitive or logical way to know when to use a kanji spelling vs hiragana spelling?

A recurring theme on this site is that foreign learners of Japanese use too much kanji. Often the reaction is puzzlement that we can't "just know the right way". Native speakers literally say they ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

「やる」Uses and definition [duplicate]

Ok, I see the word やる used in a lot of different contexts, meaning anything from "to kill" to "have sex with" to "make a vehicle go faster" to "give to someone of lower status". I am constantly ...
5
votes
1answer
250 views

Difference Between 僕たち and 僕ら?

Both 僕たち and 僕ら mean we. But is there any difference between them? I.e. one of them is more formal than the other, or any grammatical nuances? Edit: How is this a duplicate? The question linked by ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

How do I translate the names of types of school, without reference to the US school system?

Whenever I see Japanese school years translated to English, either in vocab lists or in manga/anime translations, it's always with reference to the US school system (i.e. n'th grade). As I'm not ...
8
votes
1answer
204 views

Does なりやした mean なりました?

I received this message:「行けることになりやした」. Doing a quick Google search for なりやした, I found a few phrases like 「新米母になりやした!」and 「遅くなりやした。」 Is it a kind of slang for なりました?
2
votes
2answers
181 views

Particles に, で for temporal vs spatial location

What does it mean to put で after a temporal expression? I was taught that only に should be used for times but I still see sentences with で sometimes. This is basically my current understanding: ...
5
votes
2answers
253 views

Do Japanese have a similar expression for “the list goes on”?

For example, I want to say "When I was 8, I wanted to be a go player. When was 10, I dreamed of becoming a novelist. The list goes on." 8歳の時、碁打ちになりたいでした。10歳、小説家になるのが欲しいでした。「?」
5
votes
1answer
141 views

How to know when I should use katakana form words referring to animals, lesser creatures, or other organisms?

I know many words for animals are usually written in katakana in contemporary Japanese, even though kanji exist: イルカ クマ And it seems some very common domestic animals I don't seem to notice ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

水疱 vs 火脹れ vs 水脹れ vs 肉刺

While hitchhiking from Tokyo to Sapporo in the past couple of days I devloped a few blisters on the soles of my feet. I like to learn my vocabulary based on my experience so looked up "blister" but ...
5
votes
1answer
495 views

〜たい form vs. 〜てほしい

When first learning Japanese grammar, one is usually taught that to express a desire to do something one should use the 〜たい form of the verb: 東京へ行きたい On some occasions, however, I've also seen ...
4
votes
1answer
218 views

Difference between かおり and におい

In a TV show I am watching (孤独のグルメ, perhaps many of you have heard of it) the gentleman is about to drink some coffee but pauses to savour the aroma. He says いい かおり だ Which I translate as "good ...
1
vote
2answers
170 views

Help me string this sentence together please

I'm trying to say "Taking Japanese class has been [or was] fun" using ものだ. But I don't think this is right: 日本語の授業を受けている楽していたものだ。
4
votes
1answer
154 views

Need help with understanding X ことは X construction

I need some help with this grammar point ’ことは'. The definition I have is "Indeed one does something alright, but ~" Verb / い adj ことは V2/ い2 adj "話すことは” ”高いことは” Examples: ...
3
votes
2answers
648 views

How to say “Is it worth a visit?”

What's a natural way of saying "Is it worth a visit?" in Japanese? Something like 「訪れ価値がある?」?
6
votes
1answer
735 views

しかも and なお both mean “furthermore; in addition; nevertheless” but here they are used together

I was looking up しかも - "furthermore; nevertheless" from this sentence: しかも敵との間合いはキープしたままだ。 Nevertheless keep just within range of the enemy but I am confused by this usage I saw on alc.co.jp ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the verb for gardening?

I came up with a bunch of nouns, so I'm thinking this is a suru verb. Closest thing I came up with is 築庭する。 (chikutei suru), but it translates to landscape gardening. Is there a more common usage? ...
2
votes
1answer
341 views

Why do song lyrics frequently include rare kanji or kanji where kana would usually be used?

Rather than alternative readings (as seen in manga etc.) I mean deliberate use of a more complex kanji in place of a simpler one, or use of kanji when kanji would not normally be used. A few examples: ...
6
votes
2answers
155 views

-ei/-you alternation in some kanji: what's going on?

There's a reasonable number of kanji that have on-readings like めい・みょう, へい・ひょう (possibly modulo voicing), etc. For example: 平: 平均【へいきん】 vs. 平等【びょうどう】 兵: 兵士【へいし】 vs. 兵庫県【ひょうごけん】 明: 不明【ふめい】 vs. ...
5
votes
1answer
322 views

Usage of 「なり」 with nouns

What is なり means in the following sentence, as far as I can guess it's close to the second one here. 「少なくとも、いきなり挑戦される可能性は低い。その間に、戦う準備なり勝つ方法を考えていかないといけないが…」 Some sort of translation: "At the ...
1
vote
3answers
200 views

Meaning of 資料共 in the context of web conferencing

The literal translation for "資料共" seems to be "total" (Google Translate) or "Documents" (Rikaichan). How would you parse it and interpret it in the context of web conferencing? It's supposed to be ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Meaning of お願い出します

Recently I've been listening to some Japanese radio stations online. I heard somebody say お願い出します a couple of times. I'm now hearing it sometimes in other places. Can somebody tell me what it ...
3
votes
1answer
229 views

Help identifying low-res kanji (and perhaps words) on a low-res album cover

Listening to an ancient rip of Escaflowne soundtrack, I wanted to add artist information to one file. I managed to identify some things from context and matching guesses to dictionary entries, but not ...
2
votes
1answer
182 views

「かみなりもん」 vs. 「らいもん」

So I was watching something last year that involved a visit to 浅草神社. Along the way there were conversations over what was the preferred way to read the name for the temple—either using the kun ...
9
votes
3answers
535 views

What is the correct Japanese translation for “pull down to refresh” in an app context?

I am currently studying Japanese, and one of my approaches for studying is by translating applications (since I also make apps for a living). How do I correctly translate "pull down to refresh"? ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

What does “死ぬ事は不正直である。” mean?

I would translate it to "Death is dishonest." and Google translate seems to concur. However, Jisho.org where I got this example from, says it means "Death is preferable to dishonor."
11
votes
1answer
907 views

ち suffix I've never heard of before

Ok, so I've been reading よつばと recently, and I've been seeing a suffix coming up that I cannot seem to find a meaning for. It's not in any dictionary, and I'm not sure if it's a name suffix, or some ...

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