5
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2answers
380 views

Scope of negation with 〜したくない

In English, we can distinguish between not wanting to do something, and wanting to not do something. It's not a distinction that we usually make, but it is possible: P = "do anything" A. "I want to ...
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2answers
366 views

A closer look at そう思う

I just realized today that for some reason I'm pretty uncomfortable with things like そう思う because the Japanese そう has a meaning akin to saying isn't that so in English. But when you say そう思う, そう is ...
5
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1answer
320 views

Pre-Kana Kanji readings

How did Japanese know how to read kanji before invention of kana? (having only kanji to write a language) Without kana and romaji, if they heard a new word - how could they look it up in a ...
5
votes
2answers
225 views

what's the difference between 領域 、範囲 and 分野?

Could anyone explain to me the difference between these 3 words, especially between 範囲 and 領域 ? For example, I have these 練習問題: a.分野  b.領域 c.範囲 ① 試験の……… は、17課までです。  ② 外の大学との交流が進んで研究の……… が広がった。 ③ ...
5
votes
2answers
198 views

Is there a way to differentiate て and って when transcribing speech?

I was wondering if there was some kind of rules to differentiate them, or if it was something we have to remember, like spelling in English. The same question can also extend to お vs おう ; I learned ...
5
votes
1answer
217 views

Are all words stripped of bikago when listed in dictionaries?

When checking dictionaries (jisho.org and Wiktionary) for お名前, I found that it wasn't listed as お名前, but only as 名前. Do most dictionaries strip bikago from all words, or do they typically strip bikago ...
5
votes
4answers
377 views

Meaning of a long dash “――”, and use of past tense in the present

I have this following sentence:   横線――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれは、俺の生命の残量を可視化したものだ。 There are a few questions I came up with about this sentence: The first part of the sentence is: 横線―――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれ, ...
5
votes
2answers
397 views

Meaning of sentence -てまでする

I have this sentence from JLPT book which I don't understand: いくら仕事だといっても、体をこわしてまですることないんじゃありませんか? I get that the sentence is about destroying your health/body when you work too much and when this ...
5
votes
1answer
369 views

I have no idea what this is saying. Can you have two topics in a sentence?

白い箱はカウチの上に緑のランプは机の上にあります。 This sentence looks like it has two topics in it. But when I try to translate it, it doesn't make sense (to me obviously). My direct translation is: A white box on top of ...
5
votes
2answers
330 views

What is 方 used for (when attached to a た-verb)?

I have the following sentence: 早く行った方が良かったでしょう。 Here, if we take it apart we shall have: 早く(Adverb) 行った(Verb, Past tense) 方(?) が(GA, Subject particle) 良かったでしょう(Verb, Past tense) 。 What is ...
5
votes
2answers
207 views

Difference between 颜 and 顔

I have seen both used like 笑颜 and 笑顔 to mean smile (noun). afaik both are pronouced as えがお (somebody correct me if I'm wrong, ビギナーだ). So what exactly is the difference?
5
votes
2answers
281 views

What is the etymology of the word しょーむない?

しょーむない更新失礼しました(T^T) Sorry for the boring update From my understanding, しょーむない means something along the lines of くだらない and つまらない. Where does it originate from and is it specific to a certain ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you say I am emailing something and attaching it to the email?

I am usually confused if I am going to use 入れます or 付けます when specifying that I attached something to the email. For example: 最新の帳票サンプルを添付して入れます。 or 最新の帳票サンプルを添付して付けます。 I would usually say that ...
5
votes
2answers
319 views

How do I differentiate all these terms for “illiterate”?

I looked up the word "illiteracy", and was offered many different possibilities. Here they are, with my personal take on the nuance behind their origins: 活字{かつじ}離{ばな}れ ("removed from printing"?) ...
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votes
3answers
273 views

Is there a past tense conjugation form for ば?

I have been looking at conjunctive forms of verbs and my grammar books shows me a negative and affirmative version of ば but what about a past tense and a past tense negative? Would they be じゃなてれば and ...
5
votes
3answers
441 views

Is it normal to use ただいま in situations other than ただいま戻【もど】りました?

By itself, I would say that 「ただいま」 means something like "just now". I've used it a few times in sentences like this, but it feels somewhat awkward, as I am always reminded of ただいま戻【もど】りました. So, for ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Can 野郎{やろう} really have that many meanings?

(Warning: potentially offensive words. Proceed at your own risk. Also, apologies for the length.) I realize this risks opening up the "does Japanese actually have swear words" debate, touched on ...
5
votes
3answers
426 views

Translation of “に” into “natural” English

All of my Japanese teachers have told me that な-adjectives converted to に-ending words and い-adjectives converted to く-ending words, when followed by a verb, are 'adverbs'. However, sentences sound ...
5
votes
2answers
552 views

How to parse わけじゃなし

A novel I'm reading contains this snippet of dialogue. The manager of a love hotel is explaining why she doesn't return to her apartment between shifts: ...
5
votes
2answers
702 views

Does [V-stem]に行く works for verbs whose stems are not stand-alone words by themselves?

I was taught that there is a grammatical form which goes like this: [V-stem]に行く For example: 遊びに行く, which means "Go. Reason: to 遊ぶ" I was wondering does this grammatical form work for verbs whose ...
5
votes
2answers
206 views

Difference between AにB and AはB

The context is this tweet: セットリストに適当!って書いてます。笑 I could understand more easily if は was used instead of に. How does に change the meaning? Does an inference have to be made here to understand ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Correct usage of [verb stem] + に + [another verb]

I'm a little unclear on the use a verb stem, followed by に and another verb. Take these two examples: 特別なビザをもらって行った 特別なビザをもらいに行った I think the first means "I went with a special visa", but ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

Other uses of the combined particle には

I'm reading a story and two siblings are playing 'hide and seek'. The younger one, after finding a hiding place, says: ここならお兄ちゃんには絶対に見つからないよ ここなら means 'if here' that is, from the context, 'if I ...
5
votes
2answers
144 views

Is 片方 only used for things that come in twos?

Is 片方 only used for things that come in pairs? For example I can say: 彼は片方の眉を吊り上げた。 He raised an eyebrow. But can I say: 彼は左の手の片方の指を折れていた。 He broke one of the fingers on his left hand. ...
5
votes
2answers
123 views

Is なくなく an emphatic negative expression (e.g. in 力なくなく)?

I guess it is an archaic form... Sometimes I hear an adverbial phrase 力{ちから}なくなく used in context when someone resigned something after an effort. Let's say a warrior was pursuing another one to no ...
5
votes
2answers
53 views

why does 手段を選ばない = will do anything?

why does 手段を選ばない = will do anything?
5
votes
1answer
87 views

96人も遅刻するような学校なんだな。- Confusing use of ような

96人も遅刻するような学校なんだな In this sentence, I've done my best to translate as 'that is like 96 people being late for school' but, ような here is confusing me. it makes me think of this sentence as 'that is ...
5
votes
3answers
572 views

Does “こちらのテーブルをお使いいただけます。” mean “I can use the table, and you cannot?”

I would like to ask a follow-up question about the 敬語 used in Why “お食事の際は、…” instead of “ご飯を食べる際は、…”?. example sentence: こちらのテーブルをお使いいただけます。 Sounds like: I can use this table. So, ...
5
votes
1answer
219 views

Can the English suffix “-zilla” be translated back into Japanese?

Can the English suffix -zilla, a backformation from "Godzilla" describing something as large and/or destructive, be translated into Japanese and easily understood, and how would it be translated? As ...
5
votes
2answers
422 views

Asking a question with “da” and “datta”

We use "desu" and "deshita" to make the polite form and "ka" to make it a question, for example: Tokyo ga suki desu ka? (Do you like Tokyo?) Tokyo ga suki deshita ka? (Did you like Tokyo?) How can ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

“仕事は大変だけど元気だよー” Missing adjective or is it correct?

I would imagine that my friend is trying to say "My work is very difficult, but other than that I'm fine!", But for me it feels like it's missing an adjective like 難しい Whole sentence : ...
5
votes
2answers
242 views

How to compare the ages of people in Japanese?

This is probably a simple question but something I've seemingly never considered while studying Japanese, but how would one compare ages of people in Japanese? For example if I wanted to say "I'm two ...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

Why are japanese comic storyboards called names (ネーム)?

ネーム is the rough draft which the finished manga is based on. (reference) I can't for the life of me figure out the origin of this word. Why did it end up being the English word "name"?
5
votes
1answer
319 views

How to parse 中国人で日本語が話せる方は、お電話ください。

I have a difficulty to parse the following sentence. 中国人で日本語が話せる方は、お電話ください。 I just understood the following partial phrases. 中国人で means "with Chinese" 日本語が話せる方 means "person who can speak ...
5
votes
2answers
311 views

What does 形から入る mean?

What does 形から入る mean? What contexts may it be used in? I can't find the phrase in my dictionary. I ran across this in an anime. Transcription of the relevant parts: [麻]{ま}[音]{おん}の父さん ...
5
votes
1answer
279 views

How to read: the “~” in “3~4 行”

How should I read the "~" mark that stands for range, as described in the title? I saw this in the following sentence: 3~4行ごとに1行あけると読みやすい。
5
votes
3answers
883 views

Is it polite in Japan to ask if someone speaks English? (英語を話せますか?)

As preparation for my trip, I am re-learning my Japanese. I imagined a scenario which I am not sure if it is okay to ask. Is it polite to ask someone if they speak English or are people offended by ...
5
votes
2answers
473 views

想い vs. 思い - Do Both Mean Feeling?

Do both 思い and 想い mean "feeling", and if they do are they used interchangeably? If not, what is their difference in meaning?
5
votes
1answer
879 views

What does this lyric mean?

I was listening to 悲しい色やね by Ueda Masaki. I was able to pick up the lyrics, but there are certain phrases that I cannot translate. In the main melody part, I was able to pick up ほーみーたい 大阪ベイブルース In ...
5
votes
2answers
383 views

Meaning of しょわー

In the last panel at the bottom of the page, she says 「しょ__ー」. I'm not quite sure as to what that last character is, including its use(s) and pronounciation(s). I have seen this character in various ...
5
votes
3answers
236 views

Email: 「回答」vs「返事」

In the context of email sending, in order to acknowledge an email which is better? 回答有難うございます 返事有難うございます Also, if you have some rules on when to use either, it would be much appreciated!
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votes
2answers
300 views

When is よう written in kanji as 様?

We have been taught a lot of uses of よう pattern like ように, Vます ように, sentence ending with ように, ようだ for comparison, etc. But everywhere in textbooks, the よう is written in hiragana. I recently found out ...
5
votes
3answers
273 views

Usage of -さ with そうな

I was learning about adjectives + さ, which turns them into a noun; as I understand it, a "measurable" quantity . I then thought of how X そうです could be turned into an adjective, X そうな Y, so I was ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

How to say “I hope you liked it” or “I hope you found it interesting” as a conclusion for a formal speech?

I am preparing a speech, and would like to finish it by saying "I hope you found it interesting" or "I hope you found my speech interesting", or similar. However, I am not certain of the different ...
5
votes
3answers
241 views

How to express “X is the most important for Y”?

I am not certain how to say "X is the most important for Y". For example, "A teacher is the most important person for a student." It could be 「先生は学生にいちばんたいせつな人です」 or 「がくせいは先生がいちばんたいせつな人です」, but I ...
5
votes
2answers
144 views

Understanding もう少しゆっくり休む - “Take the day off more slowly”?

I have a long translation I need to do. It has basically talked about how the speaker's younger brother was very sick. The last sentence of the translation is the following. 弟が、明日、会社に行けるかわかりませんが、 ...
5
votes
2answers
361 views

meaning of particle と in ためにと用意した

What is the particle と means in ためにと用意した, and how is it different from ために用意した? 初撃の後の陽動のためにと用意した慧による「姫」の誘拐作戦。 "The strategy of kidnapping the "princess" by/which is done with the help of Kei, is ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the proper word for self-study?

So I know that jiko shoukai is self-introduction. And benkyou is study. So I took a guess and figured that self-study is jiko benkyou. The context of this is if someone asks "how did/do you study ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

ではなかったら and でなかったら

One of my textbooks says: When たら used with N/なadjective+ではない, は should be omitted. So it should be でなかったら NOT ではなかったら. This seems strange because it never explains why. However, I do see sentences ...
5
votes
2answers
763 views

What's the meaning of 〜ておきます?

What exactly does 〜ておきます mean in this context? 旅行{りょこう}する前{まえ}にホテルを予約{よやく}しておきます。 Is this trying to say something like "Before traveling, reserve a room". Is this a suggestion? An order? (If so, why ...

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