4
votes
3answers
972 views

森 vs 林 for forest

According to A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters, 森 (38) is woods and 林 (75) is forest. But some material I've found online related to Japan seems to indicate 森 is the more correct Japanese ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

How to ask for something, formally, but on the internet

I don't really have a great understanding of Japanese internet culture, but as a Korean, I'm guessing it would be quite similar to ours in terms of "formality," as both Korean and Japanese have ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

Difference between 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり}

Both 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり} are nouns and mean "anger". Even the kanji are the same! How can we distinguish these two?
4
votes
3answers
103 views

Should 「ソウル」 be pronounced as “so u ru” or “so: ru”?

According to the ipadic attached to Mecab, it's "so u ru". According to the bccwj dict attached to Julius, it's "so: ru". Which one is correct? Or are they both OK?
4
votes
1answer
147 views

ムダ足だった == useless leg?

When I look up the phrase 無駄足だった, I see it translated as "It was a Wild goose chase." I found this bizarre, since it seems like it would mean "It was a useless foot/leg." is this some sort of figure ...
4
votes
1answer
358 views

What's that accordion style book you can get at shrines called?

When one goes to shrines, one can get an accordion style book where one can pay a couple hundred yen to have a shrine's seal written inside. What is that book called?
4
votes
4answers
185 views

What's the difference between そうです and そうでしょう?

In 『よつばと!』, やつば says 「ここ家がいっぱいある」 to which her father replies 「そうだろう」. What's the difference between そうです and そうでしょう? I know when we use そうです but I can't figure out the other. I know ましょう is used to ...
4
votes
3answers
486 views

How can I say “very little” in Japanese

I've being studying Japanese over 3 years by now, but I don't think I've ever encountered a phrase to express "very little", like in a humble "I know Japanese language very little". Can I say ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

What's difference between 昼(hiru) and 正午(shōgo)?

Both 昼{ひる} and 正午{しょうご} mean noon, so are they interchangeable?
4
votes
2answers
415 views

Asking a negative question

I've heard that it is supposed to be "less demanding" (or something in that regard) to ask a negative question when you're asking for a favor or anything alike. Let's say I want to turn this sentence ...
4
votes
1answer
225 views

Can kanji compounds be formed arbitrarily?

I will take 客 as an example: Can 客 form a compound with 席, 娟, and all the other thousands of Japanese 漢字? If I put 席客, but not 客席, will the meaning be different? Or will it just have no meaning? Or ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Why does the grammar structure for “I think [statement]” work the way it does?

In my Japanese class, I've been taught that the structure for "to think" is "~と思う", but no explanation was given for why this is the way it is. For instance: 日本の中で食べ物は高いと思う。 Obviously the first ...
4
votes
2answers
483 views

What exactly does the grammatical form NがNなだけに mean?

In my JLPT textbook, it has a section explaining the verb form [Noun]が[Noun]なだけに. By way of explanation, it says that this means, "unlike other things, [Noun] is special, so..." I'm having a hard ...
4
votes
3answers
241 views

Meanings of ちゃんと

I always thought ちゃんと meant "properly" or "exactly", but I begin to think that its meaning is broader, more like "as it is supposed to be" or "as you're supposed to do" because in some sentence it ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

Are 清酒{せいしゅ} and 日本酒{にほんしゅ} two words for the same thing?

As well as the several other kinds of Japanese alcoholic drinks I seem to have found two words which both mean the drink known in the west as "saké". Now I know 酒{さけ} can be used for many kinds of ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

Meaning of 「臨徴す」?

I'm currently reading the novel 「学生街の殺人」by 東野圭吾, and on page 230 the following sentence is spoken: 「商店街の会費を臨徴して作ったんだろう?まさしく背水の陣だな」 The character is referring to all shop owners of the district ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Is おやすも from a dialect?

I recognize that it's another way of saying "good night," where does it come from?
4
votes
1answer
221 views

Use of ながら in this instance.

One of my textbooks is telling me that the sentence using ながら below is incorrect… いすにすわりながら、音楽を聞いている人はウィリアムさんです。 …whilst the following sentence is correct. いすにすわって、音楽を聞いている人はウィリアムさんです。 ...
4
votes
1answer
452 views

What does 春夏冬 mean?

So, I was watching an anime, whereupon I found the following text (cf. screencap): 夜ト・春夏冬中 090-xxxx-##3x どんなお悩みも解決いたします! This text appears in the context of the character 夜ト trying to find ...
4
votes
2answers
366 views

Is “着物” the most suitable Japanese translation for the English word “kimono”?

Is "着物" the most commonly used, easily understood, and unambiguous Japanese translation for the English word "kimono"? If not, what alternatives would be more suitable? One reason I'm unsure is that ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

“働きいいように” missing a が?

The sentence below is from an essay. I'm confused about the grammatical components of "夫の働きいいように" ("to make the husband's work easy") - shouldn't there be a が just after 働き, or is it being casually ...
4
votes
1answer
196 views

How does ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う work/mean?

A:藤原さんは、もちろん歌だよね? B:うん。わたしにはそれしかないから……ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う I don't get what the part ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う is saying. 全然 is an adverb but there's no verb after it but 思う, but that's separated by a ...
4
votes
2answers
227 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
251 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
427 views

Does Japanese have short versions of weekdays?

Like in English we could type the days of the week as "Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat." Does Japanese have shortenings for weekdays? Like: 日,月, 火, 水, 木, 金, 土 Instead of: 日曜日, 月曜日, 火曜日, 水曜日, ...
4
votes
2answers
27k views

Konnichiwa and Konbanwa

What is the difference between Konnichiwa and Konbanwa? Is it appropriate to use either one in everyday conversations?
4
votes
2answers
303 views

Meaning of でもない in this context?

While listening to the song "Yasashisa no Riyuu", I noticed the following sentence: 今は誰の名前でもない 輝きの彼方へ Which by the fansub is translated like this: Now it doesn't matter whose name it may ...
4
votes
2answers
457 views

The topic is the restaurant, or the conversation is at the restaurant?

I have this sentence in my JLPT textbook: 話{はなし}の種{たね}に、新{あたら}しくできたレストランに食{た}べに行{い}ってみた。 I think I understand the part after the comma, which I believe is saying, "... tried to go eat at the new ...
4
votes
2answers
285 views

How is determined whether a sound should be romanized into an L versus an R?

I know there isn't a particularly distinct difference between L and R in native Japanese, but very often proper nouns and other non-translated Japanese names/words work their way into English ...
4
votes
3answers
443 views

Don't get the meaning of the sentence “意味ありげな笑いを浮かべた”

I am not sure about the meaning of this sentence. 意味ありげな笑いを浮かべた "(He) showed a meaningful laughter" ? Is that correct?
4
votes
3answers
811 views

Difference between 何の~ and どんな~

Consider the following: {どんな・[何]{なん}の}映画を見ましたか。 {どんな・何の}本を買いましたか。 What is the difference in the type of information requested by the two interrogatives? My hypothesis is that 何の is used to ...
4
votes
3answers
587 views

Is there a reliable translation of the kangxi radicals?

Inspired by the Wikipedia page on Kangxi radicals I decided to study the meaning and writing of radicals before I tackle the much more numerous kanji. But in working my way through the list, I started ...
4
votes
1answer
243 views

What is the difference between どころか or ものか?

This is a sentence from my JLPT prep book: 新しい首相に代わったが、景気は回復する (  )、悪化する一方であった。 The answer is: ものか, but I thought it was どころか. I can't figure out why どころか isn't correct or is unnatural. They ...
4
votes
2answers
526 views

what does “mata ha” stand for in this sentence?

くるまはみぎ、ひだりまたはまっすぐいってもいいです i understand what mata normally means but, it doesn't seem to work in this sentence. please & thank you.
4
votes
2answers
133 views

How do specific characters get included in 囲み文字 and what are the meanings they convey?

I have this book 「図解でわかる 文字コードのすべて」 which lists many of the Unicode and JIS symbols that one can type. I noticed the section of enclosed alphanumerics (囲み文字). Not all kanji are included in 囲み文字 which ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How and when to use せや and its variants in Kansai-ben?

Here in Kansai I hear せや, せやねん, and せやな everywhere. I was wondering if anyone could clarify the meaning and usage of these, as well as their equivalent in more standard Japanese? Additionally, are ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

What is this や in 大きすぎや?

Is this a contraction along the same lines of なければ → なきゃ? 反乱を抑えるためだけが目的だとしたらリスクが大きすぎやしないか Also, can you contract 言えば or あれば?
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Questions on the Japanese equivalent of “window of opportunity”

In English we have a saying "window of opportunity" which means that there is specific time period where a certain event can occur. Based on that expression we talk about a "launch window" when it ...
4
votes
2answers
154 views

Pronunciation of 締 in 月末締/翌月末払

If I understood well, 月末締/翌月末払 means "close the deal before end of a given month then get payment before end of the following month" Is the pronunciation "げつまつしめ よくげつはらい" I am especially unsure ...
4
votes
1answer
186 views

Meaning and spelling of1対1で対応

In a recent email conversation, an acquaintance used the expression: 1対1で対応するそれは、大変だね。 Although I can vaguely infer the meaning of the expression 1対1で対応する (いちたいでたいおう), I am having a hard time ...
4
votes
2answers
447 views

Is there a list of popular surnames organised by region/prefecture?

I've seen a lot of 'Top 100 Japanese surnames' sorts of lists, but obviously some names are much more popular in some regions than others. Is there a resource (preferably in Japanese!) that would take ...
4
votes
2answers
523 views

壱, 弐, 参 vs 一, 二, 三

Can you tell me the difference between 壱 and 一, 弐 and 二, 参 and 三? Do these pairs have the same meaning? If yes, why do we use different Kanji? If no, what is the difference in their meanings? Can ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

Different between 可決 and 許可?

I want to know the different between 可決 and 許可. I search into dictionary and the meaning is quite the same whose meaning are approval or permission. So, what different? and how to use it ...
4
votes
3answers
234 views

Is this grammatical: 彼は映画スターであり、政治家もだ。

I was about to ask a question but I can't without first confirming, Is this sentence: 彼は映画スターであり、政治家もだ。 grammatically correct, and mean: He is a movie star and also a politician. ==Follow-up ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

食べやすい and 食べにくい

I'm wondering what does 食べやすい mean exactly? "easily-eaten" doesn't seem to make any sense at all.. Does 食べやすい mean that something is soft and easy to swallow, or does it mean that something tastes ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

just by the phrase 試験を受ける, can we imply anything on the 試験?

since 受ける is the same verb associated with "sustaining damage", "incurring losses", "suffering injury", all 3 seemingly have negative nuances, I'm wondering when we use it (受ける) with 試験, does 受ける ...
4
votes
1answer
371 views

What does 叱ってやりたい mean in this context?

On twitter I saw this: なのに風呂掃除したら100円もらってたおれ…叱ってやりたい!笑 What does it mean? This is the previous tweet: 最近だなー。食ったらすぐ食器洗うのが習慣になったの。実家に居た頃は全部母親がやってたから甘えちゃってた。仕事もしてて家事も完璧にやってた母親、今更ながら尊敬します。
4
votes
2answers
156 views

Do you need to use の when using へ to modify a noun?

For example, I was listening to a song, and the lyric 願いや野望や空想が知らない次元【レベル】へドアをたたいて came up. Don't you usually need to use a の to make 知らない次元へのドア or else 知らない次元へ might get confused as modifying たたいて? ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Can I insert hiragana in words I only know partially how to write?

This is a problem I encountered today and I had no idea how to decide what was the best course of action, and I only got the advice of a classmate (You're doing it WRONG) to confirm. As I am still ...
4
votes
2answers
164 views

What are valid responses to the expressions 「はじめまして」 and 「よろしくおねがいします」 used in introductions?

I came across a learn-Japanese book from the 1980s and wanted to know what you guys think. The book gave a general formula for introduction and here is how it goes: Someone says their name with any ...

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