5
votes
1answer
162 views

What is the difference between 包む(つつむ)and 包む(くるむ)?

The verbs つつむ and くるむ and both written 包む, and according to my English-to-Japanese dictionary both have the meaning "to wrap". くるむ is glossed "おおう", while つつむ is glossed "すっぽりと覆う", but I am having ...
5
votes
1answer
389 views

をも… what on earth this particle combination?

In my book I found this sentence... Aさんの健康に関して、特にその食事に関しての心配が、Aさんの心も家族の心をも蝕んでいるのだ。 I understand the sentence, but I had no idea such a particle combination was possible... could someone please ...
5
votes
1answer
530 views

「二番」 vs. 「二番目」 confusion

I am confused by 「二番」vs.「二番目」、「三番」vs.「三番目」etc. While 「一番速い人。」 seems grammatically correct and sounds ok to me, 「二番速い人。」 sounds so unnatural to me I am thinking the grammar might be wrong. But, if ...
5
votes
1answer
380 views

How did 冷やかし come to mean “window-shopping”?

I'm curious how 冷やかし came to mean things such as 買わずに見る and からかう. Here's what I can figure out: hiya seems to be a root meaning "cold" (like in hiya-ya-ka) hiya-k-u is an old verb based on this ...
5
votes
1answer
225 views

Why is topology called 位相幾何学?

Topology in English is called 位相幾何学 in Japanese; also, topological space is called 位相空間. But why is topology called 位相幾何学? What is the correspondence between topo and 位相? What is the origin of 位相?
5
votes
1answer
132 views

Readings of 漏斗:じょうご vs ろうと

Is there any difference in meaning between the words じょうご and ろうと, both meaning something like "funnel", both written with the kanji 漏斗? There's some indication in the answers here that ろうと may be a ...
5
votes
1answer
489 views

Words for Ginkgo in Japanese: ぎんきょう and ぎんなん

I decided to read about the words for Ginkgo in Japanese (as in Ginkgo biloba). I was surprised to learn that Ginkgo comes from Japanese! According to Wikipedia, Engelbert Kaempfer, while writing ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

What does 腕が光る mean?

I've tried Googling for Japanese/Japanese dictionary definitions of this phrase, but can only find usages so far, which haven't helped. More context: "俺たち職人の腕が光る" I think from context that the ...
5
votes
1answer
243 views

Expressing a sequence of actions using 〜たとき?

I am aware that one can explain that to things happen at the same time using plain non past form + とき: 電車に乗るとき転びました。"I fell when I got on the train (I was going through the door when it happened)" ...
5
votes
1answer
702 views

Is “豪斯多拉利” an ateji way to write “Australia”?

Several years ago I invested some time and energy digging up more ways to write "Australia" in Japanese than I ever expected would exist: オーストラリア is the usual spelling these days 濠太剌利 is a rare old ...
5
votes
1answer
368 views

Legibility of handakuten and dakuten in small font sizes

I occasionally come across text with a small font size where I can tell that there's either an handakuten ゚ or a dakuten ゙ in a kana character, but I need to zoom in to tell which one it is. Does ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

勤め vs 役目​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What is the difference between 勤め and 役目? Both seems to mean duty (something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation), but what is the difference in their nuance and ...
5
votes
2answers
701 views

How do I say “the reason why” or “the purpose of” in Japanese?

While studying this morning, I became interested in how to say "When you were a child, did you read books for fun?" in Japanese. In this case, would I use ため? Or would it be something like this: ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

The meaning and parsing of “はっといた”

In the Kanzen Master N2 listening textbook, there's the following sentence: 女: 昨日、はっといたんだけど。 Of which in the answers the correct reply was specified as: 男: その壁に? Man: On that wall? (?) ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

What does “気結び” mean?

According to a (non japanese, but he spent lots of time in Japan) Aikido teacher I know, this is supposed to represent "an obligation bounding student and teacher". To be honest, I am a bit ...
5
votes
1answer
426 views

The logic behind “くすぐったい”

I am interested in the literal meaning of くすぐったい. If くすぐったい is equivalent to the English expression, "That tickles!" (said by someone being tickled), what is the literal meaning of this word? If it is ...
5
votes
3answers
424 views

What is the difference between 寿司, 鮨, 鮓, 寿斗, 寿し, and 壽司?

It is likely that this is due to my poor understanding, but why are there so many names for「すし」? I think for the most part I have only seen the first three (寿司、鮨、鮓). For whatever reason in some ...
5
votes
2answers
456 views

Are the grammatical forms ものか and だろうか questions?

For some reason, I have had the impression that か at the end of a sentence marks some kind of question that is being asked. However, in these examples from 日本語総まとめ 文法: うれしいもんですか。困っているんです。 ...
5
votes
1answer
285 views

Does ネガティブ mean “negative”, or “bad”, when describing a person?

ネガティブ is an adjective that's based on the word "negative" (or maybe a word from another European language). But when describing a person, does it mean "negative", as in pessimistic, always ...
5
votes
1answer
129 views

What is the difference between 義務and 本分?

Now, I try to brush up my vocabulary in Japanese. In dictionary, both 義務 and 本分 mean "duty". Is there any differences in usage? And can I use 本分 instead of 義務 in following sentence? ...
5
votes
1answer
481 views

How to decide to use どうせ or しょせん?

The dictionary translates both どうせ (WJDIC) and しょせん (WJDIC) as "anyway / in any case / after all". But what exactly is the difference in nuance between them? For example, what is the difference ...
5
votes
2answers
433 views

What is the difference in terms of grammar between きり and っぱなし?

I'm pretty sure there is a difference between the use of these two words. I came across the example sentences: 息子は、自分の部屋に入ったきり出てこない。 母は入院している父をつきっきりで看病している。 電車が混んでいて、東京まで立ちっぱなしだった。 I ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the original Japanese for “It's always the darkest under the lighthouse”?

What is the original Japanese saying meaning, "It's always the darkest under the lighthouse"? (reference)
5
votes
1answer
255 views

Meaning of 掛ける after ご面倒?

ご面倒をお掛けして申し訳ございません。 means "We are sorry for the inconvenience." but what is the meaning of 掛ける in this context?
5
votes
1answer
374 views

What does もう mean in this sentence?

彼はもう英語を教えるまい。 (Most probably, he won't teach English any more.) I got this sentence from this thread. もう doesn't seem necessary to use or have. Isn't the meaning the same if it was like this: ...
5
votes
3answers
315 views

What differences, if any, are there between 婦 and 女?

I came across 婦 from this English-language Wikipedia article. Jisho.org says that 婦 (which contains 女 in it) can mean married woman, but it can mean woman or lady, and it then lists words such as 婦警 ...
5
votes
2answers
414 views

What does the “~ておく” mean in “任せておく”?

Good afternoon all, From what I understand, "~ておく" basically has 4 meanings: to do something for a purpose / reason used as a softener (source) to do.. for now or for the time being (source, ...
5
votes
1answer
691 views

Openings and Closings (Salutations and Valedictions) When Writing a Letter/E-mail

This question came to me because I am writing a personal thank-you letter to a friend's family who hosted me in their home over the holidays. What is the proper way to address the entire family? For ...
5
votes
2answers
368 views

Questions about ありたい

心がいつも美しくありたいです I want my heart to always be beautiful. 心がいつも美しくして欲しいです (Incorrect) 心がいつも美しくなりたいです I want my heart to always be beautiful.(?) My Japanese friend wrote the ...
5
votes
1answer
538 views

Confusion between causatives and intransitive-transitive

I read the answer to this question How different is 冷やかす from 冷やす? And 散らかす from 散らす? but somehow wasn't satisfied. What's the difference between the 2 causative forms ~す and ~せる, e.g. 待たす and ...
5
votes
1answer
505 views

How to express “more than something”?

I was wondering if there is a form I can use to express "more than X". For example, "reading more than 200 pages a day is a challenge". Or maybe something like, "reading as much as 200 pages a day ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Expressing “not greater/less than” and “greater/less than or equal to”

I'm having trouble coming up with a way of saying "not greater than 0" and "not less than 0". Would the following sentences be natural/grammatical? If not, in what ways can the following be ...
5
votes
1answer
317 views

Usage of なんて in this sentence

”正直友達が死んだらこんなにへこむなんておもってみなかった”  I cant understand this sentence.
5
votes
1answer
976 views

Why do some people use 分からない, when they mean 知らない? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I choose between [知]{し}る and わかる? I often get puzzled when I ask a question and the other person says 分からない or 分からん, when they seem to understand but they ...
5
votes
1answer
324 views

Does ところ mean the exact same thing as こと in this sentence?

Consider the following sentence: お金じゃないところが好きだから一緒にいるの 【おかね じゃない ところが すき だから いっしょに いるの】 I think it means "I'm with you because of the parts of you that don't have to do with money". I'm ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

バカヤロウ to バゲロ [mature content]

Note: This question may contain wordings that may be considered rude to some, so proceed with open mind and caution. One of the legacies of Japanese colonization in my country during WW2 is a rude ...
5
votes
3answers
517 views

Significance of ところ in set phrases ところで and ところが

In two conjunctions 「ところで」 and 「ところが」 that mean "by the way / incidentally" and "however / nevertheless" respectively, what is the significance of the word 「ところ」? How does ところ + で give the nuance of ...
5
votes
1answer
204 views

“感動した!(like ex-primeminister Koizumi)” Where does this reference come from?

After showing a project to a Japanese coworker, he answered me the following: 感動した!、小泉元総理風 I found this amusing, but I couldn't get the Mr.Koizumi reference. Is there a story behind this?
5
votes
3answers
134 views

Sentences ending in て

While in Japan I came across the Kinokuniya mega bookshop, which I fell in love with. I went to one of the top floors, started browsing the Japanese learning books, and found a couple focused on ...
5
votes
2answers
139 views

「聞こえなくなった」 or 「聞けなくなった」?

I wanted to say: "I became unable to hear." I said: "聞こえなくなった" but I was corrected and told to say: "聞けなくなった" That sounds strange to me. I've never even heard the verb form "聞ける" what does ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

Embedded question followed by と

What is the grammar behind the use of the quote marker と in this sentence? 雨がいつ降るかと大変楽しみにしていましたが、なかなか雨が降りません。 He was looking forward to when the rain would come, but... Can I also write ...
5
votes
3answers
231 views

What is the difference between 逃{のが}れた and 免{まぬが}れた?

What is the difference between 逃れた and 免れた? They both mean "avoided, escaped". When should I use each of them? I found the sentence in JLPT1 book, where you have to pick the right answer: ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

The personal agent and indirect object in a passive sentence

I came across this sentence: 私はどんな動物に例えられるの? And i was wondering how do you express the personal agent (the one who is doing the comparing) in this sentence? Are they also marked by に? Or does ...
5
votes
3answers
308 views

Why is 「で」 in 「三人のうちで一番…」 omissible but 「で」 in 「ここで待つ」 not?

Are there any rough guidelines regarding whether a particle can be omitted or not? 「三人のうちで一番…」から「で」を省略できると思いますが、「ここで待つ」の「で」も省略することができないのはどうしてですか? 助詞の省略に関するガイドラインはありますか?
5
votes
2answers
329 views

What does “=” equals sign mean in Japanese news headlines?

I try to read news in Japanese and sometimes I see equals sign used inside sentences. I tend to think text to the right side of "=" is kind of a consequence of the left part. It does not look like it ...
5
votes
2answers
209 views

usage of から at the end of the first sentence with the second part in the next

My question is on how to properly interpret utterances like the below. あれに正面から挑むのは中々に手間よ。どうするの? 下手な小細工が通じる相手じゃないからなあ。正面から挑むだけだよ Occasionally I'll see someone end the sentence with からな・からね ...
5
votes
1answer
356 views

Is Taito (たいと) (kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes) legit and ever used?

Taito is mentioned as the kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes in Wikipedia. Taito is composed of two kanji ("cloud" (雲) and "dragon" (龍) repeated three times each ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

Purpose of ~とは in 「あなたにとって仕事とはなんでしょうか」

あなたにとって仕事【しごと】とはなんでしょうか What is the purpose of とは above? Would using は alone have been any different? If とは is a grammatical construct, I would appreciate additional examples clarifying its ...
5
votes
2answers
198 views

Difference between 「答え{こたえ}」 and 「回答 {かいとう}」 and 「正解 {せいかい}」

What is the difference between 「答え{こたえ}」 and 「回答{かいとう}」 and 「正解{せいかい}」? They mean "the answer", but.. when each should be used?
5
votes
1answer
193 views

How is “gomen” used?

I don't even know if this is the correct place to post this. The only source that I'm in touch with the Japanese language is through anime. So my question, which I understand that could be kinda ...

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