7
votes
2answers
338 views

Were women unable to learn kanji during the Heian era?

I've read that The Tale of Genji, and similar Heian-era novels such as The Pillow Book, and The Gossamer Years were predominantly or exclusively hiragana, which is also called "women's writing" (女手). ...
7
votes
5answers
442 views

Less-approximate and more-approximate forms of loan words

When Japanese incorporates a Western word, especially English, often the spelling rather than the pronunciation is respected in the transcription, thus, ending up with a transcription that is not the ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

How best to translate 左右対称 in this context?

For example: 人間の顔は左右対称ではない A person's face is asymmetrical. The above is simple, but how about: 漢字の形が左右対称である。 "The shape of the Kanji character is symmetrical." The problem I have with the ...
5
votes
2answers
427 views

Passive verb forms for intransitive verbs

Okay, so I'm confused about passive verbs. From how I understand it, the verb is performed on the subject. but how come you can say something like 明日の会議に行かれるんですか? Are you going to tomorrow's ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

Buddhist facilities

I am working on Japanese texts describing Buddhist temples in South-East Asia and there is quite a number of words I can't really translate in English. Here is a list with my tentative translations (I ...
8
votes
4answers
331 views

What is the formula to say “I'm trying to do X regularly”?

I was trying to think of a way to say "I'm trying hard to read a news article every day" (in the sense that I'm trying to find the time to sit down and pay attention long enough to read, not ...
7
votes
4answers
330 views

Analyzing sentences like 日本がピンチだ and 明日は雨だ

How are sentences like 日本がピンチだ (Japan is in a pinch) and 明日は雨だ (tomorrow it will rain) analyzed? Translating them trivially, as 日本がピンチだ Japan is a pinch 明日は雨だ Tomorrow is rain doesn't make ...
-1
votes
1answer
357 views

男が空き缶などに入れた唾液を女子高生の制服や頭に直接かける

With the following sentence: 西東京市内では昨年12月〜今年2月、男が空き缶などに入れた唾液を女子高生の制服や頭に直接かける事件がほかに3件発生。 Does 空き缶などに入れた modify 唾液? Does it mean 唾液 was put in an empty can?
0
votes
1answer
96 views

grammar in a specific sentence

With the following sentence: 自分の唾液を入れたポリ袋を女子高校生の背中に投げ付けたとして、警視庁田無署は6日までに、暴行の疑いで埼玉県新座市野寺、派遣社員工藤清哉容疑者(41)を逮捕した。 Does 自分の唾液を入れた modify ポリ袋? Does it make sense? Is ポリ袋 the object of the verb ...
-1
votes
2answers
391 views

What does 女子高生に唾液かけた疑い 逮捕の男「困る姿楽しい」 mean?

What does the following sentence mean? 女子高生に唾液かけた疑い 逮捕の男「困る姿楽しい」 Especially the relationships between: 唾液 and かけた 困る姿 and 楽しい Is 困る姿 楽しい?
5
votes
2answers
484 views

This use より baffles me

From the anime Noir, Episode 2. Context: The husband comes home and his wife and son greet him outside. Wife: おかえりなさい。今日は早いのね? Husband: ああ、思ったより早く仕事が終わってね。 The wife's line, I get. The ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

What is the proper term for the use of archaic kanji?

I noticed that in various works of Japanese art, the artists sign their work with a seal whose contents range from fairly regular kanji to very abstract variations of kanji. I have also seen it used ...
9
votes
1answer
270 views

What counter words are used by animals for humans?

In Happy Feet 2, I noticed that the penguins used the hitori, futari, ... counter words for themselves, rather than 羽. In fiction involving talking animals where the humans are regarded as somewhat ...
4
votes
1answer
337 views

が早いか versus や否や

が早{はや}いか and や否{いな}や both seem to mean "as soon as". They describe a relation between two actions, where one action occurs when another does. I'm a little fuzzy on the difference, though. I think, ...
7
votes
3answers
444 views

What exactly does この通{とお}りmean?

I know that その通り can mean "Exactly" or "That's right". But I was watching an anime (Samurai 7) and heard one of the characters say "この通り" and something else right afterwards which I didn't catch. For ...
8
votes
2answers
263 views

What's the meaning of ず in 通ず? (Not a negative)

It's from the Japanese saying, 読書百遍意自ずから通ず(Repeated reading makes the meaning clear). In this case, the ず ending doesn't make the verb negative. What is the function and nuance of this usage? Is this ...
6
votes
3answers
524 views

Which ところ is this?

I had my sentence of 今日は友達の車で警告を読んで、和英翻訳してみることにします ("Today I will read the warning in my friend's car and try to do a Japanese to English translation of it") corrected to become: ...
5
votes
2answers
526 views

“Dyke” and “Femme”

Warning! This question contains at least one, possibly, derogatory word. I appologise if readers are offended. A friend of mine asked me to translate a passage from a poem in British English into ...
6
votes
3answers
341 views

relative clauses without verbs

I read a sentence in Naruto that challenged some of my ideas about how Japanese works, and I'd like to try and clear this up. I can only assume that アナタがピンチの時 means "when you're in a pinch". First ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Does 諸元{しょげん} mean “Specification” or “Various”?

I am trying to name a library on a group of forms. The specification names the group 諸元管理画面. I tried to search and the dictionary says it means "various factors or elements". But on other examples ...
2
votes
1answer
173 views

Could anyone confirm my poor translation of these few sentences?

For my first question I would like some help on the following message I received(the sentences are relatively simple since my Japanese skills are quite low). But before starting I would like to say ...
2
votes
1answer
468 views

I have no idea what my old shirt says. Can anyone help?

I have owned this old RVCA shirt for nearly a decade. I have never had any clue what it means, though I suspect it is offensive or awkward (as that is what I would put on a shirt if I knew an ignorant ...
6
votes
2answers
161 views

What is the meaning of なす? Specifically when preceded by a color

I came across this phrase in a book: 緑なす半島 Obviously (and also confirmed by Weblio) it is describing a quality of the peninsula, but I'm curious as to what exactly it means, and how/when it can ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

一ヵ条: いちっかじょう? いちかじょう? いっかじょう?

This recent question brought to mind a question of my own. The Japanese name for the Twenty-One Demands made by Japan in 1915 to the Republic of China is romanised on the wikipedia page as 対華二十一ヵ条要求 ...
5
votes
3answers
340 views

Does さえ mean “even” in the following sentence?

I encountered the following on our daily reading. どのような企業{きぎょう}も、創業期{そうぎょうき}には全社員が昼食をとること さえ 忘れてしまうほど、忙しくフル回転していたものです。 In a business, a person was so busy that he forgot to eat lunch even ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

1カ所: いっかしょ or いちかしょ?

What is the correct pronunciation for 1カ所 ? It means: 1 place Context: ユーティリティ関数として定義されているわりには1カ所からしか呼ばれていない。 It is defined as a utility function, but only called in one place.
3
votes
2answers
155 views

What is the first meaning of たたき台?

たたき台 means a springboard for discussion. According to my dictionary, this word's first meaning is "chopping block". On Google Images, it does not look like the plastic/wood board I use to cut ...
6
votes
2answers
207 views

Etymology of とんでもない

Where did とんでもない (meaning "not at all" or "outrageous!") come from? Could it be 飛んでもない ? ("will not even jump/fly" in a similar way how "When pigs fly" is considered a remark for something ...
5
votes
2answers
278 views

~たい forms of double-subject sentences

I ocasionally hear sentences such as 髪が長くなりたい I want long hair 心が美しくありたい I want to have a beautiful heart Although I might use similar constructions myself, I do not consider them fully ...
6
votes
2answers
255 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
267 views

Does contraction and elision affect formation of relative clause?

For example, やらなければならない can modify 時 to form やらなければならない時 and I know that the adjective い ending can simply have a noun appended after it. However when it's contracted to やらなきゃ can I simply add a ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

the meaning of word 'yoko'

I really like how the word "yoko" is pronounced, and I'll like to use it in my bussiness. I think that my bussiness will be named "yoko garage". Do you know what yoko means? Does it have any bad or ...
5
votes
2answers
391 views

How many verb endings to express “do this (please)”?

I'm familiar with the て and てください forms of a verb to give a command/request and request, respectively. However, I've run across these other forms and really don't know which to use in what situation. ...
8
votes
2answers
406 views

Origin of onsen term “wani”

Why was "wani" (crocodile or alligator) chosen as a term for a gawker at a konyoku (mixed gender onsen)? Was it because of the animal's ability to stare, the fact that it is a predator, or was it ...
3
votes
3answers
351 views

Interpreting a specific Japanese sentence

In one song (lyrics link) the line "Watashitachi no kore ga precious heartbeat" ("It's our precious heartbeat") appears, and I'm not sure how best to analyze it due to one particular grammatical ...
4
votes
2answers
270 views

What does the うち in ならないうちに mean?

日本人には、見知らぬ人と会話を始めてまだくつろいだ気分にならないうちに、相手の、年齢や地位、既婚か未婚かなどの個人的な事柄を知りたがる傾向がある。 There is a tendency for Japanese to want to know a certain amount of personal information about someone such as age, ...
6
votes
2answers
565 views

How to write “eastern Tokyo” (or “northern Hokkaido”)

While chatting with a friend about meeting up in eastern Tokyo, I typed in ひがしとうきょう and my Mac dutifully sent 東東京 out the wire. I quickly clarified with ひがし東京 just so she wouldn't think I had made a ...
10
votes
2answers
303 views

Irregularity of あ-series in demonstratives

Why is the あ-series in demonstratives irregular like the following: ここ  そこ  あ そこ      どこ        (expected あこ) こう  そう  あ あ       どう        (expected あう) Is it related to the fact that こ, そ, ...
3
votes
2answers
338 views

What is さすが when referring to oneself?

It means "as one would expect" when referring to others, and it's sort of a compliment. But you're not supposed to compliment yourself in Japanese. So does さすが have a different meaning when ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

How is “rack” (as in billiards or pool) expressed?

In pool/billiards, "to rack" means to set up the game by placing the balls into the triangle frame. What is the corresponding (technical) term in Japanese if any? I came up (via circumlocution) ...
1
vote
2answers
147 views

Comment dire “dossard” en japonais?

Un dossard est un morceau de tissu qui identifie les sportifs dans un marathon: Comment dire ça en japonais ? 日本語では、フランス語の「dossard」と同じ意味の言葉がありますか? In Japanese, is there an equivalent for the ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

味わわせる vs. 味あわせる

Why is 味わわせる often pronounced as 味あわせる? What makes the former form unnatural, and what is the mechanism that changes it to the latter form? In the first place, what it the -waw- attached to aji ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

What is なのは used in this sentence?

What is the なのは used in "なかでも にんき なのは ポケモンどうしを たたかわせて". I know にんき is a na-adjective but i don't understand the use of なのは.
5
votes
2answers
278 views

たり sentence without the final たり

I just read a sentence in an answer key as follows: 雨が降ったら、買い物をしたり、おいしい物を食べるつもりです。 I would have thought that the sentence should be: 雨が降ったら、買い物をしたり、おいしい物を食べたりするつもりです。 Is there any ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Difference between 「来ませんでした」and「来なかったです」 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is じゃないです equally correct as じゃありません? Both have the same meaning ("did not come") and according to my Japanese co-workers both are acceptable while they can't define the ...
5
votes
2answers
292 views

How do I accurately convey “enough to make a difference”?

I want to say "it's different enough to make a difference," but I'm struggling a bit to get there. Partly because the two uses of "different" in this sentence are doing two different jobs. The first ...
5
votes
2answers
399 views

Correct word for “indeed”

What is the correct translation for "indeed"? I found 実際{じっさい}に and 確{たし}かに. If both are correct, what is the difference? Thanks.
4
votes
2answers
263 views

What are these forms: かけちゃお, つないじゃお?

I'm trying to understand the lyrics of a closing song of 「崖の上のポニョ」. First verse is simple, but the second stopped me: ペタペタ ピョーンピョン 足っていいな かけちゃお ニギニギ ブンブン お手てはいいな つないじゃお What happened to arms and ...
9
votes
2answers
293 views

Terms for Japanese/Western name order

Does anybody know of a standard term to describe Japanese and Western name orders (for example, when filling a form): John Somelastname ← "Western name order" Somelastname John ← "Japanese ...
3
votes
2answers
206 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 ...

15 30 50 per page