4
votes
2answers
298 views

Interpretation of 思われる (spontaneous or passive?)

My understanding is that 思われる, in addition to being the passive form of 思う, can also be used in the sense of "to spontaneously think; to appear". 北米では通常スカートは女性がはくものと思われている。 In North America a ...
1
vote
1answer
811 views

Negation with ではありません vs. じゃない

I tried to say "I'm not a high school student". But I read you can use じゃない to 'deny' something. In this case which one should I use? でわありません or じゃない? 私はこうこうの学生でわありません。or 私はこうこうの学生じゃないです。?
0
votes
1answer
138 views

Why is つきあう typically written in kana?

The kanji version 付き合う contains only elementary characters with their usual readings. Is there a reason why it's still usually written in kana? Is there a difference in nuance when written in kanji? ...
7
votes
5answers
272 views

Are there any rules for choosing between おお and おう?

Am I correct assuming that both おお and おう are homophones in Japanese - both being pronounced as long o? I suspect I am, since that's what I'm indirectly reading in various tutorials. If so, are there ...
10
votes
1answer
498 views

How do 自他 triplets of related verbs work?

I thought this had been asked before (possibly by me), but I couldn't find it. I'm wondering why for certain verbs/words, instead of just a 自他 pair, there is a triplet (or possibly more) where two of ...
7
votes
1answer
451 views

Why does きいろ mean yellow rather than green?

I know that most of "why" questions don't make much sense as far as linguistics are concerned but I'll ask anyway. I know that き means a tree. いろ means color. It doesn't take a genius to guess that ...
9
votes
1answer
571 views

Which counter did you use for counting TV series episodes?

I want to say "I saw 10 episodes", but i don't find the appropriate counter. I may use "つ" counter (十エピソードを見ました), but it's not very classy. Thanks a lot :)
5
votes
1answer
250 views

Is there something omitted after だか in this sentence?

The following paragraph is from page 20 of 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱:  ...
1
vote
1answer
259 views

Term for native Japanese speakers misspelling “R” and “L”

Are there any words or phrases in Japanese more specific than イングリッシュ, but still used in normal Japanese conversation, to describe native speakers of Japanese either mis-typing or mis-pronouncing an ...
1
vote
1answer
186 views

Difference between お腹を空かす and お腹を空かせる

Is there any difference between お腹を空かす and お腹を空かせる? I get they both mean to become hungry (literally empty the stomach). 空かせる is the potential form of 空かす, but that doesn't make sense here. ...
10
votes
2answers
567 views

How does the の work in 「日本人の知らない日本語」?

I've read that 日本人の知らない日本語 translates to: "Japanese (language) that Japanese (people) don't know". But I don't understand how or what the の does in that sentence. If I'm not mistaken 知らない日本語 could ...
4
votes
2answers
122 views

Use of に to mark the caller of 電話がかかる

Is it okay to use に to mark the caller when using 電話がかかる? i.e. A received a call from B would be AはBに電話がかかった。 Google seems to indicate that から is a much more popular choice than に. I find it a ...
3
votes
3answers
314 views

Use of と in this sentence

I'm confused about how と is used in this sentence (乗るとすぐメールを・・・)... What purpose does it serve? 電車の中では携帯で話すことはできませんが、みんな電車に乗るとすぐメールを熱心に打っているのにびっくりしました。 Thank you!
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Is 窘める ever read なだめる?

I found the following in a book I'm reading: As far as I'm aware, 窘める is read たしなめる and means "to scold, rebuke, admonish". 宥める, on the other hand, is read なだめる and means "to soothe, placate". ...
5
votes
3answers
262 views

What's the female equivalent for the informal ぼく?

What's the female equivalent for the informal ぼく? I've heard that females will tend to use わたし, but then it's said to be formal. Doesn't there exist a female informal "I"?
3
votes
2answers
216 views

Can ぼくたち (bokutachi) be used for mixed-gender group?

*disclaimer:*I'am still learning hiragana, so forgive me for any wrong spelling I've learnt that normally only males use ぼく (boku). What about ぼくたち (bokutachi)? Should it normally be reserved for ...
0
votes
1answer
149 views

history of learning japanese

Now, we have lots of resources for learning Japanese - tons of textbooks, dictionaries, audio and video recordings, educational software etc. But in the past - How did Europeans first approach ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

R sound vs L sound

First, I'd like to mention that I've seen this question, which is related but doesn't quite seem to be a duplicate. I've covered some Hiragana lessons and it seems there is no L in Japanese. The ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Can 〜てなんかいない contract to 〜てなんかない?

In this answer, nkjt gives the following example of なんか insertion:     待ってないんだから → 待ってなんかないんだから On the left-hand side, it appears that 〜ていない is contracted to 〜てない. This is very common, of course, ...
10
votes
2answers
395 views

Do “direct object を” and “directional を” occupy the same slot?

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (ADoBJG) lists more than one を particle. In particular: On page 347, it lists o1, a particle which marks a direct object. On page 349, it lists o2, a particle ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the difference between -ga and -o when they are used to designate a direct object?

During the past month I've been addicted to Japanese. I've listened to about 10 online tutorial video courses and read about as much printed lessons. I am determined to learn Japanese, but I am really ...
6
votes
1answer
269 views

Shorthand for [傘]{kasa} or normal use? 仐

I was at a Japanese class and saw what I thought was a mistake, or at best shorthand for the character [傘]{かさ} -> 仐 I thought the four ([人]{ひと}) had been forgotten but my Japanese teacher told me this ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

what is the difference beween おんなみたい、おんならしい and おんなっぽい。 [duplicate]

what is the difference beween おんなみたい、おんならしい and おんなっぽい。 could any one please clear the difference between them with example.
5
votes
1answer
590 views

How is 空気を読む translated into English?

I've often seen 'read the air' (literal translation) or 'read between the lines' but is there a better rendition of this concept in English? Or does it just not exist?
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Verb in te-form with 中に, as in “通って中に”

I have started to read a novel for practice. I came across these sentences. I can't make sense of the part 通って中に. 少年はあそこ一夜過ごすことに決めた。彼は羊の群れが、壊れかけた門を通って中に、入るのを見届けてから、夜中に羊が迷い出さないように、何本かの棒を門にわたした。 I ...
7
votes
3answers
397 views

Teaching the difference between “see” and “she” in English

I've been teaching ESL for over 30 years, but for the last three I've had almost exclusively Japanese students (I teach mostly 1-on-1 classes over Skype, to students from High School to Business ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What's a nice way to say “fingers crossed”?

What's a nice way to express any of the following - "Let's keep our fingers crossed" "I'll keep my fingers crossed!" (We / I) (are / am) keeping (our / my ) fingers crossed"
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Is 圧力 countable?

Consider the following sentence (emphasis mine): ひょっとしたら僕が​圧力の一つや二つをかけられて​いることも知っているのかもしれない。 The bolded part is kind of confusing me. I get that 圧力をかけられる means "to be pressured" or "to have ...
1
vote
3answers
149 views

Use of に in 人間に

人間に[上下]{じょうげ}はない。 People are equal. Why the use of に after 人間? Are we treating 人間 as a "location" where 上下 is absent?
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Confusion between nouns and adverbs in あと一部

この仕事はあと一部を残すだけだ。 Only one part of the job remains. Does one think of あと (remainder) as a noun (and object of 残す) and 一部 as a counter/adverb, or is あと the adverb and 一部 the noun here?
5
votes
1answer
141 views

Are non-Japanese political party names translated, or transliterated?

Are the names of new political parties, especially in English-speaking countries, typically translated, or transliterated? I looked at the Japanese language Wikipedia template for Australian ...
4
votes
1answer
204 views

What's the difference between 学科, 教科 and 科目

I've seen all three used in somewhat similar situations. What are the differences between them, and in which cases should i use one over another?
1
vote
2answers
194 views

What is this dash-like punctuation mark?

Here is a piece of text from 「ノルウェイの森」by Haruki Murakami: この寮の唯一の問題点はその根本的なうさん臭さにあった。寮はあるきわめて右翼的な人物を中心とする正体不明の財団法人によって運営されており、その運営方針は――もちろん僕の目から見ればということだが――かなり奇妙に歪んだものだった。 How are these things ...
1
vote
2answers
262 views

The origin of しなさい

勉強しなさいよ! i know what this means.. but what is the origin of しなさい ? Does it come from する (to do verb) ?? Is it short form of something? or what?
1
vote
1answer
210 views

Does the word 津波 (tsunami) have negative connotations?

Or is it just a neutral term for tidal waves? (I'm considering naming a JavaScript library tsunami.js – would it be offensive?)
5
votes
1answer
253 views

What is the difference between using を and と with the verb 言う?

I apologize if this is a basic question, but it's something I've never been entirely clear on. When using the verb 言う (to say), I can never figure out whether to use the particle -と or the particle ...
2
votes
3answers
110 views

Nuance due to absence of は

その帽子に赤いマフラーが似合いそうだ。 A red muffler seems to go well with that hat. Is there a difference in nuance between the above sentence and the following one? その帽子には赤いマフラーが似合いそうだ。 I get that it's ...
1
vote
2answers
179 views

Premature optimization is the root of all evil [closed]

"Premature optimization is the root of all evil" I would like to translate this quote into Japanese for a personal project. For further understanding of the meaning, Donald Knuth wrote this phrase in ...
4
votes
2answers
210 views

What does 工夫(する) mean?

I am aware of the generic English translation: In this case, "device" or "to devise" in English, but this does not really help me out. In what context would you use this word? 例文 would really be ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

The use of も; spotting if it is comparison/contrast, or for emphasis

Could somebody tell me the meaning/use of both もs in bold in the following sentence? It is the background explanation for the essay titled 「さよなら、ゴジラ先生」 in the magazine, 中上級のにほんご. Also, I am not sure ...
1
vote
1answer
427 views

Period + に + frequency

I'm looking at JLPT4/5 grammar list and see such grammar point. But I can't find any information about it (truthfully I don't know how to). Though I found some examples: 1 shuukan ni ikkai - once a ...
6
votes
1answer
195 views

Is there any relationship between the verb 死{し}ぬ and the 音読み 死{し}?

I noticed that both 死ぬ and the 音読み of 死 share a し sound. Is this a huge coincidence between Japanese and Chinese, or is there some sort of relation? I guess the former, because I don't know any ...
3
votes
3answers
340 views

It seems that 渡る is categorized as 自動詞 (intransitive verb), yet it is frequently used with を. Why?

Jisho says 渡る is an intransitive verb, and ALC says it is sometimes 自動 and sometimes 他動. In either case, the particle を can be used. What's going on here?
1
vote
1answer
220 views

How does 生まれ translate in this context?

こんにちは、皆さん。ちょっと質問があります。 今日、この歌を聞きました。 最初の歌詞はこれです: アイデンティティがない 生まれない らららら でも意味が分かりません。英訳するができない。 「(If you) have no identity, (you) haven't been born」と思いますが、確かめたいです。 日本語で説明していい。手伝てくれてありがとう!
1
vote
2answers
242 views

Use of に with -てあげる/-てくれる with a human direct object

Quoting from page 292 of A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (DBJG), entry for に, note 2: "Any transitive verb used in the V-てあげる or V-てくれる construction can take に, if the verb does not take a ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

question about 午前n時

I'm learning Japanese and I just finished learning Hiragana and Katakana and now I'm moving to Kanji. In my studies I found that 午前8時 means 8 a.m Ok, that's cool but I would like to know how to ...
2
votes
2answers
224 views

Is there an idiomatic Japanese equivalent of the construction “Let [infinitive verb]”?

In English, we have constructions like "Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York" (MLK's I Have A Dream speech) and "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3, KJV and other versions). Is there ...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

Future dates in the Japanese calendar

I was looking at the heisei wiki page and I wondered how you would refer to future dates in the japanese calendar? For example would 'The 2020 olympics' be '[平成]{へいせい}32[年]{ねん}のオリンピック'? Is there some ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

Etymology of grammar-related terms in Japanese

I've been searching up words like '~の近く' (near), '~の裏側' (behind), '~より先' (further away). Basically words related to the position of an object or thing. The term I've been using is 前置詞 in Japanese, but ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it true that all Japanese words end in a vowel when transliterated to English?

First off I know zero Japanese, so sorry if this is a stupid question. I seem to remember hearing a while back that all Japanese words, when transliterated to the Latin alphabet, will end in a vowel. ...

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