6
votes
2answers
279 views

Why do Japanese businessmen use 「さん」 even with うち names in meetings with foreigners

I noticed that many Japanese businessmen tend to address the colleagues they are traveling with, or even introduce themselves as ◯◯◯さん. This would clearly be a faux-pas in a Japanese-only meeting, yet ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What does 「など」 mean in this context?

I have been translating articles from NHK News Easy for practice, and I've noticed they sometimes use 「など」in a way I'm not familiar with. For example, in an article about a train that's about to be ...
5
votes
1answer
145 views

What words most commonly follow どういう?

Which words most commonly follow どういう? I know certain collocations already, such as どういうこと and どういう意味. But my speech isn't always very natural-sounding, and I'm curious if there are any common ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Asking “have you tried X” or “have you ever Y”?

This has always been a problem for me, so I'm hoping you guys can answer it once and for all. Often, I want to ask somebody if they've ever done something before. For example, in an email yesterday I ...
4
votes
2answers
152 views

What's the difference between 彼【かれ】 and あちら?

The way I understand it 彼【かれ】 means 'that person over there' and あちら also means 'that person over there'
4
votes
1answer
219 views

Is 拒絶反応対受け入れ a grammatically correct way to say “acceptance versus rejection”?

I am looking to translate "acceptance versus rejection" in the same sense as "acceptance versus alienation". Is the following statement grammatically correct? Does it make sense to word the following ...
7
votes
2answers
461 views

What is 引っ越しハガキ?

In the novel I'm reading now (「キッチン」 by 吉本{よしもと}ばなな) there is a passage about moving house and preparing 引っ越しハガキ. What is 引っ越しハガキ? I guess it's some kind of a note/postcard you prepare when you move ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

どういう in Place of Other Question Words

Related: の意味は何 versus はどういう意味 I was wondering why どういう is used in situations like asking for meanings of words, or in something like どういう状況, for "What's going on here?" Does anyone have a good reason ...
8
votes
2answers
170 views

“the cows were happy and friendly”: is “親しい” the right word?

I am writing an email to my friends, about a trip. We went walking by a field and the cows came over and were happy to be petted. I want to say "the cows were happy and friendly" but the word I have ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

ものには… in 「ものには順序というものがある」 Some hidden word or phrase?

I need some help with translating my Legend of Zelda guidebook. ダンジョンアイテムを探せ!Search for dungeon items! ダンジョンでの目的はもちろんボスを倒すことだが、ものには順序というものがある。 まずはマップとコンパスを手に入れたい。 I'm a bit stuck with ...
3
votes
3answers
634 views

Is there a way to express “I'm lost” (in a metaphorical sense)

For example, you're talking to someone and he's trying to explain something to you, and you have no idea what he's going on about. You could just say "I don't understand", sure, but is there something ...
3
votes
1answer
680 views

小さな vs 小さい/大きな vs 大きい [duplicate]

Is there any difference in meaning between 小さな and 小さい / 大きな and 大きい? I know that they have different syntactical rules, but semantically is there any difference? I was once told that 大きな was more ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

How can this sentence using 次 be in the past tense?

In my JLPT practise book, the following exchange between a man and a woman is part of a longer exchange in a listening section: 女{おんな}:先日{せんじつ}は町内{ちょうない}集会{しゅうかい}、お疲{つか}れさまでした。 ...
3
votes
3answers
304 views

What is the difference between 護る and 守る?

Is there any difference in meaning between 護{まも}る and 守{まも}る? When there are multiple kanji for a particular reading (like 暑{あつ}い/熱{あつ}い or 初{はじ}め/始{はじ}め), they are frequently used in different ...
6
votes
4answers
254 views

Topic は vs. direct object を for “I have never X”

The sentence pattern for "I have never X" is covered in this question: Is there a form for "I have never heard of"? However, I'm confused on which particle to use for the noun in this ...
3
votes
2answers
105 views

Origins of -ちゃん

I'm wondering if anyone can provide the origins of the honorific "-ちゃん". It's a diminutive, and German has "-chen" as a diminutive suffix. Is that a coincidence? What is the first recorded use of ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

五年ぶり、ぶり返す、。。。What does ぶり mean?

Where does the ぶり in 五年ぶり (Five years ago?) and ぶり返す come from, does it have a kanji, and what does it mean?
4
votes
2answers
367 views

出身はどこ vs. どこの出身

Does saying どこの出身 sound any different than saying 出身はどこ? More generally, does adnominally modifying a noun have some other feeling associated with in? That is, in comparison to just using a standard ...
2
votes
2answers
617 views

How do you express “In exchange/In return”?

I am trying to figure this out, but online searches don't seem to be helping. In particular what I'm looking for is something like "In exchange for helping you, please help me" or put more simply "In ...
10
votes
1answer
6k views

What is シ●ブ, and why is it censored?

The other day on the train I saw this advertisement for some tabloid, with headlines all over it, as they do: I'm trying to figure out what シ●ブ愛人{あいじん} is. 忍{しのぶ}愛人{あいじん}? "Sneaky lover"? Assuming ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Is 「たくなった」 a typo or a grammatical structure that is different than I think it is?

I have this sentence in my JLPT exercise book: 彼{かれ}は有名人{ゆうめいじん}ゆえの不自由{ふじゆう}さから逃{に}げたくなった。 The translation offered is: He wanted to get away from the difficulties of being a celebrity. ...
1
vote
3answers
223 views

Use of です or あります in the sentence それは椅子

Title says it all. When saying それは椅子 would I use あります or です? I've been using です, but from what I've read, it's used to describe an object, and あります to declare it's existence. So I'm thinking あります ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Other meaning of 訪れる

Good Day! I currently need some help. I am translating some Japanese Documents to English. I came across this text: 66歳に到達した日以降に最初に訪れる3月末まで So far I have: Until the end of March...on or after the ...
2
votes
1answer
402 views

Usage of よって in this sentence

I am currently doing some exercises for my Japanese class, but they are all in hiragana, which is sometimes irritating, but in this sentence I fail to see the meaning and thus unable to pick the ...
5
votes
2answers
310 views

How to classify the non-standard reading of “お土産{みやげ}”?

Is お土産{みやげ} an 当{あ}て字{じ}、 熟字訓{じゅくじくん}、 or something else? For 「お土産」 to be 当て字, the「み」reading must be part of the 音{おん}、訓{くん} readings or a 名乗り{なのり} reading for the「土」kanji. This is not the case. For ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

実在する “to exist” or “to be real”?

I'm trying to understand the quote "One Piece is real" and have found the following corresponding expression in Japanese: ワンピース 実在する However, this looks more like it means "One Piece does ...
3
votes
0answers
134 views

Are there any restrictions on the usage of the て-form as a continuation? [closed]

How freely can sentences be combined with the て-form? Are there any cases where it cannot be done?
3
votes
2answers
224 views

What is the ど in やけど?

Given that やけど means "burn", it seems likely that the やけ part is 焼け. What about the ど, though? (The kanji for やけど - i.e. 火傷 - don't help, because those characters are obviously 当て字, and would ...
6
votes
2answers
589 views

Difference between 間【あいだ】 and 間【ま】

What is the difference between the words 間【あいだ】 and 間【ま】 ? Both seem to have the basic meaning space or time interval.
3
votes
1answer
185 views

Are all 3 sentences the same?

1。本を六ページ読んだ。 2。本の六ページ読んだ。 Is sentence 2 the same as sentence 3? 3。本の六ページを読んだ。
5
votes
2answers
144 views

Noun+Adjective - What are the rules/usages?

I usually self-study, however I see a tutor once a week who is a native from Tokyo. In my previous lesson with her, she used the following: もう夜遅いから家に帰ったほうがいいでしょう。 Where 夜遅い translates to "late ...
4
votes
1answer
211 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

In technical usage, is there any difference between 間投詞 and 感動詞?

デジタル大辞泉 gives the following definition of 間投詞: 《interjection》「感動詞」に同じ。 It also gives the following definition of 感動詞 (emphasis added): ...
4
votes
1answer
350 views

Where does the phrase Ichikabachika (一か八か) come from?

According to the Japanese dictionary, it means "sink or swim", "do or die", or "high stakes", but I can't figure out the etymology. The literal meaning appears to be "one or eight". So does it ...
3
votes
2answers
305 views

「思う」 in 「その人を私のように 思う」:think v.s. feel

It seems that 「思う」 can both be "to think/consider" (actively) as in 「義父母を本当の親のように思うのは無理です」 and "to feel" (passively) as in 「母をなくした子をあわれに思う」. When reading an article in Asahi Shimbun, I bumped ...
1
vote
1answer
216 views

A little question about polite Japanese

I can't understand why is it used polite form in -「いらっしゃい。逃げ切れるとは思わないで」, I would translate it like this - "Come! Don't think you can run away!". And as far as I can guess シオン is telling it to an ...
5
votes
1answer
480 views

Does Japanese have free indirect speech?

In English (and, I assume, its relatives), there is a style of narration called free indirect speech, some examples of which are given in the linked article. I'm having trouble figuring out whether ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

Why does 背く sound like そむふ in this sentence?

The clip and subtitles: http://clyp.it/fmzowhxt 組織の命令に背くという事は どういう事か お前は わかってない! So why is 背く being pronounced like that? I don't hear a く at all and hear a ふ instead. Also, maybe the following is ...
8
votes
2answers
496 views

Mora count for 思ふ in Classical Japanese?

During an analysis I was performing of the poems contained in the 古今集 I noticed a curious pattern. Otherwise perfectly-formed poems included in the collection seemed to ignore the morae-count on a ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

Interrogative for only two choices?

This is a quick one. I read in the dictionary that どれ is only supposed to be used when there are three or more choices. What word should I use if I have only two choices?
4
votes
1answer
209 views

Why are 来る and する irregular?

I know that there are more irregular verbs than just this, but their changes are mostly euphonic and not really of any interest to me. What I would like to know is why 来る and する have developed the way ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there any merit to the claim that Japanese and Tamil are genetically related languages?

In India, regional nationalism is strongly tied to language. This is particularly the case in the Dravidian-speaking south, especially among speakers of Tamil - Tamil nationalists trot out all manner ...
3
votes
1answer
252 views

Using “page” in these sentences? (using counters and の to modify a noun)

I always get confused with these kinds of Japanese sentences. Which is correct? ​ 1. 六ページの本を読んで。 ​ 2. 六ページ目の本を読んで。 Are sentence 3 & 4 ungrammatical?  ​3. 本の六ページ目を読んで。 ​ 4. 本の六ページを読んで。
3
votes
1answer
380 views

chart for interrogative words

I have been looking for a comprehensive chart for interrogative words and their altered forms. But unfortunately I haven't been able to find one yet. So I thought maybe someone may have already come ...
14
votes
2answers
465 views

Nouns exhibiting vowel fronting

As touched upon in another thread, there are several nouns that exhibit a kind of vowel shift in older forms, where the ending vowel is fronted when the noun is used on its own to become /i/ or /e/, ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

What's the difference between 降{ふ}る and 落{お}ちる?

Things I've seen go with 降{ふ}る are rain, snow and leaves, e.g. 雪が降る。 I'm thinking 降る is used for small and light things. So, perhaps 'feathers' could be used like so 羽が降る, but apples would be ...
10
votes
1answer
264 views

What is the meaning of: 「ばえていくけん」?

The complete phrase is: 「日本中で、ばえていくけん!」. With the けん at the end, I thought it might have been something from a Kyushu dialect, but the person who said this is from Tottori. The only part I'm really ...
6
votes
1answer
311 views

Does くだく mean “destroy”? What does いい mean at the beginning of a line?

Would the following be a good translation of the text in the above two speech bubbles? "Everything in this universe is composed of atoms. Destroying something is equivalent to destroying the ...
8
votes
2answers
326 views

Is “お寿司屋さん” personification?

"寿司屋" means just a "sushi restaurant". I've heard "お寿司屋さん" spoken a few times. As far as I know, only a person's name can be suffixed with "さん". So, is "お寿司屋さん" a personification?
2
votes
2answers
361 views

Please help me understand [予習]{よ・しゅう}

tl;dr The word 予習 is strange to me. Is its usage related to cultural difference? Does the user's knowledge of the material have something to do with it? I've always had trouble understanding ...

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