1
vote
2answers
305 views

What does 「かけようかどうしようか」 mean?

The sentence below is taken from a light novel. 声をかけようかどうしようか迷っていたら、ほんの一瞬風が止んだ I don't understand what 「かけようかどうしようか」 means. Is it an expression? This light novel sometimes omits kanji and I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

The etymology of 頭{あたま}金{きん}

頭金 means "initial deposit". The meaning of first Kanji is "head", the second - "money, gold". How to understand them both - etymology? "Head" + "money" seems not related.
2
votes
2answers
166 views

the omission of an implied “の” creates the appearance of a 四字熟語{よじじゅくご}?

I believe that www.yojijukugo.com has a pretty thorough list of 四字熟語? Is there a better site? However, I know that I've seen a lot of 4, or more, adjacent kanji that are not listed as 熟語。An example ...
0
votes
1answer
484 views

Both 当たり前 and 相変わらず seem to mean “usual” or “ordinary”. What's the difference between them?

What is the difference between [当たり前]【あたりまえ】 and [相変わらず]【あいかわらず】? They both seem to mean “the usual” or “ordinary”.
3
votes
2answers
185 views

Translation help with this sentence? 何人も触れること能わぬ- everyone or no one?

何【なん】人【びと】も触れる【ふれる】こと能わぬ【あたわぬ】才媛【さいえん】 I'm having trouble with this sentence. I'm just confused as to whether '能わぬ' counts as a negative verb that affects 何人も or not. Since I know 何人も means ...
2
votes
1answer
212 views

買う, durative or instantaneous?

I'm at the point in my textbook where it explains the use of -ている and the three kind of verbs related to its use: stative, durative, instantaneous. The book says I should ask myself if saying ...
2
votes
1answer
242 views

使ってみなさい, and 使っても意味のない場所

After a brief hiatus I'm getting back into my Japanese study. I've hit a roadblock straight away ;-) I am having trouble with the use of '使ってみなさい' here. I don't think I've seen it before. -なさい means ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

What function does で have in the sentence 馬は動物である? [duplicate]

I have a denshijisho, always giving me helpful expressions attached to a kanji/word etc. and this time it was 馬は動物である。 A horse is an animal. in which I don't understand the function of the ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

What is the English equivalent of ストーリー総監修?

I'm confused as to the meaning of this cinematic term found in the credit of a movie. ストーリー総監修? Story Total Supervising Editor?? I'm not sure what this means. Is there any English equivalent to this ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

What's the word for “life” but with emphasis on the positiveness of life?

I know that 人生 is used for “human life”, and 生命 for “life” in the biological sense. But I want to express that life (whatever) is something good, something positive and I don´t know if it's possible.
2
votes
0answers
86 views

Don't understand the use of そして + に in a sentence [closed]

I just received an answer from a Japanese friend about a video I sent her. The video shows my dog doing stuff. She answered with, among other things, these two sentences: ...
5
votes
3answers
228 views

「床屋」と「髪床」の違いは何ですか?

「床屋」と「髪床」という単語の意味は何か違いますか? どちらが古いですか?もし両方とも古かったら、今の時代に「美容院」以外に髪を切る場所に関してどんな単語を使ったほうが良いですか? よろしくお願いします。
3
votes
1answer
224 views

NHK has a series titled 「きらり!えん旅【たび】」. What does the えん in えん旅 mean?

I saw a broadcast named 「えん旅」 on NHK. It's about travel, food, culture. Is it some abbreviation? I don't understand what the 「えん~」 part means.
2
votes
4answers
234 views

たの at the end of 「そんなに寝ぼけるまで熟睡してたの?」

Could you help me with this sentence (it's from Attack on Titan) そんなに寝ぼけるまで熟睡【じゅくすい】してたの? そんな refers to the muttering he did earlier まで probably doesn't mean "until", but rather "even" So ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
243 views

Significance of 「温」 in 「温故知新」

This question came to my mind while playing 漢字読めるカナ for Android to pass time. 温故知新 is a 4-character idiom from the 論語, Confucian Analects, meaning to learn from the past. It is a Chinese phrase* and ...
3
votes
1answer
287 views

What is the difference between ~たとき vs ~るとき

電車に乗るときは、白線の内側でお待ちください。 電車に乗ったときは、白線の内側でお待ちください What is the difference between ~たとき and ~るとき? In particular, what is ungrammatical about the second sentence with ~た? I felt that this ...
2
votes
1answer
678 views

What does ~とか mean when it doesn't indicate an example?

事故【じこ】があったとかで電車【でんしゃ】が止まり【とまり】…… Here とか does not seem to indicate an 'example'. Do I understand it correctly? What does this form of とか represent?
2
votes
1answer
201 views

Can ~もの be applied to all verbs to make them a noun?

I understand that ~もの converts the verb into a noun. So たべます meaning "to eat" becomes たべもの meaning "food". Can ~もの be applied to all verbs? eg. ききます meaning "to listen" becomes ききもの meaning "music"?
3
votes
1answer
264 views

Etymological connection between 門 and 円?

I'm curious if there's any historical link between the kanji for "gate", 門{かど}, and the kanji for "circle" or "yen", 円{えん}. If 門 is gate, 円 looks like a closed gate. Am I being whimsical and seeing ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Difference between ~に伴う【ともなう】 and ~を伴う【ともなう】 [duplicate]

このしごとはきけんを伴う I am aware of the にともなう construct. Is this any different? When would ともなう take the を particle rather than に?
2
votes
1answer
251 views

What does 馬鹿も一芸 mean in English? [closed]

I'm wondering how 馬鹿も一芸 should be translated into English. EDICT-based dictionary sites list this phrase with the following translation: 馬鹿も一芸 even a fool has a talent Is this translation ...
5
votes
1answer
203 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
352 views

can one be “さびしい” without being “かなしい”?

Can someone be "さびしい" without being "かなしい"? I assume that one can be "かなしい" without being "さびしい". If this is not true, please explain. I don't think I've heard "かなしい" so much in conversation. Are ...
5
votes
1answer
295 views

Why “greengrocer” kanjis are 八百屋 (やおや)?

I've seen the last one (屋) many times before meaning something along the lines of "establishment where you can buy things or services". However, the rest of the word confuses me. Doesn't the word 八百 ...
-1
votes
1answer
150 views

What's the function of ~には in 「おやには長生きしてもらいたいとおもう」?

おやには長生きしてもらいたいとおもう Please help understand the には construct. Is it a form of emphasis?
1
vote
1answer
156 views

How do you interpret an “interrogative word + non-polite form + か + 知る” construct? [duplicate]

Came across this sentence that has this "interrogative word + non-polite form + か + 知る" structure but not too sure if this is a kind of question or answer. どこの会議室か知りません。 Is this a question or an ...
12
votes
1answer
254 views

Old way of counting people?

I always found it funny how the counter for people, 人, has the special cases [一人]{ひとり}, [二人]{ふたり}, but then continues [三人]{さんにん}, [四人]{よにん}, ... However, this summer I came across a neat bit of info. ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Difference between ベッド and 寝台

Both of them mean bed and they target the same wiki page. I mostly see ベッド, so I guess it is the common word for bed. In which case should I use 寝台 ?
6
votes
1answer
233 views

Grammar in a modern translation of the 古事記 : ~ようもない

I recently started studying the 古事記. In the beginning of the modern translation, there is a piece of grammar which, while not terribly confusing in itself, still fascinates me. The whole sentence is ...
2
votes
1answer
268 views

What does the てさ in 「忘れててさ」 mean?

I was reading the comic strip titled 「エボラ出血熱の巻」 on スマ町 when I encountered 「忘れててさ」. I've reproduced part of the dialogue here for a bit more context (bold mine) てっしー:火達磨さん!宿題手伝いますよ 火達磨 ...
9
votes
1answer
195 views

Are 済む・澄む・住む cognate?

Which of these words are cognates (share a common etymology)? 住【す】む ("live") (rarely 棲む or 栖む) 澄【す】む ("clear") (rarely 清む) 済【す】む ("end") According gogen allguide and several dictionaries such as ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

Understanding use of における

明治【めいじ】時代【じだい】における学校【がっこう】教育【きょういく】について Please help understand the use of ~における. Is it a form of において? Why wouldn't it be a past form then?
2
votes
2answers
269 views

しな at the end of a sentence

In the manga Yotsubato, the main character Yotsuba's father says 「ジャンボが二人分働くしな」. I understand the sentence as a whole, I think, but I don't understand the しな at the end. Here's the full dialogue: ...
0
votes
1answer
511 views

~ようと… Japanese grammar

お百姓と、その息子を殺したヘビ  ヘビがお百姓(ひゃくしょう)の息子の方へはい寄って来て、噛み殺してしまいました。  お父さんのお百姓は、悲しくてたまりません。  それでオノを持ち、ヘビの穴のそばでヘビが出てきたらすぐに叩き殺そうと待ち構えていました。  そのうちにヘビが一匹、穴から出てきました。  お百姓は、 「それっ!」 と、オノを振り下ろしました。  ...
1
vote
2answers
212 views

Is the negative form of 住む related to すみません (i.e. “I'm sorry”/“Excuse me”), and how is it used in actual conversation?

Just learned the verb “to live” 住む. When conjugated to masu negative it is pronounced as すみません. How is this related to the expression すみません which means “I'm sorry”/“Please excuse me”? Or is it just a ...
5
votes
2answers
175 views

Expressing “should do” with こと・べき・もの

上手{じょうず} に なりたければ もっと 練習{れんしゅう} する [こと/べき/もの] だ As per my understanding, all the 3 options seem appropriate above. Is that correct? If so, are there any quirks or exceptions?
2
votes
2answers
217 views

What is the subject in 「士郎の理想、英雄となった姿があなたではないのですか。」?

士郎の理想、英雄となった姿があなたではないのですか。 I think the subject of なった is 姿, but a friend tells me it's 士郎. Is it not possible that the sentence means The figure that became hero, are not you? ?
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Is “Xがどこに見つけられますか” an acceptable translation of “Where can I find X”?

I'm currently studying the potential form by making up sentences from several scenarios, and am finding it rather difficult to check their correctness using nothing but vague online translators. Is ...
2
votes
2answers
253 views

Why is Austin spelled with an オ?

Based on the pronunciations here, what I hear in Anime, and the way I hear kana pronounced in Japanese class, it seems to me that Austin should start with ア rather than オ, but it is clearly spelled ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

particle grammar, は and が [duplicate]

If I want to say the dog barked, which is more grammatically correct: inu WA naita or inu GA naita? I'm thinking the second one because it's identifying what's barking, but I'm not sure I fully ...
7
votes
3answers
606 views

What does “声が出る” mean?

When somebody uses 声が出る, what is the significance of saying it this way as opposed to using 言う? Is this used commonly and does it have some sort of special nuance I'm not aware of?
-1
votes
1answer
67 views

How is “if one does not differ” translated using the word 異なる and the ば-ending?

異なる is the dictionary form. To express the idea of condition, one has to change the u into an e and add the suffix ba. 異なれば = If one differs. How do you express the idea of a negative condition -> ...
1
vote
3answers
184 views

Dictionary form of verb to indicate progressive actions or actions in progress?

I've always interpreted the plain/present affirmative of a verb (e.g. 行く/行きます) as either A.) an action that I will do in the future 図書館に行きます "I will go to the library" B.) an action that I ...
4
votes
4answers
545 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Help me understand the grammar of this sentence: ~のこと~のこと、~なってもらえたかな

The Sentence: Recently, I've been trying to broaden my understanding of Japanese by stumbling through translating some blog posts. I came across this sentence: 見に来てくださった方、 チームAのことも、私のことも、 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“訳す” is the best way to say “to translate”?

The difference between "翻訳" and "通訳" has been explained very well in several forums. Even so, for me that nuance is a distraction and I prefer to simplify with this strategy: When I hear "翻訳", ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Does 好きな really mean “favorite”?

In books that I've come across and even in dictionaries, I've seen the word 「好きな」 translated as "favorite". I'm a little confused by this because 「好きです」 normally gets translated as "like", or in my ...
6
votes
1answer
236 views

What does 揺らぎやすい女性 mean?

I was translating a passage the other day for a health spa and came across the following passage: 揺らぎやすい女性のための限定メニューができました。 1ヶ月の周期の中で、私たちの体は大きく変化します。 生理は、体をととのえる絶好のチャンス。 ...
5
votes
1answer
248 views

Specialized banking/credit card vocabulary

I recently found myself in a situation where I had to attempt customer service over the phone in Japanese and I got tripped up on some terminology that I've never encountered before. Most of it had to ...

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