4
votes
1answer
186 views

Meaning and spelling of1対1で対応

In a recent email conversation, an acquaintance used the expression: 1対1で対応するそれは、大変だね。 Although I can vaguely infer the meaning of the expression 1対1で対応する (いちたいでたいおう), I am having a hard time ...
7
votes
1answer
217 views

What is the etymology of the term [仏]{ほとけ}[様]{さま}?

What is the etymology of the term 仏様 ? I am interested because of all the meanings this word can possess.
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Can the volitional form be used to nominate yourself for something?

I did a quick search on this site to see if I could find any answer to this and found this question: Does the volitional form of a verb mean both "lets" and "I want to"? But ...
7
votes
1answer
227 views

Difference between 「~のない~」 and 「~がない~」?

For example, plugging these into Google, I can find stuff like, 自信のない人 and 自信がない人. Or, 愛のない生活 and 愛がない生活. I found a movie called 顔のないスパイ. How is this any different from 顔がないスパイ? I've asked ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How do you say “[amount of time] later”?

What is the general rule for saying, for example, "2 hours later"?
8
votes
2answers
296 views

Any books or websites dedicated to Japanese tech/IT language?

I work in IT in Tokyo, so most of what I do doesn't require interaction with our Japanese customers, but every so often we get that one phone call where someone wants something explained, and I can ...
11
votes
1answer
330 views

What does さようなら (左様なら) have to do with “left”?

What is the relationship between 左様なら and 左? I assume there's some idiomatic meaning for "left" but how does it fit?
10
votes
3answers
708 views

Difference between [行く末]{ゆくすえ}, 将来{しょうらい} and 未来{みらい}

I've been looking around and I got that the three words can mean "future". Is there a way to differentiate them? Can they be used the same way?
4
votes
2answers
209 views

What does it mean to be “over a law”?

I was a little confused after reading this on Wikipedia article for 宇部港, a harbor in Ube, Yamaguchi: 港湾法{こうわんほう}上の重要港湾...に指定されている。 I'm really not used to reading very technical writing, so there ...
9
votes
3answers
468 views

Problems with は and が

Consider: [A] 猫が好きだ To me this means [A']"I like cats." Contrast this to: [B] 猫は好きだ To me this means [B']"I like cats (among other animals)" I based my understanding of [B] from Derek ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Expressing “don't work too hard”

I've read at other sites that "don't work too hard" isn't something that's generally said in Japanese. Is there any truth to this? Are there any alternatives if that is the case? In which ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the Hepburn system of romanization generally used over the Nihon-shiki system?

Generally when you see romanization of Japanese it is in the Hepburn system; however, I recently came across the Nihon-shiki system which seems to be preferable. Why is it that the Hepburn system ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Help with newspaper shorthand

I was reading a short news article on students taking entrance exams in Japan, and it listed the number of students from the prefecture who took what test. Here is the excerpt I had a question about: ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

の versus が used to mark the subject of an appositive clause?

A friend of mine wrote this sentence in Japanese: 彼女のどんな困難からも逃げない態度を尊敬しています。 'Her attitude of not running away from any hardships is something I respect.' 'I respect that she has this attitude ...
1
vote
2answers
311 views

Action verbs and conditional ~ば

I understand もし寝過ごせば、起こしてください is wrong. I believe instead it should be 寝過ごしたら、起こしてください。 In "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar" it says the second part of the sentence "...can be a command, a ...
2
votes
1answer
370 views

What does this Japanese text say? [closed]

Could somebody tell me what the Japanese text in the screengrab below says? Unfortunately, I only have a picture, not the text itself, and have insufficient knowledge of Japanese to accurately ...
8
votes
1answer
250 views

Meaning of “マスオさんする”

What is the meaning of "マスオさんする" in the following self-introduction extract? 家は表参道と近所ですが、特段お金持ちなわけではありません、妻の実家でマスオさんしてます。 My translation attempt: I live near Omotesando, but I am not rich: I ...
13
votes
1answer
209 views

Spelling over the phone

In Japan I often have to call somewhere and explain my name such that the person on the other end can write it down. My name is "Sepponen Bemmu", which I want them to write down as "セッポネン・ベンム". Is ...
6
votes
1answer
539 views

Usage of 目を覚ます and 目が覚める

What's the difference between 目を覚ます and 目が覚める? It seems both of them have the sense of literally waking up and also to wake up from some delusion. How are they different in usage? Perhaps because ...
5
votes
1answer
376 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

When is 顧客{こきゃく} used for “customer”?

In daily life, I usually hear the words お客様{きゃくさま}, お客{きゃく}さん, and maybe other variants that use 客{きゃく}/客{かく} to refer to customers at a shop. However, in the dictionary, the first word that comes up ...
2
votes
1answer
269 views

What is the difference between these words for “audience”?

What is the difference in usage between these three words for "audience"? 観客{かんきゃく} (audience, spectators) 聴衆{ちょうしゅう} (audience, attendees) 観衆{かんしゅう} (audience, onlookers) The ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the difference between せっかく and わざわざ?

せっかく and わざわざ seem to be pretty close in meaning/usage, but is there ever a time you would use one and not the other? Or is there a small nuance there? Just to give some example sentences: ...
19
votes
4answers
7k views

Why was both katakana and hiragana created?

Nowadays, katakana tends to be used for gairaigo and onomatopoeia, while hiragana tends to be used for native Japanese words. This is a slight simplification - more information is available here. ...
6
votes
2answers
498 views

Changing a question into a request for advice

How can I change a statement like どこへいきますか to mean "Where should I go"? Basically, what is the rule for changing a question into a request for advice?
7
votes
2answers
268 views

Logic behind “が” preferrence when using a “-たい” form

I have learned that when using a "-たい" form, when the sentence would normally require "を", you can use either "を" or "が", but "が" was actually preferred, "を" sounding unnatural. I searched about the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you conjugate i- and na- adjectives (into the presumptive, imperative, conditional, provisional, and progressive forms)?

I feel like mastering conjugations is a major contributor to self expression in Japanese. I realized that some of the grammar points I have been working on have taught me new conjugations. Usually ...
5
votes
3answers
231 views

Is there a past tense conjugation form for ば?

I have been looking at conjunctive forms of verbs and my grammar books shows me a negative and affirmative version of ば but what about a past tense and a past tense negative? Would they be じゃなてれば and ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

How can I express “you make a…/you'd make for a…”?

Do you know the English expression, "you make a"? It's pretty simple: You make a fine wife. It might be more correct as You'd make for a... but they're tenses are different then. I could ...
7
votes
2answers
462 views

The various ways of saying “all”

While trying to write a plugin to (unofficially fan-)translate this website to Japanese, I've been noticing that "all" has multiple different translations. What exactly is the difference between ...
4
votes
1answer
276 views

How is ほか used as a conjunction?

What does ほか mean when it is used in a sentence like this: [situationA] ほか, [situationB]" Specifically I would like a little help clarifying the following sentence: ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How to define 羨ましい?

羨【うらや】ましい! You're so lucky!/ I envy you!/ I'm jealous of you! As I learned it, 羨ましい as an exclamation does not carry much of a negative context, so perhaps a combination of these three ...
4
votes
1answer
186 views

“Dive” = “fly into”?

The words 飛ぶ and 跳ぶ are both read as とぶ, the former meaning "to fly" and the latter meaning "to jump" (generally; don't know if they are interchangeable at all). The compound-verb suffix 〜込【こ】む means ...
1
vote
1answer
190 views

What is やっちゃるけんな?

This looks like やる in a colloquial form. Can someone clear up what this says?
7
votes
3answers
446 views

Why are these words considered less politically correct?

Warning: I have no sense of how offensive any of these words might be. They are repeated only insofar as they help me learn what not to say. Apologies for any accidental offense, and please do not ...
12
votes
3answers
577 views

What's bugging the Japanese language?

In my JLPT workbook, it has a section which gives a list of idioms that use [虫]{むし}. 仕事{しごと}の虫 (worker bee) 点取{てんとり}虫 (derogatory term for a student who tries too hard) 虫がいい (selfish) ...
9
votes
1answer
241 views

What's the difference between 電光石火【でんこうせっか】 and 疾風迅雷【しっぷうじんらい】

They both seem to mean "quick as lightning". What are the nuances between them? In what sort of context would they be used? Are they interchangeable? etc.
5
votes
1answer
112 views

What is koshinashi?

I can't find コシなし defined in any dictionary. It looks like it might have something to do with udon noodles.
3
votes
1answer
198 views

What does そうべ mean?

It is in the title of a book named そうべえまっくろけのけ. How to split そうべえまっくろけのけ?
6
votes
2answers
773 views

How to use the inflection “やがる”?

こんなくそみたいな帽子かぶせやがって! "こんな仕事させやがって!" "こんなまずいものを食わせやがって!" "あいつは本当に良いものを作りやがる" I was recently acquainted with the inflection "やがる," as illustrated in the examples above. Would it be ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Japanese translation for “bakka!” (Not Baka)

I'm in the midst of creating a show flyer for an upcoming event and one of the artists uses the name "Bakka!" (without quotes) I'm aware that the real word for this is Baka, so I'm curious as to how ...
15
votes
1answer
5k views

Getting your haircut in Japan

I have been living in Japan now for the last 3 months and my hair is starting to look like it needs a cut. But I have never been to a Japanese barbers before so as you can imagine I am a little ...
1
vote
2answers
422 views

Which kana/kanji are used to write Yoshitoshi's death poem?

Browsing for art late at night, I came across this beautiful poem by Yoshitoshi, said to be his death poem: yo o tsumete terimasarishi wa natsu no tsuki translated as: holding back ...
5
votes
1answer
370 views

Can もの be used to imply the value of something that is a こと?

I thought of this question and quickly realized that I already knew a possible example. Japanese band ZONE's most popular song is called 「secret base~君【きみ】がくれたもの~」. The lyrics can be read here or at ...
9
votes
2answers
201 views

[潔]{いさぎよ}い meaning

Can anyone tell me more about 潔い? I've looked in Goo, Alc, Kenkyusha, and Edict, and the definitions refer to "sportsmanlike", "gracious", or "take it like a man". However, I'm doubtful if these are ...
4
votes
1answer
452 views

Why the mixture of *on* and *kun* readings of numbers?

One thing that always puzzled me was why some terms and names that are based on numbers will mix the on and kun readings. I never really understood the rules for that, but it occurs to me that there ...
2
votes
1answer
416 views

What does いなきゃ mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Difference between ~なきゃ and ~なくちゃ What does いなきゃ mean? thanks in advance
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between ~なきゃ and ~なくちゃ

I know what one of them is なくてはいけません and the other one なければなりません, I just don't know which is which, also a few example sentences would help a lot, thank you.
6
votes
2answers
314 views

Why is を used in this situation? 私は先生がネコを好きだと思います

私は先生がネコを好きだと思います Why を and not が twice?
1
vote
1answer
164 views

What is the correct reading for べき乗打切り待機法?

On this page, different readings are give in different dictionaries for べき乗打切り待機法: べきのりうちきりたいきほう in JMDict and ベキジョウウチキリタイキホウ in コンピューター用語辞典. The English translation given in both dictionaries are the ...

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