All Questions

6
votes
1answer
1k views

Heaven in Japanese

I have found that there are a number of words in Japanese that correspond to "heaven" in English. By heaven I mean the concept of a paradisiacal afterlife. The two most frequent in my limited and ...
4
votes
2answers
275 views

How to exhaustively list predicates in a non-temporal way?

Supposing that you want to express a list of events or actions exhaustively and without significance in ordering (for example: Yesterday, I ate some ice cream, went to the store, and read a book, but ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

Does 被【かぶ】る have any relation to “cover”?

Topic. I've heard/seen somewhere that 被【かぶ】る was "gairaigo-fied" (?) from the English word "cover" (similar to ダブる or デモる), and then presumably given ateji from 被【おお】う since the meanings overlap so ...
7
votes
4answers
618 views

What went wrong when I asked for a 衡器{こうき}?

I was in Bikku Camera earlier today, and I wanted to buy a small kitchen scale for measuring small amounts of food. I looked up the word "scale" in the dictionary, and it said 衡器{こうき}. So I found a ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

の as a substitute for beings

In a comment, I've read 「目が見えないのは誰ですか」. I remember that, some 10 years ago, I was told that "の" could not replace human beings. But here, since we use 誰, it's clearly a person that の refers to. Is ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to express: I am going to Japan to study?

This is an exercise from Genki 1, Chapter 12. Now the way I would word that sentence is: 私{わたし}は日本{にほん}に勉強{べんきょう}しに行{い}きます。 However, I put that same [English] phrase in Google Translate and got this: ...
9
votes
1answer
322 views

What is this English doing in the middle of my Japanese?

Note: I understand this question is on the edge of being off topic. I'll accept the community assessement if enough people feel that is the case. I'm reading 脳{のう}は0.1秒{びょう}で恋{こい}をする by ...
7
votes
3answers
353 views

Repeating the vowel sound of the mora that precedes gemination in songs

I noticed that in songs, the vowel sounds of the morae that come before geminations are sometimes repeated. For example, the first lyric line of “マジカルちょーだいっ” is sung as しらんぷりをしたあって where the line is ...
-2
votes
1answer
171 views

Passive + Noun. Who did what?

Here's an example: みなさんに愛される人。 Does this mean, "the person that everyone loves," or "the person that loves everybody?"
-3
votes
2answers
154 views

Who is the subject of Aにはaction?

Here's an example. メイドにはびびった Who was scared, the speaker, or the maid?
6
votes
1answer
351 views

What's the difference between 腹切り and 切腹?

I need to add a body to submit my question, so I'll just say the Mortal Kombat seemed to believe that the term 腹切り (はらきり harakiri) was more appropriate for self slaughter (i.e., throwing a boomerang ...
17
votes
1answer
579 views

Why is a place that sells さけ a さかや?

Is it known why a さかや normally has a か, rather than a け like in さけ? Are there many other -や constructions for stores that change the spelling of the word added to?
5
votes
1answer
228 views

How is たら used as a particle?

The other day I came across どうたら and while looking it up I noticed that たら is classified as a particle. どうたら is apparently an abbreviation of どうたらこうたら, so I see that it should work for ああ and そう (by ...
5
votes
1answer
194 views

What kind of conjugation is 済{す}ませた?

This is from the anime Noir, Episode 1 starting at 23:13 at the school: [The two characters A and B are leaving the country.] A: 出国{しゅっこく}の手配{てはい}は済{す}ませた。  'I've made the arrangements to ...
6
votes
1answer
516 views

Was desu and masu originally geisha-speak?

Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo (The Japanese language the Japanese people don't know) seems to be claiming, at around 6:20 of this YouTube clip of language-specific portions of episode 4 of the show, ...
2
votes
1answer
717 views

What are the different ways of saying to agree or disagree with a person?

There seems to be many different ways of saying either to agree or to disagree with a person. Which words are there, in what circumstances should they be used, and are there any relevant examples of ...
8
votes
2answers
288 views

What's the word to use for “confidential”, as in a company report?

I'm preparing a sales presentation; it contains some company data and I want to indicate that the entire presentation is confidential. In English, this would likely be accomplished by stamping the ...
0
votes
2answers
328 views

“にすぎない” vs “だけ” and “にかぎらない” vs “だけじゃない”

I am having difficulties to make sense of にすぎない, which is translated by EDICT to mean "no more than that; just; only". Is it not simply equivalent to だけ? Can I use にすぎない as substitute for だけ? Also, ...
4
votes
2answers
512 views

How do you avoid multiple が in a sentence

I would like to ask on how to avoid multiple Ga particle in a sentence. For example. 詳細{しょうさい}のクエリは削除{さくじょ}フラグが0がありません。 What I meant in the sentence: The Detail query does not contain the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Does it matter whether you drop vowels in spoken Japanese?

(This question started as a dual question about when to drop vowels and whether it matters. The first question is well answered at What are the rules regarding "mute vowels" ("u" ...
12
votes
2answers
529 views

Pronunciation of “何” as “なん” or “なに”

"何" is pronounced as "なん" before counter-words like in "何時{なんじ}", "何歳{なんさい}" etc; or before particles like in "何で", "何とか" etc. However, it remains to be pronounced as "なに" in some words like ...
2
votes
1answer
189 views

What is ~なかって and how is it formed? [closed]

Taken from alc.co.jp: 家{いえ}の鍵{かぎ}が見{み}つからなくて、玄関{げんかん}のベルを鳴{な}らしたけど、君{きみ}、家{いえ}に居{い}なかってし、ここでずっと待{ま}ってたんだよ。 (I rang the doorbell because I couldn't find the house key, but you weren't home, so ...
1
vote
1answer
250 views

What is あっちゃう in this sentence? [closed]

My friend sent me an email saying her mobile phone is having problems. Specifically, she said this: 携帯{けいたい}の電池{でんち}が電話{でんわ}すると5分{ふん}でなくあっちゃうようになった I get the overall meaning, which is that when ...
5
votes
1answer
495 views

らしい / っぽい / みたい question: Why 黒{くろ}っぽい車{くるま} and not 黒{くろ}みたいな車{くるま}?

I'm using Nihongo So-Matome 文法{ぶんぽう} while preparing for JLPT N3, and having some issues with some of the grammar descriptions. This StackExchange answer was awesome in clearing up most of my らしい / ...
7
votes
1answer
373 views

what does 可哀想{かわいそう}でならない mean?

I came across this expression in my JPLT N2 study materials. I deciphered the parts as 可哀想{かわいそう} means pitiable, pathetic でならない means can't help feeling so does it mean "can't help feeling ...
4
votes
2answers
408 views

Is there a list of popular surnames organised by region/prefecture?

I've seen a lot of 'Top 100 Japanese surnames' sorts of lists, but obviously some names are much more popular in some regions than others. Is there a resource (preferably in Japanese!) that would take ...
8
votes
2answers
507 views

Are there many words that have the same pronunciation ambiguity as Nihon/Nippon?

Wikipedia says that 日本 can be pronounced either [にっぽん]{nippon} or [にほん]{nihon}. Does this ambiguity in pronunciation happen with other words? If so, does it only happen with words that originated ...
2
votes
1answer
190 views

What are the different ways of saying to agree or disagree with a person?

There seems to be many different ways of saying either to agree or to disagree with a person. Which words are there, in what circumstances should they be used, and are there any relevant examples of ...
10
votes
1answer
986 views

Does タメ語{ご} mean “casual speech”?

A debate came up on the use of タメ語{ご} in this question, and I thought it was worth its own analysis. The question is, does タメ語{ご} simply mean "casual speech", or does it mean "speech between equals". ...
2
votes
3answers
370 views

How to resolve two indirect objects? (Prohibition of two に in a sentence?)

Based off sawa's comment from this question: "you cannot have two ...に phrases. Remove either." And using the same verb "同意する", I looked up the dictionary and found: 1.(人)に同意する - to agree ...
5
votes
2answers
339 views

In customer settings, is it ok to ask for keigo to be repeated in more “normal” Japanese?

In the context of restaurants, convenience stores and similar situations, is it ok for a customer to ask for something that was said in keigo (or in manual keigo) to be repeated in more "normal" ...
10
votes
1answer
517 views

How to use ~に同意する to agree or disagree with a person?

A couple of times I've tried to say "I agree with..." or "he agrees with..." but I don't know whether I'm using 同意{どうい}する correctly. In what ways should に同意{どうい}している be used? Also, which particles ...
5
votes
1answer
438 views

を vs が with use against 好き?

The difference between が and を with the potential form of a verb. and Is it true that all nouns must be able to accept a が particle and a を particle? are noted as possible duplicates; however, I ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Understanding て in 言葉{ことば}を失{な}くして 壁{かべ}は無関心{むかんしん}

This is from a song lyrics (転{ころ}がる石{いし}になれ by AKB48) 孤独{こどく}は いつでも 自由{じゆう}の代償{だいしょう}に 言葉{ことば}を失{な}くして 壁{かべ}は無関心{むかんしん} 耐{た}えるしかないよ Does て here indicate a command, as in "lose the talk"? Or, is ...
7
votes
4answers
308 views

The difference between 超{こ}える, 越{こ}える and 過{す}ぎる

超{こ}える, 越{こ}える and 過{す}ぎる are said to mean "to pass through" in the "edict" dictionary, but I don't fully understand the difference between the three. How does their usage differ please? Can anyone ...
7
votes
3answers
242 views

How to read words like テスト with ordinal numbers?

Consider this: テスト1, テスト2, テスト3 etc. (Taken from my exercise books. The tests are labelled as such up to 30) (Question) Should numbers that are used with loanwords like テスト be read with いち, に, ...
8
votes
2answers
192 views

The difference between 皮膚【ひふ】 and 皮【かわ】

What's the difference? I got told that 皮膚【ひふ】 only works for mammals (and humans), and 皮【かわ】 for other animals too.
5
votes
2answers
944 views

Can 野郎{やろう} really have that many meanings?

(Warning: potentially offensive words. Proceed at your own risk. Also, apologies for the length.) I realize this risks opening up the "does Japanese actually have swear words" debate, touched on ...
6
votes
1answer
296 views

Board / Card game expressions

I wanted to talk about a board game recently, and realized that I am missing all related vocabulary. Before you shout foul and throw dictionaries at me, these expressions are very difficult to look ...
6
votes
1answer
199 views

What makes using ある for people okay in this context?

Yep, I'm reading a lot of Tintin in Japanese recently, and he keeps throwing me curve balls with the language. Here's another one. The situation is that the car he was in has been run off the road ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Does the volitional form of a verb mean both “lets” and “I want to”?

I was taught ages ago that the volitional form of a verb means "let's" do something. For example, if you take 行{い}く and change it to 行{い}こう, you get "let's go". However, I feel like I can use the ...
12
votes
1answer
305 views

What is the implication when a gruff old man ends a sentence with わ?

In this question, it seems to me it was clearly established that わ, at the end of a sentence, is decidedly feminine. There was talk of a kansai-ben わ with slightly different implications, but still ...
7
votes
2answers
552 views

What's the purpose of な in なのに?

I don't understand the role of "な" when used before "のに" as in these two sentences (with given translations): 朝目がさめて初めて、外が雪なのに気がついた。 He noticed that there was snow outside only after he woke up ...
4
votes
1answer
220 views

Clarification of hard to understand Japanese Mahjong rule

This one probably needs a Japanese and Mahjong expert to decipher: (3)全局を一ハン(飜)しばりとし、二ハン場とする。 This is the third rule about the basic game setup of (my version of) the official Japanese Mahjong ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

のか - Particle “lamenting reflections on the preceding statement”. What?

I've come across this sentence in my manga. そ そうか そういう疑いを持っているのか It's actually fairly easy, but the particle at the end has confused me. I thought it was the two particles の and か, but then I ...
9
votes
2answers
518 views

いAdjective. difference between くて and く

Is it 太陽光線は暖かいけどまぶしく、肌に刺すようです or 太陽光線は暖かいけどまぶしくて、肌に刺すようです What's the difference between くて and く?
3
votes
1answer
286 views

Homographs: how to deal with them?

For example: 一日{いちにち} = one day (duration); 一日{ついたち} = first day of the month. First of all, are the meanings correct? Because I found contradicting answers. I suspect the meanings are ...
5
votes
3answers
364 views

Translation of “に” into “natural” English

All of my Japanese teachers have told me that な-adjectives converted to に-ending words and い-adjectives converted to く-ending words, when followed by a verb, are 'adverbs'. However, sentences sound ...
3
votes
1answer
210 views

Dictionary entry and derived forms, were they equal at some point?

I will first state the dictionary entry, and then other formations that also yield the dictionary entry. Consider the following : 思える - to seem/appear, potential form of 思う - can think 合わせる - ...
4
votes
2answers
502 views

壱, 弐, 参 vs 一, 二, 三

Can you tell me the difference between 壱 and 一, 弐 and 二, 参 and 三? Do these pairs have the same meaning? If yes, why do we use different Kanji? If no, what is the difference in their meanings? Can ...

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