2
votes
1answer
96 views

Understanding particle-ni when there is no verb

I'm trying to understand the lyrics of the song 細氷【さいひょう】. Here's the part of the lyrics I don't understand: さって行くあなたの背中に 「さよなら」 I see it as: "your leaving figure (back)" + "ni" + "...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

Difference between the questions 「男じゃないんですか?」 and 「男じゃないですか?」

I was wondering if there is a difference if you add that ん. Is the first one correct and the second one not? 男じゃないんですか? 男じゃないですか?
5
votes
1answer
155 views

What is this strange kanji that looks a bit like 侍, but isn't?

Staying at a ryokan recently, I received some postcards with the following little poem: What are the characters that I have highlighted in red? They look a bit like [侍]{さむらい}, but based on the ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

What's the differences between おかず and 食べ物

I'm confused about how to use two words おかず and 食べ物, which all defined "food" as I search. What's the differences about them? Really thank you if you give me some examples.
5
votes
1answer
231 views

How to say 'they will suffer'?

I'm trying to say, that if there is a natural disaster, the whole of Japan will suffer. However, I'm finding it quite difficult to translate this into Japanese. Do either of these make sense? ...
2
votes
2answers
287 views

For furigana, can katakana be used instead of hiragana?

From the first day I started to learn Japanese, I saw people use hiragana to help read kanji, they are usually written on the top of those kanjis. But recently I also saw some Japanese use katakana, ...
3
votes
1answer
168 views

The meaning of 「気が合わない人といっしょに生活するぐらいなら、このまま独身でいたい。」

I would like to clarify my understanding of the following sentence. 気【き】が合【あ】わない人【ひと】といっしょに生活【せいかつ】するぐらいなら、このまま独身【どくしん】でいたい。 I believe it means something along the lines of, "if I am going to be ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Meaning of サマんなんない?

Here's the context: a loan shark has asked a yakuza to help him collect a loan. The yakuza came back with the money. The loan shark paid for the yakuza's trouble and then tried to give the yakuza a ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Meaning of 次の日はないようにする

The sentence is found in a monologue about a persons working habits, particularly how they don't have time to sleep, and are constantly working at their 3 jobs. The paragraph goes: ほとんど寝てなかったね。...
2
votes
1answer
249 views

「かみなりもん」 vs. 「らいもん」

So I was watching something last year that involved a visit to 浅草神社. Along the way there were conversations over what was the preferred way to read the name for the temple—either using the kun ...
5
votes
2answers
394 views

Meaning of しょわー

In the last panel at the bottom of the page, she says 「しょ__ー」. I'm not quite sure as to what that last character is, including its use(s) and pronounciation(s). I have seen this character in various ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

Do Japanese people see ツ as a smiling face?

Tsu (ツ) kana is sometimes used on the internet as a smiling face, such as in the emoticon ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I'm wondering if Japanese people notice it or is just another character for them? The reason I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
268 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
248 views

What's the difference between 売店 and 商店

Is 売店 more used for smaller stuff, like a stand? I'm finding it hard to pinpoint the exact difference.
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Why is stroke order important?

While I understand that stroke order is important, I do not understand why it is important. If the final product would like the same, why does it matter? I don't have an issue following stroke order. ...
5
votes
1answer
909 views

Words for Ginkgo in Japanese: ぎんきょう and ぎんなん

I decided to read about the words for Ginkgo in Japanese (as in Ginkgo biloba). I was surprised to learn that Ginkgo comes from Japanese! According to Wikipedia, Engelbert Kaempfer, while writing ...
2
votes
1answer
512 views

Meaning of ポケモンをねかしつけていません [closed]

Could somebody tell me what the Japanese text in the screengrab below says? Unfortunately, I do not know how to type it, so I've got it only as an image.
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the best utility for identifying kanji? [closed]

I often run into kanji that I don't recognize and need some way to translate them into kana, so that I'm able to look up the meaning. What's the most useful utility (in any form, web-based, ...
7
votes
1answer
124 views

What is a newspaper 段, exactly?

Does this bit contain 2段, for instance? Would 3段抜き refer to a write-up containing 3 such 段?
3
votes
3answers
437 views

Typing Japanese text from images or clothing

Is there a way of typing Japanese characters when you have no knowledge of the language? I've cut and pasted from Japanese websites before and used translation websites from English to Japanese with ...
5
votes
1answer
408 views

How does 一目 work in this sentence?

Trying to make sense of this sentence: 自分は死ぬ前に一目{ひとめ}思う女に逢{あ}いたいと云った。 Daijirin lists 一目 as a noun. However, it doesn't connect with 思う according to normal rules (there is no particle). To ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

Why are 兄(あに) and 姉(あね) pronounced differently in お兄さん and お姉さん?

姉 is pronounced ane, but お姉さん is pronounced oneesan. What happened to the initial a? Likewise, 兄 is pronounced ani, but お兄さん is pronounced oniisan. What is the rule governing the change in the ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

Could a verb or adjective in the past tense 〜た refer to something no longer true?

I found the following sentences on a website teaching people the order of using the 助動詞. 彼は人に笑われる。 彼を人に笑われさせる。 彼を人に笑われさせたい。 彼を人に笑われさせたくない。 彼を人に笑われさせたくなかった。 彼を人に笑われさせたくなかっただろう。 I ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Trouble with sentence structure and particles

I've been having a hard time understanding how to construct a sentence. If I were going to say something along the lines of: "Learning Japanese on your own is difficult." Would this be grammatically ...
5
votes
2answers
222 views

Difference between 光る, 輝く, and 光り輝く?

What is the difference between 光る{ひかる}, 輝く{かがやく}, and 光り{ひかり}輝く{かがやく}? According to my dictionary, they all mean "to shine" or "to be bright", but I'm sure they aren't always interchangeable. Looking ...
3
votes
1answer
342 views

Do 〜によれば and 〜によると differ regarding the speaker's opinion of the following statement being true?

From a newspaper: 16日の発表によると、ドイツ経済の今年の成長率は2.1%、来年が1.8%の見込み。 I think that means: According to the report of April 16th, it is expected that the growth of the German economy will be 2.1% ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

How does ようにして work when followed by a verb/al?

Off these excerpts from 夢十夜: A 「田圃{たんぼ}へかかったね」と背中で云った。 B 「どうして解る」と顔を後うしろへ振り向けるようにして聞いたら、 A 「だって鷺{さぎ}が鳴くじゃないか」と答えた。 "asked by turning my head towards my back"? この時代の藁沓は深いものであった。立つと膝頭{ひざがしら}まで来た。...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is 島 used in the name of some cities?

I can understand "島" being used in 硫黄島 (Iwo Jima/Iwo To, literally "Sulphur island"), because it is an island, but why is it used in 福島市 (Fukushima city, literally "Good fortune island") and 広島市 (...
3
votes
2answers
214 views

「日本では美味しい和食が食べられる」と「日本は美味しい和食が食べられる」は違う?

(1)“日本では美味しい和食が食べられる” (2)“日本は美味しい和食が食べられる” どっちも使えるんですね。意味もわかりますけど、もうちょっと詳しい文法を知りたいです。 私はこう思います(正しいかどうかわからない): “日本では美味しい和食が食べられる” ⇒ “私は日本で美味しい和食が食べられる” から 変わった文です。(この場合主語がつくと、自然な日本語とは思わないけど、...
3
votes
1answer
860 views

How to say “email me at this mail address”?

I was wondering how I would say to someone that they can reach me at this email address or they can mail me here at this email address. I would guess it would use the potential form of send for ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

What is the meaning of ~しにたちよったんじゃ?

Here is the sentence containing the phrase. ちと 忠告【ちゅうこく】しにたちよったんじゃ。
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Meaning of 「つりたくない者が、つるわけない」 and 「よけいな心配しないで、のびのびと育ってね」

I've come upon a couple of phrases in Doraemon I quite don't understand. The first is said by Nobita's mother, trying to calm Nobita down after finding him freaked out by his first encounter with ...
1
vote
1answer
359 views

Meaning and grammar of 〜かというとだね

I'm a bit lost with the bolded sentence from Doraemon. のび太: でたらめいうな!! 人の運命なんか、わかってたまるか!! ドラえもん: それがわかるんだ。 ドラえもん: どうしてわかるかというとだね。 ドラえもん: なに これ? のび太: おもち。 I understand どうして、わかる ...
4
votes
3answers
212 views

Can't understand why “に” is used in “蚊に刺された” or what's the sense of this sentence

I was reading a page about passive verbs in Japanese, and I came across the phrase: "蚊に刺された。" What intrigued me is why the particle "に" is used in this phrase, because when I read it and try to ...
5
votes
1answer
233 views

What is the difference between 一層, 一段と and より一層?

I know that they all mean "more, much more" but is there any difference between them? also do they have the same usage as もっと?
4
votes
1answer
283 views

How is character size dealt with?

When reading manga, I frequently notice that I have no idea what a character says. This is not because I do not know what the kanji is, rather it is very difficult for me to decipher what the kanji ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

What is the difference between spellings しまう、仕舞う、終う、了う?

What is the difference of meanings between the spellings しまう、仕舞{しま}う、終{しま}う、了{しま}う? Or at least, between the first two? (They are marked as common.) If there is a source about such nuances, I'll ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

How is the past tense in this sentence translated?

I'm studying Japanese adjectives right now, and I see that adjectives can be formed to refer to past tense. For example, 自転車は楽だったです。 So, I'm trying to understand a little bit better how the ~だった ...
2
votes
3answers
674 views

What is the correct way of saying “see you”?

I've started learning japanese not long ago, from what I've learned the correct way to say "see you" is じゃ【ja】、また【mata】. But I've just seen a show and a character said じゃね【ja ne】. So I searched a ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

why does the following title end “…守られる” and not “守られている”? just to save space?

I read the title of the article キタシロサイ、地球にたった1匹のオス、24時間体制で守られる as "The last male rhino on earth is being protected by a system that is active 24-hrs per day." The " ...is being protected... " makes ...
4
votes
1answer
174 views

Commas and relative clauses

Can't find rules on how commas work with relative clauses. Paragraph [click for full text] すると石の下から斜{はす}に自分の方へ向いて青い茎{くき}が伸びて来た。見る間に長くなってちょうど自分の胸のあたりまで来て留まった。と思うと、すらりと揺{ゆら}ぐ茎{くき}の頂{いただき}に、心持首を傾{...
2
votes
3answers
237 views

Difference between 〜てみたい and 〜たい

I just learnt about 〜てみる and the book introduced 〜てみたい in an exercise. I can see the difference between, say, 食べたい and 食べてみたい, but with 行きたい and 行ってみたい its not so clear. Would I be right to assume ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

(Slang) Way's to say: What's Up/How's It Going

I know: 最近どうですか? 最近どう? to ask, what's up?/how's it going?. what other ways are they to say what's up? or how's it going? Slang-y ways would be nice to know too.
1
vote
1answer
204 views

Adjective negation: difference between 〜くない and 〜くありません

What's the difference between 〜くない and 〜くありません? Both are added to an i-adjective (イ形容詞, verb type adjective) to make it negative. For example: 寒くない 寒くありません But what's the difference? Is one more ...
6
votes
2answers
514 views

How do you read 麻色?

Don't know if it should be read as まいろ, まあいろ, あさいろ or in some other way. Couldn't find it in any dictionary. Context:
1
vote
1answer
354 views

Customer who bought from you in the past, and buys again because they like the product

I am looking for a shorter word to convey the fact that a customer buys again: 去年のお客さんが今年も買ってくれたので、価値があるかと思います I want to insist on the fact that a customer buying again means that they like the ...
1
vote
1answer
325 views

Pronouncing abbreviations, acronyms, letters? (NHK, CM, JR, A…)

I've been noticing that Latin letters in abbreviations and acronyms are (obviously) common in Japan. For instance: JR becomes ジェイアール CM becomes シーエム N3 becomes エヌさん NHK becomes エヌエイチケイ (I think) ...
4
votes
1answer
157 views

Meaning of 光る事は光るが切れそうもない and 何だ指ぐらいこの通りだと

夏目漱石の坊っちゃん: 親類のものから西洋製のナイフを貰【もら】って奇麗【きれい】な刃【は】を日に翳【かざ】して、友達【ともだち】に見せていたら、一人が光る事は光るが切れそうもないと云った。切れぬ事があるか、何でも切ってみせると受け合った。そんなら君の指を切ってみろと注文したから、何だ指ぐらいこの通りだと右の手の親指の甲【こう】をはすに切り込【こ】んだ。幸【さいわい】ナイフが小さいのと、...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

A few Doraemon related questions

I'm reading the following Doraemon page and I've got a few questions I'll name all panels beginning from the top right, going left In the 8th panel: でも、これからはドラエモンがついてるから安心しな、おじいさん。 Those 2 から are ...
16
votes
3answers
16k views

What's the difference between “さけ” (sake) and “しゃけ” (shake)?

Today I saw onigiri claiming to contain "しゃけ" (shake). When I asked my friend what that was, she said it was the same as "さけ" (sake), "salmon". So are these two just different readings of a kanji, ...

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