4
votes
3answers
483 views

Don't get the meaning of the sentence “意味ありげな笑いを浮かべた”

I am not sure about the meaning of this sentence. 意味ありげな笑いを浮かべた "(He) showed a meaningful laughter" ? Is that correct?
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between ~げ and ~そう

How do these two differ, for example: 寂しそう vs 寂しげ 楽しそう vs 楽しげ 言いたそう vs 言いたげ 大人げ vs 大人っぽい(...? Not sure if this one works.)
8
votes
1answer
450 views

How to use いかがですか?

So I've read that いかがですか means "How about it?" and "How is it?". So if I wanted to say, "How's the coffee?" would it be コーヒーはどうですか? or  コーヒーはいかがですか? Also is there an "informal" way of saying いかがです?
3
votes
1answer
201 views

足って used in Ponyo Song [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are these forms: かけちゃお, つないじゃお? Is this って equivalent to 「と」? From the Ponyo theme song: ペータペタ ピョーンピョン 足っていいな かけちゃお! Why is 足 given the て conjugation, as if ...
6
votes
3answers
302 views

How would you say “talking shop” in Japanese?

In English, when we say someone is "talking shop", we mean that they are having a conversation about a particular trade or skill that they're familiar with (usually because it's their profession), ...
8
votes
1answer
726 views

What is the most common usage and meaning of もったいない?

もったいない (勿体無い)(勿体ない) can mean "what a waste!" / "too good". Apparently it is originally (?) a buddhist term meaning “The essence or quality of the thing does not exist,” and supposedly has been ...
7
votes
1answer
141 views

Syllable final -t in early modern Japanese?

There is an unsourced claim in the Wikipedia article on Early Modern Japanese that its phonology admitted syllable-final /t/. This seems unlikely, since to my knowledge all reconstructions going back ...
9
votes
1answer
628 views

Volitional + と + Verb

(In this question, I will use "Volitional" to mean "V-(よ)う".) As I understand it, Volitional + と + する is a phrase meaning "to try to do something". I've also seen similar phrases, but with different ...
4
votes
2answers
333 views

The surname 粂 【くめ】

The kokuji 粂 【くめ】 exists, defined only as a name. The character is clearly an amalgam of 久 and 米 used in a man'yogana-like manner, but: Why did this particular surname get a designated character? ...
5
votes
4answers
370 views

Can 猿 technically mean “ape”?

It has long been a pet peeve of mine when people talk about apes calling them "monkeys". Recently I've seen bonobos being called 猿 in an anime, so from that it's pretty clear that 猿 also refers to ...
4
votes
2answers
343 views

Difference between words that describe the idea of neighborhood/being close to something

Can somebody describe the difference between these words(physical distance and maybe politeness of these words, or any aspects that you think are important to understand these). Can all these words ...
5
votes
1answer
246 views

Can anyone provide a detailed definition of あんぐり and say if the expression あんぐりと口を開けて is redundant?

あんぐり is defined as such: adverb / noun or verb acting prenominally: open-mouthed 大学の門の前に真っ赤なフェラーリが停めてあるのを見て、アングリした。 I saw a bright red Ferrari parked at the campus gates and my jaw just ...
11
votes
1answer
244 views

Was there a single word/concept もの which was later split into two (now distinct) kanji 者 and 物?

Given that もの has a rather similar usage as a generic modifier for turning a property into a thing with that property (as 物) or turning a property into a person with that property (as 者) -- it seems ...
4
votes
1answer
328 views

What's the difference between もともと and そもそも?

What's the difference between the usage and meaning of そもそも and もともと? They both seem to mean something like "from the start/to begin with/originally" in dictionaries, but I believe their usage ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

What might be the meaning of the word or phrase 'こよかな'

I cannot really comprehend koyokana in the following short sentence: shoppu itte koyokana. What meaning does koyokana give to the "shoppu itte" part. How could I divide koyokana in mind: koyo ka na ...
4
votes
1answer
517 views

How to call a wait pointer in Japanese?

In Japanese, how to call a wait pointer? I am talking about a computer mouse pointer which becomes a spinning wheel or hourglass (depending on the OS) when the application is busy processing ...
0
votes
3answers
440 views

How to write “Aikido Wa Ichiban Budo Desu” [closed]

"Aikido Wa Ichiban Budo Desu" is supposedly a quote from 植芝 盛平, Ueshiba Morihei (founder of Aikido). Most people translate this as "Aikido is first and foremost a true Budo". My question is: how are ...
4
votes
1answer
271 views

General confusion ("Volitional+ともせず”, redundancy, uses of と, )

I'm having trouble understanding the grammar in some sentences even if I understand the basic idea of the sentence. I may post with more questions later. ...
4
votes
1answer
215 views

Meaning of いなくもない

I am not sure about いなくもない in the following sentence: 「私の尋ねていることにちゃんと答えなさい」と腹をたてる人もいなくもない。 I guess the meaning is that people react pissed when someone tells them to just answer the question(s), but ...
1
vote
0answers
810 views

Lingualift review? [closed]

I am Japanese by blood but grew up in the U.S. and never learned the language. The most I have ever learned, actually, are hiragana, katakana and a few kanji. Which was something I forced myself to ...
6
votes
2answers
315 views

“Tourist trap” in Japanese

Assuming such a concept exists in Japanese, how do you say "tourist trap"? Wikipedia describes it as: A tourist trap is an establishment, or group of establishments, that has been created with ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

The meaning of kakemawaru 駆け回る

I have been encountering this word kakemawaru 駆け回る a few times. It means running around, If I understand well. Does it mean only physically running around? For example: kids are running around in the ...
7
votes
1answer
630 views

Why do Japanese people read Classical Japanese with a set of weird sound shifts?

I'm learning a bit of Classical Japanese recently, and of course the spelling of words is pretty different, due to sound changes over the centuries. For example, きょう was spelled けふ. That I can ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water

A recent post about translation reminded me of the following saying: Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water. It is said to be coming from zen ...
3
votes
2answers
277 views

Questions on イケてる

イケてる is defined by tangorin as such: noun, or verb acting prenominally: cool;  with-it;  turn-on;  sexy As a noun I can see it as "the state of being cool," as perhaps shown in the following ...
7
votes
2answers
179 views

Questions on the word シクシク

I understand that the word シクシク is 擬声語/giseigo/onomatopoeia equivalent to the English "boo-hoo/boo-hoo-hoo." 恐怖でシクシク泣く To whimper in fear 彼女はボーイフレンドに捨てられた時、あまりの惨めさにシクシクと泣いた。 She wailed in misery ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

-たい words and a student's confusion

I was doing some Rosetta Stone earlier, and I came upon a sentence ending with: 行きたいです。 Noting the "たい" part, I was reminded of the word 食べたいです which I think I first saw in Japanese 1010, ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

What is the nuance and feeling of the expression 愛の営みをする?

If 営み/いとなみ/itonami is a noun meaning: work;  life, then is 愛の営みをする a literary way of saying "to make love" ? What feel does this expression have? Does it sound perfunctory or passionate? 愛の営みをする to ...
3
votes
1answer
391 views

What is the difference between mannenhitsu and pen?

I was studying on another website and ran across a blurb that said that a pen is also called mannenhitsu in Japan. Is there a difference between the two? If not, is mannenhitsu said sometimes, just as ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

Difference between ともあれ and とかく

According to ALC ともあれ とかく they look pretty similar and express "anyway, anyhow". I came across the following excercise where you need to choose between those two: ...
2
votes
2answers
438 views

Does an international OR standardized phonetic alphabet/notation system exist to depict all the Hiragana/Katakana sounds?

Are there written systems (preferably international & standardized) that you can use to depict how to pronounce any word from Japanese and any language. Something similar to Romaji but one that ...
5
votes
2answers
288 views

How can I express that X is as big/small/fast/… as Y?

I would like to know how to express that something is equal in some aspect to another thing (or person, if that makes a difference), as you would express in English by saying: X is as (adjective) as ...
3
votes
2answers
199 views

Use of the “へ” particle when asking about transportation methods

I have a question relating to question 19 of the JLPT N5 'example' grammar exam. This is a question where you have four things to fit into four gaps: A: [会社 _ _ _ _ 行って いますか] B: [わたしは あるいて ...
4
votes
2answers
717 views

Why does 皮肉 mean “irony”?

I gather that 皮肉 can literally mean "skin-meat." I also see that one definition for 皮 is "mask (hiding one's true nature);  seeming." So perhaps 皮肉 can be understood as "hiding the real meat," which ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

the use of 園地(えんち)、庭(にわ)

I have problem with word use again:) there are these two words 園地 (enchi) and 庭 (niwa)。 as far as I know 'niwa' refers to a garden around the house right? What about 'enchi' does it refer to a house ...
5
votes
2answers
399 views

How is アェ pronounced?

A video game I've been playing has the following word in it: アェウクス I'm not familiar with アェ. Does it represent a specific sound? If so, what sound? If it makes sense to do so, please include ...
-1
votes
1answer
504 views

Kana to kanji mapping for a rōmaji keyboard [closed]

I've been tasked with implementing a rōmaji keyboard in a medical device. As I understand the problem, the user is to be permitted to enter katakana, hiragana, and/or kanji via the rōmaji keyboard. ...
3
votes
1answer
315 views

Etymology of ごちそうさまでした [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: About ご[馳走]{ちそう}: two “runs” would give you “a feast”? ごちそうさまでした gochisousamadeshita 【ご馳走様でした · 御馳走様でした】 expression: That was a delicious meal (said after meals);  ...
4
votes
2answers
203 views

Simple Particle Question (よびます)

I am a little confused as to what is going on here: ともだちを パーティーに よびました。 Why is this not ともだちに (recipient of the invite) パーティーで (place of the invite) よびました? It would be helpful if someone can please ...
3
votes
3answers
274 views

What is the difference between 覚える and 見覚える?

I only have basic 和英 definitions to go on, but I'm guessing the nuance is that 覚える has more to do with things you learn or study, and 見覚える is more like remembering experiences. Or is there something ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

The reading of 砂利

砂利 I am fairly sure is normally read as じゃり but I saw that an alternate reading of ざり exists. Is the ざり reading at all used in the modern language? Why じゃ・ざ and not しゃ・さ?
3
votes
1answer
230 views

Uses of the 「-て」 conjugation of verbs

I am trying to understand something from the N4 and N5 practice test book. I think the sentence has revealed a gap in my understanding of the use of 「-て」 verb conjugation. The complete sentence is: ...
3
votes
2answers
241 views

Can もらう mean to keep?

While studying I came across this short 会話{かいわ}: A: この本をもらってもいいですか? B: ええ、いいですよ。どうぞ。 A was translated as: "Can I keep this book?" Now, I've learned that もらう means to receive (something). I would have ...
6
votes
2answers
536 views

Difference in word use: 父親 母親 両親 父母

I would like to ask about the following words: 父親【ちちおや】 and 母親【ははおや】. They refer to father and mother, right? But why do they exist? When do we use them instead of お父【とう】さん and お母【かあ】さん? I have a ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

形容詞 ending in /ei/ and /ii/

This page discusses the "adjective" べき and mentions that if it had evolved like other adjectives, it would have been べい. That made me think: Why are there no 形容詞 ending in /ei/ or /ii/ (except for ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

uses of できる apart from potential?

The following is a JLPT N4 question: 旅行の荷物はもう___できました. 1。 やくそく 2。りよう 3。せわ 4。ようい I don't really understand the meaning of the sentence. Is it "I was already able to do the preperations for the ...
6
votes
2answers
850 views

What is the difference between ずに and ない-form?

My wife is studying for the JLPT exam, and came across the following question: 2時間、_____立って話しました。 She narrowed the choices down to: すわらずに すわらないと Or another similar question: ...
9
votes
3answers
341 views

Can のほうが be omitted when answering a question?

So when people are doing comparisons, do you use のほうが colloquially or even in text? I've seen AとBとどちらのほうが速いですか? and also AとBとどちらが速いですか? And the answers be: AのほうがBより速いです。 AはBより速いです。 Aのほうが速いです。 ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

What does the ぬ in 詰まぬ mean?

I encountered a Shogi saying: 三桂あって詰まぬこと無し And I'm pretty confused about the ぬ there. If it was る I'd expect the meaning to be something like: "If you have 3 knights, you can't be mated" But ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Japanese don't learn kanji meaning only readings? Does it make sense for a kanji to have a key meaning to identify it?

As I understand it works like this. By the time Japanese kids enter first grade they have more or less decent vocabulary of words they know. So when kanjis are taught I can't even imagine how to tell ...

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