4
votes
1answer
262 views

How do I say “course duration” in Japanese?

I want to say something along the lines of "all engineering courses are four years long". Should I say something like this?: 各技術コースの専攻期間は4年くらいです。 Is there a more natural way to phrase what I'm ...
9
votes
1answer
221 views

What is じゃ in じゃない?

Since there is possibility of "じゃありません" instead of "じゃないです" (which is logical, given "ありません" is polite "ない"), and it also seemed that I have seen "じゃ" used without "ない", I'd like to ask, what "じゃ" ...
4
votes
1answer
200 views

Why is 礼 honorific in 「お礼を申し上げます/give my thanks [to someone]」?

In 謙譲語 the addition of honorific to a direct object depends on who owns it: (先生に)本をさしあげます。| I will give teacher my book (先生の)ご本をお借りします。|I shall borrow teacher's book (先生を)会場へご案内します。| I ...
4
votes
1answer
242 views

Question on mnemonic device for characters such as 恋, 変, and 湾

I am currently studying kanji by using a number of sites, some of which provide mnemonics to aid in learning. While not a specific radical per se (I think), the top portions of the following ...
13
votes
3answers
362 views

神様がある vs. 神様がいる

I was wondering if there's a difference in usage between 神様がいる and 神様がある. In both cases, I mean specifically the meaning "There is a God", either as a statement of the kind "God exists", or as in ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you say “I don't want to fail” in Japanese? The formal form of it?

I'm asking how do you say something like "I don't want to fail" in Japanese. Yes, in anime they say something like "makenai". But I want to say or write it like an actual Japanese sentence in the ...
8
votes
1answer
191 views

question about kanji sports names 蹴球, 籠球, 庭球, and 野球

A few questions about these words. The words [蹴球]{しゅうきゅう}, [籠球]{ろうきゅう}, and [庭球]{ていきゅう} mean football, basketball, and tennis, respectively. But I have only seen them in a dictionary, and in practice ...
15
votes
1answer
541 views

How did 面白 end up meaning “Interesting”?

面 by itself means "face", while 白 by itself means "white". How did these two words combine together to mean "interesting"?
8
votes
1answer
218 views

Can けれども be analysed further?

Consider the conjunction ども, e.g.: 行けども 言えども Formation rule: Verb Hypothetical form (仮定形) + ども This leads me to hypothesise that the conjunction けれども (meaning "but; however; although") is ...
13
votes
2answers
376 views

What is the meaning and root of 意味くじピーマン?

Recently a friend of mine threw the term 意味くじピーマン (imi kuji pi-man) into a story she was telling, and it totally threw me off. At first I thought, because I wasn't sure how to parse the くじ part, it ...
11
votes
3answers
240 views

心配でたまらず - what is the verb and its form?

Could someone explain the grammar/words behind this and similar phrases? I did some research and probably found the explanation, but I am not sure if this is correct. The phrase may be found in a ...
4
votes
1answer
381 views

ですよ in Kansai-ben

What does the sentencing ending particle ですよ become in Kansai-ben?
8
votes
1answer
387 views

Etymology and usage of 凸待ち

I've seen the internet slang 凸{とつ}待{ま}ち used for "waiting for incoming (Skype etc) calls" pretty frequently, but what is the etymology and usage of the word? I've read on other sites that it came ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is -からです, and when is it used?

I have seen this expression a few times, and have never quite understood it. In particular, it seems to be equatable both to ですから and to んです, but I can't figure out where it would be used over either ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

In what way is the negative form of a verb an adjective?

I was reading the wikipedia page on "predicate," where it mentioned that in Japanese, the negative form of a verb is an adjective. I thought that this was too expansive a statement to be true, but ...
4
votes
2answers
587 views

what does “mata ha” stand for in this sentence?

くるまはみぎ、ひだりまたはまっすぐいってもいいです i understand what mata normally means but, it doesn't seem to work in this sentence. please & thank you.
7
votes
1answer
207 views

Is “かいしゅん” a valid reading for 買春?

I have seen the words 売春 and 買春 pronounced "ばいしゅん". From my understanding 売春 is taken from the perspective of the "seller" whereas 買春 is taken from the perspective of the "buyer". However, when I ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Which writing system (hiragana, katakana, or kanji) should we use when writing out someone's name?

I know how to read hiragana and katakana, but know nothing else. A lot of people I know want me to write their names in Japanese. Is it right to write them in any system, or are there specific rules?
6
votes
1answer
168 views

Why did the translator use ゴナラ here?

I've got a copy of "オ・ヤサシ巨人BFG", Taeko Nakamura's translation of the famous children's book by Roald Dahl, The BFG. The story concerns a friendship between a little girl named Sophie and a friendly ...
3
votes
1answer
253 views

What does そこによるところは大きい mean?

could anyone help me with a sentence? It was from an article in the Asahi about the leadership change in North Korea. The full sentence is 拉致被害者の早い救出も、そこによるところは大きい。I understand the first part of the ...
7
votes
1answer
158 views

Pronunciation of 対応済

Is the pronunciation of 対応済 たいおうすみ or たいおうずみ ? Context: Software Example: ユーザが押したときに問題が起こらないように対応済
9
votes
2answers
545 views

What is the purpose of the suffix “さ” on adjectives?

What is the purpose of the suffix "さ" on adjectives like 美しさ and 多さ? The former is the title of an essay by Banana Yoshimoto, so I don't have much context for it. The book editors translated it as ...
12
votes
1answer
552 views

Sentence level pitch accent for 標準語

I was wondering if anybody had any references (preferably freely available) or insights that explain 標準語 (or should I say 関東語) sentence-level pitch accent. I already have a dictionary which describes ...
12
votes
2answers
456 views

“y”-sound insertion after intervocalic ん

The pronunciation of intervocalic ん is a topic by itself, with the surrounding vowels tending to become nasalized, and ん itself maybe being pronounced as a nasal vowel. But that's not what I'm asking ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does the g tends to sound more like a m or n?

I have heard words such as shigoto, sugata, sugu (ni) and they end up sounding like shimoto, sunata, and sunu ni. Even in sentence such as Haru ga kimasu. I've heard sound like: Haru na kimasu. So ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

What is the most common way to pronounce 運?

So 運 is spelled うん, but I seem to hear most of my friends pronounce it as あん. My friends and family are 20-60 years of age and come from mostly Tokyo and Ibaraki area. I am living in the US now and so ...
4
votes
2answers
156 views

Pronunciation of 締 in 月末締/翌月末払

If I understood well, 月末締/翌月末払 means "close the deal before end of a given month then get payment before end of the following month" Is the pronunciation "げつまつしめ よくげつはらい" I am especially unsure ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is the Japanese currency pronounced “yen” in English?

I'm wondering what the reason for the mispronunciation of 円 in English came to be "yen". I can understand how some words like 東京 became "Tokyo", but "en" to "yen" seems strange. On a side note, why is ...
7
votes
3answers
519 views

[父]{ちち} vs. [乳]{ちち} — father vs. breast

Can one differentiate by pronunciation between [父]{ちち} and [乳]{ちち} (as for 雨 and 飴)? If not, does anyone have a reasonable explanation for why 父 and 乳 have the same pronunciation? It seems unlikely ...
5
votes
1answer
423 views

Why do ~なんてもんじゃないよ/~たのなのって=とても?

Both the following two expressions from my text book 完全マスター聴解N1 are explained as とても(高い/人が多かった): 高いなんてもんじゃないよ 人が多かったのなのって Could someone explain what they are based on/where they come from ...
8
votes
2answers
256 views

Questions on the (underlying) meaning of the word お化け

If ばけもの / ばけもん / お化け can, in general, be understood to mean ghost/apparition/monster, what is the connection to the meaning of 化け, meaning "transform?" (or "transforming one's appearance") Is it ...
6
votes
1answer
196 views

How do we roll a ball along a street from A to B?

This question is a follow up to この道をまっすぐ行ってください。Why “を” and not “で”? posted earlier. If: 道で転ぶ = fallover on the road ボールが道を転がる = a ball rolled along the street 〜を転がす = roll something ...
8
votes
1answer
362 views

Why is there a 分 in 自分?

I didn't find anywhere why is the minute's kanji there in 自分? Is it because a meaning of 分 is "part". Please clarify.
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Are the 4-byte UTF-8 Kanji rare enough that I can ignore them?

I'm writing a programming algorithm which converts code points of Kanji characters to their respective UTF-8 octets. My problem is, if I don't include 4-octet characters, and only deal with 3-octet ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Actual phonetic realization of “devoiced” vowels

Descriptions of Japanese phonology (such as Wikipedia's) usually describe high vowels between voiceless consonants (or word-finally) as "devoiced". For example, the pronunciation of ⟨圧⟩ 'pressure' and ...
8
votes
2answers
491 views

けど vs. が for “but” conjuction

This question covers the difference between でも and けど for "but", the difference being that でも can be used at the beginning of a sentence. But けど and が are used in very much the same way, ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

How to choose between 「いれる」 and 「はいれる」?

The questions is how to choose between 「いれる」 and 「はいれる」. As far as I know, the same kanji is used for both (入れる). How can one make the distinction when reading a text?
5
votes
2answers
748 views

Help with the difference between causative and the causative-passive for the verb 笑う

I've always had a hard time immediately understanding the differences between passive, causative, and causative-passive. If I really sit down and try to work out the meaning I can generally get it, ...
7
votes
1answer
214 views

Explain Noun + へ particle?

I have a sentence 来年にはテレフォニカが製品投入へ. This is translated by google: "Telefonica is to rollout next year." Where is the verb in this sentence as 製品投入 looks like "noun" + "noun"? And what is へ doing after ...
8
votes
2answers
668 views

How to answer someone else's phone?

I am in a Japanese office setup sitting next to my boss. He often gets phone calls but most of the time he is not in his seat. How do I answer his phone say that "This is Mr. XX's seat and this is YY ...
9
votes
2answers
242 views

How close are なりつつある and なっている?

語学学習は私の新しい習慣の一部になりつつあるのでしょうか? "Is learning languages becoming a part of my new daily routine?" なりつつある here seems similar to なっている... are they often interchangeable? Would I be able to ...
6
votes
3answers
728 views

Explain the meaning of という or と + いう?

Here is the sentence: それは改良を必要としますが、すぐにということではありません。 I can't understand this part: すぐに_Adverb + という_Particle? + こと_Noun + では_DEWA + ありません_Verb. I know that という is an expression "said; called thus", ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How to say “Little did I/he/she/they know”?

I found a few examples at ALC, but still not sure about the best way to say it.
6
votes
2answers
271 views

ひき or 頭 for horses?

Initially I'd thought ひき is for small animals and 頭 is for animals that are not small ("big" animals) however EDICT (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUE%E3%81%B2%E3%81%8D) ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

What is the function of の particle after Conjunction?

Here is the sentence: それなのにの言い換えや別の言い方。 Taking it apart: それなのに_Conjunction + の_Particle + 言い換え_Noun + や_Particle + 別_Noun? + の_Particle + 言い方_Noun。 This construction puzzles me. What is の doing right ...
8
votes
2answers
224 views

Understanding of the character 叉

I see the character 叉 in a lot of words that do not seem to have anything in common: [夜叉]{やしゃ} [三叉路]{さんさろ} [叉焼]{チャーシュー} [音叉]{おんさ} Is there any commonality here? What does 叉 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

A polite way to say “ this person”

What to say in Japanese when trying to Imply "This is my dad". "These are my parents". "This is my friend(female)". "This is my manager"? I don think using これ is polite or 彼 will be appropriate. ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

Equivalence of Traversal Verb + て and で of Means/Instrumentality

Consider: XにYで行く 学校に自転車で行く "Go to school by bicycle" ("means/instrumentality" interpretation) "Is* bicycle and go to school" (Questionable?) (Verb conjunctive interpretation) XにTraversal ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています?

I'm reading Minna no Nihongo (Chapter 15) and it says what I wrote in the question. I would think the negative would be 知っていません。
8
votes
1answer
713 views

To take responsibility: 責任を 取る・負う・持つ

What are the nuances between these three verbs when paired with 責任? I understand they all mean "to take responsibility", but are they interchangeable, etc? 責任を取る 責任を負う 責任を持つ 負う's definition says ...

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