3
votes
2answers
156 views

Are most counter words made up of two parts? What are those two parts called?

When looking at counter words, there seems to be a part that has a number, and a part that stays more or less the same. For example, the counter words for hours of a day are ichi-ji, ni-ji, san-ji. ...
7
votes
1answer
316 views

understanding hōgejaku — an archaic imperative?

I would like to understand this Zen calligraphy: ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a logic behind the different endings when counting things in Japanese

So far I don't see any logic to it. It seems like it's just something you have to memorize, or is there a trick that I'm missing. Update To clarify, I'm not so much questioning the existence of the ...
10
votes
2answers
373 views

What's the difference between どうしたらいい and どうしていい?

Particularly in the following phrases, what's the difference between どうしたらいい and どうしていい? The following both seem to mean something like "I don't know what to do": どうしたらいいか分かりません どうしていいか分かりません ...
7
votes
1answer
678 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
184 views

Is まい as in あるまい really only used in literary texts or TV?

My understanding --admittedly limited-- is that in Japanese, people say as much as they can with as little words as possible. So I wondered why ないだろう would be used in everyday speaking instead of まい? ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What do you mean, “In Japanese there are no words for ”I’m suffering“”?

Today I noticed this article about eating disorders in Japan, which I got to via the News on Japan site. The first line jumps out at me. Supposedly, in an interview, a 25 year old Japanese woman ...
1
vote
1answer
400 views

At what level should we be able to understand Yojijukugo?

In my experience, Chinese language learners are introduced to these 4-character phrases at an early stage (around Chinese 3 in my high school); what I want to know is there a certain aptitude level ...
6
votes
1answer
564 views

Why do some kanji have furigana that are not valid readings?

In my text I read the sentence: あなたが体験したよりもっと[巨]{おお}きく、もっと深くさせてくれる力があるからだ。 (furigana is from the text) I understand 大きく, and I understand some words with 巨 like 巨大. However, when I looked up ...
7
votes
2answers
328 views

(noun) です vs. がある when either is appropriate

~するつもりです ~するつもりがある ~する予定です ~する予定がある These are just two examples. Obviously you can't stick in any noun, but I don't know if these fall into some well defined class either. Anyhow, ...
2
votes
2answers
207 views

Different versions of より?

Here is one definition for より: より (adv,prt) (1) from; out of; since; at; (2) than; (3) other than; except; but; (4) more; I see that one of the definitions of this word is "more". Is より一層 a ...
4
votes
2answers
485 views

Does だけが mean “but only” or “not just”?

Earlier today I saw this sign: 煙{けむり}の行方{ゆくえ}。本人{ほんにん}だけが、他人{たにん}事{ごと}だった。 The English is different enough that I think we can mostly ignore it for the purposes of this question. It helpfully ...
5
votes
3answers
347 views

Does 切った mean to “cut out” or “cut from”?

I was pretty sure that 切{き}った meant something was cut from something else. So ケーキから一人分{ひっとりぶん}を切{き}った would mean, "one piece was cut from the cake." However, I came across a usage which, at least at ...
8
votes
1answer
685 views

Ancient practise of sneaking into women's bedrooms…?

I was looking up the meaning of スマ婚{こん}, when my mouse happened to roll over the kanji 婚{こん}, and this definition popped up in Rikaichan: 婚 よばい ancient practice of creeping at night into a woman's ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the rules determining the use of the dash in katakana?

As explained in this question, a dash character is used in katakana as an extension of a sound. First, what exactly is this character called? A "nobasu mark"? Anyway, I saw this sign in Shibuya the ...
6
votes
1answer
180 views

What does 勝つべくして勝った mean?

I came across this phrase while looking at the meaning for べく: 勝つべくして勝った It seems to be a set phrase, but I'm not 100% on the meaning. To win in order to win? To try really hard to win? To be ...
9
votes
3answers
659 views

When to use “もっと” vs “より”

Giving examples if possible, what's the difference between e.g. もっと大きい and より大きい to mean "more (than)"/"bigger (than)"? In what situations would you use もっと over より and vice versa? For instance, why ...
10
votes
1answer
207 views

What is the significance of a large く character in literary texts?

I am currently reading an early story by Tanizaki Junichiro in Japanese. I have come across both the hiragana く and ぐ written twice the size they usually are, taking up the same amount of space on the ...
4
votes
2answers
423 views

Which readings would you use to pronounce people's names?

I'm confused whether it is normally appropriate to use On-readings or Kun-readings when dealing with people's names; I'm fine when its just two character names; I just make a logical deduction in my ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

Different permutations of 気 [closed]

Lots of words/expressions/phrases use 気 in one way or another. For example 気をつけて, 気味, 気になる, 気がつく, 気がする, 天気 etc... Is there a reference somewhere for the seemingly more "interesting" phrases (like the ...
4
votes
5answers
573 views

Translation - Long sentence, uncertain of the nuance

I'm having trouble determining the meaning and nuance of this sentence. Can you help me out? [技術]{ぎじゅつ}といっても、上手か下手かだけではなく、その技術を使う人の気持ちの持ち方まで[問題]{もんだい}にしているのです。 I think the closest I've been able ...
7
votes
0answers
4k views

What is the difference between お元気に、お元気で、気をつけて? [duplicate]

I want to say hello to a friend I haven't seen for a long time, and end my message with "take care". All of お元気{げんき}に, お元気{げんき}で and 気{き}をつけて mean "take care", so which one suits my case? How should I ...
10
votes
3answers
305 views

What do we call things that are neither kana nor kanji?

I was wondering Is there a Japanese name (or term) for written stuff that are neither kana nor kanji? By that, I mean stuff like: ゠ (ダブルハイフン, for indicating the dash in foreign words) ・ (ぽつ, for ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How close was the Japanese writing system from becoming abolished after World War II?

I remember hearing that the Japanese government planned on abolishing the use of Chinese characters entirely after World War II. I also remember hearing that there was a movement by the American ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

混信 and 干渉 difference in terms of communications and computing?

I read an article that had the sentence 1.9GHz帯を使うため、ZigBeeやWi-Fiで使われている2.4GHz帯の機器と干渉しないことが特徴。 I previously learned that 混信 means "interference" or "jamming". I saw this word used often. I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
234 views

Difference between 十分 and 十二分

Is there a clear difference between the meanings of 十分 and 十二分? I rarely have ever seen the second one. When should the second one be used and in what context? EDIT: To avoid confusion, I'm talking ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to say “quarter to” or “quarter past” some hour?

For example, how do you say: It's quarter to 3. and It's quarter past 3.
12
votes
2answers
352 views

Rare/Obsolete verb forms

I have noticed that some verbs have this "rare" or old form that is no longer used much (if at all). Here are some examples. おそる: おそるべき者 → One who is feared ほむ: ほむべきお方【かた】 → Seen often in my ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Stative verbs: ~ている vs ~てある vs ~(ら)れる

I'm not sure if I'm wording this properly, but I want to know the nuances of these "stative" type verb forms that act kind of like adjectives. For example, you could describe an open window with any ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Dates, version strings, timestamps and numbers in Japanese. How are they formatted?

I'm writing a program and need to know how dates, versions, time, and numbers are formatted in the Japanese Language Example (in English) Version 1.0.0 (Build 0) How would that look in Japan?
4
votes
1answer
171 views

擦れ違う usage and etymology?

擦れ違う is one of my new vocabulary words, so I try to understand as much as I can. I looked up a couple of meanings for the word and I found that it is used to describe 1) when two things pass each ...
8
votes
2answers
505 views

Come to ~: ~てくる vs. ~ようになる

Can someone please explain the fine nuances of these two? Things such as: Are there conditions/restrictions of when you can use one or the other? What are the "approximate" time periods that each ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Thank you for X: ~をありがとうございます

I've often heard this pattern, particularly in things like メッセージ/メール を ありがとうございます。 Since ありがとうございます is an adjective, why is it acceptable to use を in this situation? That seems about as ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

What is a 両県 (as seen in newspapers)?

I've seen this a couple of times in newspapers. For example: ....は山口、広島両県の.... I can't find it in any dictionary. My gut feeling is that it indicates a sort of union between the two prefectures, ...
4
votes
1answer
395 views

What does なきや mean? [closed]

I assume this is some sort of idiom or verbal tic, but i'm not 100% sure. Anybody care to help me out? If you need context, this is the phrase: まだピチピチなんだからかんばらなきや
4
votes
1answer
110 views

What is the grammar behind 朝6時 (as opposed to 朝の6時)?

朝の6時 seems to be consistent with using の to have one noun modify another, while 朝6時 appears to be just two successive nouns (which I wouldn't think would be a grammatically valid construction).
4
votes
1answer
88 views

difference between 連載 and 順次

I usually see the word 連載 pertaining to articles or books in a series. However, when I read 順次 I was confused (I saw this is a technical article). They seem to both hold the meaning "serial" or ...
3
votes
1answer
162 views

difference between やかましい and そうぞうしい

these two words came up when I was looking at a vocabulary list that I'm supposed to study. I'm having trouble with understanding the difference and the usage of the words. If possible would someone ...
4
votes
1answer
418 views

How should I go about translating my company name in Japanese?

I'm trying to translate a company name ("puddle") in to Japanese. I put it into google translate, but when you translate words you're translating their meaning rather than the word itself, which is ...
18
votes
1answer
737 views

Did ありがとう come from Portuguese “obrigado”?

I have heard before that ありがとう came from the word "obrigado" in Portuguese. Is this true and is there any evidence to support this, or is it an old wives' tale?
4
votes
1answer
428 views

Difference between に and が for intransitive verbs

What is the difference between 試験に受かる and 試験が受かる? It seems that the first one means "to pass an exam" while the second one is more like "passing exams" (really not sure about it). In which cases ...
3
votes
2answers
232 views

“俺が一番” vs “俺が最高”

I was reading through " How do I say "I am the best" ? の,は or が and 私 or 俺? ", and I was wondering what's the difference between "俺が一番" and "俺が最高"? From what I know, both roughly equates to ...
10
votes
2answers
587 views

Difference between 丸い and 円い

Both come up with the same reading and definition in Jisho.org (round/circular), and both are listed as common words. Is there any preference between the two or should I simply learn both as ...
4
votes
1answer
312 views

から ending a sentence

I've seen this in a few texts now and since it's appeared with some frequency I thought to post the question here. I tried searching online but came up with no real conclusions. ありませんから or plain form ...
5
votes
3answers
428 views

Is タオル used for the towels used at onsen?

onsenjapan.net claims that タオル is used for "towel", presumably the large one. When I asked a staff member at Odeo onsen "これ は 何 ですか?" while indicating the large towel I was holding, the staff member ...
5
votes
3answers
431 views

What does 遅れに遅れて mean?

I'm pretty sure ~れに~れて is a grammar form that I have studied in my JLPT textbooks, but I came across it again in a text and I can't for the life of me find it again in my grammar dictionaries. I also ...
6
votes
1answer
785 views

“Your sniffling is driving me crazy!”

There are people in Japan who seem to think nothing of sniffling their nose indefinitely as they sit in a coffee shop, in an office, on a train, or anywhere with other people around. Sometimes ...
10
votes
1answer
322 views

What exactly is ありき?

I think from looking up ありき that it means "based on", but it's usage is unclear to me. I've come across it in these two examples: まずは結論{けつろん}ありき Which I think means "the conclusion is based on ...
4
votes
2answers
235 views

気を遣う versus 気を使う

It seems from my JLPT study books, and also my computer's IME, that 気{き}を遣{つか}う is the preferred kanji for "paying attention to, having concern for". However, I noticed that on Space ALC if you look ...
5
votes
1answer
278 views

What does it mean when a sentence ends with しなくもない?

A friend posted this in a comment on Facebook: これは深{ふか}い意味{いみ}があるような気{き}がしなくもない I think I get the general meaning, which is "This seems to have a deep meaning." But I'm fuzzy on the implications ...

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