4
votes
2answers
383 views

How to parse わけじゃなし

A novel I'm reading contains this snippet of dialogue. The manager of a love hotel is explaining why she doesn't return to her apartment between shifts: ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What does どうだ mean?

So, I have the sentence 礼儀のひとつも見せたらどうだね騎士殿 I am getting stumped on the どうだ part. If I am reading the slang dictionary correctly (and I can only find it in a non-English one), it seems to be ...
6
votes
2answers
284 views

小悪魔【こあくま】: “Little devil”… or real devil?

Hearing the word 小悪魔 used here and there, I had always foolishly assumed that the addition of that '小' in front, made it a much more harmless, playful, version of the real thing. And consequently, ...
9
votes
3answers
213 views

Are the usage of 上 and 下 as labels only limited to items that come in pairs of two?

I have some untranslated mangas that come in pairs of two, and each of them is labeled with 上 or 下 to denote which is the first volume and which is the second. I'm wondering if these labels are only ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

おしまい {oshimai} vs おわり {owari}

Are there any differences between using おしまい {oshimai} and おわり {owari} to mean "the end" (both with neutral and negative connotations)? Are they always interchangeable? E.g: テスト失敗したらおわりだぜ。 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Fun with synonyms - “perhaps/maybe/probably”

What are the differences when using the following words/phrases to mean "perhaps", "maybe" or "probably"? 多分 恐らく 蓋し {けだし} もしかして ひょっとして なかろう (negative -> probably not) だろう / でしょう / であろう かも知れない ...
6
votes
1answer
339 views

ねばねば食べねば, relation between ねば and なければ

I would like to know a bit more about the "ねば" grammatical construction. Every now and then, I hear people say sentences like 東京に行かねばならぬ 粘々丼を食べねば倒れる なんとかせねばいい It's quite clear that ねば ...
7
votes
2answers
262 views

The role of と particle in 「二度としない」

What is the role of と particle in 「二度としない」? Is it quotative, adverbialisation, change of state or supposition? Also, what extra nuances does it contribute to the expression compared to if も is used ...
8
votes
1answer
225 views

Separate kanji for おそい when referring to being late and being slow

The i-adjective はやい can refer to being fast or being early, but each of the meanings has affinity towards separate kanji: 速い (fast) and 早い (early). Yet, while it's not surprising that the antonyms of ...
14
votes
3answers
363 views

What is the difference between 完了 and 終了

Both 完了 and 終了 both seem to have the connotation of finished/complete, but what is the difference if any in usage?
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Can と be used with verbs other than 思う to imply a thought process behind the action?

Following hot on the heels on my other question about と and 思う, I know と can be used with 言う, but can it also be applied to verbs that imply some kind of thinking process other than 思う? Do these make ...
14
votes
2answers
316 views

Kitten: 子猫 vs 小猫 vs 仔猫

Are there any differences (nuances or usage) when using prefix 子, 小 or 仔 for denoting young animals? Examples: Kitten: 子猫 vs 小猫 vs 仔猫 Puppy: 子犬 vs 小犬 vs 仔犬 Pony: 子馬 vs 小馬 vs 仔馬 Calf: 子牛 vs 小牛 vs 仔牛 ...
6
votes
4answers
267 views

How to say “workaround/quick-and-dirty hack”

How to say "workaround/quick-and-dirty hack" in Japanese in the context of computer programming? ALC says 次善策 for "workaround" but of course it does not convey the sense of dirtiness/fragility/speed ...
7
votes
1answer
334 views

If a compound noun is made from a na-adjective suffix, is it followed by a な particle?

There are a few compound nouns that are made by compounding something with na-adjectives like 好き and 嫌い, for examples: 花見好き 子供好き 水嫌い 人嫌い 負け嫌い Are these compounds followed by a な particle? Or do ...
2
votes
1answer
461 views

Free, online resource for kanbun readings of particular texts?

Having picked up about 2,000+ characters from Chinese, one of the fastest ways for me to acquire a feel for Japanese grammar and word order, as well as some useful kanji readings, has been to study ...
11
votes
3answers
397 views

What's the difference between 成人 and 大人?

What's the difference between 成人 and 大人 ?
10
votes
2answers
520 views

When would you use 低い【ひくい】 vs 短い【みじかい】

Are 低い and 短い interchangable or do they have specific uses?
6
votes
2answers
282 views

What exactly is おく doing in 聞いておく?

Earlier today my friend and I were looking for a restaurant that someone had recommended we go to. We couldn't find it, and so my friend suggested I should check again with the person who recommended ...
8
votes
1answer
150 views

Amount of time and 間

When expressing "It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes", would it be best to say 1時間15分掛かる。 or 1時15分掛かる。 or maybe 1時15分間掛かる。 ?
13
votes
1answer
272 views

Is こら a lot more rude than ほら?

From early on, I've used こら and ほら somewhat interchangeably. They both mean "hey!" I picked them up from friends early on without without really having a sense of the difference. Now, after some ...
8
votes
1answer
174 views

Is there any gairaigo based on Australian English?

Has any Australian English become incorporated into Japanese as gairaigo? Or would most Japanese people only be exposed to Australian English from Australian-made shows such as "The Crocodile Hunter"? ...
5
votes
3answers
223 views

What does つまづい mean?

What's the meaning of つまづい in this context? たとえ何があっても つまづいても迷っても
11
votes
3answers
561 views

Using more than one の

I already know the main usages of の as said here, but I was wondering: If I want to use the possessive indicator in a row, is it correct? For example, if I wanted to say "My family's car is blue.", ...
5
votes
2answers
277 views

How to unambiguously express sentences with lots of relative propositions?

Background, problem statement Very often, I find myself in situations where I have to build structurally complex sentences in Japanese, and find myself struggling, trying to put all I want to say in ...
5
votes
2answers
361 views

Does [V-stem]に行く works for verbs whose stems are not stand-alone words by themselves?

I was taught that there is a grammatical form which goes like this: [V-stem]に行く For example: 遊びに行く, which means "Go. Reason: to 遊ぶ" I was wondering does this grammatical form work for verbs whose ...
7
votes
2answers
354 views

Translating “barely”, “hardly” etc

In English, "barely"/"hardly" can be used both with a connection to time ("just finished"): I had barely finished eating when he arrived. (食べたばかり...) or to express the idea that a goal was ...
7
votes
3answers
220 views

Where does the いかない in ~わけにはいかない come from?

My first thought is that いかない in this phrase conveys the meaning of 行かない, that is, not progressing to something. But this is mere guesswork. What is the history of いかない in ~わけにはいかない? Does it have ...
4
votes
1answer
236 views

Is it true that only movement verbs can take [V-stem]に to express a purpose?

I decided to split this into a thread by itself because I was afraid of cramming too much into the first thread. Is it true that only movement verbs can take [V-stem]に to express a purpose? Will it ...
7
votes
2answers
306 views

Saying “as if to say” - What's happened to 言う in と言わんばかりに?

Can you help breakdown 言わん? 彼女は当たり前と言わんばかりに答えた She answered as if it was a matter of fact. Are these incorrect, have different meanings? 彼女は当たり前と言うばかりに答えた 彼女は当たり前なことばかりに答えた ...
6
votes
3answers
141 views

Does 「彼は映画スター兼政治家だ。」 sound weird?

I asked about this in the comments section of another question, but no one responded, so I guess I'll ask it here. The question involved expressing that someone was both a movie star and a politician, ...
5
votes
2answers
245 views

Is it true that all nouns must be able to accept a が particle and a を particle?

Is it true that all nouns must be able to accept a が particle and a を particle? I was curious about how we could form a sentence with: 特別が 特別を 出色が 出色を
0
votes
1answer
242 views

Do all the meanings of 掛ける and 掛かる tally?

WWWJDIC does not tally their meanings of 掛ける and 掛かる so i find it hard for a beginner like me to properly learn these 2 words.. Do all these meanings of 掛ける and 掛かる tally: (is this list correct): ...
13
votes
1answer
242 views

Why did の disappear from 山手, but in 御茶ノ水 it's in katakana?

I realize that very likely the answer to this question is likely to be something along the lines of "that's just the way it is", but I thought it worth asking to see if there were some insights that ...
7
votes
2answers
168 views

What's the difference between じき and すぐ?

すぐ, and especially 今すぐ, is my habitual way to express "soon", or "right after this". I know that じき means more or less the same thing, and when I hear it or see it written, I get the general meaning ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

虚; 空; 洞 【うろ】and differences

虚; 空; 洞 【うろ】: hollow; cavity; hole pronunciation is only one but why are there three kanji words??what are they differences??
7
votes
2answers
221 views

Reading a number range

I have a bottle of 洗顔料(facial soap), and the instructions are: ご使用量の目安 ポンプ1~2回 (use about 1 to 2 pumps) If I were to read 1~2 aloud, how would I do it?
7
votes
1answer
294 views

“Never say never”

Since there is apparently no literal translation for "never", how would you translate this idiom ? What periphrasis would you use to express the same meaning ?
5
votes
2answers
971 views

Wait… えらい means also means “terrible”?

For over a decade of speaking (poorly) and listening to Japanese, it seems to me that I have almost exclusively heard the word えらい in the sense of meaning "admirable". For example, I'd mention ...
6
votes
3answers
295 views

より not used for comparing?

The title of a piano arrangement of a Touhou song (Hakurei Reimu's Theme) is: 「東方永夜抄 - Imperishable Night.」 より 博麗霊夢のテーム (Question) What does より do in the title? If it were to mean "from the ...
6
votes
1answer
333 views

Does Japanese have a term equivalent to “Engrish”?

It seems common enough for Japanese to attempt to use English, that we get some truly bizarre translations. Especially bad are older games that were non-professionally translated to what we came to ...
7
votes
2answers
237 views

How broad is the meaning of 薬?

I saw on a board the other day someone referring to insecticide as "薬", which doesn't really fit with the English conception of "medicine". I looked up "薬" in Kenkyuusha, and sure enough, "chemical" ...
5
votes
3answers
484 views

What is the difference between 〜ないではいられない and 〜ずにはいられない

I was taught that these two phrases are interchangeable and have the same meaning. However, I recently wrote a few practice sentences using this grammar point and they were corrected to use ずには ...
9
votes
1answer
195 views

Is 音沙汰 not used anymore because communication technology has changed?

My understanding of the word 音沙汰【おとさた】(news, letter) is that in terms of usage, it functions the same way that 連絡【れんらく】(contact, communication) does. It refers to modes of communication between ...
6
votes
2answers
130 views

Why is there 丼 {どんぶり} in 丼勘定 {どんぶりかんじょう}?

How does 丼勘定 {どんぶりかんじょう} (sloppy accounting) related to 丼 {どんぶり} (bowl of rice with toppings)? I mean, why どんぶり of all foods and things? Was there special history for the origin of this set phrase?
4
votes
1answer
191 views

Is けど a conjunction (接続詞) or particle (助詞)?

I have a book that claims けど is a conjunction (接続詞), yet another book that I have claims that it is a particle (助詞). Seems it doesn't seem to make sense if けど is both a conjunction and a particle, I ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

“You don't have to be so polite.” Really?

Sometimes a Japanese person will say to me: そんなに丁寧な言葉を使わなくてもいいんですよ。 This is an invitation to be less formal. But how much less formal? As I have experienced, sometimes unintentional gaffes can ...
5
votes
2answers
194 views

Difference between 割合 vs 率

割合 and 率 both mean ratio, rate, and percentage. What is the difference?
3
votes
1answer
141 views

Omitting the particle で in Xでもない

In the song "Eien no tobira" (永遠の扉) by Yonekura Chihiro (米倉千尋) the chorus starts with this line: 言葉じゃなくて約束もなくて Since じゃなくて is contraction of ではなくて, I would have expected the second clause to say ...
9
votes
1answer
774 views

Difference between 「 ただ」, 「たった」, 「ただ ~だけ」, and 「ただし」

I translate these words as either "only, just, simply". I'd like to know how I could differentiate these 4 ways (i.e., when I use that one, and when I use the other). Examples: たったひとつの恋 ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Can 首 be used to refer to students who have just graduated and not yet found a job?

The example sentences in WWWJDIC all use the word "首" in the "fire" sense (e.g. 彼を首にしてやる) hence I was wondering is the term only used to refer to "firing" someone? Or is it also used to refer to ...

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