9
votes
2answers
598 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
320 views

Are numbers part of romaji? (i.e. 1, 2, 3 vs 一二三)

Romaji is when you use the Roman alphabet to write out Japanese. I.e. you use "abc" instead of "あいうえお". Taking that one step further, what do you call it when you use "123" instead of "一二三"? My first ...
6
votes
1answer
114 views

~の時 vs ~歳の時: What's the difference?

When referring to a time where one was a certain age, are there any differences in meaning, nuance or usage between saying, for example, 18の時 and 18歳の時. I always thought you needed to have the 歳, but ...
3
votes
1answer
525 views

Why “to iu na no” instead of “de” or “no”?

So I'm watching this anime a couple of days ago and one of the characters were describing a group of people. He ended his description with "GIGN to iu na no inu". The subtitle says that meant: "Those ...
7
votes
3answers
528 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
423 views

“Sunday this week” or “Sunday next week”

I am wondering about the history about the beginning of the week. Although some recent calendars start their week on Monday, "traditionally", the Japanese start their week on Sunday (so that 今週の日曜日 ...
6
votes
2answers
655 views

How to use に with “masu-stem (連用形 stem) + に + Verb” structure

Could somebody provide a bit more explanation, possibly giving correct and incorrect examples on how to use に with "masu-stem (連用形 stem) + に + Verb" as illustrated in the following examples? Both ...
4
votes
2answers
603 views

Please help me understand this grammar: ようになるだけではなくて

I'm having trouble understanding this grammar. Could someone please help. 「ようになるだけではなくて」 Taken from the sentence: 本を読めるようになるだけではなくて Thanks in advance.
14
votes
2answers
431 views

Different conventions for animal meat

After reading this awesome question, I got to thinking about different animal meat. Upon researching a little, there seems to be different conventions in referring to different meats. Using 訓読み ...
6
votes
3answers
303 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
5k views

Onigiri and nigiri

I was reading this two articles: Onigiri wikipedia's article Nigiri explanation inside wikipedia's sushi article I first thought that onigiri was a type of sushi but it's not. It calls my ...
9
votes
2answers
506 views

What words are used for dolphin meat?

What words are used for dolphin meat? Searching jisho.org using "dolphin" in the English field listed several different words for dolphin, but no compounds involving meat. Neither the English nor ...
10
votes
2answers
7k views

How to say “also” or “too”

The sentence "I also ate in Tokyo" can mean three different things: (Aside from my friends who ate there), I also ate in Tokyo. (Aside from the other places where I tried local cuisines), I also ate ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

What is the etymology of がらんと?

What is the etymology of がらんと, an adverb meaning empty or deserted?
1
vote
2answers
350 views

What does the construction “passive voice + ままに” mean? (~{ら}れるままに)

I generally know ~まま as used in the sense that something is left in a certain state, for example: 窓を開けたまま寝る. Does this have a different meaning or connotation when used following the passive voice? ...
6
votes
2answers
329 views

Expressing desire of a third party using したいそうです

姉は学校を卒業後は海外留学したいそうです。 ane ha gakkou wo sotsugyougo ha kaigairyuugaku shitai sou desu. My sister says that she wants to study abroad after graduating from school. I found this ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How to distinguish between passive and potential forms of the verb?

I've read that potential form of the ru-verb is formed by replacing る with られる, which is exactly the same for the passive form of ru-verbs. How can we tell the passive form and potential apart in this ...
13
votes
3answers
750 views

Why is “Xy” pronounced as “Ki Shi” in Xylitol「キシリトール」?

Why is "Xy" pronounced as "[Ki Shi]{キ シ}" in [Xylitol]{キシリトール}? I believe "Xy" can pronounced as "Zai", which is probably a valid sound in Japanese. I would like to know its etymology too, if there ...
4
votes
1answer
705 views

Meaning of 「そればかりか、〜Vーるというようなことさえ、始めはしない。」

I am struggling to grasp the meaning of this expression 「そればかりか、〜Vるというようなことさえ、始めはしない」It comes up in the following sentence. The English translation is my best effort but I am guessing from the ...
11
votes
1answer
360 views

How did 家, 手, and 士 come to be included in the names of professions?

When I look at the words for professions, there are usually kanji such as 員、者、長、師、屋 and such, that end the name. These appear to make sense to me; however, what about ones such as 家、手、and 士? For ...
0
votes
1answer
508 views

Beginners Japanese learning resources [closed]

I want to learn Japanese Language by myself. I googled around and there are some resources but due to the fact that I have absolutely no idea what I could be missing, I was looking for some well ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

Making sense of the N1にN2 construction (「パンにバター」=「パンにバターをぬる」)

I understand from my previous question on the N1 に N2 construction that it is usually a phrase with omission of a verb (eg パンにバターをぬる makes パンにバター, which comes from パンにぬる and バターをぬる). If this is the ...
5
votes
1answer
195 views

Spotting the N1 に N2 construction (eg パンにバター)

I have recently come to the conclusion that the N1 に N2 construction (eg パンにバター)is more common than I thought. It is the only explanation I think of to make gramatical sense of the sentences below. ...
3
votes
1answer
226 views

What is よ doing as a connector before a comma?

I saw this as a comment someone posted on Google+ in response to NHK announcing a show: 本気{ほんき}なら地上波{ちじょうは}でやれよ、受信料{じゅしんりょう}返{かえ}せ I think it's saying "If this is really what you intend to ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

What does “気結び” mean?

According to a (non japanese, but he spent lots of time in Japan) Aikido teacher I know, this is supposed to represent "an obligation bounding student and teacher". To be honest, I am a bit ...
6
votes
2answers
368 views

Difference between verb types (verbal nouns, transitive & intransitive: eg 開始, 始める and 始まる)

All three of these words mean "to start", but what's the difference between them and where are they used?
7
votes
2answers
366 views

Where does the phrase 「ノリが悪い」 come from and what is the meaning?

What is this phrase 「ノリが悪い」? I've seen it in a few places, but I haven't been able to find it in a dictionary yet. I had first thought it meant that "the seaweed was bad". What is the meaning of ...
6
votes
2answers
751 views

Are times after noon expressed in military time?

How are times after noon expressed when speaking? I assume that if it's obvious from context that it's after noon, then people will just say 5時. But what if it's not obvious from context? My ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Kanji for native Japanese concepts: Kun'yomi spanning multiple morphemes

There are a few words, which are written with Kanji imported from China, but where the intended native Japanese meaning would prefer a different choice of Kanji. My favourite examples are 雷 vs. 神鳴り ...
6
votes
1answer
250 views

What does「新聞っぽい曜日」mean? Newspaperish? Commonplace? Routine?

This is a practice problem from a textbook on natural language processing: やってみよう:ブラウンコーパスのニュースとロマンスの 2 つのジャンルのデータを利用して、どの曜日がもっとも新聞っぽく、どの曜日がもっともロマンチックかを調べてみよう。 "Which day of the week is ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

How 「えい」 should be pronounced in the words like 英語, 先生, etc?

P.S.: I heard that 「生」 (せい) in the word 先生 can be pronounced either as [sei] or as [see]. If it is so, is there any semantic difference between these variants?
4
votes
1answer
287 views

Use of unit abbreviations in Japanese

Are unit abbreviations like mm for millimetres or % for percent used in Japanese? I've seen people translate those two words in to ミリメートル and パーセント respectively and that is what makes me raise this ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

What is 我が身 and how is it justified in this sentence?

First off, I tried looking at the explanation here. However, the reasons for 我が家 don't seem to apply to 我が身. Here is the excerpt that doesn't seem to apply from Jesse Good's post: The above also ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

What is the difference between 流体 and 液体?

I'm unable to understand the difference between 液体 and 流体. Both sound like "fluid" to me, while the latter sounds like "flowing fluid" (if that makes sense). I had thought there was only 気体、液体、and 固体. ...
0
votes
1answer
176 views

Translating contrasts with English expressions that not their naturally equivalents in Japanese

When translating how does one deal with contrasts best satisfied with English expressions that not the naturally translations from Japanese. In the following example: ...
0
votes
1answer
262 views

How should we translate double negatives/negatives that are unnatural in English?

Is there a basic rule for translating negatives/double negatives that do not feel natural in English. The example I have been struggling is as follows: ...
7
votes
2answers
239 views

What does 「のいう」 mean in this sentence?

I'm familiar with 「という」 and was somewhat confused why I saw 「のいう」 in the following sentence: 人間対応能力は、ドラッカーのいう「他の人間とともに働く能力」のことです。 What is the role of 「のいう」 in this sentence? Is it incorrect to ...
7
votes
1answer
464 views

When are 止める, 停める and 留める read as とめる, やめる or とどめる?

When are 止める, 停める and 留める read as とめる or とどめる (and in the case of 止める, やめる)? I think 止めてください could be read as both やめてください and とめてください, which I think could maybe be translated as "cut it out" and ...
3
votes
2answers
213 views

More fun with the present progressive

I found this example sentence in grammar book: 門の前に車が止まっています。 A car is parked in front of the gate. I was told that instead of 止まる, 停まる would be a more accurate fit for "parked". Does that ...
0
votes
1answer
151 views

Translation doubts (が, き…) [closed]

I'm trying to translate some Japanese text I found to English (I'm very beginner, and self-learning). There are two columns of Japanese; on the left: 私 い 日 本 が and on the right: 大 子 き で す ...
8
votes
1answer
353 views

What is the difference between とはいえ and と(は)いっても? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: と言っても vs とは言え . Apparently they mean the same thing (although, that being said) and yet there are cases when only one of them can be used. For example: ...
5
votes
3answers
140 views

What is the つく used at the end of this sentence

What is the つく used at the end of this sentence? 友人の仕事は危険で、汚くて、おまけに きついらしい。ちなみにそういう仕事は俗に「3K」と呼ばれている。要するに「き」、すなわち「K」が3つつくというわけだ My friend's work is dangerous, dirty and tough. It is ...
8
votes
3answers
768 views

Is this って equivalent to 「と」?

Is the って in the following sentence equivalent to 「と」 as in AはBと変わる/違う? 昔から好きな曲って変わらないみたい。 My favourite songs have not changed for many years. Does this mean it is equivalent to the と used ...
7
votes
1answer
392 views

思っている/言っている with third person subject?

So i was reading A dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, and in the part where it explains the uses of いる as an auxiliary verb after て、 it says something like that: "(...) Also, verbs like 言う and 思う ...
6
votes
2answers
531 views

The difference between 初めて, 最初に and 最初

初めて日本に行った時、友達のお母さんが伝統的な和式朝食を作ってくれました。 The first time I went to Japan, my friend's mother made me a traditional Japanese breakfast. If I wrote the opening of the sentence in the following ...
13
votes
2answers
558 views

What exactly is this ※ symbol, and what does it mean/how is it used?

I keep running into this symbol: ※ What is it, exactly? How is it used? According to this Wikipedia link on Japanese typographic symbols, this ※ is called 米{こめ} or 米印{こめじるし}. It is used in notes as ...
5
votes
2answers
313 views

What is 方 used for (when attached to a た-verb)?

I have the following sentence: 早く行った方が良かったでしょう。 Here, if we take it apart we shall have: 早く(Adverb) 行った(Verb, Past tense) 方(?) が(GA, Subject particle) 良かったでしょう(Verb, Past tense) 。 What is ...
5
votes
1answer
421 views

How do I interpret this question that ends with よ?

In the 7th book of the awesome High School of the Dead, there's this page: The situation is that the main characters, a group of mostly teenagers who are surviving a zombie apocalypse, are walking ...
10
votes
2answers
464 views

Where does the word キレる come from?

I'm unsure of how to use this word 「キレる」. When I looked up the definition, it says something along the lines of "to get angry" or "to lose one's temper". Where does this word come from? I'm somewhat ...
8
votes
1answer
990 views

得意とするところ explanation?

As far as I'm aware this expression means "(a persons) strong points', but I'm not sure how とする is being used in this context. My best guess would be something like "the thing (a person) tries to do ...

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