9
votes
1answer
212 views

What's the etymology of 負けず嫌い?

It seems strange to me that 負{ま}けず嫌{ぎら}い means "hate losing" and not "hate not losing". (食わず嫌い for example seems to mean "hate a food without trying it".) Providing credible sources if possible, what ...
5
votes
2answers
121 views

How to read the 動_下一, _下二 pattern found in dictionaries?

There's a common abbreviation system in dictionaries and I'm wondering how they're read and used. Here's an example: I'm guessing it has something to do with how to fill in the blanks in the ...
6
votes
1answer
155 views

What is the difference between 直観 and 直感?

I'm trying to understand if there is a difference between the two words 直感 and 直観. After looking both words up in a dictionary, there entries both list "intuition / intuitive". I also tried looking up ...
6
votes
1answer
127 views

“XYZ mentioned in newspaper ABC!” in Japanese?

My organization XYZ has been mentioned in a newspaper, and I would like to post a link to the online article, together with a short explanation like "XYZ mentioned in newspaper ABC!" How about ...
6
votes
2answers
830 views

Using 伯母 / 叔母 to refer to one's aunt

Is it true that when we see 伯母 it usually (90%) means "parent's elder sister" and sometimes (10%) can be used to refer to the parent's younger sister? On the contrary, when we see 叔母 does it always ...
3
votes
2answers
200 views

How is ちょっと、たべたら、どう used in this sentence?

This is from the second episode of Noir. The two women are sitting quietly eating dinner. One of the women says to the other: ちょっとは美味しそうに食べたらどう? For the life of me, I can't parse this sentence into ...
4
votes
1answer
349 views

What does で分かる mean?

I have a hard time understanding the use of でわかる. I'm guessing that it doesn't just simply mean that "something is understood". Instead I wonder if it means that "something was realized"? I read the ...
8
votes
1answer
373 views

Why is 「人口」 used to denote population?

I'm just curious at the appearance of 「口」 that makes this word mean "population". Why should it be 「口」 as opposed to any other body part or anything else? Is there a definitive reason or story ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the difference between “家” (ya), “屋” (ya), and “や” (ya) as used in the names of shops/stores/restaurants?

As a gyudon addict I have noticed that the names of the three major national restaurant chains all end in "ya" but they used two different characters: "吉野家" (Yoshinoya) "松屋" (Matsuya) "すき家" (Sukiya) ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

What is the difference between 義務and 本分?

Now, I try to brush up my vocabulary in Japanese. In dictionary, both 義務 and 本分 mean "duty". Is there any differences in usage? And can I use 本分 instead of 義務 in following sentence? ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
185 views

Analysis of もしかして (perhaps)?

I'm hearing this word a lot in Japanese drama and anime. What is the literal meaning of it? Does it have a Kanji form? What root(s) does it contain (I think there is a する in the second half of it? ...
3
votes
1answer
223 views

Can ごとに be replaced by それぞれ in this question?

正月は家ごとに門松を立てる。 For example, could I say 正月はそれぞれの家に門松をたてる。 If so, the meaning remains the same, or are there any subtle nuances that comes with each word? It seems to me, whenever i see sentences ...
5
votes
1answer
305 views

Meaning and usage of suffix -まい

According to the WWWJDIC, the verbal suffix まい can mean: (1) probably isn't (doesn't, won't, etc.) (2) don't (doesn't) intend to; intend not to (3) must not; (when used in an imperative ...
7
votes
2answers
244 views

Why まで and not に?

So I'm reading Chapter 12 (of Minna no Nihongo I) and ran across this sentence: 空港までバスと電車とどちらが速いですか。 It's translated as: Which is the faster way to get to the airport, by bus or by train? ...
8
votes
2answers
257 views

What is the difference between 意味 and 意義?

I have learned (意味) and (意義)as "meaning". I am confused these two words. Are they same or is there any difference in usage?
6
votes
1answer
306 views

Using な after い-adjectives

What does it mean to put a な after an い-adjective? For example, many Youtube videos are called begin "いいなCM", and a Japanese text book I have uses this sentence as an example: この通りを行くと 大きな 交差点がある。 ...
11
votes
2answers
250 views

What is the difference between 首相 and 総理?

I learned 総{そう}理{り} as the word for Prime Minister, but I've recently learned that 首{しゅ}相{しょう} is also used. Is there a difference in usage or meaning? Is one more polite than the other?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the Hepburn system of romanization generally used over the Nihon-shiki system?

Generally when you see romanization of Japanese it is in the Hepburn system; however, I recently came across the Nihon-shiki system which seems to be preferable. Why is it that the Hepburn system ...
12
votes
2answers
495 views

Pronunciation and meaning of  [closed]

I just received an email ending like this: 是非是非また誘って How to read the  ? Zero results on Google. As for the meaning, is it equivalent to よ ?
5
votes
2answers
346 views

So what is the difference between の and こと in this sentence?

So Sawa in another thread says that こと cannot be used in the example below. Even though it performs the same function as の (as far as I can see). 料理が(前より(もっと)) {上手だ/上手い/上手になった/上手くなった} ...
3
votes
2answers
375 views

Pronunciation of W

I often see the alphabet W being transcribed or pronounced as "ダブル" rather than "ダブリュー" in Japanese, and I think that in most cases, that was not what was meant. Indeed, there seems to be a practice ...
9
votes
3answers
421 views

What are the rules for substituting の with ん?

I've noticed that sometimes the hiragana の can be shortened to ん. For example, 部屋のなか → 部屋んなか (inside of the room) 俺のうち → 俺んち (my house) 俺のところ → 俺んとこ (my place) (More examples can ...
8
votes
1answer
296 views

Kanji use in these words, 今 vs 未

I'm learning vocabulary from 日本語総まとめN2. In one section they describe four words and group them together (I assume because they have slightly different meanings but somewhat similar). They group them ...
7
votes
1answer
729 views

How did the verb 掛ける come to have many meanings?

I think that this verb is the only one I've seen in Japanese that has so many definitions. とる and つく have multiple definitions as well (quite a bit IIRC). But not as much as 掛ける. In any case, I am ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

“causative of negative” vs “negative of causative”?

Wikipedia (Japanese Verb Conjugation): Negatives [verb negative-conjugations] are not normally made into causatives. Instead, a negative ending is added to the causative of the verb. Thus, for ...
8
votes
1answer
234 views

How is this もって used?

I have this sentence as an example for the grammar point をもって: I国が起こした戦争は、世界中に衝撃をもって伝えられた。 をもって can either refer to [1] the means through which something is done, or [2] a point in time where ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

What is 在り方 used for?

Consider the extracted original Japanese text from the translation attempt in "Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています?" : これは「知る」という動詞の"意味特徴"と、私たちが「知る」に抱く"イメージ=認知の在り方"に原因があると考えるのが妥当だと思う。 Also ...
5
votes
2answers
617 views

For how long has Japanese been the official language of Japan?

That is to say, in Japan, at which point in time, was it declared that official documents had to be written in the Japanese language? I am also looking for any additional information like where it ...
6
votes
1answer
283 views

ところ vs どころ: Interchangeable or different meanings altogether?

I have two questions. A) Why do they use どころ instead of ところ in this sentence? Is it possible to use ところ without changing the meaning? ...
10
votes
1answer
173 views

How does the katakana lengthening mark (長音符) sort?

Usually, lists are collated using the gozyuuon order. But how does the katakana lengthening mark ー fit in? Given the following sequence of words, what order should they be in? What are the sorting ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

How many translations of “ichigo” are there? [closed]

"Ichigo" can be the pronunciation of a person's name (as in the cartoon "Bleach"), or words meaning "strawberry", "one and five", or a part of the word "一期一会". Are there any additional meanings of ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I translate Romaji text to English? [closed]

I have a block of Japanese-language text that has been transliterated to Romaji that I would like to translate to English. They are lyrics to a song. I have very little experience with the Japanese ...
5
votes
1answer
351 views

How to decide to use どうせ or しょせん?

The dictionary translates both どうせ (WJDIC) and しょせん (WJDIC) as "anyway / in any case / after all". But what exactly is the difference in nuance between them? For example, what is the difference ...
0
votes
1answer
211 views

Using だということ to mean “that”

I was helping to translate this passage on the website Lang-8.com: Lang-8をやって良かった点は、どんな間違いをしても恥をかかないようになったという点と、ネイティブの人でも英語を話すときに同じような間違いをするんだということに気付いた点です。 The great point about having used ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

Is there a word or phrase for “run around”?

I'd like to know if there is a phrase similar to the English phrase of "running around". To explain more clearly, it should mean to be able to go out freely and do whatever one like's without being ...
1
vote
2answers
186 views

Meaning of given character

I was just wondering the character shown in image is Japanese or not. If yes then can you please tell me the meaning of it.
17
votes
2answers
769 views

What does the nakaguro (・) between these two words mean?

The first sentence on the Mac OS X article on the Japanese version of Wikipedia reads: Mac OS X(マック オーエス テン)は、アップルが[開発]{かいはつ}・[販売]{はんばい}する、Macintoshコンピュータ[用]{よう}の[現行]{げんこう}オペレーティングシステム (OS) である。 ...
6
votes
2answers
302 views

What does the phrase らしいと言えばらしい mean?

I am reading a book where one character describes another's reading habits, and the person she is talking to says 「らしいと言えばらしいな」. From context, he seems to be saying that her reading habits are ...
2
votes
3answers
360 views

Translation of 出証意 and 長官殿

These are from a patent related document and I can't understand very well. They are used like these: 1) 特許庁長官殿 2) 出証意2012 Can anyone help me?
5
votes
1answer
161 views

How does adding なる make this phrase more “natural”?

Recently, I wanted to express the sentence "Maybe they'd make good pets." in Japanese. I initially tried to say it as such: [多分]{たぶん}いいペットでしょうね! I was then corrected by a native speaker, and he ...
9
votes
3answers
667 views

How do you say “You have gotten better at X”?

I was just reminded on another site that "being good at something" is expressed as [上手]{じょうず}/[上手]{うま}い, not いい. How do you tell someone they "have gotten better at something"? Xさん, 料理することがもっと上手いですね。 ...
4
votes
1answer
233 views

What is the meaning of ぶさかわ?

I was talking to my language partner and she mentioned ぶさかわ being used in situations when you want to describe something not pretty but nice. Apparently the word is relatively new and was first used ...
7
votes
1answer
199 views

Can 一杯 be used to express the fullness of things without physical volumes?

According to an answer to this question, the word [一杯]{いっぱい} can be used to expess fullness; especially in relation to the capacity of whatever is containing the quantity. This, however, tends to ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Contraction of や, the variant of は

In an answer to this question, Tsuyoshi Ito correctly points out that you can sometimes change the consonant や, a variant of は, into a glide but sometimes you cannot. 聞きやしない 聞きゃ(ー)しない  ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

What is this や in 大きすぎや?

Is this a contraction along the same lines of なければ → なきゃ? 反乱を抑えるためだけが目的だとしたらリスクが大きすぎやしないか Also, can you contract 言えば or あれば?
5
votes
2answers
550 views

Are first, second, and third person in Japanese all the same as in English?

Are first, second, and third person nominals in Japanese used in the same way as in English? What should English speakers keep in mind when considering the three persons in Japanese? Particularly for ...
2
votes
1answer
433 views

Why does 古希 / こき mean 70 years old?

I found out that 古希 / こき can mean a 70 year old person, or the occasion of turning 70 years old. Apparently its etymology derives from an ancient song where this line occurs:七十古希 【しちじゅうこき】 which means ...
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
595 views

What is the difference between 残念ながら and 残念なことに

I hear both 残念ながら and 残念なことに when expressing that something was unfortunate before the actual sentence, much like the English "Unfortunately, ...". However, I'm not sure on where these two phrases ...

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