3
votes
2answers
264 views

「しまう」 as an auxiliary verb

I feel like I always see 「しまう」 at the end of sentences (not the verb "to put away"). I saw some examples here on Weblio. どうしても写真は実物より劣ってしまう。 Pictures really don't do it justice. ...
2
votes
3answers
770 views

What does the “だった” in “だったっけ” mean?

From what I can find out, "たっけ" is just an expression that shows that you're trying to remember something, but what does the "だった" part mean? I have a few guesses, but they don't seem to match that ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Understanding 「女神を信じてここまで来たのだろう」

Context: The group is going to be attacked and one of the people is worried whether they will lose the fight or not and then the leader says what's below. 「祈りを持って戦うのだ。正しき者が負けるわけがない。女神を信じてここまで来たのだろう」 ...
2
votes
2answers
151 views

Is “クリスマスの休みだよ!” an appropriate expression?

Is クリスマスの休みだよ! an appropriate expression? For instance, as a Facebook post or what have you? The main part I'm wondering about is よ. My understanding is that よ usually implies that you're ...
4
votes
2answers
681 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
922 views

Rules for emphasizing by lengthening sounds

Sometimes, sounds are lengthened for emphasis. For example, see "とっても versus とても". What are the rules governing this process? Are there restrictions on where lengthening can be inserted? とっても or ...
2
votes
2answers
265 views

Which is the most correct (or common): 話 or 話し?

The meaning of 話, as a kanji, is "tale, talk", but as a word, it means the same as 話し: "Talk; speech; chat; story; conversation." In the official jouyou kanji chart, there's only 話, for the isolated ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

「身につく」 Usage of this word in this sentence

From what i can tell, she is saying something along the lines of 'Even if you have the whole cake, it's only 70 grams' but i'm unsure on the usage of 身につく here. Unless my interpretation of the ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

新しい 机 を 買って もらいました。“They bought me a new desk” or “I bought and received a new desk”?

Ok, so I was studying some Japanese phrases when this showed up: 新しい 机 を 買って もらいました。 The translation provided in the source material is: "They bought me a new desk" What I don't understand, however, ...
5
votes
4answers
702 views

What does this person mean by “doryo” in this context?

Two Japanese-fluent characters in an English novel I'm reading are talking about a specific heart problem one character concealed from medical exams. That character is requesting the second character ...
7
votes
2answers
388 views

Polite Way of Saying “I can't…(answer the phone)” (しかねる vs. できない)

I'd like to ask about a polite way to say "I can't (do something for you)". I'm sure the answer will depend on the context, so specifically, I'm curious about how to convey "I won't be able to answer ...
8
votes
3answers
275 views

How do you refer to items in a list?

Given a list of things... dog cat fish How would you say... the second item in the list: 2目番? all three of them: 全部三つ? two of them (not regarding the position in the list): 2匹 or 2目? Is this ...
4
votes
1answer
216 views

Difference between 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり}

Both 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり} are nouns and mean "anger". Even the kanji are the same! How can we distinguish these two?
5
votes
1answer
312 views

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

A book I've read states that けど is a 接続詞 (conjunction). However, another book I had read states that it is a 助詞 (particle). Who is right?
6
votes
1answer
763 views

Is Taito (たいと) (kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes) legit and ever used?

Taito is mentioned as the kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes in Wikipedia. Taito is composed of two kanji ("cloud" (雲) and "dragon" (龍) repeated three times each ...
6
votes
1answer
398 views

Desire words: When to use 欲望{よくぼう}, 欲求{よっきゅう}, 欲{よく} and 欲念{よくねん}?

Today I ran into these three desire words, which are defined: 欲 = greed, craving, desire, avarice, wants 欲求 = desire 欲望 = desire, appetite, lust And while searching dictionaries, I also found a ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

を without a transitive verb? [duplicate]

「他の人に手紙を見られてしまいました」 I interpret this sentence's meaning as something like, "The letter ended up being seen by someone else." From what I understand, the verb 見る is transitive, "to see." The verb ...
4
votes
2answers
236 views

What's the difference between ~れれば and ~れば?

別に僕は周りを無視して本に没頭したいわけでもないので、見ろと言われれば見る Would it mean the same thing if 言われれば was replaced with 言われば? What's the difference if any between ~れれば and ~れば? I'm also not certain of the meaning of the ...
6
votes
2answers
307 views

What is the difference between すみません and すみませんでした?

What is the difference between すみません and すみませんでした (or すまない and すまなかった)? If it is what the 「でした」 suggests and すみませんでした is the past form and used to apologize for things done in the past, then what I ...
6
votes
1answer
151 views

朝ご飯は vs. 朝ご飯に - difference between these two sentences?

I wanted to ask my language partner what he ate for breakfast. However, I was unsure whether what I said was correct despite him telling me that it's good - I would just like some verification. I ...
13
votes
3answers
680 views

What is the difference between 出来る限り and 出来るだけ?

EDICT gives almost the same translation for these two expressions: 出来る限り; できる限り 【​できるかぎり】 (n) as ... as one can できるだけ 《出来るだけ》 (exp) (uk) as much as one can; as much as possible; if at all ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

Making sense of をと

どのような状況下であっても必ず十分な結果をと思い必死に過ごした3か月でした。 I'm only able to understand "No matter what circumstances you are put through..." and then something about producing sufficient results- the words that ...
6
votes
1answer
245 views

What does パー mean by itself?

In the anime "Fairy Tail", I came across the line 「ってか お色気代 1000ジュエル パーだわ これ」 which the translator subtitled as "By the way, I spent the 1000 jewels I saved by using my sexual appeal for this..." I ...
14
votes
3answers
26k views

Using なるほど (naruhodo) and やっぱり (yappari) in the same situation

I know, since they are of different word classes, なるほど (naruhodo) and やっぱり (yappari) may not be used interchangeably within the same sentence, but can they be used within the same situation instead? ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Correct way to say “I am a beginner in Japanese”

What is the correct way to say: "I am a beginner in Japanese". Google Translate shows the translation is: 私は日本語で初心者です However, Google search shows: 私は日本語の初心者です has a lot more hits. Which ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

What does this mean 先月 何日 会社を やすみましたか。

I come across the following sentence: 先月 何日 会社を やすみましたか。 I am confused about that this is actually asking. Is it asking: How many days of holidays did the company have last month? Which date did ...
33
votes
2answers
4k views

What does the internet slang “草生えた” mean?

I came across the term 草生えた on the internet. There wasn't much context, but it didn't seem to mean that grass was growing. Is this a slang term? What does it mean? I couldn't find it in any of ...
4
votes
3answers
149 views

Should 「ソウル」 be pronounced as “so u ru” or “so: ru”?

According to the ipadic attached to Mecab, it's "so u ru". According to the bccwj dict attached to Julius, it's "so: ru". Which one is correct? Or are they both OK?
14
votes
1answer
555 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

もっとも: distinguishing between 尤も and 最も

I found a page in Japanese with title "世界でもっとも汚染された10の都市". Having encountered the phrase 「もっとも」 for the first time, I looked it up on WWWJDIC and found two entries: 尤も 【もっとも】 (adj-na,adv,conj,n) ...
9
votes
1answer
594 views

「かしこまる」と言う自動詞について / About the verb “kashikomaru”

皆さんこんにちは、 日本語で質問がお聞きしてみたいのですが、言葉や文法を間違えたらお許しください。 では、「かしこまりました」とは誰かに命令や注文を頼まれた場合などの返事とすることもよくありますが、「かしこまる」と言う自動詞がこの表現以外で使われる場合はありますか? "kashikomarimashita" is usually used as a response to somebody's ...
7
votes
1answer
147 views

What does 八 have to do with [八つ当たり]【やつあたり】?

For the longest time, I had never seen yatsuatari written down. I always figured it was written 奴当たり, which I figured would have been derived from 「あの奴に当たる」 or something. Imagine my surprise when I ...
9
votes
1answer
747 views

天気 vs. 天候, what's the real difference? [duplicate]

What's the real difference between 天気 and 天候? In at least one of my dictionaries, 天候 just redirects to 天気. I've always thought (read: "felt") that 天候 is the general "concept" of weather, or even ...
5
votes
3answers
523 views

How do you translate “My hovercraft is full of eels”?

The good old nonsense phrase of foreign languages is Monty Python's classic "My hovercraft is full of eels". Accordingly in Japanese one of the first things I learned was "私のホバークラフトはうなぎがいっぱいです". ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

If 「は」 marks a topic, and 「が」 marks a subject, what does 「です」 do in terms of nuance?

When using 「は」 it means the word before it is the topic of the sentence, it also implies contrast. (e.g. 「私は犬です」 means, "As for me, I am a dog" This means that I'm not a cat.) When using 「が」 it means ...
10
votes
1answer
674 views

What are the origins of 掘った芋いじるな (hotta imo ijiru na)?

The gag expression 掘った芋いじるな (hotta imo ijiruna) sounds to japanese ears uncannily like "What time is it now?" I'm guessing this is Showa era humour, since English probably sounded more foreign then ...
9
votes
2answers
360 views

What is the difference between all the weather words: 気象{きしょう}, 天気{てんき} and 天候{てんこう}?

Dictionary (at least Jisho and WWWJDIC) defines them as: 気象{きしょう} = weather, climate 天気{てんき} = weather, the elements 天候{てんこう} = weather They all have quite similar definitions, so I don't quite ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

やり as a prefix - clarification please

I have the following title: やり終えたことはチェックしておこう! which I think is roughly saying there is a that in advance of finishing there is a checklist (can anybody help with the literal translation?). My ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

I've never seen a sentence that uses か and は together like this before

交換プログラムに選ばれるのが難しいかやさしいかは、大学によって違うが、一般的に言えば、申し込む学生が多ければ多いほど、選ばれるのが難しくなる。 I've checked online but I can't seem to find a proper explanation on how かは is being used here. Individually, I know they ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

About a line in a TV drama which is hard to understand

In the 2nd episode of "Tokyo Love Story", from 26:55 to 27:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNW0VEvfIbU#t=26m50s 「いやだね、この?」 What is the word/phrase after 「この」?
1
vote
0answers
70 views

I have a puzzling question about Japanese pronouncaiton [closed]

The Hepburn rōmaji is more famous than kunrei-shiki rōmaji in spelling around the world because of its close pronunciation to English and the convenience of reading for foreigners. However, Hepburn ...
1
vote
2answers
216 views

「写真は良い思い出になります。」 “Pictures make for great souvenirs”?

I was going through some Japanese phrases when this came up: 「写真は良い思い出になります。」 According to my limited Japanese knowledge, that means "Pictures become great memories." However, the translation present ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

何も means 'Nothing' instead of 'What also'

I recently learnt that 「何も」 means 'nothing' (e.g. 「何も怖くないです。」 means 'Nothing scares (me).'). But how do I say 'What else'? (e.g. 'What else goes well with this dress?' or 'What else never dies?)
1
vote
1answer
236 views

Japanese grammar structure order

Everything I have known about Japanese grammar structure till now is S-O-V. Japanese is S-O-V language. But what's about adj? Adverb?... Something like that. Of couse that I did some research about ...
9
votes
2answers
225 views

What does it mean when newspapers give furigana for 常用{じょうよう} kanji?

In these following examples, a few words are given furigana: シドニー立てこもり、治安部隊が突入 人質?担架で救出 年賀状家族や友達へ投函 金剛峯寺にゴボウ奉納 黒河道世界遺産目指し So, it looks like that furigana is provided when a 人名用{じんめいよう} kanji needs ...
5
votes
2answers
165 views

Is 四分の一 a natural way of referring to “a quarter” as in “a three-month duration”?

Is 四分の一 a natural way of referring to "a quarter" as in "a three-month duration" (usually e.g. January-March, April-June, July-September, or October-November) in Japanese? Japanese Stack Overflow ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

order of words in a sentence

I am a beginner in Japanese. I want to say "There is a car, that I want to show you." There is a car, should be: 車があります I want to show you: 私はあなたに見せたい。 (may be? Is this right?) I want to show you ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

How to understand the meaning of 愛{いと}しさ

I know that from adjective we can make adjectival noun like: 高{たか}い -> 高さ - means high and hight. But how to understand/translate the word 愛しさ? I heard it in one of C-ute songs.
1
vote
2answers
111 views

confusion with location words

I'm learning from the "Japanese from zero" course (currently book 2). It translates the following sentence: Konbiniの ひだりうしろに ほんやが あります as There is a convenience store behind the bookstore on the ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Meaning of という when it doesn't mean 'call', 'be called', or 'say'

I'm having a little trouble parsing the usage of 「という」 when it it has meanings other than to call, to be called or to say. I often see sentences like 「いざという時, ということだ」 and 「これという問題はない」. The dictionary ...

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