17
votes
3answers
1k views

Who decides what katakana will be used to form English loan words?

I love katakana, mostly because of how the characters look. But I am constantly baffled by why certain loan words from English are constructed using certain katakana sounds. For example, if someone ...
6
votes
1answer
471 views

Why does furigana occasionally appear as katakana?

I've seen some kanji whose furigana is actually katakana. For example, see the following manga cover for 桜蘭高校ホスト部. When would a kanji character ever be pronounced as a loan word?
4
votes
2answers
550 views

What does なのね at the end of a sentence mean?

A certain character in an anime series I watch would literally end each sentence with なのね. What does this imply? He was a pretty flamboyant character who was supposed to be Italian, if that offers any ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Which kanji has the greatest number of strokes?

I was just curious what the most complex kanji—in terms of number of strokes—is, whether or not it's actually used often.
5
votes
3answers
280 views

What differences, if any, are there between 婦 and 女?

I came across 婦 from this English-language Wikipedia article. Jisho.org says that 婦 (which contains 女 in it) can mean married woman, but it can mean woman or lady, and it then lists words such as 婦警 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Can you use multiple を in one sentence?

I was listening to lastfm.jp the other day, and happened across this line in an artist bio: 14歳の頃にギターを、17歳で作曲を始める。 I've often read here on JLU that a phrase particle should only appear once per ...
6
votes
1answer
203 views

Cohortative ましょう with and without the auxiliary construction ~てみる

In "何かしてみましょう。" meaning "Let's try/do something.", what is the literal translation of "してみましょう"? I've got "して" means "doing" and "みましょう" means "let's watch or let's?". How is "してみましょう" different ...
7
votes
1answer
218 views

Does 換骨奪胎 have negative connotation?

In the book ロボット学論集 by 瀬名 秀明, I saw this sentence (not exact since I'm solely depending on my memory) 2004 年公開の映画 "I, Robot" は,Isaac Asimov の同名の小説を換骨奪胎した別物である. I looked at several online ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Additional nuance of より with time

It seems to me that より has virtually no meaning when used as shown below. Consider these: Please come before five O'clock: 五時前に来てください 五時より前に来てください Please come after five O'clock: 五時後に来てください ...
6
votes
1answer
335 views

What is the best word to use to mean “to take long-term a break (i.e. from school)”?

Just to add some context to this question: I graduated with a B.A. last June, and am currently taking a two-year break from education to work off some of the inordinate amount of debt I accumulated in ...
6
votes
4answers
238 views

Problem understanding a sentence

The sentence トムは私より身長が高いです。 means "Tom is taller than I me." but I'm trying to find the meaning of each word in order to understand the japanese sentence better. Here is what I have so far: トムは(Tom ...
4
votes
2answers
238 views

Understanding the たがい in 仲たがい

What is the etymology of the suffix(?)たがい in 仲たがい and how is it used to express discord? If this is a suffix as such, is it used in combination with any other words?
3
votes
2answers
203 views

Usage of “~だぴょん”

A fair while ago someone said something like 嘘だぴょーん! in a comment. But what kind of a connotation and usage does ~だぴょん have? Can it be used in a kind of humorous sort of way? Edit: Realized it was ...
5
votes
2answers
440 views

What is that expression used to generally mean “…is what I would say, but…”?

Forgive me if this is a bit anecdotal, but I often hear a sentence pattern in speech which basically is of the form "[statement]...is what I would/want to say, but..." I usually hear this when the ...
3
votes
2answers
232 views

Using な or ね when addressing a mixed-gender group?

I have the basic understanding that ね is generally more formal/feminine and な is generally more informal/masculine. I was told that you tend to use ね as an emphasis if you are a) a female yourself or ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Anki decks for studying Japanese [closed]

I recently came across an awesome application called Anki which has a great number of shared decks (flashcards) for download. With the large number of decks (as well as the possibility of some ...
8
votes
2answers
678 views

How do you use 〜と知る?

I've often seen and heard the expression 〜と知る(知っている). When I think about it, it makes sense in the context of the quoatation-と, like with 〜と言う or 〜と思う. It seems like it means "Know that 〜". ...
8
votes
2answers
381 views

“Grammatically-correct” particle-less phrases/sayings

I know that within an informal/familiar setting, people often leave out particles. Whether or not this is grammatically correct I'm not positive, but for the sake of this question, I'll say that it's ...
11
votes
1answer
342 views

What's the difference between 一応 and とりあえず?

What's the difference between 一応{いちおう} and とりあえず? While I think they can both mean "tentatively" or "for the time being", there seems to be a difference in their usage. How do the two translate ...
10
votes
2answers
396 views

“看護師” vs. “看護士”

Good afternoon all, I was wondering is it true that "看護師" is a gender-neutral way of referring to a "nurse", Whereas "看護婦" implies that it is a girl, And "看護士" implies that it is a guy? ...
12
votes
1answer
589 views

Use of kana iteration marks (ゝ, ゞ, ヽ, ヾ)

Kana iteration marks are are rarely used today, and hence there is not much online information on it besides this Wikipedia article, which leaves me with a couple questions. Is there any kana that ...
7
votes
1answer
283 views

<verb stem>+たかない

Is [verb stem] + たかない different than [verb stem] + たくない? What does it mean?
8
votes
0answers
266 views

Thoughts about event frequencies and “often enough”

I'm having trouble expressing the concept of "not often enough". The most basic way to say "often" is よく, but I think there's a problem in putting qualifiers on this word. For instance, expressing ...
5
votes
2answers
384 views

What does the “~ておく” mean in “任せておく”?

Good afternoon all, From what I understand, "~ておく" basically has 4 meanings: to do something for a purpose / reason used as a softener (source) to do.. for now or for the time being (source, ...
4
votes
1answer
242 views

Questions on the Japanese equivalent of “window of opportunity”

In English we have a saying "window of opportunity" which means that there is specific time period where a certain event can occur. Based on that expression we talk about a "launch window" when it ...
8
votes
1answer
591 views

Usage of て-form in 知っての通り

I have just come across the phrase 知っての通り〜 (as you know...) I have never noticed this usage of て-form before and can't find an explanation. What is the difference (if any) between this and 知っている通り? ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I spell “So! So! So! So! So!”?

I've heard people say "So! So! So! So! So!" (or possibly "Sou! Sou! Sou!" or maybe using "z" instead of "s" - I'm bad at hearing) when laughing in agreement. When middle-aged women speak Japanese ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How does one write P.S. (post scriptum) in Japanese?

How does one write P.S. (post scriptum) in Japanese? Dictionary translates postscript as 追伸, but is that the compound one would use at the end of a Japanese letter or e-mail?
11
votes
3answers
521 views

Alignment of people's names

When people's names are listed with both sides aligned (either in horizontal or vertical writing), for example, in the ending scroll of a movie, there is a seemingly complicated rule (to me). When ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Different ways to say “at least” / 「少なくとも」

I would like to know if there are other ways to say "at least~" (context below), along with the relevant nuances of each way. This is for a piece of writing I'm doing where for the sake of style I ...
9
votes
2answers
462 views

Japanese idiom equivalent to “take with a grain of salt”

Is there a Japanese idiom equivalent to "take with a grain of salt"? In other words, an idiom which means "don't accept this information as completely true or the complete truth".
2
votes
1answer
389 views

What exactly does “るぅ” mean?

Good afternoon all, Sometimes I see that people like to "curl" the last mora of a verb, for example: 瑞生: ああそれから、亜湖にも特別ボーナスだ。 亜湖: えっ。 瑞生: ジャーン! 亜湖: 何それ? 瑞生: かわいいだろう? 瑞生: ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Can I refer to the March 11 earthquake without mentioning the word earthquake?

Is it possible to refer to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and nuclear incident in everyday conversation, preferably without using the words earthquake or tsunami or nuclear incident? For ...
8
votes
1answer
139 views

How do I translate a pattern like “Tap to enter comment”?

I find it difficult to translate short software GUI instructional pieces like: Tap to enter comment Press here to talk Sign in to continue Should I put it like: タップしてコメントを入力 or must it be: ...
3
votes
2answers
227 views

Transitive verb particles

How do I learn which particles go with which transitive verbs since it is not always を。 For example: ラップをかける ラップを被せる ...is no problem, but... ラップで包む 役に立てる JDICT says these are all transitive ...
1
vote
2answers
247 views

What does 御用の向きとは mean + usage of うぬ in the meaning of “you”

I have two questions: What's the meaning of a phrase: 御用の向きとは? Is it a set expression? I found a few examples where it was ended with a question mark, in some cases preceded by addressing an ...
3
votes
1answer
302 views

Is “flyjin” a Japanese word, and if so, does it have an antonym?

Is "flyjin" a Japanese word? If so, does it have an antonym? And what is the correct way to write it in Japanese? Is it フライジン or フライ人{じん}? For those who might be unfamiliar with the term, "flyjin" ...
15
votes
2answers
884 views

How to say 'X, let alone Y' in Japanese?

How to say X, let alone Y in Japanese? For example, how would one translate: I don't know hiragana, let alone kanji. He couldn't boil water, let alone prepare a dinner for eight. I ...
9
votes
2answers
594 views

What is the difference between 悪い and だめ?

What is the difference between 悪い and だめ? They're not really the same, but in English they both can be translated to "bad". あの人が悪い。In my limited experience, this is bad in the sense of evil. ...
6
votes
1answer
471 views

Understanding the grammar behind ~かよ in 知るかよ and マジかよ etc

I think that 知るかよ! means "like I would know!"/"hell, if I know!" and that マジかよ! means something like "[are you/is this] for real?"/"seriously?", but is there an underlying rule behind the ~かよ pattern ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Pronunciation of す in です and the end of ます verbs

I've always been curious about the pronunciation of the す in です and at the end of 〜ます verbs. Most commonly the "u" sound is inaudible, but sometimes by some people it's more pronounced, and some ...
4
votes
1answer
572 views

Difference between ほとんど~ない, めったに~ない and まれ

is there a difference in nuance or formality between ほとんど~ない, めったに~ない and まれ?
5
votes
1answer
624 views

Openings and Closings (Salutations and Valedictions) When Writing a Letter/E-mail

This question came to me because I am writing a personal thank-you letter to a friend's family who hosted me in their home over the holidays. What is the proper way to address the entire family? For ...
5
votes
1answer
213 views

Help with this sentence fragment containing “思想統制”

I came across this example sentence for the grammar point ~にあって, which indicates that something is under a particular circumstance. 彼女は戦争中、思想統制下にあってなお、自由な精神を持ち続けた。 I understand the first and the ...
8
votes
1answer
362 views

Why is there a 分 in 自分?

I didn't find anywhere why is the minute's kanji there in 自分? Is it because a meaning of 分 is "part". Please clarify.
7
votes
1answer
212 views

Is there a figurative use to 春風?

I often hear 春風【はるかぜ】(or, much less often, 春風【しゅんぷう】) used to describe the characteristically windy weather of early Spring. I was also certain I had heard it used on occasions as a figurative ...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

しゅうと/シュート - The great equalizer

I was watching the movie Mr. Baseball the other day. Several times during the movie they talk about しゅうと which they describe as "the great equalizer". (Could possibly be しゅうとう, but their dialog does ...
7
votes
1answer
320 views

What's the difference between these two transitive verb forms?

I've always been little fuzzy on transitive verbs, something which I was reminded of when looking at this answer. The answer says that 終{お}わらせる, 終{お}える, 済{す}ませる, and 済{す}ます are all transitive. They ...
7
votes
1answer
413 views

Does this convey “It's not surprising that ___”?

I am working on the grammar pattern ~にはあたらない, which is used to indicate that something is not necessary. I.e, "No need to ask" ==> 聞くにはあたらない. What I'm caught on is this example sentence: ...
9
votes
2answers
186 views

“乗せる” vs “乗っける”

Good afternoon all, I was wondering when someone gives someone a ride (bicycle, car, etc), what's the difference in nuance between using the verb "乗せる" and the verb "乗っける"? For example, I was ...

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