3
votes
1answer
175 views

Correct way of saying 'I did not see people in the library'

人々をライブラリで見なかった。 Is this the correct way of writing 'I did not see people in the library'? I'm not 100% with the particles but 'wo' seems right attached to people. I use ライブラリ just for the sake of ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Difference between とあれば、にあって、とあって

Can someone please explain the difference between とあれば にあって とあって I've read the explanation from my 新完全マスター book but I'm afraid I don't fully understand the difference in nuance between these ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Difference between と and とは

Difference between と and とは? For example in below sentences そんなに大きいと思わなかった。 and そんなに大きいとは思わなかった。
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Grammatical Pattern : VerbてのNoun

What does this grammatical structure/pattern mean? I am trying to understand the meaning of the following sentence where the VerbてのNoun pattern appears. "昭和64年に起きた誘拐事件を巡る物語だけに、“昭和な顔”を買われての起用だったという" ...
3
votes
1answer
350 views

Can a sentence end in a noun?

This is a complete sentence from a book. おいしいお料理に、とても楽しい雀の踊り。 (There was??) delicious food and a fun sparrow dance. For context, in the previous sentence an old man is introduced to the ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

What is the formal way to say “しょっちゅう”?

" 時々" means "sometimes" and "しょっちゅう" means "frequently", right? And, the meaning is well short of "いつも". Now, I can't imagine "しょっちゅう" is used in writing or formal speaking, right? So, what is the ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

How to translate 以前の問題

How would you translate "以前の問題" in the next sentence: 作文が上手かどうかは、日本語能力以前の問題である。 Thank you! )
3
votes
2answers
183 views

The logic behind kanji choice for country name ateji

亜米利加【アメリカ】 伊太利亜【イタリア】 独逸【ドイツ】 I know these spellings are rarely used... My question is: Why did they choose exactly these kanji characters for spelling these countries' names? Could ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

How did 逸 come to feature in pleasure/idleness words?

I can't judge the reliability of http://www.kanjinetworks.com (and it is probably controversial), but there the speed, movement meaning of 逸 is linked to its claimed origins in 兎{うさぎ}. Hence 逸する, 逸らす ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

相 used in names

When I'm introduced to a new place I often like to figure out the literal meaning of the characters as I find it can be a useful general vocabulary building exercise, particularly for things such as ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

meaning of “たけしみたく、「5月病」にかかっている”?

does "たけしみたく、「5月病」にかかっている。" mean: "Just as Takeshi appears to, I have 'May Sickness.'" ? In this context, does _"たけしみたく、..." mean: Takeshi may, or may not, have "May Sickness". Since I'm not ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

What distinguishes 恩, 義務, 義理 and 人情 from each other?

I have an idea about the basics, but I'm fuzzy on the details, and it's been awhile since I've studied the subject in depth. Anyone have some answers?
3
votes
4answers
170 views

Use of は particle when talking about doing things on a certain day

One thing that I still don't exactly understand is when to use は when talking about doing things on a certain day. For example, 明日は学校に行く。 or 明後日は映画館に行く。 Should the は be included or ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

Analyzing 「だけど勝つのはいつも金太郎で、大きな体のクマでも金太郎にはかてません」

From the tale 金太郎【きんたろう】: だけど勝つ【かつ】のはいつも金太郎で、大きな【おおきな】体のクマでも金太郎にはかてません。 I understand a few things: だけど is contrasting the previous sentence. の is nominalizing かつ. The second 金太郎 takes the ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Conditional counter-factual, main verb past vs nonpast?

I'm seeing sentences using a conditional counter-factual statement, using both the past and nonpast in sentences. Examples: 安ければ買います According to the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Meaning and usage of ~としたことが

I came across the expression ~としたことが, for example: 私としたことが I'm trying to figure out the meaning and usage of this phrase, but I can't find any English resources that explain it. What does this ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

How do you ask if you are understood without being rude?

For example explaining to an acquaintance or a stranger something, but I don't know if it's understood or not and would like to ask. In English I would say something like "I'm sorry, was my ...
3
votes
1answer
812 views

How are items enumerated in Japanese restaurant menus?

I've been asked to render a restaurant menu in Japanese, even though I'm not very good with the language (don’t ask). The original menu has ingredient lists for each entry, usually like this: ...
3
votes
2answers
139 views

The meaning of の in この役立たず and お兄ちゃんのばか

It seems の doesn't always express possession as in 私の本. What does it mean in such phrases as この役立たず and お兄ちゃんのばか? And, what does の do in "埃だらけのテレビをちゃんと拭いてくれない?"?
3
votes
1answer
127 views

A bit confused about the usage of どころ?

I'm having trouble understanding when どころ is used more for emphasis/to show an extreme example, compared to when it's used to negate something. Also, when would it be used to negate something in an ...
3
votes
2answers
229 views

と particle usage - am I understanding it correctly?

These two sentences don't seem to fit to the grammar rules on と that I've been able to dig up so far: ぼんやりとした意識{いしき}のまま窓{まど}に視線{しせん}をやると、とっくに日が昇{のぼ}っていた。 This form seems to fit と as an 'if/when' ...
3
votes
2answers
283 views

How do you say “pair” of people?

I speak no Japanese, but need to represent the concept of pair or team in a poetic context. Specifically, I would like to describe two people (a couple) as a "pair of shinobi". From a poetic ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

What is (たた)なわり?

A friend and I are slowly translating a Japanese novel (夢魔 by 森村誠一)together for practice/fun, and we've found something weird (to us) in this sentence: 「丘陵状の山が波のようにたたなわり、山腹に民家が点在している。」 We couldn't ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

Is レリゴる likely to be understood, and what does it mean?

Last year, I heard from other English speakers about the katakana verb レリゴる. It's supposed to be a verb related to the movie Frozen (アナと雪の女王). Is the verb generally understood by Japanese speakers? I ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Meaning of 家族ポイントを消費

What is the meaning of 家族ポイント and 家族ポイントを消費? Examples: 家族ポイントを消費して行くオプションもありましたが、年の初めから無理をすることもなかろうと看病モード。 かなりの家族ポイントを消費しつつ、札幌歴史ゲーム友の会の例会に久々に参加しました。 ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

Politeness and Usage of ぶっちゃけ

A while ago, I heard the word ぶっちゃけ on a comedy show used to mean "frankly." I'd like to know three things: 1) How polite/impolite is this word? Looking it up online, it seems to be slang. I guess I ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

「もんか」の使い方を教えてくれませんか?

How do you use もんか? Once, I saw this sentence: お前に俺の気持がわかるもんか. I understand the meaning but I don't know how you can use it
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Etymology of モブ

In Japanese, モブ (short for モブキャラクター) refers to a character who plays a minor role in anime/manga/games - source. The same source claims that the etymology is 和製英語 and traces its origin to Japanese ...
3
votes
1answer
244 views

Does this “は” indicate a sequence of events?

I've noticed in the book 秘密 by 谷崎{たにざき}潤一郎{じゅんいちろう} that the particle は sometimes seems to be used to indicate that with "AはB", "B" comes after "A", for example: ...
3
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
150 views

Is either 霊験 or あらたか used outside the phrase 霊験あらたか?

Is either 霊験【れいげん】 or あらたか used outside of the phrase 霊験【れいげん】あらたか "miraculous"? (I believe れいけん is also a possible reading of 霊験?) The goo辞書 entry for あらたか has 「霊験―な神」 as its example phrase, and the ...
3
votes
2answers
210 views

Usage and meanings of 十分

In English, "to have enough" has several different meanings. One of them is "to be fed up": If you have an argument and want to express that you're fed up and about to walk out of the room and you can ...
3
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

What's the kanji for “appointed location”

Can't seem to remember. Kind of like how 当日 means "appointed day," I'm pretty sure I've seen a kanji for something like 当所 but I can't find one. I've found 当地 but I don't know if it has the same ...
3
votes
2answers
286 views

Why is ~とみえる used here?

I'm reading a short story called 『つめたいよるに』. This girl was crying on the train to work, so another passenger (the 少年 below) invited her for a coffee. ...
3
votes
2answers
186 views

When writing by hand, can kana be half-width and kanji be full-width?

Simply I find when I'm writing I can only make kanji so small before they become sloppy, but I can write kana nice and small. Is it allowed to write half-width Katakana/Hiragana alongside regular ...
3
votes
2answers
332 views

How do you say “after all”, in the sense of reaffirming or justifying a previous statement?

For example: "You should wear a jacket. After all, it's snowing out there." "Of course I bought you a present! It's our anniversary after all." I tried an online dictionary but they gave me a lot ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you say “I have been […]”?

How would I say “I have been [...]” as in “I have been studying Japanese.” or “I have been working at an office”? If I remember correctly it is a particular verb conjugation and this would be ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

いる connected to a proposition?

I'm stuck with the construction of 居る/いる in the following sentence (Botchan, I) 小学校【しょうがっこう】に居【い】る時分【じぶん】学校【がっこう】の二階【にかい】から飛【と】び降【お】りて一週間【いっしゅうかん】ほど腰【こし】を抜【ぬ】かした事【こと】がある。 My translation (excuse ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Is スポーツ a plural-only word?

Typically there is no pluralization in Japanese unless specified. For example: この車【くるま】は綺麗【きれい】。 This car is clean. / These cars are clean. Does スポーツ work in the same way? Considering the ...
3
votes
1answer
263 views

what does のも mean at the end of a clause?

I've run into this use of も a few times and I'm not sure what to make of it. Here's the sentence I'm confused about: 余裕を見せていられるのも、いまの内だ。
3
votes
1answer
161 views

what is the difference between 送る and 贈る?

I noticed that both are pronounced the same way and that both have approximately the same meaning "to send". Is there a slight nuance in the usage of both of these versions of "to send"? I'm thinking ...
3
votes
1answer
218 views

Other words for and familiarity of 桜でんぶ?

I have some questions about 桜でんぶ/おぼろ. As I understand, 桜でんぶ is the name for the pink, fluffy stuff in sushi made from fish. My questions are: 1) Are there any other common words for 桜でんぶ? I read ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

に/で and を/から - particle choice in two JLPT N5 sentences

この かみに 電話番号を 書いてください。 Why is it wrong to use で instead? What if the sentence is like このボールペン__電話番号を書いてください? 六時に 会社を 出て、うちへ 帰ります。 Why is it wrong to use から here? Is it because it's a fixed ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

What are the uses of に and とは in this sentence?

What are the uses of に and とは in this sentence? 俺のような学生生活に夢も持たない人間とはまったく違う人種。 I know this sentence says something along the lines of 'Those people are like a completely different race than ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

Grammar: Combine 慣れる and -くなる

I am stuck trying to explain that "I got accustomed". I would like to use the same grammar as in: 寒くなる But with 慣れる Could you point me to the right direction and also share other patterns ...
3
votes
1answer
254 views

Causative form + te form + another verb construction

In this specific case: 取らせて頂いた So, what's the meaning of such a construction? I understand what each thing does alone (the causative form, the te form and the verb in past indicative), But what ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

What is the difference between -さん and -さま?

Recently I watched the film "The Wind Rises" by Studio Ghibli in Japanese with English subtitles. I heard one of the children referring to an elder as [name]-さま. I was wondering, what is the ...
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Etymology of 武蔵

What is the etymology of the old province and Japanese name 武蔵? Wikipedia claims that it is non-Yamato vocabulary from an Ainu language. Even if this is true, why were these characters ...
3
votes
1answer
269 views

ではないか Grammar translation

what does ではないか mean in the sentence below? And can someone please translate it? 耳に馴染みのない方も多いのではないかと思いますが、 (after that he explains the word)....

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