6
votes
2answers
611 views

い-Adjective Conjugation: かったです vs でした

When we first studied adjective conjugation in my Japanese class, I kept making the same mistake habitually; I would conjugate the past tense of い-adjectives with でした at the end instead of dropping ...
9
votes
1answer
495 views

Comparing 気にする vs. 気になる

Consider this example sentence from SPACEALC: あなたがどうしているか気になっていた。  "I was concerned about how you were." What is the difference when 気にする is used instead? I.e., あなたがどうしているか気にしていた。 ~なる ...
5
votes
1answer
495 views

Difference between 自分 and 自分自身 and how to reflect their difference in English

Consider: 自分について書きたいことがあります。 = There are times that I want to write about myself (lit: things concerning me) 自分自身について書きたいことがあります。 What is their difference? I think the second sentence ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

what does 卵からかえったばかりの魚 mean?

This sentence was from a JLPT N2 prep book. 卵からかえったばかりの魚は体が透き通っている。 I don't understand the part that modifies 魚. Here is how I parsed it: 卵から かえった ばかり の 魚 From egg/returned/just/noun modifier/fish ...
5
votes
2answers
198 views
3
votes
1answer
361 views

How to understand the contractionしていて、/-てて

I am trying to better understand this sentence: 金さんは、微妙なニュアンスまで気にされてて、すごいですね。 It's amazing how interested you are in these subtle nuances. Is the following an accurate understanding of this ...
6
votes
2answers
913 views

The different usages of ことがある

If I understand correctly, the main usages of ことがある seem to be the following: Verb(plain)+ことがある: There are times when (I) Verb(past)+ことがある: (I) have experienced (something) before But after this ...
5
votes
2answers
338 views

What is the って in 連れてってくれる?

ALC can give several examples of this, not only in 連れてって: いつ私たちを湖に連れてってくれるの? When are you going to take us to the lake? これ、帰りに叔母さんとこ、持ってってちょうだい。Will you take this to your aunt on your way home ...
7
votes
2answers
355 views

Why is 領土{りょうど} more suitable than 領域{りょういき} in this JLPT practise question?

In my JLPT practise book, there is this question: その国王{こくおう}は戦{たたか}いに負{ま}け____の一部{いちぶ}を失{うしな}ってしまった。 Which I roughly translate as, "The kingdom lost a part of its __ in the battle." The ...
7
votes
1answer
370 views

What is this crazy guy shouting?

Note: I understand the risk that this question might be considered "too localized". However, my hope in asking isn't just to translate this one instance, but to use it as an exploration of how and why ...
7
votes
4answers
616 views

What went wrong when I asked for a 衡器{こうき}?

I was in Bikku Camera earlier today, and I wanted to buy a small kitchen scale for measuring small amounts of food. I looked up the word "scale" in the dictionary, and it said 衡器{こうき}. So I found a ...
13
votes
1answer
866 views

Honorific prefix 「ご」 vs 「お」

Some nouns take the 「ご」 prefix: ご両親 {りょうしん} ご家族 {かぞく} ご無事 {ぶじ} ご安心 {あんしん} ご丁寧 {ていねい} While many others take the 「お」 prefix: お母さん お仕事 {しごと} お月 {つき} お内 {うち} お客 {きゃく} In ...
10
votes
2answers
626 views

Why is the honorific o used for the bathroom?

I've seen the honorific "o"/"go" (is it called bikago?) being used as politness or reverence: o-cha for non-western tea, o-namae when talking about someone else's name, o-genki instead of just genki, ...
12
votes
1answer
604 views

Why “社会の窓” (shakai no mado)?

A few years ago I was told by a Japanese friend "社会の窓" (shakai no mado). It was explained after some giggling that this is what is said to a man who has inadvertently left his fly open, and that it ...
12
votes
1answer
303 views

What is the implication when a gruff old man ends a sentence with わ?

In this question, it seems to me it was clearly established that わ, at the end of a sentence, is decidedly feminine. There was talk of a kansai-ben わ with slightly different implications, but still ...
6
votes
2answers
237 views

This instance of のに is opposite from my expectations

I have this sentence in one of my JLPT practise books: 電子{でんし}レンジは冷{さ}めた料理{りょうり}を温{あたた}めるのに重宝{ちょうほう}だ。 I thought のに meant something like "in spite of". So, to me, this sentence seems to be ...
5
votes
1answer
284 views

Does ところ mean the exact same thing as こと in this sentence?

Consider the following sentence: お金じゃないところが好きだから一緒にいるの 【おかね じゃない ところが すき だから いっしょに いるの】 I think it means "I'm with you because of the parts of you that don't have to do with money". I'm ...
5
votes
2answers
238 views

In this location context how are に, で and にて different?

I still have trouble with how に and で differ when dealing with locations, and I just stumbled across にて. Are these all interchangeable? How are they different? オンラインマーケットにて販売開始しました。 ...
6
votes
2answers
202 views

Reading 男 or 女 as ひと

Why is it that in Japanese sentence one sees 男 or 女 with furigana that says ひと? Furigana is supposed to help clarify the meaning of a kanji character, but using ひと doesn't seem to help clarify ...
8
votes
2answers
256 views

How should I view でより and でのより?

My basic understanding of より to compare things or ending letters, is failing me when there's a で or での in front of it. As I write this, I'm wondering, can read でより as "with, more", "in, more"? ...
6
votes
2answers
181 views

の performing back referral? の used adjectivally?

Consider the following sentence: その薬は去年期限切れのだったので、捨てました。 I'm trying to explain what the bolded の does in the above sentence. This is what I came up with: の is used as a back referral ...
6
votes
3answers
333 views

What is the significance of the “の” in the sentence “誰が盗んだのか、誰か知りませんか。”

In another forum, someone said the difference between 誰が盗んだのか、誰か知りませんか。 and 誰が盗んだか、誰か知りませんか。 is that the former has more emphasis on the verb 盗む. Another person said that that's not the ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

の as a substitute for beings

In a comment, I've read 「目が見えないのは誰ですか」. I remember that, some 10 years ago, I was told that "の" could not replace human beings. But here, since we use 誰, it's clearly a person that の refers to. Is ...
9
votes
2answers
224 views

Written resources for scientific and philosophic japanese?

In this Question about computer science jargon, most answers to date are electronic resources and that makes sense. But I would like to know if there are printed japanese/english or japanese/german ...
8
votes
1answer
398 views

How is 名 pronounced in computer terms?

For usernames, etc., you usually see like ユーザ名 or something similar. Or like on my Skype, it says Skype名. How is the 名 pronounced in these situations? I've never been able to conclusively find this ...
3
votes
4answers
293 views

以上 vs 以上 for numbers vs words: half full/half empty?

Well, 以上 is used after a speech to indicate that the speech has been concluded (i.e., 'Everything before this has been said.'). 以上 is used in numbers to mean 'or more', as in 八十%以上 (as in, ...
2
votes
0answers
167 views

RegEx match sentences except sentences contained in 「」 [closed]

I need to match all of these sentences: 高橋さんはこの学校の校長です。 その戯言、聞き飽きたわ! あれ、ここにあった筆入れはどこにやったの? But for these, I want to match the outer sentence, not just the ones inside 「」: ...
3
votes
1answer
904 views

Children's audio books good for listening practice?

I'm looking for a website with free audio recordings of Japanese children books. I found one a long time ago but alas I lost my bookmark to that site. I'm planning to go through those books since ...
6
votes
1answer
296 views

Board / Card game expressions

I wanted to talk about a board game recently, and realized that I am missing all related vocabulary. Before you shout foul and throw dictionaries at me, these expressions are very difficult to look ...
1
vote
2answers
590 views

Fun with particles - making a sentence that uses as many as 'em

Let's have some fun with particles! Create a sentence using as many particles as you can. Rules: The sentence can combine any number of clauses or ideas but it must be meaningful (i.e. no gibberish) ...
4
votes
1answer
220 views

Clarification of hard to understand Japanese Mahjong rule

This one probably needs a Japanese and Mahjong expert to decipher: (3)全局を一ハン(飜)しばりとし、二ハン場とする。 This is the third rule about the basic game setup of (my version of) the official Japanese Mahjong ...
10
votes
1answer
204 views

How can [数]{す}[寄]{き}[者]{しゃ} both mean a tea ceremony master and a “lewd man, a lecher”?

I would like to understand better the etymology or the cultural context surrounding 数寄者 If I believe wwwjdic, this compound is used to denote a tea ceremony master (with a reference to a ...
9
votes
4answers
237 views

Meaning of: イベントの前ふりをば。

A colleague is organizing an event and sent everyone an email beginning like this: 田中イベント担当の田中です。 イベントの前ふりをば。 ... (explanation about the event) The first line is a funny intro (the guy ...
5
votes
1answer
198 views

“感動した!(like ex-primeminister Koizumi)” Where does this reference come from?

After showing a project to a Japanese coworker, he answered me the following: 感動した!、小泉元総理風 I found this amusing, but I couldn't get the Mr.Koizumi reference. Is there a story behind this?
5
votes
2answers
795 views

Mnemonic phrases for memorizing a word or number sequence

What generally accepted mnemonic phrases are there in Japanese that are used for memorizing a sequence of numbers or words?
7
votes
5answers
1k views

If I wanted to sound more like a Samurai, what words and phrases should I learn?

Having watched jidai-geki for a long time, I have come across many Samurai-isms, but I can recall only a few. I would like to be able to do this more believably the next time I'm at the Izakaya. What ...
4
votes
1answer
549 views

What is な-particle doing in `ってなわけで`?

I noticed that ってなわけで is commonly used as a substitute for というわけで in colloquial speeches, but what exactly is the purpose of the な-particle in that phrase? Does it make the context that the phrase ...
8
votes
2answers
348 views

Transitive/Intransitive + にくい (and +られる)

This question is based on the discussion arising from "Unsolvable Problem" Start of Excerpt Relevant discourse extracted from "Unsolvable Problem": Quoted from Derek Schaab's reply to ...
6
votes
1answer
851 views

the difference between じゃん (jan) and だろう/でしょう (darou/desho)

I would like to know what's the difference of じゃん and だろう/でしょう. the meaning I know it's similar, but when I should use each of them? Is it same to say: これはすごいじゃん! = これはすごいでしょう! = これはすごいだろう! ...
3
votes
2answers
490 views

Sentence ending に and のに compared to their non-sentence-ending form

Consider these: [A] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来ただろうに [B] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来たのに Is に in [A] related to the case particle に? Is のに in [B] related to the use of のに as a conjunction in ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the guidelines of omitting particles?

I've recently discovered that certain particles could be omitted from a Japanese sentence (to help make it shorter), and still preserve the original meaning. Unfortunately, most resources about this ...
8
votes
1answer
390 views

Is there a general counter word for objects that you can fallback on if you're not sure which one to use?

I guess we could use the native Japanese numbers, 一つ, 二つ, 三つ...but we'd run into a problem at or after ten (not sure how とお works — same for はたち). Is there a general counter word that we can fallback ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the stereotypical characteristics of yakuza speech?

When people imitate yakuza speech, what are the major things they do to make it recognizable as such? If possible, how accurate is this compared to actual yakuza speech? I've seen mention elsewhere ...
11
votes
1answer
408 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

What is the origin of イレーザー?

There is a word イレーザー, which means 'eraser'. I suspect this comes from the English word eraser. But the "s" sound in eraser is not voiced in American English, and a closer approximation in kana will ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

How is 信じる being conjugated here?

信じようと信じまいと Believe it or not How is 信じる being conjugated here? I am unfamilar with the stem + まい pattern, if anyone could explain the ins and outs of that, or provide a more literal translation ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Difference between の代わりに and に代わって

I need help understanding the difference between の代わりに and に代わって. This is how A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar explains the difference: の代わりに cannot be used when "replacement" is ...
9
votes
1answer
633 views

Are foreign personal names usually written in katakana rather than Romaji?

Are foreign personal names usually written in katakana, or is this dependent on the type or writing, and the target audience? For example, this Japanese Wikipedia entry on Steven Bradbury uses ...
4
votes
2answers
475 views

“To call” or “To receive a call”

Consider these example sentences taken from SPACEALC: [a] (人に)電話をかける。 "put in a call to ~" [b] ~が(主語に)電話をかける。 "receive a telephone call from" My observations: Both sentences use かける. ...
29
votes
6answers
1k views

Arabic numbers: half-width or full-width?

Using my computer, I type a lot of numbers in Japanese text, and I am not sure when to use half-width or full-width. Are there rules? Right now I only use half-width, is it fine? Off-topic: Here is ...

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