3
votes
2answers
186 views

Understanding 〜たら良いか〜

The sentence 何と言ったら良いか分かりません means "I don't know what I should say." But what is the literal translation of this sentence? What is the purpose of the か in 良いか?
6
votes
2answers
342 views

Why is 「この人」 sometimes pronounced like 「このしと」? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why the “H” is pronounced Sh in some cases. I notice native speakers frequently sound as if they are reading 「この人」 as 「このしと」. I am aware of instances where ...
7
votes
1answer
228 views

Is it OK to keep saying ありがとう

I was asking a Japanese person for some help and noticed that I kept saying ありがとうございます over and over as they helped me more. Culturally, is it OK to keep saying it multiple times in Japanese? Would it ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

When is it appropriate to say ご[機嫌]{きげん}よう?

Denshi Jisho seems to imply that ご[機嫌]{きげん}よう is for really formal situations. I've only heard it spoken by older women, so I was just curious what the appropriate usage for this word is. Would it be ...
3
votes
1answer
608 views

Why are there so many sound symbolic words?

Wikipedia states that "sound symbolic words occur more often in Japanese than in English..." Indeed, Amazon.jp has a 4500-word dictionary just for these words. Is there any research or solid ...
6
votes
2answers
146 views

Can 物 be added to any word to make it mean “things?”

I keep seeing examples of words where 物 is tacked on the end to mean "things." 食べ物, 飲み物, つまらない物, etc. Are there any restrictions as to what can precede 物? Can I, for example, say something like 青い物, ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is katakana sometimes used to replace hiragana? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why “dame” is written as katakana (ダメ) in manga? The question title kinda says it all! This confuses me, as I thought katakana was used exclusively for loan ...
5
votes
1answer
301 views

What does もう mean in this sentence?

彼はもう英語を教えるまい。 (Most probably, he won't teach English any more.) I got this sentence from this thread. もう doesn't seem necessary to use or have. Isn't the meaning the same if it was like this: ...
5
votes
1answer
292 views

What does ~んじゃなかった do in this sentence?

The following sentence was translated in the following ways: 窓を開けたままで寝るんじゃなかった。 I shouldn't have slept with the window open. I regret (that) I was sleeping with the window open. But why does ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How can 「うん」 be used to mean both “yes” and “no?”

I was told by my Japanese teacher that 「うん」 can be used as a casual way to say "yes" as well as "no." If this is true, how can you tell the difference, absent any additional information?
6
votes
1answer
446 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?
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Conjugation of いけない or いける?

In "宿題をしなくてはいけなかった" meaning "Had to do homework.", is the word "いけなかった" derived from "いける" (verb conjugation) or from "いけない" (i-adjective conjugation)?
4
votes
1answer
250 views

What does the pattern ~たりはしない do?

I keep seeing the pattern ~たりはしない and wondering what how the nuance/meaning is different from other forms. For example, how would the following sentences differ? "誰にも話したりはしない" and "誰にも話さない" "I ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
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?
8
votes
2answers
367 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is it 日本語がわかります instead of 日本語をわかります?

From what I understand, は is the topic marker, が is the subject marker, and を is the object marker. One of the first sentences I learned doesn't seem to fit the rules I described above. The sentence ...
6
votes
1answer
318 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
235 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
387 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? ...
5
votes
2answers
426 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 ...
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
200 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
334 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
562 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
3answers
424 views

Evil twins and other tropes

I was trying to talk about films and (marvel) comics the other day, and stumbled upon "evil twin". Sure, I can translate it verbatim, but that usually works badly for such fixed expressions. And then ...
5
votes
6answers
971 views

What Does 火信 Mean? [closed]

I saw 火信 tattooed on a gentleman's neck. I looked up the words, but couldn't make sense of their combination... What does it mean?
7
votes
1answer
276 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
262 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
353 views

Understanding “よりを戻す” and “止めておこう”

I don't think us getting together tonight is such a good idea. やっぱり今夜、よりを戻すのは止めておこう。 I would like to understand this sentence better, specifically the (idiomatic?) expression, "よりを戻す." I ...
11
votes
1answer
991 views

Where does the verbal form しとく come from?

In a manga I am currently reading, one of the character exclaims: 安心しな。秘密に しとく から。 The general meaning of the second part ("I'll keep it a secret") is quite obvious, and it seems that "しとく" ...
4
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Which kanji to use for saying ありがとうございます in emails?

When sending emails, I've noticed that Japanese colleagues use all sorts of kanji/kana combinations for the simple phrases ありがとうございました and よろしくおねがいいたします. For example: ありがとうございました 有難うございました ...
6
votes
3answers
263 views

Does 前提に mean “to require”?

I recently came across the expression 前提に: feature1はfeature2と同じく各コンテンツに分類用の識別子を埋め込む機能ですが、統制を重視したユースケースを前提に設計されているため柔軟さに欠けます。 'feature1, just like feature2, is a way to embed classification into ...
4
votes
2answers
256 views

What does あらいだす mean?

What does あらいだす mean? I have been hearing it from my colleague and based on his explanation it means to identify. For example identify the problem. I tried to search the net and it only results to ...
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
438 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".
8
votes
1answer
138 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: ...
9
votes
2answers
574 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. ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
369 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: ...
4
votes
1answer
561 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?
3
votes
1answer
299 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
855 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Is メリー mainly used in the set phrase メリークリスマス?

Is the gairaigo メリー mainly used in the set phrase メリークリスマス (Merry Christmas!) or can it be used without the クリスマス to mean "merry", such as 私はメリーです to say "I am feeling merry"? There's also メリーゴーランド ...
6
votes
1answer
442 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
381 views

Meaning of -化 in context

I don't understand what the -化 suffix in the following sentence means for a word like カリスマ, or why fearing it can lead to early retirement. Can anyone shine some light? ...
31
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the rules regarding “mute vowels” (“u” after “s” and “i” after “sh”)?

When you first begin to learn Japanese you are taught that Japanese has no stress and each syllable should be pronounced equally. You also learn that certain vowels are not pronounced, or only ...

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