3
votes
1answer
200 views

Can 交番 (koban) be used for old British-style/Dr Who police boxes?

When Dr Who is translated into Japanese, do they translate police box as こうばん? I've seen こうばん in Japan, and they aren't anything like old British police boxes, so if that's how it's translated, is ...
3
votes
6answers
531 views

は and が in this sentence

i think my understanding of these two is getting better though i have a question about this sentence: 新しい合金が開発された。医療用や通信用など、用途は広い。 the が i think i get. it is because the new alloy is new ...
5
votes
2answers
212 views

When is 死に used to describe something is dead instead of 死んでいる or 死んだ?

死に馬にむちを打つ - beat [whip, flog] a dead horse After reading the sentence above, I was wondering when it's appropriate to use 死に to describe when something(or someone?) is dead instead of using ...
9
votes
4answers
581 views

Does 一二三 mean “1 2 3” or “123”?

Is it possible, without any context, to tell whether 一二三 means "one, two, three" or "one hundred twenty-three"? In English, this kind of ambiguity would be removed by adding spaces between each ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Difference between ではダメ、いけない、ならない to end a sentence

This question came up from a previous SO post Katakana ダメ to end a sentence - emphasis? 全ての敵を倒す必要はないが、逃げてばかりではダメ。 It is not necessary to beat all enemies, but you can't run away all the time ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How did 服 come to have meanings related to both “clothing” and “submission”?

服 by itself means "clothing" (e.g. 服を着る), and there are also some related derivative terms like 私服, 制服, 和服, 洋服, etc. On the other hand, you have words like 征服 "conquest", 克服 "overcoming", 承服 ...
5
votes
1answer
910 views

Why does Japanese TV News and magazine programs have “mandatory” subtitles/legend?

(I never thought I would ask one of these questions and even considered if it was off topic but this is a very distinct feature of the language as it is really used. Is it due to some characteristic ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Katakana ダメ to end a sentence - emphasis?

In the following sentence (from the Legend of Zelda guidebook I am translating) this sentence appears when talking about fighting enemies. My question is about the purpose of ダメ at the end. ...
3
votes
2answers
334 views

Archaic “Keri” Origins

I read that "Keri" is a verb suffix used to denote the realization of something, and is also poetic- I was wondering if anyone knew where it came from, kanji etc. For more context it was used with ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

How should one respond to “お大事に”?

I came across a situation where I went to a volunteer class wearing a mask since I have a cough. My sensei told me "お大事に", and I did not know what to reply. In this case, should I just say "はい"? Or ...
6
votes
3answers
191 views

Difference between 研究所 and 研究室

What is the difference between 研究所 and 研究室? Do both mean a research institute?
7
votes
2answers
360 views

Difference between って and は as topic marker

I often see って being used to mark a topic, such as in the sentence 新宿ってどこ? I'm aware that this is more colloquial compared to the topic marker は. Other than the formality aspect, are って and は ...
5
votes
1answer
215 views

過去形+のだ versus 現在形+のだった

I'm puzzled by the bold part of the following paragraph which occurs in my Japanese learner's version of 雪女: 二人は毎日、川まで来ると、渡し守に船で川の向こう側へ運んでもらった。 山から帰るときは、また、渡し守に船で川のこちら側まで運んでもらうのだった。 My current ...
3
votes
2answers
321 views

金 pronunciation

I read that the kanji 金 ("gold") can be pronounced both as kon and as kin. When should it be pronounced kon and when kin? Is there any rule about picking one or the other?
5
votes
1answer
316 views

Ellipsis: does this と=として, what is the relevant verb in this extract?

The following is attributed to フジテレビHP/経済新聞. I wonder if someone could explain the grammar around the と? (I think it might be an "abbreviation" of として but it is very difficult to find an explanation ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Can どっち mean which one of many?

Given my understanding, it seems like "どちら" has the exclusive meaning of "which one (of two)" and "どれ" means "which one (of many)". Does どっち include both of these meanings? Also, do all of these ...
5
votes
2answers
589 views

Rosetta Stone uses は instead of わ

Just started learning japanese again. My college offers no class on this so I am learning on my own. I have been using Rosetta Stone on and off again for awhile now. One this I have noticed is that ...
4
votes
3answers
850 views

Meanings of ちゃんと

I always thought ちゃんと meant "properly" or "exactly", but I begin to think that its meaning is broader, more like "as it is supposed to be" or "as you're supposed to do" because in some sentence it ...
4
votes
2answers
323 views

Difference between 学習する and 習う?

Is there any difference between 学習する and 習う?
5
votes
2answers
273 views

Use of から vs を with 出て行く?:

Why are we using から and not を in the following sentence?: 出て行く:同居している恋人が家から出て行って、別に住むようになる。 I ask because the normal particle with 出る is を (eg 家を出る) so why do we have から here? My dictionary has ...
4
votes
1answer
392 views

Use of が vs を with transitive verb, 受け入れる(+もらえる)

This is probably fairly basic but, not being a native speaker, I'd like to confirm if my understanding of grammar of the following sentence (from 中上級日本語, Feb'14) is correct and what is natural. In ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

how to say a kanji is ON-yomi ONLY

how best to say that a kanji such as 句 has ONLY 音読み , i.e., there is NO kun-yomi. 読みは音読みのみ ?? I want to tag posts at https://www.facebook.com/kanjirecog to indicate this without using romaji or ...
5
votes
1answer
385 views

あなたがこの文のおかしいと思うところは?

The structure strikes me because the underlying transformation seems to be like this: [ あなたが ] [ この文の  ~ところを ] [ おかしいと ] 思う [ あなたが ] [ この文の  _____ ] [ おかしいと ] 思う ところは~ Another similar example is: ...
5
votes
1answer
276 views

Difference between と・や and も for lists?

I know that you use と for complete lists, and や for incomplete ones, but when would you use xもyも instead of xとy or xやy? Doesn't も usually replace は or が? Why is も used for lists at all?
4
votes
2answers
117 views

訓読み for 歳: とせ vs. とし

There are two 訓読み readings of 歳: とし and とせ. Looking at はたち (二十歳), a reasonable hypothesis would be "ち is a contraction of とし". I know very little about sound shifting in Japanese. Is とせ more recent ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

Would educated Japanese people without special training be able to understand Buddhist mantras/真言?

A well-educated speaker of Hindi (a modern descendant of Sanskrit) who doesn't have any special training in Buddhist (or Hindu) liturgy would probably be able to more or less understand the following ...
-1
votes
2answers
227 views

Is it hard to write Japanese? [closed]

I see the Japanese symbols, but never asked myself how hard is to write using these symbols. It seems very inviable. How do you guys do when writing at Japanese? Is it really harder than, for example, ...
2
votes
1answer
288 views

What are the reasons for the huge amount of loanwords in Japanese?

It seems that Japanese has far more loanwords than any other language I've heard spoken. I understand that English is far-reaching and a global language, but are there many known reasons that English ...
0
votes
1answer
232 views

Can anybody tell me what this means?

I have an ornament, the picture, and I do not know what it means. I'm not even sure if it's Japanese but any help would be gladly taken.
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Are there native Japanese numbers greater than 10? What use are they?

Most people who've taken a Japanese 101 class know the 10 native Japanese numbers (一つ、二つ・・・十). It's always seemed odd that a system would stop at 10 when so many things in life need larger numbers. ...
0
votes
1answer
181 views

whats the difference between し and と?

I thought I knew this but it has just been explained to me in Japanese class and now I am totally confused. I had always thought と was "and" but apparently it more usually means "or"; when you want ...
2
votes
3answers
310 views

What is an example of how the 推量の助動詞 「む」 can be used to mean 反語?

One of the listed meanings of the 推量の助動詞 「む」 on Wikipedia is that of 反語, which I understand to mean "saying the opposite of what one means for rhetorical emphasis" in this context (as opposed to just ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

Why should not put 一 before 千,百,十, but ok for 万?

I've heard that should not put 一 before 千,百,十, for example, we can say: 千円 or 百円 or 十円 but not: 一千円 or 一百円 or 一十円 But we can and must say: 一万円 So my question is: Is it correct? And why it's ok ...
4
votes
2answers
328 views

心配なく surely it should be 心配ない?

To outline the context, this is from a Legend of Zelda videogame guidebook I am translating. I'm pretty sure the meaning below is that you should not worry about not being able to control the ...
4
votes
2answers
230 views

meaning of て-form + られない

I assume that 死んでられない is 死んでる in the negative potential form, which means it would mean something like "I can't be dying" or "I can't be dead". Can anyone help me understand this better?
6
votes
2answers
151 views

Modifying adjectives: カンペキ [に or な?] 思ったとおりの仕上がり

I have a question about カンペキに in the following sentence. As far as I can guess it modifies the whole 「思ったとおりの仕上がり」, but grammatically I cannot understand why. Well, 仕上がり is a noun, so wouldn't カンペキな ...
6
votes
1answer
871 views

causative passive potential form

I've been reading into a little bit of more advanced grammar and am trying to get my head around the causative and the passive form. (yes yes N1 people. That's not actually advanced.) The causative I ...
6
votes
2answers
222 views

What´s the (entire) direct object in this sentence?

人の手を刺す        stab someone in the hand. 人の手に短剣を刺す     stab a dagger in someone's hand. What's the direct object in the second sentence? Is it just 短剣 or 人の手に短剣? I ask because in the first ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

Are 清酒{せいしゅ} and 日本酒{にほんしゅ} two words for the same thing?

As well as the several other kinds of Japanese alcoholic drinks I seem to have found two words which both mean the drink known in the west as "saké". Now I know 酒{さけ} can be used for many kinds of ...
10
votes
2answers
8k views

What does さあ (saa) mean?

I have seen this term used a lot in many different ways. 「さあ、忘れましょうその未来が」 saa, wasuremashou sono mirai ga — in this sense, I assume it means "come". But I have also seen it used as 「でもさあ」 demo saa — ...
6
votes
3answers
715 views

What does 私たち imply?

I know that 私たち means "we", but in what sense? Does it simply mean the last two people talked about? Or does it always mean the speaker and the listener? So say I'm talking to Shota about Sawako, and ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Using 次 as a counter

In cases such as [第二次全世界戦争]{だいにじぜんせかいせんそう} or [第二次]{だいにじ}スーパーロボット[大戦]{たいせん}, is [次]{じ} effectively just acting the way a number followed by st/nd/rd/th would in English?
6
votes
1answer
256 views

Shinjitai kanji that existed prior to simplification?

I've been doing some researching on kanji characters, and was wondering if there were cases where already-existing characters were used as the final 新字体 form of a character. To clarify, I'm not ...
5
votes
1answer
255 views

無茶 - “bad tea” = absurd; unreasonable

I have the following in a Zelda guide book I am translating. It is talking about being faced with a problem and trying various ways to solve it (you know the Zelda games). I am interested in "むちゃな". ...
5
votes
1answer
445 views

Is それが人生{じんせい} , 仕様{しよう}が無{な}い, or something else the most natural equivalent to “that's life”, “c'est la vie”, etc?

For years I have been saying それが人生{じんせい} in Japanese to mean "such is life" / "c'est la vie". In fact English has a few other ways to express the same thing, and so do the other European languages I ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Understanding 彼奴め and 〜やがる

I'm steadily learning the language, but sometimes I find these little things I can't really grasp. Today doing some reading for fun I found this particular sentence: ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

Is there a way to say “crisis averted” in Japanese that retains its sarcastic meaning?

You know, as in situations that are clearly not crises. I've looked around but can't find an answer.
2
votes
2answers
290 views

Understanding 外国でも使える電話を借りて来た

I'm having difficulty translating this particular sentence into English, and even thus understanding it fully. 私は成田空港で外国でも使えるけいたい電話を借りて来たから、問題がないよ。 My best attempt at a translation: I had a ...
7
votes
2answers
253 views

How else can you use 「だい」as in 大好き or 大嫌い?

I understand that you can use だい in the sense of "very", to emphasise すき and きらい. So だいすき is "very loved" and だいきらい is "very hated". Can だい be used for the same meaning in any other words? Can you use ...
4
votes
2answers
176 views

Unusual usage of 勝 (勝たしてくれ?)

I was reading a comic and came across the following usage of 勝 which confused me. この試合でオレを三橋に勝たしてくれ! I know what it means (Help me beat Mihashi in this game), but I'm not sure about how to ...

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