4
votes
1answer
475 views

When should I use あそこで / そこで?

I have the sentence from 合格できる、日本語能力試験N2: 私は外国旅行をするたび、「 」専門の勉強をしている日本人の若い学者に会うと、思いがけない収穫をえる。 The choices for the blank are A)あそこで B)そこで C)ここで D)どこかで I narrowed it down to either A or B, but ...
8
votes
1answer
283 views

difference between も and でも when used with the て-form

First of all, is there such a pattern as て-form + でも? I can't find it in my grammar dictionary. If there is, is it related to the て-form + も pattern, meaning something like "even if"? What is the ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

“scope” of は particle

In the sentence below, does 外からは apply only to the part of the sentence up to 見られずに, or does it apply to the entire sentence? あれなら外からは姿を見られずにテレビ局内に入れますね。 In other words, which one of these is ...
2
votes
2answers
459 views

Is there a difference between these words for “hero”?

I've learned that hero could be translated as: ヒーロー えいゆう ゆうしゃ けっし Aside from ヒーロー (which seems just to be roumaji version of hero), is there any usage difference among them?
2
votes
1answer
511 views

“Mari” or “wari” ? Is this a consonant sound that changes with inflection?

In my audio learning, I hear the beginning consonant sound of the same word spoken by two different speakers to be as a "w", as in "wari", or to be an "m", as in "mari". While it seems clear that the ...
5
votes
1answer
274 views

When does こいつ refer to a situation?

I've always heard こいつ refer to a person. (That guy!) However, in my JLPT Reading workbook there is a line where it refers to a situation. The explanation says: 「こいつ」が状況を表し....ことに気づくこと。 It goes ...
6
votes
1answer
662 views

しらゆきひめ 'Snow White'

I am trying to understand the title of a tale. しろ 'white' ゆき 'snow' ひめ 'princess' しらゆきひめ 'Snow White' If white is しろ, why is 'Snow White' not しろゆきひめ?
5
votes
1answer
140 views

Is “V Vないにかかわらず” grammatical?

In my textbook, they list the example sentence: 来る来ないにかかわらず、連絡をください。 This「来る来ない」part looks strange to me. Is it incorrect? If so, then how should it be fixed? Would it need to be 「来る?来ないにかかわらず」? ...
8
votes
2answers
315 views

Why is「ん」the only kana without a vowel?

I've always wondered why「ん」is the only kana without having a vowel sound attached to it. The only thing I've ever heard is that 「ん」 is a special kana that can be the last kana in some words. I've ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

What's with this “On reading”/“Kun reading” thing? Is it important to learn both as a beginner?

I was reading this article on Japanese numerals and I first encountered the whole On reading/Kun reading thing, with an additional column on "Preferred reading," which was almost always the On ...
4
votes
2answers
677 views

How can I say “we met at x event” politely in an email?

I'm trying to email someone pretty high up in a company and want him to remember who I am. Edit: I met him briefly at a trade show. We exchanged business cards and spoke for less than five minutes. ...
6
votes
2answers
853 views

What is the meaning of 女子力?

What is 女子力? I see it often recently, and understand that it does not worth discussing seriously about it. I know it is a stupid word. Just curious how people are interpreting it.
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it standard practice, or acceptable, to connect strokes in certain characters of hiragana?

I've been learning my hiragana from here: http://yosida.com/en/hiragana.html For the characters fu, mu, mo, na, ra, yu, and ya, I see a discrepancy between what's in the little box and what shows up ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

What is the appropriate usage of example names?

Sometimes it is the case that fake or example names will be used in place of actual names for purposes of explaining something. For example: 田中さんの主張には、その点において疑問があります。 I have a question ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

dekireba/dekitara

When "dekireba" or "dekitara" is placed at the beginning of a sentence, is the subject always "you" as in "if you can/if possible", or can it be "I" as in "if I can/if I have the permission to do"? ...
2
votes
0answers
476 views

Best Japanese language learning system? [closed]

I have a friend who speaks Japanese and I would like to learn the language with no prior experience. What commercial teaching approach would you consider the best? Pimsleur, Phonics, or something ...
3
votes
2answers
267 views

What is the difference between 「余計に」and 「余分に」?

In my textbook 「日本語総まとめN2」, they list the two vocabulary words 「余計に」 and 「余分に」. I am almost unable to differentiate between their appropriate usage. Here are the example sentences from the book: ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

Are 弱い相互作用 and 強い相互作用 unnatural?

In introductory physics books, when they introduce 弱い相互作用 "weak interaction" and 強い相互作用 "strong interaction", I almost always see a notification that these terms are supposed to be the name of the ...
7
votes
1answer
372 views

Katakana words with Kanji. How did that happen?

Some words are written with katakana, but also have kanji. For example: コーヒー 珈琲 ページ 頁 How did this happen? They are loanwords, but no doubt had Japanese equivalents before these variants were ...
9
votes
1answer
183 views

Employed by one institution but work for another

I've worked my current job for a few years, and I can't believe I've never thought of this question. I have a unique employment situation. I am employed by a university, but the work I do is for the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a Japanese version of urbandictionary?

I came across this phrase today: むぎゅむぎゅ From context, it looks like it should mean something like "cute" or "poor you", but I couldn't find it on jisho.org or goo.ne.jp. Is there a Japanese ...
5
votes
2answers
186 views

不被下候: When was it common, and what were the rules?

In a shrine graffito written in 1559, two carpenters complain: 其時座主ハ大キナコスデオチヤリテ一度モ焼酎ヲ不被下候 'At that time, the high priest (stingy bugger!) gave us not even a drop of shochu to drink.' The form ...
1
vote
4answers
250 views

When is マイ・ワイフ used?

While looking up マイカー in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gairaigo_and_wasei-eigo_terms, I came across マイ・ワイフ. Is マイ・ワイフ used in real life, or mainly in anime? If the former, what differences ...
3
votes
2answers
447 views

Can genki be pronounced as henki?

I've watched a few anime and keep coming across a word that sounds like "henki". In the subtitles, the sentences are like "Are you ok?", "How are you feeling?". With those translations, I'd expect the ...
7
votes
2answers
405 views

Utterance initial [ɾ]

According to The sounds of Japanese (Vance 2008): When /ɾ/ is the first phoneme in an utterance, the tip of the tongue is already resting lightly on the alveolar ridge, and /ɾ/ is produced by ...
6
votes
2answers
450 views

Does the kanji 妾 still get used by women to refer to themselves?

In this answer, the kanji 妾 was defined as "mistress". I'm not so familiar with this kanji, so I looked it up, and it seems to have about four readings and two definitions. Although I think some of ...
6
votes
1answer
157 views

What is the difference between キャリアウーマン, OL, and ビジネスウーマン

When I come across the titles キャリアウーマン, OL, and ビジネスウーマン, I seem to have a difficult time picturing what their position is or what they do. I'm wondering if anyone can elaborate on how they are ...
6
votes
1answer
206 views

What is the difference between 詰まらない and 詰らない

What is the difference between 詰まらない and 詰らない? Are they both valid words? Are they pronounced the same and do they have the same meaning?
4
votes
1answer
759 views

Why is the Japanese government considering adding kanji such as “cancer” to the jinmeiyō kanji?

The wikipedia article on jinmeiyō kanji states: Before September 27, 2004, there were 2232 government-designated jinmeiyō kanji used in personal and geographical names, with plans to increase ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Specify who is fond of something

Is it possible to use 好き, and specify who is fond of it? 風呂は好きです。 Would be interpreted as "[I am] fond of baths.", and 風呂は好きですか Would be interpreted as "Are [you] fond of baths?". How ...
5
votes
1answer
177 views

Can ご無沙汰 be used in a sexual context?

I had asked my friend what uses of 「ご無沙汰」exist and the situations people use them in. Among others, she had remarked that it could mean something along the lines of "not having sexual intercourse for ...
6
votes
2answers
309 views

Is くろじん a word?

I used to call black people くろじん, either because I mistakenly read 黒人{こくじん} as such or because I heard it somewhere (or both), until I was told by another Japanese learner that こくじん is more ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I “understand” kaomoji? (Japanese smilies)

When I see something like this: ヘ(´∀`ヘ)ヘ(´∀`ヘ)ヨイヨイ(ノ´∀`)ノ(ノ´∀`)ノヨイヨイ♪ I think some voodoo demon wants to say something to me. o_O My Japanese friends often use kaomoji. But, when they add (´▽`) ...
7
votes
7answers
975 views

Why are the katakana important to learn?

I've just started, and everything says learn your hiragana and katakana first. The hiragana, very clear. I guess you can say an awful lot of things in Japanese with hiragana. But everything I've been ...
5
votes
2answers
284 views

How to form the “chi” sound, and others?

I was looking at a chart of hiragana and trying to find the characters to form the name of a song Inochi no Namae. I started with i, then no, but there's no chi. I then started wondering where chu and ...
5
votes
1answer
266 views

Does ネガティブ mean “negative”, or “bad”, when describing a person?

ネガティブ is an adjective that's based on the word "negative" (or maybe a word from another European language). But when describing a person, does it mean "negative", as in pessimistic, always ...
4
votes
3answers
371 views

What makes に基づいて instead of に応じて the correct choice for this question?

I'm working on some example questions from my grammar textbook. One of them I listed below:  税金はこの表(  )計算されています。  ア)につれて イ)に応じて ウ)に比べて エ)に基づいて I'm unsure why 「に基づいて」is the only correct ...
6
votes
1answer
724 views

Why is it that some temporal nouns cannot be marked with に? And why do they become more acceptable with には?

Consider the following: に here is used in its function of denoting the time where an event occurs (に1): ◯ 一時に1 ◯ 一時半に1 ◯ 月曜日に1 ◯ 正月に1 * 昨日に1 ?/◯ 昨日には * 今日に1 ?/◯ 今日には * 明日に1 ?/◯ 明日には * 去年に1 ?/◯ 去年には ...
4
votes
3answers
687 views

Correct kana for foreign name

I am Portuguese, and my name is João, which has a peculiar pronunciation that is very difficult for foreign people. It is the Portuguese equivalent to the English John, but the pronunciations are very ...
12
votes
3answers
337 views

Sentence structure/element order

In the textbook Japanese for Busy People I, the order of the elements in a sentence is always the same (subject - when - with whom - by what means - to where - verb) at least as far as I have made it. ...
6
votes
2answers
228 views

What is the etymology of the word プラスアルファ?

What is the etymology of the word プラスアルファ(+α)? This is a neologism I believe, however I hear it quite often nowadays. I'm curious to what the origin would be?
4
votes
2answers
204 views

根も葉も火種も — is it proverbial?

I suspect「根も葉も火種も」 is an allusion to something I do not recognize. To what does it refer? Consider this couplet from an amusing song released in March by IOSYS called 「ステマの女」(CD and promotional ...
8
votes
2answers
499 views

How to say 24 divided by 8 equals 3

Pretty sure you have to use 割 but I don't know which pronunciation to use and how to say "equals" in this context.
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to say “Slice of life anime”?

How do I say "slice of life anime/manga" in Japanese? I've tried looking this up. Perhaps it is only english speakers who categorize anime this way?
5
votes
1answer
300 views

What does 身の縮む思い mean?

I found a phrase in one vocabulary book about the usage of 縮む. I am not clear on the meaning of this phrase: 身の縮む思い I think it can be the same meaning as 恥ずかしい. Is that right?
8
votes
3answers
388 views

What conjugation/form is the ませ (for example: いらっしゃいませ)?

I know it's used for greetings in a restaurant or store. But what type of verb conjugation (ex: polite, plain, honorific, imperative, or something else) is it? Is it used with other verbs? Is it ...
5
votes
1answer
393 views

なり as an archaic 'to be'?

In the following saying: 時は金なり。 What exactly is なり? My dictionaries seem to give a number of different options that could all explain its use here. Is it 成る? Is it 也, an archaic version of です ...
8
votes
1answer
264 views

Is いらっしゃいませ only used by staff?

Is いらっしゃいませ only used by staff, or is it used in other circumstances? When I was at a dinner at a restaurant being held after a programmers' meetup, I thought that I heard it being used by one of the ...
12
votes
4answers
545 views

What determines whether a word gets a kanji compound or katakana?

I read electronics/computing articles, and I find an incredible amount of terms are written either in kanji (almost similar to Chinese) or katakana. There are times when it's confusing as to know why. ...
6
votes
0answers
182 views

What would be the Japanese name of a person with a native Chinese name? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When Chinese personal names are written in Japanese in kanji is there always an obvious reading? What would be the common ways to convert a Chinese name for a person to ...

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