5
votes
2answers
2k views

What are valid responses to the expressions 「はじめまして」 and 「よろしくおねがいします」 used in introductions?

I came across a learn-Japanese book from the 1980s and wanted to know what you guys think. The book gave a general formula for introduction and here is how it goes: Someone says their name with any ...
5
votes
1answer
250 views

Significance of 「温」 in 「温故知新」

This question came to my mind while playing 漢字読めるカナ for Android to pass time. 温故知新 is a 4-character idiom from the 論語, Confucian Analects, meaning to learn from the past. It is a Chinese phrase* and ...
3
votes
1answer
296 views

What is the difference between ~たとき vs ~るとき

電車に乗るときは、白線の内側でお待ちください。 電車に乗ったときは、白線の内側でお待ちください What is the difference between ~たとき and ~るとき? In particular, what is ungrammatical about the second sentence with ~た? I felt that this sentence,...
2
votes
1answer
706 views

What does ~とか mean when it doesn't indicate an example?

事故【じこ】があったとかで電車【でんしゃ】が止まり【とまり】…… Here とか does not seem to indicate an 'example'. Do I understand it correctly? What does this form of とか represent?
2
votes
1answer
207 views

Can ~もの be applied to all verbs to make them a noun?

I understand that ~もの converts the verb into a noun. So たべます meaning "to eat" becomes たべもの meaning "food". Can ~もの be applied to all verbs? eg. ききます meaning "to listen" becomes ききもの meaning "music"?
3
votes
1answer
268 views

Etymological connection between 門 and 円?

I'm curious if there's any historical link between the kanji for "gate", 門{かど}, and the kanji for "circle" or "yen", 円{えん}. If 門 is gate, 円 looks like a closed gate. Am I being whimsical and seeing ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Difference between ~に伴う【ともなう】 and ~を伴う【ともなう】 [duplicate]

このしごとはきけんを伴う I am aware of the にともなう construct. Is this any different? When would ともなう take the を particle rather than に?
2
votes
1answer
253 views

What does 馬鹿も一芸 mean in English? [closed]

I'm wondering how 馬鹿も一芸 should be translated into English. EDICT-based dictionary sites list this phrase with the following translation: 馬鹿も一芸 even a fool has a talent Is this translation ...
5
votes
1answer
213 views

Purpose of ~とは in 「あなたにとって仕事とはなんでしょうか」

あなたにとって仕事【しごと】とはなんでしょうか What is the purpose of とは above? Would using は alone have been any different? If とは is a grammatical construct, I would appreciate additional examples clarifying its ...
4
votes
3answers
358 views

can one be “さびしい” without being “かなしい”?

Can someone be "さびしい" without being "かなしい"? I assume that one can be "かなしい" without being "さびしい". If this is not true, please explain. I don't think I've heard "かなしい" so much in conversation. Are ...
5
votes
1answer
305 views

Why “greengrocer” kanjis are 八百屋 (やおや)?

I've seen the last one (屋) many times before meaning something along the lines of "establishment where you can buy things or services". However, the rest of the word confuses me. Doesn't the word 八百 ...
-1
votes
1answer
156 views

What's the function of ~には in 「おやには長生きしてもらいたいとおもう」?

おやには長生きしてもらいたいとおもう Please help understand the には construct. Is it a form of emphasis?
1
vote
1answer
156 views

How do you interpret an “interrogative word + non-polite form + か + 知る” construct? [duplicate]

Came across this sentence that has this "interrogative word + non-polite form + か + 知る" structure but not too sure if this is a kind of question or answer. どこの会議室か知りません。 Is this a question or an ...
13
votes
1answer
259 views

Old way of counting people?

I always found it funny how the counter for people, 人, has the special cases [一人]{ひとり}, [二人]{ふたり}, but then continues [三人]{さんにん}, [四人]{よにん}, ... However, this summer I came across a neat bit of info. ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Difference between ベッド and 寝台

Both of them mean bed and they target the same wiki page. I mostly see ベッド, so I guess it is the common word for bed. In which case should I use 寝台 ?
6
votes
1answer
235 views

Grammar in a modern translation of the 古事記 : ~ようもない

I recently started studying the 古事記. In the beginning of the modern translation, there is a piece of grammar which, while not terribly confusing in itself, still fascinates me. The whole sentence is ...
2
votes
1answer
276 views

What does the てさ in 「忘れててさ」 mean?

I was reading the comic strip titled 「エボラ出血熱の巻」 on スマ町 when I encountered 「忘れててさ」. I've reproduced part of the dialogue here for a bit more context (bold mine) てっしー:火達磨さん!宿題手伝いますよ 火達磨 :てっしー!助かるッ!...
9
votes
1answer
200 views

Are 済む・澄む・住む cognate?

Which of these words are cognates (share a common etymology)? 住【す】む ("live") (rarely 棲む or 栖む) 澄【す】む ("clear") (rarely 清む) 済【す】む ("end") According gogen allguide and several dictionaries such as ...
1
vote
1answer
198 views

Understanding use of における

明治【めいじ】時代【じだい】における学校【がっこう】教育【きょういく】について Please help understand the use of ~における. Is it a form of において? Why wouldn't it be a past form then?
2
votes
2answers
275 views

しな at the end of a sentence

In the manga Yotsubato, the main character Yotsuba's father says 「ジャンボが二人分働くしな」. I understand the sentence as a whole, I think, but I don't understand the しな at the end. Here's the full dialogue: ...
0
votes
1answer
552 views

~ようと… Japanese grammar

お百姓と、その息子を殺したヘビ  ヘビがお百姓(ひゃくしょう)の息子の方へはい寄って来て、噛み殺してしまいました。  お父さんのお百姓は、悲しくてたまりません。  それでオノを持ち、ヘビの穴のそばでヘビが出てきたらすぐに叩き殺そうと待ち構えていました。  そのうちにヘビが一匹、穴から出てきました。  お百姓は、 「それっ!」 と、オノを振り下ろしました。  でもヘビは頭を引っ込めてしまい、...
1
vote
2answers
216 views

Is the negative form of 住む related to すみません (i.e. “I'm sorry”/“Excuse me”), and how is it used in actual conversation?

Just learned the verb “to live” 住む. When conjugated to masu negative it is pronounced as すみません. How is this related to the expression すみません which means “I'm sorry”/“Please excuse me”? Or is it just a ...
5
votes
2answers
176 views

Expressing “should do” with こと・べき・もの

上手{じょうず} に なりたければ もっと 練習{れんしゅう} する [こと/べき/もの] だ As per my understanding, all the 3 options seem appropriate above. Is that correct? If so, are there any quirks or exceptions?
2
votes
2answers
217 views

What is the subject in 「士郎の理想、英雄となった姿があなたではないのですか。」?

士郎の理想、英雄となった姿があなたではないのですか。 I think the subject of なった is 姿, but a friend tells me it's 士郎. Is it not possible that the sentence means The figure that became hero, are not you? ?
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Is “Xがどこに見つけられますか” an acceptable translation of “Where can I find X”?

I'm currently studying the potential form by making up sentences from several scenarios, and am finding it rather difficult to check their correctness using nothing but vague online translators. Is ...
2
votes
2answers
256 views

Why is Austin spelled with an オ?

Based on the pronunciations here, what I hear in Anime, and the way I hear kana pronounced in Japanese class, it seems to me that Austin should start with ア rather than オ, but it is clearly spelled ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

particle grammar, は and が [duplicate]

If I want to say the dog barked, which is more grammatically correct: inu WA naita or inu GA naita? I'm thinking the second one because it's identifying what's barking, but I'm not sure I fully ...
7
votes
3answers
611 views

What does “声が出る” mean?

When somebody uses 声が出る, what is the significance of saying it this way as opposed to using 言う? Is this used commonly and does it have some sort of special nuance I'm not aware of?
-1
votes
1answer
67 views

How is “if one does not differ” translated using the word 異なる and the ば-ending?

異なる is the dictionary form. To express the idea of condition, one has to change the u into an e and add the suffix ba. 異なれば = If one differs. How do you express the idea of a negative condition -> ...
1
vote
3answers
186 views

Dictionary form of verb to indicate progressive actions or actions in progress?

I've always interpreted the plain/present affirmative of a verb (e.g. 行く/行きます) as either A.) an action that I will do in the future 図書館に行きます "I will go to the library" B.) an action that I ...
4
votes
4answers
573 views

What's the difference between そうです and そうでしょう?

In 『よつばと!』, やつば says 「ここ家がいっぱいある」 to which her father replies 「そうだろう」. What's the difference between そうです and そうでしょう? I know when we use そうです but I can't figure out the other. I know ましょう is used to ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Help me understand the grammar of this sentence: ~のこと~のこと、~なってもらえたかな

The Sentence: Recently, I've been trying to broaden my understanding of Japanese by stumbling through translating some blog posts. I came across this sentence: 見に来てくださった方、 チームAのことも、私のことも、 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“訳す” is the best way to say “to translate”?

The difference between "翻訳" and "通訳" has been explained very well in several forums. Even so, for me that nuance is a distraction and I prefer to simplify with this strategy: When I hear "翻訳", "...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Does 好きな really mean “favorite”?

In books that I've come across and even in dictionaries, I've seen the word 「好きな」 translated as "favorite". I'm a little confused by this because 「好きです」 normally gets translated as "like", or in my ...
6
votes
1answer
236 views

What does 揺らぎやすい女性 mean?

I was translating a passage the other day for a health spa and came across the following passage: 揺らぎやすい女性のための限定メニューができました。 1ヶ月の周期の中で、私たちの体は大きく変化します。 生理は、体をととのえる絶好のチャンス。 ...
5
votes
1answer
253 views

Specialized banking/credit card vocabulary

I recently found myself in a situation where I had to attempt customer service over the phone in Japanese and I got tripped up on some terminology that I've never encountered before. Most of it had to ...
-1
votes
1answer
100 views

What is this character? [closed]

I was reading a book and I couldn't figure out what character this is: What is this character?
1
vote
1answer
94 views

What is the etymology of the word 杜撰(ずさん)?

Can this word be derived to original Japanese words or is it maybe, like the kanji might suggest, of Chinese origin?
4
votes
1answer
425 views

Meaning of あさっての方向 “Asatte no houkou”

I just heard something like: この話があさっての方向に向かっています Kono hanashi ga asatte no houkou ni mukatteimasu It was used when one of conversation partners said something off topic or loosely tied to it. ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Asking “Do you speak Japanese?” in Japanese

So, in English, we tend to use phrases like "Do you speak English?" when what we're really talking about is ability -- i.e. "Can you speak English?" My question is, does this work in Japanese? The ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

I don't understand what のも means in this sentence

Here's the sentence in question: 生まれたのも育ったのも京都なんですよ I thought using の in a sentence signified possession (ie. 私の本 [My book]). If I interpret the sentence as such, it doesn't make any sense. ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

To which part of speech belong 〜とはいえ and 〜というものの, and as what part of sentence are they usually used?

I came across 〜とはいえ and 〜というものの. They seem to be fixed expressions but I am not quite sure which part of speech they can be re-analysed as.
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Could ルフレ be considered a gender-neutral name?

In the Fire Emblem: Awakening game, the avatar character — that is, the main character whose name and gender you pick — has a default name. In English, the default name is Robin, because the character ...
9
votes
3answers
941 views

What “non-standard” katakana are commonly used?

I know about the "standard" special katakana, like ファ fa, ディ di, ヴ vu, etc. However, I keep running into others I can't find on any list, including the ones in What special kana are used to write ...
3
votes
1answer
238 views

“~において、…” vs. “~にとって、…” differences?

I'd like to ask about the difference between "~において、..." and "~にとって、...": example #1 アジア地域{ちいき} にとって は、日本{にほん}は超大国{ちょうたいこく}です。 アジア地域 において は、日本は超大国です。 example #2 中国人{ちゅうごくじん} にとって ...
3
votes
4answers
677 views

What is the meaning of 座っておいで?

The おいで after the Te-form seems to convey a kind of command. Could you explain the usages of this word, what part of speech is it and how it differs from the other kinds of commands?
1
vote
1answer
187 views

Are な and だ both copula verbs?

What is the grammatical relationship between these two words? Are they just different words expressing the same concept, is one the derivation of the other or is a third option true?
3
votes
2answers
813 views

How to say “had been [verbing]”?

In this excellent response by @DariusJahandarie , he covered how to say "I have been [verbing]" in Japanese by using ている. He had given many examples of how would could potentially translate ている or てい ...
3
votes
2answers
632 views

Do ちょうだい、ごらん、ください、おいで constitute an own class of part of speech?

They are all used after the Te-Form of Japanese verbs similar to subsidiary verbs, but they seem to differ from subsidiary verbs. What is their true nature?
0
votes
1answer
146 views

What is the function of ちょうだい in 読んでちょうだい?

What is the function of ちょうだい after 読んで? I am not quite sure, but I think I saw this subsidiary verb a couple of times in this fixed form and never in another conjugation.

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