1
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3answers
215 views

Difference between 建てられた and 建てました?

新しい大学のビルが建てられた。 新しい大学のビルを建てました。 Both translate to: A new university building was built. Even though the translation is the same (by my understanding) something to do with the meaning has to be ...
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1answer
294 views

Can だ be used as a particle in a phrase?

I'd like to say “Tomorrow is Monday”. Is it correct for me to say 「あしただげつようび」? Or is there simply no particle at all?
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1answer
253 views

Why do Japanese people 'teach' others their phone numbers?

One of the common mistakes that Japanese people make when speaking in English is to translate the expression "電話番号を教えて" directly into English - "to teach a phone number", which can confuse native ...
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2answers
174 views

Understanding Japanese verbs

I took up an interest in Japanese and I have to say I'm enjoying the language overall. I've been reading online resources and have no problem with normal Godan or Ichidan verbs since they have rules ...
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2answers
186 views

What is the yomikata of 値 in 破格値?

My kanji textbook contains this example text excerpt from a leaflet [1]: 各種家具を破格値で! I would assume that it would be 「チ」 because 「ハカク」 is an Onyomi-Reading, but I believe I have heard 「はかくね」before. ...
1
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2answers
135 views

Are ここ, そこ and あそこ prepositions?

これ, それ and あれ are demonstrative pronouns. この, その and あの are demonstrative determiners. What could you call ここ, そこ and あそこ? Are they prepositions?
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1answer
338 views

How to read this kanji? (see image)

All the methods I know failed. My count is 7 strokes, but may be wrong. I think the key is the bottom part, but no radical matches its shape. The rest of the word, including particle, is: きながらでも ...
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4answers
443 views

Trying to translate a 許せるはずもなく

I'm trying to translate a phrase、許せるはずもなく. Generally, I think the meaning should be along the lines of "We were not forgiven," but with the grammatical structure of verb + hazu + naku, would it be ...
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2answers
189 views

negative verb confusion

Slightly mundane question here. Do negative verbs translate as x "does not" do this action or simply "not" e.g 食べない "not eat" as opposed to "does not eat". The reason I ask is because On Tae kim's ...
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4answers
240 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 ...
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1answer
112 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?
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2answers
123 views

Compound words with 漢字 and カタカナ? (例えば:新メニュー)

Today, a magazine about restaurants in my area arrived in my mailbox. It proudly proclaimed : 10月の新メニュー! I am quite curious as to the following points: How is this pronounced ? I would have ...
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2answers
151 views

Help me string this sentence together please

I'm trying to say "Taking Japanese class has been [or was] fun" using ものだ. But I don't think this is right: 日本語の授業を受けている楽していたものだ。
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3answers
153 views

What does 「ならないようにする」 mean?

Source: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10013967481000/k10013967481000.html 「しかし、建物を地震に強くしたり、火事にならないようにすると、亡くなる人を2300人に減らすことができると言っています。」
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3answers
204 views

What's the difference between でしょうか and ですか at the end of a question?

I am having a little trouble understanding the nuance of でしょうか in comparison to ですか. People say it makes it more hesitant and polite, but that doesn't explain the nuance enough for me. Why would you ...
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2answers
201 views

Can 一応ね be understood to mean “…just socially.”?

I found this example on lang-8, and wonder if anyone could clarify the use of 一応ね here: A: Are you going on Facebook or Twitter? B: Just socially. A: FacebookとかTwitterやってる? B: 一応ね。 ...
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3answers
338 views

Ending a sentence in ぞと

One of the people I follow on twitter sometimes ends his sentences in ぞと. Is this just a more polite form of ぞ? Here's an example: ブログUPしましたぞと♪(´ε` )
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2answers
134 views

Difference between 「なるベく」 and 「なるべき」

My Japanese coworker has been unable to explain clearly this. I know that the difference comes up naturally but as someone learning Japanese I need a few examples and grammar rules to know which one ...
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1answer
111 views

Why is there an unmatched parenthesis in this title?

This Asahi Shinbun article has an unmatched right parenthesis in its title: 岩手)震災の教訓を考える 「人間復興大学」10日開学 Surely, Japanese syntactic rules disallow unmatched parenthesis, right? Asahi Shinbun just made ...
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1answer
119 views

In this situation, Which is correct の or から?

私は東京の田中です。 私は東京から田中です。 I am want to say Hello, I'm Tanaka and I'm from Tokyo, but I am not sure which is correct. I feel like 2 is the right choice but am not sure. So which is correct and why?
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2answers
187 views

This is the first time we meet translation

"This is the first time we meet" what is it in Japanese? Is it something like:  わたしははじめてやまださんにあいます。?
1
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2answers
126 views

modifying of 後ろ

I've got troubles with modifying 後ろを付いていく in the following sentence. Can somebody please explain this part for me. As far as I understand the sentence "Kicking around piled up snow, I'm following ...
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2answers
136 views

The etymology of 泊

I was looking up the etymology of 泊, and I got this: 形声。白は、どんぐりの実を描いた象形文字で、どんぐりの実の中みのあわく白い色を示す。泊は「水+音符白」で、白の原義とは関係がない。水が浅くて舟底が水底にせまってとまること。また、水かさの少ない浅瀬のこと。 【泌】  ...
1
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2answers
272 views

What's the meaning of しない as in …するしない?

My textbook contains the following sentence 参加するしないにかかわらず、必ず返事を葉書で出してください。 (Regardless of whether you participate or not, kindly make sure to RSVP by postcard.) as an example of the expression ...
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2answers
292 views

What does the construction “passive voice + ままに” mean? (~{ら}れるままに)

I generally know ~まま as used in the sense that something is left in a certain state, for example: 窓を開けたまま寝る. Does this have a different meaning or connotation when used following the passive voice? ...
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1answer
250 views

What is あっちゃう in this sentence? [closed]

My friend sent me an email saying her mobile phone is having problems. Specifically, she said this: 携帯{けいたい}の電池{でんち}が電話{でんわ}すると5分{ふん}でなくあっちゃうようになった I get the overall meaning, which is that when ...
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1answer
137 views

why isn't “そなわち” in dictionaries? what does it mean?

I am pretty sure that I have heard the phrase "そなわち" used to begin sentences. Googling "そなわち" returns about 35,000 pages. Just like I remember, most use "そなわち" as a phrase at the beginning of a ...
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3answers
262 views

Can you say “よい夢へ” instead of “よい夢を”?

I saw this message created by a native speaker:「よい夢{ゆめ} を 」. That seemed strange to me. I would have expected: 「よい夢 へ 」. My thinking right now is that: 「よい夢を」 is a straight contraction of ...
1
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1answer
117 views

読みます or 読んで form to express habit

In my textbook it says you can use the 読みます form to talk about habitual actions, such as 私はよく本を読みます But I read on the internet (source) that the correct form for this is 読んで and the sentence should ...
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1answer
101 views

Improved romanisation of Katakana

I'm in the planning stages of programming my own Katakana => Romaji converter. However, I've noticed that every other converter already out there just converts literally. I want to try and employ a ...
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1answer
222 views

Why do song lyrics frequently include rare kanji or kanji where kana would usually be used?

Rather than alternative readings (as seen in manga etc.) I mean deliberate use of a more complex kanji in place of a simpler one, or use of kanji when kanji would not normally be used. A few examples: ...
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1answer
173 views

is “こっかい” a heteronym?

I recently boasted to a native speaker that I can pronounce Japanese with a high degree of precision, while he has trouble with pronouncing the "L" sound in English. Later in the discussion he stopped ...
1
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1answer
573 views

Usage of nan desu?

In a few songs I've heard recently I've noticed that nan desu (without the か) has been used in what seems to be maybe a declarative or emphatic sense (not really sure), is this possible? I'm not ...
1
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1answer
166 views

difference between きれい and キレイ

I was reading the lyrics of a song called 春先小紅 by 矢野顕子  There is this line that says: きょうはなんだかキレイです I was wondering why キレイ above is written in Katakana and not in Hiragana? Isn't katakana used for ...
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2answers
176 views

Does using the characters です at the end of a sentence make almost everything(depending on the sentence) sound polite?

For example if i say something like,"あなたはやさしい人です”。 Versus if I say,"あなたはやさしい人". Is the second sentence (stated above) grammatically correct or does there "need" to be a particle at the end of my ...
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2answers
206 views

What does 「つけ」 mean as slang?

Specifically in the context of the following sentence, from 燃え尽きた地図 (1967): 「おまけに、変に小才が効くから、余計にいけねえんだ。特に、飯場の連中に、ツケで飲み食いさせるようにしたのが、まずかったな。事務所の係長に、鼻薬をきかせたりしてよ、そのツケの代金を、給金から差っ引かせるようにしたんだな。」 ...
1
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1answer
118 views

What is this kanji? It's too small for me to understand right now

If the image doesn't show up here is a link to it http://i.imgur.com/VOH3FlR.png
1
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1answer
178 views

complex sentence ending in a noun breakdown

どうせ知識だけ頭に詰め込んでる兵器 A couple things confuse me: How can we end a sentence in a noun? Whats the 「込んでる」? I thought something deru, but it doesn't use 出る.
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2answers
1k views

What's a nice way to say “fingers crossed”?

What's a nice way to express any of the following - "Let's keep our fingers crossed" "I'll keep my fingers crossed!" (We / I) (are / am) keeping (our / my ) fingers crossed"
1
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3answers
141 views

Use of に in 人間に

人間に[上下]{じょうげ}はない。 People are equal. Why the use of に after 人間? Are we treating 人間 as a "location" where 上下 is absent?
1
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1answer
179 views

What are the differences and usage patterns for 常套句, 言い草, 決まり文句, 諺, and 名言?

This is a little bit of an encyclopedic question, but I would like to know what separates the four expressions in the title, i.e., what separates them when they are close to referring to the same ...
1
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2answers
199 views

What does「散々人を待たせておいて最初の一言がそれか」mean?

I am unsure how to translate the following phrase: [散々]{さんざん}人{ひと}を待{ま}たせておいて最初{さいしょ}の一言{ひとこと}がそれか My guess as to how this phrase translates is: Is that the first thing people say to those ...
1
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1answer
366 views

Can に mean the same thing as から?

あの野郎、どんだけジークさんに恩を受けたと思っていやがるんだ! In this sentence, does に mean the same thing as から ? Thank you very much for help!
1
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1answer
123 views

What is the English equivalent of「ひとこと欄」?

I believe this a kind of word-game, but cannot find a reference to it...
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2answers
2k views

Which writing system (hiragana, katakana, or kanji) should we use when writing out someone's name?

I know how to read hiragana and katakana, but know nothing else. A lot of people I know want me to write their names in Japanese. Is it right to write them in any system, or are there specific rules?
1
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2answers
407 views

“eat, sleep, drift” translation

A friend has asked me to design a T-shirt for him, and he wants it to read: eat, sleep, drift (as in car drifting) So far I have this: 食べる 睡眠 漂. I'm not sure if it's right as I am an English speaker ...
1
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1answer
230 views

How to type こんにちは (not こんにちわ) with windows Japanese keyboard [closed]

Google spells こんにちは as こんにちは but when I type "konnnichiwa" I've got こんにちわ and if I do space I've got : コンニチワ ... maybe don't need to trust google here ? or there is some another way to write it
1
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2answers
173 views

are the usage of うるさい to mean “fussy” and the usage of 草 to mean “substandard” archaic? [closed]

I was thinking what things could be described with 草 (3) not genuine; substandard;) Can we describe someone who is a ゴミ as 草? Like say: アイツはどうおもう? くさだ! Or is the "substandard" meaning of 草 already ...
1
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3answers
486 views

Do machine transliteration websites exist?

Are there web sites that transliterate Japanese text (katakana, hiragana and kanji) into romaji characters without translating the words into the English language? (Note to moderators: I'm merely ...
1
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2answers
221 views

How do I translate the word “Town's End”?

I'm trying to figure out the proper way to translate "Town's End" (a play on my last name of "Townsend", like someone living at the end of town). I've found the word for "town", which is: 町 I think ...

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