12
votes
1answer
552 views

Sentence level pitch accent for 標準語

I was wondering if anybody had any references (preferably freely available) or insights that explain 標準語 (or should I say 関東語) sentence-level pitch accent. I already have a dictionary which describes ...
3
votes
1answer
298 views

what is the meaning of 腹んばいになって?

What is the meaning of 腹んばい and 腹んばいになって? Also, is it read 「はらんばい」? I understand that 腹んばい悪い seems to mean 'get mad' (腹が立つ), but this other usage seems like it isn't about anger. Here is the ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is this a proper use of tara and toki for “when”?

Consider: 気がついたら皆さんは寝ていた。 気がついたとき皆さんは寝ていた。 My English interpretation: When I woke up (came to), everyone was sleeping. Is "when" enough to capture the nuances of the Japanese sentences? ...
3
votes
1answer
708 views

The meaning of ~のみ

What is the meaning/significance of ~のみ? Does it have anything to do with 身 or 見? Some example sentences: しかし、予算の制限のため、差し当たり実験機のみを製造することになった。 But budget restrictions have allowed them to ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Understanding the grammar of 当て

I'm trying to understand the grammar behind 当て, and after a bit of investigation I still don't quite understand a could of points. The definition that I found for it is (n) depend on, expectations, ...
10
votes
2answers
509 views

が and に interchangeability and difference in meaning

Consider these sentences: だれ{が・に}これが出来るか だれ{が・に}日本語が分からないか When both が and に are acceptable, what is their difference in meaning and practical usage?
5
votes
2answers
350 views

Where does the ド in ド素人 comes from?

素人 means beginner. ド素人 means total beginner. ド means "very", "total". Any idea where does this word come from etymologically? It is sometimes also written in hiragana. Are there other current ...
8
votes
4answers
569 views

なんか after て- form of a verb

I am confused by the use of なんか, especially after the て-form of a verb. What do: あきらめてなんかない, 消えてなんかない mean? How do they differ from simply saying あきらめていない, 消えていない? What is the purpose of なんか?
8
votes
1answer
314 views

What's the grammar of 持ちつ持たれつ?

持ちつ持たれつ (meaning approximately "supporting eachother") is commonly heard, but seems to be formed from some archaic grammar. I'm assuming it's an archaic form of 持って持たれて or something like that, but ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Lunar Seas and Sun Hills at a sports park?

I was reading the introduction page for Kirara Memorial Park (a public sports park) in Japan, and one of the features they listed was a 「月{つき}の海{うみ}」. As far as I can tell, in both English and ...
-1
votes
1answer
130 views

attending court clerk in Japanese [closed]

What does 'attending court clerk' mean in Japanese? I can't find it.
3
votes
3answers
998 views

When to use ご返事 and お返事?

Here is a discussion about whether to use ご返事 and お返事, but there seems to be diverging opinions: ご返事: ご返事 is 謙譲語 (according to No.1) ご返事 is seldom used for 尊敬語 (according to No.5) ご返事 is for 謙譲語 ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I improve my Japanese vocabulary, grammar, and listening skills? [closed]

I consider myself at a lower intermediate level. I want to improve my Japanese vocabulary and grammar in order to expand my reading and speaking skills. I know enough Japanese to get around and have a ...
1
vote
2answers
164 views

What is the word used for 'handheld'? [closed]

A handheld video game device E.g. PSP, DS
3
votes
2answers
830 views

How do I convey “As you all know”?

Having been trying to write a "sakubun", I must say that I had some trouble to find a reliable translation for the phrase "as you all know" such as: As you all know, the education system in our ...
18
votes
4answers
534 views

Words made from strokes of a kanji like 女 toくノ一

According to Wikipedia, one theory for the etymology of くノ一 (female ninja) is that it's made up of the strokes of the kanji 女 (woman). Other theories include that it means nine and one, talking about ...
9
votes
3answers
297 views

What is the difference between 一緒【いっしょ】に and 二人【ふたり】で?

I think in all situations where either 一緒に could be used, 二人で can also be used, and vice versa. I suppose 三人、四人、五人、etc. can also be used here if that's the number of people you are talking about. But ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

Meaning of 〜関係の〜 in the phrase 鉄道関係の言葉

This question appears on my homework above an empty box instead of lines as with previous questions: 鉄道{てつどう}関係{かんけい}の言葉{ことば}を書{か}きなさい Am I being asked to write "words about railroads?" I came ...
3
votes
1answer
548 views

Why is 自分 used instead of 私?

For example: 自分の名前が呼ばれたとき、私は自分の耳を疑った。I couldn't believe my ears when I heard my name called. Would it be appropriate if I said 私? When is it appropriate to use 自分? What is the difference?
3
votes
2answers
262 views

Is 眠たい an adjective?

I was told 眠たい was an adjective, and that it is an exceptional case. How does it work as an adjective and what is its relation to the verb 眠る?
3
votes
2answers
509 views

2 versions of tara ii no ni

What is the difference in usage and meaning of: 行ったらいいのに =V/conditional and 行けたらいいのに = V/potential/conditional Can both be translated as "If only I could go..."? Thanks!
5
votes
3answers
366 views

what does it mean when a causative verb is conjugated in the causative form?

If ”かぶせる” is a "causative verb," what does it mean when a causative verb is conjugated in the causative form? プランターに生えているカタバミの葉を用意し、アルミホイルをかぶせさせる。 ...
10
votes
3answers
422 views

When should 男の人/女の人 be used instead of 男/女?

My teacher always corrects me when I use 男 or 女 by themselves, without adding の人 to the end of it. But in various Japanese media (music, drama, anime, etc.), I know for sure that I have heard them ...
0
votes
1answer
284 views

How is this verb being conjugated and contracted?

" こんな馬鹿みたいな帽子かぶせやがって!!” " こんなくそみたいな帽子かぶせやがって!!” " こんなくそみたいな帽子かぶせんじゃねーよ!!” I believe I'm looking at a conjugation and contraction of the verb かぶる. What is the original conjugation and ...
4
votes
2answers
354 views

Stem classification 終止形 vs 連体形(しゅうしけい vs れんたいけい)

What is the difference between 終止形 and 連体形 and which one is the correct term for the dictionary form? The Japanese Grammar Wiki entry says... Terminal form (終止形 shūshikei) -u is used at the ...
3
votes
2answers
495 views

Is こんばんは too formal for everyday conversation?

When giving a talk on Japanese, How to talk like a ge1sha, I made a terrible mistake: I invited someone who knew something about the language along. The only times he heckled me was when he reckoned ...
0
votes
1answer
119 views

Want to be sure I understand the nuance of 払{はら}う

払{はら}う has a number of meanings, but to summarize, it means to chase away or brush off. I often see it used in combinations like 追{お}い[払]{はら}う, "to chase off", or "to drive away". I recently came ...
0
votes
1answer
156 views

What is the meaning of 「…みけんならみけん…」?

I'm reading a book on how to draw manga style characters, and I came across this sentence. It is part of a larger block explaining how to make a character look the same from all different angles. ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

What is the nuance of 解{げ}す?

Today in my JLPT text book, I came across the word 解{げ}す. I know that the kanji 解 means "unravel", and it can be read 解{わか}る, and with that reading it's synonymous with 分{わ}かる, "to understand". When ...
13
votes
3answers
397 views

Is パートナー likely to be interpreted as a same-sex partner?

When I talked about a relative and his パートナー visiting for Christmas, the person I was speaking to asked if his パートナー was male. Is this a common interpretation of パートナー? Is there a better word than ...
8
votes
1answer
184 views

How do you read zeros in abbreviated years? (i.e. 03年)

I came across 03年度 and 09年度, and while the meaning is clear I didn't know the actual way of reading it. My first reaction was ゼロさんねんど, but I have no way of checking if that's right. I thought it might ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Internet speak - orz

I've seen several of my Japanese friends use "orz" in various types of posts on Facebook. What does "orz" mean? It's driving me nuts!
4
votes
1answer
192 views

Meaning and spelling of1対1で対応

In a recent email conversation, an acquaintance used the expression: 1対1で対応するそれは、大変だね。 Although I can vaguely infer the meaning of the expression 1対1で対応する (いちたいでたいおう), I am having a hard time ...
7
votes
1answer
220 views

What is the etymology of the term [仏]{ほとけ}[様]{さま}?

What is the etymology of the term 仏様 ? I am interested because of all the meanings this word can possess.
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Can the volitional form be used to nominate yourself for something?

I did a quick search on this site to see if I could find any answer to this and found this question: Does the volitional form of a verb mean both "lets" and "I want to"? But ...
7
votes
1answer
236 views

Difference between 「~のない~」 and 「~がない~」?

For example, plugging these into Google, I can find stuff like, 自信のない人 and 自信がない人. Or, 愛のない生活 and 愛がない生活. I found a movie called 顔のないスパイ. How is this any different from 顔がないスパイ? I've asked ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How do you say “[amount of time] later”?

What is the general rule for saying, for example, "2 hours later"?
8
votes
2answers
318 views

Any books or websites dedicated to Japanese tech/IT language?

I work in IT in Tokyo, so most of what I do doesn't require interaction with our Japanese customers, but every so often we get that one phone call where someone wants something explained, and I can ...
11
votes
1answer
341 views

What does さようなら (左様なら) have to do with “left”?

What is the relationship between 左様なら and 左? I assume there's some idiomatic meaning for "left" but how does it fit?
10
votes
3answers
789 views

Difference between [行く末]{ゆくすえ}, 将来{しょうらい} and 未来{みらい}

I've been looking around and I got that the three words can mean "future". Is there a way to differentiate them? Can they be used the same way?
4
votes
2answers
211 views

What does it mean to be “over a law”?

I was a little confused after reading this on Wikipedia article for 宇部港, a harbor in Ube, Yamaguchi: 港湾法{こうわんほう}上の重要港湾...に指定されている。 I'm really not used to reading very technical writing, so there ...
9
votes
3answers
476 views

Problems with は and が

Consider: [A] 猫が好きだ To me this means [A']"I like cats." Contrast this to: [B] 猫は好きだ To me this means [B']"I like cats (among other animals)" I based my understanding of [B] from Derek ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Expressing “don't work too hard”

I've read at other sites that "don't work too hard" isn't something that's generally said in Japanese. Is there any truth to this? Are there any alternatives if that is the case? In which ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the Hepburn system of romanization generally used over the Nihon-shiki system?

Generally when you see romanization of Japanese it is in the Hepburn system; however, I recently came across the Nihon-shiki system which seems to be preferable. Why is it that the Hepburn system ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Help with newspaper shorthand

I was reading a short news article on students taking entrance exams in Japan, and it listed the number of students from the prefecture who took what test. Here is the excerpt I had a question about: ...
5
votes
1answer
183 views

の versus が used to mark the subject of an appositive clause?

A friend of mine wrote this sentence in Japanese: 彼女のどんな困難からも逃げない態度を尊敬しています。 'Her attitude of not running away from any hardships is something I respect.' 'I respect that she has this attitude ...
1
vote
2answers
328 views

Action verbs and conditional ~ば

I understand もし寝過ごせば、起こしてください is wrong. I believe instead it should be 寝過ごしたら、起こしてください。 In "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar" it says the second part of the sentence "...can be a command, a ...
2
votes
1answer
417 views

What does this Japanese text say? [closed]

Could somebody tell me what the Japanese text in the screengrab below says? Unfortunately, I only have a picture, not the text itself, and have insufficient knowledge of Japanese to accurately ...
8
votes
1answer
252 views

Meaning of “マスオさんする”

What is the meaning of "マスオさんする" in the following self-introduction extract? 家は表参道と近所ですが、特段お金持ちなわけではありません、妻の実家でマスオさんしてます。 My translation attempt: I live near Omotesando, but I am not rich: I ...
13
votes
1answer
213 views

Spelling over the phone

In Japan I often have to call somewhere and explain my name such that the person on the other end can write it down. My name is "Sepponen Bemmu", which I want them to write down as "セッポネン・ベンム". Is ...

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