16
votes
3answers
734 views

Rules for emphasizing by lengthening sounds

Sometimes, sounds are lengthened for emphasis. For example, see "とっても versus とても". What are the rules governing this process? Are there restrictions on where lengthening can be inserted? とっても or ...
13
votes
2answers
351 views

Nouns exhibiting vowel fronting

As touched upon in another thread, there are several nouns that exhibit a kind of vowel shift in older forms, where the ending vowel is fronted when the noun is used on its own to become /i/ or /e/, ...
5
votes
1answer
632 views

Does the 擬態語 word もやもや have a slang meaning of “horny?”

In an informal conversation with a new friend, I was discussing 擬態語. She offered the word もやもや as an example, meaning "to be horny (i.e.., desiring sex)." After clarifying the meaning, I left it at ...
4
votes
1answer
186 views

の versus こと in head-internal relative clauses

I'm sure something similar to this has been asked already, but I'm hoping this is a little different. I imagine the nominalizing usage of の is related to its noun modifying usage, like: 食べるの ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

Difference between 生まれてくる and 生まれる

What is the difference between 生まれてくる and 生まれる? I looked up くる in 大辞林 and found the following: ある事態が出現し,またある現象が現れる意を表す。 「生まれてくる子供のために」 「なくした本が出てきた」 But this still doesn't help me understand ...
3
votes
1answer
310 views

Keigo: そんけいご & けんじょうご

I've started learning keigo and already having difficulty with it, with the same problem in both そんけいご and けんじょうご. In particular, I'm having trouble understanding the combination of the use of ...
3
votes
1answer
310 views

Casual speech particles in Classical Japanese

I'm writing a simple Japanese skit for our JAPAN 112R class and there is a place where an ancient samurai needs to speak a few sentences of Classical Japanese. I can mostly make the sentences, but it ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

What's the use of で in 「日本の食べ物で大好きなものは何?」

In my weekly conversation time with a Japanese friend I wanted to ask her what were her favorite Japanese food, drink, etc. I asked her in the form of 何が大好きな日本の食べ物か and she corrected me, saying ...
0
votes
1answer
174 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
160 views

Using double negative

Would appreciate if someone helped me understand the following word patterns with examples: なかなか〜ない ほとんど〜ない ぜんぜん〜ない Can any of them be used in a positive context too?
8
votes
0answers
202 views

What is the etymology behind る in 日{ひ}/昼{ひる} and 夜{よ}/夜{よる}?

I noticed that there is this る coming up in 日{ひ}->昼{ひる} and 夜{よ}->夜{よる}. In addition, I haven't seen the forms with る used a lot in Classical Japanese, so the ones without る probably came first. What ...
5
votes
0answers
183 views

What are all the nuances and uses of 至る? (に至って) (に至っては) (に至っても) (に至る)

I'm studying for the N1. And there are several not so often used structures that you really need to know the minute differences between. One of these is the uses of 至る. As far as I know, these are ...
5
votes
0answers
216 views

Verb classification of honorific/humble verbs

These verbs: いらっしゃる おっしゃる くださる なさる More? Are all listed as 五段 verbs, but they don't follow the usual conjugation rules for them. For example: 命令形: いらっしゃる -> いらっしゃい, not いらっしゃれ 連用形: Same as ...
5
votes
0answers
331 views

Which readings are used for 漢文?

If I am reading a Chinese text to a Japanese audience, how can I know which reading to use for each character? Of the 音読み, there can be 呉音, 漢音, and 唐音 to choose from. Also for pronunciation, would ...
4
votes
0answers
90 views

Grammar in 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
149 views

Iterative / repetitive る evolving from classical 連体形【れんたいけい】

This is somewhat related to the discussion of classical auxiliary verb ふ, mentioned in the answer to snailboat's question, What is the わ in 忌まわしい and 嘆かわしい?. Another apparent iterative / repetitive ...
4
votes
0answers
130 views

ゆく used in auxiliary sense - instead of いく?

I'm reading a novel 「キッチン」by 吉本ばなな at the moment and I noticed that she uses ゆく in some places as an auxiliary verb to signify the action progression from here or from now (if my understanding is ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

Describe past events with “clause+と+clause”, single vs multiple occurences

A sentence (highlighted below) from Asahi Shimbun: その父の愛情表現は荒っぽかった。娘が父の事務所に顔を出すと、「おお、来たか!」というなり、娘の頭をヘッドロックのように抱きかかえた。父から「愛情の洪水が押し寄せる」ため、話したいことも話せないまま短い面会時間は終わるのだった Without any adverbs (e.g. いつも), ...
4
votes
0answers
128 views

“Automatic Doors Don't Open For Him”

I remember hearing this idiom which meant someone was so lowly, they were not even considered a person. I don't know the source, but remember it was referred to as a 'common Japanese idiom'. ...
4
votes
0answers
143 views

How are Japanese company division, section or department names translated?

How are Japanese company division, section or department names usually translated to English e.g. 「システム開発1部ソリューション1課」? Does it translate it to System Development Department 1 Solution Section 1?
4
votes
0answers
328 views

Is correct to use adjectives before 限り?

I'm studying for level N2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and have a question about 限り. I find in my book that 限り meaning "as long as" can be preceded by adjectives, but in A Dictionary of ...
4
votes
0answers
166 views

Japanese Phonology - nasal glides

For my phonology homework, we're given the nasals [n] [m] [η] and nasalized glides [w] and [j]. From the data, I've found that [n] and [m] are phonemes and [η] is an allophone of /n/. What I can't ...
4
votes
0answers
115 views

Which word is this use of かめ specifying?

In Kenji Miyazawa's poem "Thief", many words are left as hiragana: 青じろい骸骨星座のよあけがた 凍えた泥の乱反射をわたり 店さきにひとつ置かれた 提婆のかめをぬすんだもの    にはかにもその長く黒い脚をやめ 二つの耳に二つの手をあて 電線のオルゴールを聴く ...
4
votes
0answers
99 views

Are there rules over using 公認/alternative words to translate the names of professional qualifications using “Certified” in English?

Foreign professional qualifications that are well known have accepted translations. For example: US Certified Public Accountant, CPA, is 米国公認会計士、which is close to the Japanese equivalent. Chartered ...
4
votes
0answers
256 views

Haphazard usage of katakana and hiragana for particles and okurigana

I'm looking at this picture of the 日米和親条約 (Kanagawa convention) from the late Edo period and it seems rather strange: It looks like the non-kanji parts are rather haphazardly written in katakana ...
3
votes
0answers
109 views

水疱 vs 火脹れ vs 水脹れ vs 肉刺

While hitchhiking from Tokyo to Sapporo in the past couple of days I devloped a few blisters on the soles of my feet. I like to learn my vocabulary based on my experience so looked up "blister" but ...
3
votes
0answers
266 views

What does the name Chacha (チャチャ) mean?

I always wondered about the meaning of this name in Japanese, but couldn't find much on google. Can someone tell me what it means? UPDATE: Cha-cha (茶々) was a concubine to Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

Japanese for “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” (the Richard Flanagan novel)

Is there a commonly agreed upon title for the Richard Flanagan novel "The Narrow Road to the Deep North" (not the travel diary by Matsuo Bashō, which the novel was named after)? I've seen both ...
2
votes
0answers
185 views

What is the meaning of this joke?

In the video game Tingle's Love Balloon Trip, whose plot is a parody of The Wizard of Oz, there is a scene in which Kakashi, the scarecrow boy, says goodbye to a friend. The following dialog takes ...
2
votes
0answers
164 views

Why is ホワイト spelled as it is?

What is the precise etymology of the word? Was it borrowed at the time when it was pronounced [hwait] or they just perceived it like that?
2
votes
0answers
168 views

Proper usage of 語 and 言語 and 言葉 when speaking about someone's language

Japanese language is 日本語. But if I want to say The language of Japanese people - should I write 日本人の言{げん}語{ご}? And if I want to say the same about animals, for example cat - like cat's language - is ...
2
votes
0answers
91 views

meaning of シュワーっと

I'm currently reading a children's book about numbers with sentences of the form: numberは j1 j2 where j1 and j2 are japanese words and j1 starts sounding similar to number. I am stuck with 4は ...
2
votes
0answers
100 views

How the name Aimad is written in japanese?

How can I write the name Aimad in japanese. Aimad is an arabic name which means 頼みの綱 in japanese and Mainstay in english It's written in arabic as عماد . Aimad or Imad is the french writter for ...
2
votes
0answers
114 views

What is the English equivalent of the フヒヒヒ laugh?

I'm trying to translate a game from Japanese to English, but I cannot figure this one out. I know a lot of different forms of laughter, but this one escapes me. I've been looking for about an hour and ...
2
votes
0answers
128 views

確認というか念を押しとくが doubts about meaning

確認というか念を押しとくが I don't really get the meaning of this sentence, does it mean to remind or to confirm something , to make sure of something (?) the whole sentence is: そう言えば 確認というか念を押しとくが Two ...
2
votes
0answers
326 views

わけ、の、理由 in explanations… when do you use which one?

These all seem to be used for explanation... when do you use one over the other? Could you offer some examples? To clarify about の, I am talking about its use in providing information, like, ...
2
votes
0answers
213 views

Does all kana in the う line rhyme?

I've heard many people pronounce す, つ, く, and る as if く and る rhyme, す and つ rhyme, but not any other pair. It seems as if す is sometimes pronounced [sɨ] and く is pronounced [ku]. This doesn't seem to ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Differences between words for “optimistic” and “pessimistic”

I've been confused for a long time about how certain Japanese words map onto the meaning of "optimistic" and "pessimistic" in English. Specifically, what is the difference between (Optimistic) ...
1
vote
0answers
112 views

When did LOC adopt modified Hepburn?

If I look in Google Ngrams, I see that the transliteration "honbu", meaning HQ, basically didn't exist until 1964. But it didn't surpass "hombu" until 1976. I believe Modified Hepburn was introduced ...
1
vote
0answers
123 views

deconstructing それが元で

I understand the meaning of this phrase, but I have a hard time understanding how it's constructed. In phrases like それで or というわけで you have a noun plus the particle で. This looks superficially ...
1
vote
0answers
124 views

どこでも vs. どこにでも vs. どこも

What is the the difference between どこでも vs. どこにでも vs. どこも? I though どこでも was anywhere, どこにでも was everywhere, and どこも was also everywhere... but then I didn't know what the difference would be between ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Difference between using 「の」or 「な」 and 「は」 when asking or describing nouns with です

When asking a question, or describing a noun with another noun, you can use 「の」 or "noun は noun です" The same applies with nouns described with adjectives, except 「な」 is used instead of 「の」 If ...
0
votes
0answers
79 views

Did ある and いる once have kanji?

I'm surprised I haven't been able to turn up anything, but I'm sure you'll notify me if there's a dupe I missed. Did the verbs ある and いる ever have kanji? I recognise that it won't be in use today.
0
votes
0answers
59 views

What is the meaning of 根づいていた?

In the opening to the popular anime Fairy tale, they say 魔法は 普通に売り買いされ 人々の生活に根づいていた。Which is translated in the subtitles as "Magic is traded like common goods. It has become a part of daily life, And ...
0
votes
0answers
79 views

Difference of まさか and まさに

Please help understand the difference between まさか and まさに. A look-up for meanings seems to indicate them to exactly opposite to each other. まさか - not at all まさに - surely However,i have not been ...
0
votes
0answers
132 views

Equivalent of “That said, Carthage must be destroyed” in Japanese

"Ceterum censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam," the famous phrase with which Cato the Elder used to finish all of his speeches, no matter how unrelated the topic was. It was probably an effective ...
0
votes
0answers
83 views

Kanbun reading of this expression

I was wondering if someone could help me with the kanbun reading of this text: 這箇是誰誰是我. (It is an expression used by Dôgen in Eihei kôroku 9, 55). I figured one possible reading might be: ...
0
votes
0answers
122 views

Japanese: “osowarata”?

These are the lyrics to a metal song about Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror. The band tends go Classical for effect (cf. the refrain at the end: 闇にこぞりて / 我が主来ませり …). The first verse is transcribed in ...
-1
votes
0answers
66 views

Meaning of the particles “to” (after a sound-symbolic word), and “ga”

ゆっくりと12月のあかりが灯りはじめ (Yukkuri to juunigatsu no akari ga tomorihajime) (いつかのメリークリスマス by B'z) Can you tell me what と (to) and が (ga) mean in this sentence?
-2
votes
0answers
82 views

why does “… Japanese rely much more heavily on verb conjugation than English does.”

In the How to say "had been verbing"? thread, in the comments section, a person who asserted English is a much more verb-centric language was throughly discredited. As this question is only about ...