4
votes
2answers
97 views

Why does this haiku have a 5-6-5 pattern?

I was amazed to read the following haiku in "小林 一茶" (a book written by 宗左近/Sō Sakon about the famous poet) : 我と来てあそぶ親のない雀 At first sight, the text given by 宗左近 doesn't seem regular : 5+6+5 ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

The difference between する and している with onomatopoeias

For example, what would the difference between 膝がガクガクする or 膝がガクガクしている be? I believe the correct definition in Daijirin is 恐怖・疲労・緊張などのために体の一部が小刻みに震えるさま, but that doesn't help me see how the two ...
5
votes
1answer
493 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
764 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
239 views

Which radical name should I study for the kanken?

I love learning kanji, so I thought about taking the kanken (probably level 6). So I started to look for information here and there, and it seems I'll have to learn radical names. I'm totally fine ...
4
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

The usage of 侮れなかった

This question is a mix between the usage of 侮れない and the usage of なかった instead of ない in the sentence 意外と、うちのカノジョも侮れなかった The usage of 侮れない like in the example below seems to refer to one who you ...
3
votes
1answer
346 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
344 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Meaning of 半分間違っているんじゃないかなと思う部分があるから、アメリカチック,アメリカナイズされすぎているっていうか。

This is from a textbook, the person is trying to explain how his generation is different from his father's generation. He says that all his father did was work and save money. ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Is classifying the usage of the conditionals (if/then) like so, correct?

I think I get the differences between the 4 conditionals. But in order to get used to speaking faster, I want to set hard rules for myself regarding when to use each, and not just rely on intuition or ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Meaning of, Transitive verb in “te form” + iru vs Intransitive verb in “te form” + iru

When I learnt Japanese I was taught that a transitive verb in its "te form" followed by the verb "iru" represents a continuous action. However, this is not the case with intransitive verbs which ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Meaning of 根づいていた / 根づく

In the opening to the popular anime Fairy tale, they say this: 魔法は 普通に売り買いされ 人々の生活に根づいていた。 This is translated in the subtitles as: Magic is traded like common goods. It has become a part of ...
2
votes
1answer
234 views

How to analyze 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
1answer
157 views

Pronunciation of the Japanese ん and nasalized vowels

I've been trying to grasp how ん sounds when placed after a vowel. Apparently the vowel becomes nasalized (and extended?) but does it get rid of the n sound completely then? If so wouldn't ほん have its ...
0
votes
1answer
11 views

Use of は particle when talking about doing things on a certain day

One thing that I still don't exactly understand is when to use は when talking about doing things on a certain day For example, 明日は学校に行く。 or 明後日は映画館に行く。 Should the は be included or excluded ...
0
votes
1answer
11 views

What are the basic physical differences between japanese poetry and prose?

I am not asking about genre, meaning or anything other subjective issues. I am talking about the following type of things in english: English prose: No rhyme, no rhythm. May also have literal ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

combining several participle of verb + miru

I am practicing expressing "to try to do something", using the participle of verbs plus 見る. If I understand correctly, a sentence like このビールを飲んでみました。 means something like "I tried to drink this ...
9
votes
0answers
279 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
258 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
61 views

How do adverbs work with multiple clauses in a sentence?

Using two somewhat different uses of the te form as examples. 彼女はいつになくはしゃいでよくしゃべった Does the adverb "unusually" describe both "being in high spirits" and "being talkative"? ...
4
votes
0answers
163 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
131 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
313 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
98 views

Why are Japanese vowels occasionally rhotacised in songs?

This might be a bit weird, but when I listen to Japanese music, sometimes I notice "r"-like sounds in syllable-final positions, or between vowels where there should be no [r]. I know that /r/ is not ...
3
votes
0answers
112 views

“A Hen in the Wind”?

I just watched the 1948 film "A Hen in the Wind," directed and co-written by Yasujiro Ozu. I'm guessing the title is a reference to a Japanese proverb or traditional metaphor. Does anyone recognize ...
3
votes
0answers
131 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
129 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
405 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: 茶々{ちゃちゃ} was a concubine to Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

What is the approximate ratio of ways to express agreement vs. disagreement?

Contrary to various urban legends, Japanese does have a word for "No", however, it appears it's extremely rare to hear it used directly, given the connotation of impoliteness of "iie". Even factual ...
2
votes
0answers
136 views

What do I actually call familiar or friendly language?

When writing on Lang-8, I often end up writing both formal and casual versions (for practice), with labels. I also wish occasionally to discuss formality, and thus need words to talk about the ...
2
votes
0answers
91 views

Usage of Heisig radical “big”

I'm using RTK to learn the Kanji and yet am pretty happy with it. To review the Kanji I am using an Anki deck. My question is about the usage of Heisig's 大 radical for example in 器. In the book ...
2
votes
0answers
84 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
140 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
345 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
160 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
232 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
81 views

Auxiliary verb ん

I came across this sentence in a grammar book: 生きんが為に働く。 In order to live, I work. It is then briefly explained that "ん is an auxiliary verb in the volitional function". However, I've ...
1
vote
0answers
99 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: ...
1
vote
0answers
128 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
6 views

Is the 数 necessary?

I came across this sentence in jisho.org's example sentences: 彼等{かれら}の数{かず}は多い。 And I'm wondering if the 数 is really necessary. I thought 多い already implied a large 数, so saying that the 数が多い ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

What does 今日の所は良いでしょう mean here?

これも全て先生のおかげですね。感謝するんですよ? は、はい 本当に、感謝しています 突っ込むべき時に突っ込むべき場所にきちんと突っ込めない男はもてませんよ? まあ、今日の所は良いでしょう。皆にも伝えないといけませんからね。仲間たちにも順番に顔を出すように伝えて下さいませ In this I'm not sure what she would be referring to. Would ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

What does 毎日至用打工 mean?

I recently started communicating with my cousin who lives in Japan to get to know him as well as improve my Japanese. I asked him how he was doing and received this as a response: 仕事ばっかり // I know ...
0
votes
0answers
163 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
147 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 ...