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21

Here are the results from a small poll on Facebook. Six native Japanese replied. The results can be interpreted as: Don't say anything if you don't know them (6 people) If you know them you can ask if they're okay, if they've caught a cold or have allergies: "大丈夫?", "風邪引いたの?", "花粉症なの?", or something to that effect. (2 people) There's no such phrase ...


18

The thing to keep in mind is that this isn't a ritualized situation, such as the 只今{ただいま}/お帰{かえ}り, "I'm back" / "welcome back", call and response pattern. When you come and go from the office or home, there are set patterns. This restaurant situation isn't like that. Specific to your questions, there is no usual exchange between customer and cashier when ...


17

True fluency is rare, and involves more than passing a standardized test. I will refer you to an answer I gave in EL&U.SE which I quoted from my treasured copy of Jack Seward's Japanese in Action. He is talking about Japanese, but I removed all the specific-language references because it's a good measure for fluency in any language. EDIT: I've just added ...


13

In my understanding, Japanese normally does not interfere with other's personal stuff most of time. So, they don't use those after sneeze. But if influenza is hot during that time, they may ask "Are you ok?". And some people think that silent and unchanged facial expresssions are elegent on sneeze here, so there is some sneeze contest 「くしゃみ対決」 by ...


13

I have a friend (anecdotal, of course) who has lived in Japan for 11 years. He learned Japanese only 3 ways: (a) girlfriends, (b) manga & anime, and (c) male Japanese friends. His pronunciation is very natural; he's so comfortable in the dirtier parts of the language that he can bawl out a taxi driver. I've witnessed him tear apart a guy on the street ...


13

While i agree with you that there is a lot of Japanese from anime that can't be used in daily conversation, it can still be a valuable learning tool in ear training, pronunciation, culture acquisition and vocabulary acquisition. And knowing the culture goes along way towards learning how the language is used.


12

First and foremost the JLPT does not have a speaking component. This means you may be able to recognise and understand grammar when reading or listening, but you may be unable to actually speak the language with any proficiency. This is my case exactly, I can understand far more than what I can express. Secondly, the entire test is multiple choice. Multiple ...


12

Japanese here. I find it fine to say ありがとう for the first two, although どうも is more common. Not saying anything is perfectly acceptable. You can also nod, which is very common. When you leave the restaurant, it is common to say ごちそうさまで~す or ごちそうさまでした. If you are female, ごちそうさまでした would be more common. It is perfectly ok to leave without saying anything. ...


12

From what I've observed, it varies from shop to shop: by publisher → by author name → by book title by author name → by book title by library → by series number (In case of 文庫 [ぶんこ] (library), 新書 [しんしょ] (library of pocket-sized paperbacks) by relevance/context (in untraditional bookstores like ヴィレッジ・ヴァンガード, 松丸本舗 [まつまるほんぽ]) Also, 文庫 ...


10

Mentioning the call you'd received is the most common way, just like you already do. In a business situation, 先程 would be more appropriate than さっき: 先程お電話頂いたBですが... This is B, I believe you called me earlier... By adding そう, you can hint that someone else picked up the phone for you: 先程お電話を頂いたそうですが... I was informed that you called me earlier... ...


10

You have to read the last sentence in the next paragraph to get your specific answer. I borrowed a good letter example from a site with a lot of business templates. First of all, you have to say the addressee's name, career, and you have to say "Sama", and it should be delimited with line breaks and followed by two line breaks (Or maybe carriage returns. ...


10

I've researched a bit and it seems that such expression doesn't really exist in Japanese. There is a kind of explanation for this: In the Western societies, there used to be a belief that sneezes could release one's soul, therefore putting it in danger because it could have been "captured" by lurking evil spirits; or it was believed that the mouth opened ...


9

"Written Japanese" doesn't mean "forms that can only be expressed in written form". It means "forms that are generally used in writing rather than speech". So there's no need to replace anything on the fly as you read it. You read it as written, whether it's 走らないこと, 走るべからず, な走りそ, whatever. It doesn't matter if it would be weird as a conversational ...


9

乗り切る doesn't quite fit here because it's about enduring through a hardship. With 乗り切る, wave(s) of difficulties come and go while you persevere, where as in "get over it," you need to overcome it yourself. 乗り越える, 克服する and 打ち勝つ do have the sense of actively overcoming some obstacle, and may work if you use it together with the right noun. I'll come back to ...


8

Beside 勘定 (or 勘定書) mentioned by Louis, お会計【かいけい】 is also a very common way to refer to the bill: お会計をください お会計お願いします I believe 会計 has a more general nuance than 勘定 ("bill", rather than "check"), meaning it can be used in some instances where 勘定 would not fit. For restaurants, they are essentially interchangeable. The gesture described by Louis ...


7

In Tokyo, currently, people comfortably ignore other people's sneezes. Of course, when your family (or a close friend) sneezes, it is common to ask 風邪ひいた? (caught cold?) or something like that. However, this is equivalent to asking such questions to your family member trembling or looking pale. A common Japanese experience in the US: when they sneeze, ...


6

Absolutely nothing. Seriously.


6

I really like Sawa's "しつこいよ". I would say (and happen to say) things like: もういい I've had enough of this おはしが上手だって当たり前だよ。あんた、フォーク使えると同じだろう?! Of course I can use chopsticks! Can't you use a fork? 外国に行ったら、それぐらいみんなできるよ。 知らないの? ええ?! Didn't you know that every one abroad is capable of that? I can't believe it! どうでもいいから、話変えてくれないのか? Great. ...


6

A little research leads me to believe that つるぎ refers exclusively to double-bladed swords (諸刃{もろは}の剣{つるぎ}) while けん can refer to any sword, including single- or double-bladed, as well as a bunch of other metaphorical meanings and referring to sword arts and whatnot. See the answer here: http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1035588605 ...


5

For first two, you can say ども, but not ありがとう because you don't have to thanks them, since you are using their service, and you are customer. And you can use ごちそうさまでした / 美味しかったです at restaurant if you wish to, and may be just whisper those if you don't want other people looking at you for some reasons.


5

I don't think it is necessary to thank them. I do though out of the habit from america. However, I have heard stories that in Osaka you do thank the waitstaff and cashiers. I've seen Gochisou used more as an indicator to the staff that you are done with your meal and ready to pay, though that is just an observation. I haven't heard Oshikatta or arigatou ...


5

I haven't been to a Japanese library yet, but judging from the book shops I have been to so far, fiction and such have been sorted by publishing house (such as Kadokawa or DC Comics).


5

Aside from @Louis and @Dave's answers, another one commonly used is お愛想 【お・あいそ(う)】. Again, for politeness, it's usually お愛想、お願いします! This is often heard in sushi restaurants. Actually, I've heard it's limited to being used only in sushi restaurants, but I don't know how much truth there is to that. But if you throw that in at a sushi place, you might ...


5

You just read it as it is written. These kind of "written language" sometimes do appear in conversations, but rare. However, if you are reading it out (to yourself or to anyone else), the "spoken" "written language" will perfectly OK. I don't know if I've made myself clear ...


5

I'd say (ここで)出会って よかった/うれしかった (です)!



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