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My name is Tsuyoshi Ito in English and 伊藤剛志 (いとうつよし) in Japanese. I am a native speaker of Japanese with a casual interest in languages. I have been living outside Japan for a few years, and my knowledge about trends in Japanese is likely to be outdated.

Aside: My secret goal is to keep being the top answerer in the tag “food.”


Jun
10
comment why is it that some 形容動詞 accepts の after it while some only accepts な after it?
Just in case, I said 特別の can be used, but I did not say anything about 特殊の. Off the top of my head, 特殊の sounds strange to me, but I will not rule out the possibility that it is used in some contexts.
Jun
10
answered Since Japanese already had several words for rice why was “ライス” (raisu) borrowed from English?
Jun
10
revised Since Japanese already had several words for rice why was “ライス” (raisu) borrowed from English?
typo
Jun
9
comment translation for “It serves as a good reminder for me”?
I still think that this is a question about pure translation, but I am happy to be convinced otherwise. If anyone has an opinion about it, please post on meta.
Jun
9
comment Can 【~たら】 be a short form of 【~てから】?
What do you mean by “E stem (以前系 izenkei)”? In my knowledge of the modern Japanese grammar, the forms before ば is called 仮定形 (かていけい) (but I am not sure how foreign learners usually learn verb forms). The Classical Japanese has a verb form called 已然形 (いぜんけい), but its use is different.
Jun
9
comment IT system renewal: Can I say 更新 for “renewal”?
@makdad: I am not sure whether 改善 usually involves processes. For example, it is usual to say 川の水質を改善する (かわのすいしつをかいぜんする; improve the water quality of a river): see e.g. this page. I think that 改善 implies that something was poor quality before the improvement, so it may or may not be suitable in Nicolas’s situation.
Jun
9
comment At work, when is it not ok to finish an email with どうぞよろしくお願いします?
Reading the comments, I removed the [corporate-japanese] tag. If it was not the right action, please feel free to revert the tag edit, perhaps explaining the reason.
Jun
9
revised At work, when is it not ok to finish an email with どうぞよろしくお願いします?
edited tags
Jun
9
comment Does the (USA) English metaphor “Unable to see the forest for the trees” keep its meaning if translated verbatim into Japanese?
About whether the English phrase in question is a cliché (=an stereotyped expression) or an idiom (a phrase which means something other than its literal meaning): If you want to claim that it is a cliché, you certainly can do so. But if you make a claim, you have to be prepared for the possibility of being objected. If you do not want a discussion whether it is a cliché or not, it is unwise to use the word cliché in the first place. I think that calling it an idiom is neutral, but if you do not agree, you can use “phrase” or “expression” which is hopefully not controversial at all.
Jun
9
comment Does the (USA) English metaphor “Unable to see the forest for the trees” keep its meaning if translated verbatim into Japanese?
I heard that the Japanese phrase 木を見て森を見ず was originally introduced as a translation of the English phrase “cannot see the forest for the trees.” Although several webpages make the same claim or similar claims (using other European languages than English), I cannot find a more authoritative source claiming it. If anyone knows whether this is true or not, I am interested to hear. Boaz explained in his comment that the Japanese phrase does not literally correspond to the English phrase, which I think suggests against this claim.
Jun
9
comment 「拝」から始まる謙譲語 — humble keigo starting with [hai]
At least in the modern Japanese, 拝啓 is only used as an opening word of a letter and never used as a verb.
Jun
9
comment What is the difference between 特殊 and 特別?
(1) 君は特別な人だ and 君は特殊な人だ are great examples. (2) Although 特別な is a 形容動詞 (na-adjective), we do also say 特別の: see the examples in 大辞泉.
Jun
9
comment What is the difference between tori vs. dori?
There is a word fukurodataki (袋叩き) which is a compound word of fukuro (袋; bag) and tataki (叩き; hitting; the same word as tataki in katatataki) and means “beat someone up by ganging up on” (translation from EDICT). I think that the reason iu-tori (言うとおり) does not cause rendaku is that it is not considered as a compound word but it is just a phrase of two words.
Jun
9
awarded  Nice Answer
Jun
9
revised What is the difference between tori vs. dori?
added 15 characters in body
Jun
9
revised Does “敬語” (keigo) just mean “politeness” or is it a technical term specifically relating to Japanese grammar?
spelling
Jun
9
comment Does “敬語” (keigo) just mean “politeness” or is it a technical term specifically relating to Japanese grammar?
@Mark: You are right, and the expressions related to politeness in the broader sense is called 敬意表現 (けいいひょうげん; expression for respect) in Japanese. In other words, 敬意表現 includes 敬語 but not limited to 敬語.
Jun
9
revised Usage of たくさん vs. 多い
spelling
Jun
9
answered Meaning of pattern 「XがXなら、YもYだ」
Jun
9
comment What is the difference between tori vs. dori?
(1) /d/ is the voiced version of /t/. (2) I personally agree that katate dori is easier to pronounce than katate tori, but I do not know if this is a good reason to make a guess which form is “more correct.” At first, the repetition of /t/ sound obviously looked hard to pronounce, but after I noticed that the word 肩たたき katatataki (= kata + tataki; shoulder massage) is not katadataki, I fail to convince myself that my pronunciation preference toward katate dori means anything universal.