5,830 reputation
11345
bio website kanjibox.net
location Kyoto
age 94
visits member for 3 years, 4 months
seen Oct 21 at 2:24

Many years of living in Japan, none with formal Japanese-language classroom studying, mean I have:

  1. horrible grammar
  2. decent conversational level
  3. pretty good Sprachgefühl...

Gauge my contributions accordingly.


Jun
14
comment Are bookshelves in alphabetical (kana) order in Japanese bookshops and libraries?
I'll take the middle ground and say that, with some very light rewriting, this could be made into an interesting question on Japanese alphabetical ordering. This is borderline, but still deserves its place here...
Jun
14
comment Use of 自分【じぶん】as a personal pronoun in direct speech
Thanks for this very thorough answer and the precisions on gender and formality usage! I think that's what I was looking for... Glad to know it's a correct usage in informal context (but will be careful and try not to sound too much like an army recruit if I ever use it ;-)
Jun
14
comment How indistinguishable is blue from green really?
For more (completely Japanese-unrelated) musings on the subjectivity of colour perception and naming, I strongly recommend checking this awesome xkcd project that surveyed internet users on how they view colours and analysed their results (unfortunately without nationality information)... particularly the colour naming map, which is a 2D version of what I tried to do above...
Jun
13
comment Is すごい slang or just informal?
@Tsuyoshi: gotcha! Yes, I had a doubt about the nature of 混みよう at the last minute before posting... thanks for clarifying it!
Jun
13
comment Is すごい slang or just informal?
@Tsuyoshi: your examples are interesting! But I am curious about your last sentence: you write すごい混みようだ... Is this the expected grammatical form (instead of すごく混みようだ)? To be clear: I am definitely not questioning your grammar ;-) Just wondering if this is standard, as I always thought that the use of すごい instead of すごく was a clear sign of colloquial use (and your examples aren't meant to be colloquial)...
Jun
13
comment Is the word ハーフ derogatory?
While I agree with the intent, I should point out that the word "hybrid" is probably not any better for this use. I might be missing a dialectical (US?) English nuance, but afaik, hybrid is only used to refer to mixing between species within pairs of animals or plants. Using it for humans would tend to imply that non-Japanese and Japanese are different species... an even thornier implication as you can imagine ;-)
Jun
13
comment Arabic numbers: half-width or full-width?
@Nicolas: agreed. As I said: my preference would run the exact opposite (spaces last). Not to mention: the use of spaces might royally screw up word wrap. His might be a fringe viewpoint, but it's still worth taking into consideration, especially since it comes from a somewhat "power-user" who likely has given the matter some thought.
Jun
13
comment Is it ok for non-japanese to refer to themselves as 僕{ぼく} and if not why?
Very nice overview! +1 on 私 being seen as a stigmata of textbook-learning and ++1 on the importance of surrounding grammar and tone rather than just the pronoun...
Jun
13
comment お金と「ちょうど」の使い方 (usage of “chōdo”)
I see... well: weird mistake by a combini drone, then. Keep in mind that I am only talking about the case where you are not, in fact giving exact change (for which ちょうど is perfectly fine, or course)...
Jun
13
comment Can the qualifiers “very” and “too” be expressed unambiguously in Japanese?
@Ignacio: I am aware of that (in fact, similar colloquialisms exist in at least 2 or 3 western languages I can think of)... But honestly, the English version of this colloquialism is a lot less common than its Japanese counterpart. Your example "This is too tasty!" is both quite rare and generally only positive when used in the larger expression "too X to do Y" (e.g. "too tasty to share"), which is a whole different thing...
Jun
13
comment What are common mistakes made by Japanese kombini employees speaking “manual keigo” (バイト敬語)
@YOU: Not sure if you mean that 「〜1万円から」is or isn't grammatically correct...? Wikipedia article I linked seems to say the form is only incorrect when paired with 預かりします, but makes good sense (and probably is the root of the confusion) when used on its own (to mean "giving back change from ~")...
Jun
13
comment お金と「ちょうど」の使い方 (usage of “chōdo”)
Although an employee mistake sounds most likely, could it be that you misheard ちょうだい for ちょうど? In the situation you describe, 「〜ちょうだいします」would actually be the most correct way of receiving your money (though probably very incorrect if used with いただきます).
Jun
13
comment お金と「ちょうど」の使い方 (usage of “chōdo”)
+1 on that: ちょうど most definitely imply that you gave exact change and there's no お釣り. This could make for an interesting new question, but overall, I think Combini employees are famous for their frequent misuse of proper Japanese (尊敬語 in particular)... though this sounds even more basic a mistake.
Jun
13
comment Words/characters for fast food meal sizes: 並, 大, 特
Nice and exhaustive answer! Now we need something similar for drink sizes ;-)
Jun
13
comment Can the qualifiers “very” and “too” be expressed unambiguously in Japanese?
Only peripherally related
Jun
13
comment What differences should I look out for between male vs female speech?
@hippietrail: I say that's a slippery slope. As I pointed above, it's more about your age than your gender. But you can get away with teenage-ish slang a lot later in life as a girl than you can as a guy (sexist, female-infantilising society and all).
Jun
13
comment What differences should I look out for between male vs female speech?
+1 for the typical Kansai use of わ with two important caveat: 1) your sentence would have to be more or less 関西弁 to begin with, otherwise it will sound out of place. 2) the pronunciation of わ in 関西弁 is very different from your average 江戸おばさん (and that's where the text medium fails us, but I'd say if you haven't heard it pronounced by natives, you should stay away anyway).
Jun
13
comment What differences should I look out for between male vs female speech?
As pointed out by @hippietrail, I don't think there are major pronunciation differences between sexes (and they would be vastly overshadowed by regional accents). From your description, it sounds like you meant to ask about "speech [patterns]"/"grammar"/"vocabulary" differences between male and female Japanese... And it's just too vast a topic to cover exhaustively in one question, I am afraid.
Jun
13
comment Is “ガール” (gāru) now considered a Japanese word? What about “ガールズ” (gāruzu)?
ギャル is most definitely associated with the specific trend skillfully described by YOU above and would never be used as a general synonym for "girl" or "gal". Don't think I have ever heard ガール[ズ] and only ever read it in contexts similar to what hippietrail describes, ie.: places that tend to use lots of random katakana English for fashion effect.
Jun
13
comment When is the katakana form of wo (ヲ) used?
As Kef and Amanda point out, manga like to use all-katakana to give a certain style. Tetsuka Osamu for example tends to make all his foreign characters speak in all-katakana to emphasise the fact they aren't actually Japanese (and are either speaking a foreign language that's translated for our convenience, or speak Japanese with a foreign accent). I also used to think ヲ was of no use... until I read one of those...