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Jul
23
comment How to know what Okurigana signify?
@Aerovistae: as hinted by Ignacio, you seem to be confusing okurigana (which belong to the word) and counter suffixes (which are separate words added to the word). In many cases, dictionaries give you "example" uses of the kanji that include non-okurigana parts (such as 'ひと-つ'), presumably to put that particular reading in context.
Jul
23
comment How to know what Okurigana signify?
(I didn't downvote but) as usual, your question is unanswerably vague and seems to look for a one-answer sum-up of an entire language structure and grammar. It is pretty hard to understand, let alone satisfyingly answer your question (as shown by current attempts). Furthermore, you seem to be making strong (and inaccurate) assumptions on what okurigana are and how they work. Perhaps a much better question would have been along the line of "what is the role of okurigana with numbers" (the answer having to do more with counters than okurigana anyway).
Jul
22
comment Is there a difference between these words for “hero”?
@dotnetN00b: I think you are confused about the meaning of the word 'romaji' (what you are thinking here is 'katakana').
Jul
21
comment “Mari” or “wari” ? Is this a consonant sound that changes with inflection?
Hi Michael, this question could benefit from a little more context. What are the words in question? If possible, the full sentences, even...
Jul
14
comment Can ご無沙汰 be used in a sexual context?
Interesting... Is it a case where using it in a conversation for its original meaning would elicit unintended giggles?
Jul
11
comment When Chinese personal names are written in Japanese in kanji is there always an obvious reading?
@Pacerier: I think you are looking at this in the wrong direction. For names of places (unless you mean 'business', as covered by atlantiza above), you rarely pick a kanji and its pronunciation. These things evolve "on their own" over time and, as a result, you tend to get all sorts of exotic readings, yes.
Jul
11
comment What is the etymology of the word プラスアルファ?
I'm with @Matt: the 'mistakenly identified' theory sounds fairly dodgy to me (for a start, why would people mistake a commonly used romaji, for a not so commonly used greek letter??). On the other hand, 'α' is a pretty acceptable variable name for a small, unknown quantity (whereas 'x' would be a more generic unknown).
Jul
9
comment When Chinese personal names are written in Japanese in kanji is there always an obvious reading?
@Pacerier: as atlantiza said, it doesn't have much to do with grammar... But as for "can one assign any arbitrary reading to a kanji (in a name)", the answer is a clear and resounding yes. This is true for Japanese as well as foreigners. I believe it is explicitly stated in the naming rules that, as long as you are using kanji from the accepted set, you can assign any pronunciation you want. It is done by parents who want their child to have a quirky name (and endless headaches dealing with administration officials later on).
Jul
3
comment Why are the words for prefecture so complicated?
@sawa: sorry if I was unclear: I did not mean to imply that the suffix necessarily had legal implications (although according to fefe below, it might). In this case, I would say rather political than legal... As you point out yourself, it comes down to politics and communication strategy: I doubt you will find a strong logic behind it.
Jul
3
comment What is the more common pronunciation for the r­ōmaji letter Z in Japanese?
Thanks for the very complete answer. If you don't mind, it would be perhaps good to summarise the relevant part (concerning 'Z'/'zetto'/'zee') at the beginning...
Jul
3
comment What is the more common pronunciation for the r­ōmaji letter Z in Japanese?
Valid point. Damn, why didn't I think of saying 「ドラゴンボールゼットのゼット」...
Jul
2
comment Why are the words for prefecture so complicated?
If my memory is correct, Hashimoto suggested changing 大阪府 to 大阪都, around the same time he was pushing for the merge between city hall and prefectural office (becoming a sort of metropolitan office similar to Tokyo)... Wouldn't that at least provide some explanation for the 都 vs. other suffixes?
Jun
11
comment Why would you use まいります for rain? (降ってまいります)
Tiny formatting suggestion: maybe use 謙譲語1/ 謙譲語2 instead of 謙譲語I/謙譲語II, which are a little difficult to notice...
Jun
6
comment Does バラの寝床 come directly from the English expression “bed of roses”?
Murakami once famously stated that he wrote by first thinking up the text in English and translating it back to Japanese...
May
29
comment Was 俺 ever gender-neutral?
Small note: this is not Rikaichan's data, but WWWJDIC's (freely used by most Japanese translation software).
May
28
comment What does ただいま actually mean?
Almost certainly a duplicate of this one
May
28
comment What does ワソマソ mean?
@sawa: I meant to say that conductorless could have implied nobody aboard, but nevermind. I edited my answer to make it clearer.
May
28
comment What does ワソマソ mean?
@sawa: as I said: it definitely does have a person on board, that does tickets and gates. I honestly couldn't tell you if they are really driving it (I have a strong suspicion that it is mostly automated, but the person might have the possibility to take over if needed).
May
20
comment Is まい as in あるまい really only used in literary texts or TV?
@dotnetN00b: I entirely realise you qualified your remark with this warning and I did not mean my comment as a personal attack. But I do mean it when I say that "say as much as they can with as little words as possible" has very little basis in reality. The closest I can think of, might be the habit of eliding certain sentence components when they can be inferred. But that aside, Japanese is an incredibly verbose language, especially when it comes to some grammar for formal language.
May
20
comment What do you mean, “In Japanese there are no words for ”I’m suffering“”?
@DaveMG: as Chocolate pointed out, the two names are different, and I have met countless Hachikos. (just so you don't go questioning her parents' taste the next time you meet one ;-)