Top tag
Next privilege 500 Rep.
Cast close & reopen votes
2 7
~8k people reached

comment Why is カラオケ (karaoke) written in katakana?
So oke was borrowed from English to Japanese, and the resulting word "karaoke" was borrowed form Japanese back to English. So it's a true round-trip double borrowing :). There aren't too many words like this, and I love running across them.
comment Using the Nelson index# as a means to order kanji? What do natives use?
English has an easy and obvious universal ordering system, so it rather blows our minds that other languages might not have one. However, I think that's probably the answer--Japanese doesn't have one, and each dictionary (or whatever) invents their own.
comment What is the etymology of the word マラ?
Note that the above link no longer works. The answer quoting the page is thus pretty helpful.
comment Why do さ and ざ look the same except for the little strokes on the side?
I don't know the evolution, and would like to. Of course it seems natural to the Japanese, or they wouldn't have done it. That's why I specified "to English ears".
comment What is the proper way to write “cube” in romaji?
I work in a technical field involving geometry, and I don't think "regular hexahedron" sounds all that out-of-place, especially if being contrasted with other types of hexahedrons. I'll agree that most people wouldn't know what that is, and I wouldn't expect to hear it outside of a work context.
comment How can I use できない and しまう? I'd like to apologize for not being able to do something
I think this question is limited entirely to whether it is grammatical to use できなくてしまいます in this way. Is this a correct Japanese sentence, or is it nonsense? A discussion of the connotation might be an interesting aside, but is not being asked.
comment Usage (correctness) of だと after verbs
I think the translation "you say!?" is also appropriate for meaning (2). For example, "You say you'll do anything!?" or "You'll do anything, you say!?"
comment When did you last…?
I don't think that "When did you last see her?" is ambiguous in English. It unambiguously means "most recent." The other meaning is expressed as "When did you see her for the last time?" Note that in the first sentence, last is behaving as an adverb, and in the second, as an adjective. There might be an ambiguous construction, but I can't think of it off-hand.
comment わからない vs わかね, My Boss My Hero
This happens a lot in anime & manga. It makes a (usually male) character sound more masculine, tough, flippant, or gangsta'. The main character in My Boss My Hero is from a Yakuza family, so this style of speech establishes his background.
comment Why do Japanese speakers have difficulty pronouncing “L”?
@dainichi, at least if English spelling is used for transcribing English pronunciation, then the mistakes made are going to resemble native-speaker mistakes, since that's the system we English speakers learn from. English speakers have a number of spell-it-out pronunciation systems for explaining how to pronounce difficult words, and those are not a terrible idea either. To your example, you might write "salmon (SAM-in)" to explain to a child how to pronounce it. I concur that katakana is not a great system for teaching English.
comment Are there more irregular verbs like 行く?
Fair enough, edited to change the nuance.
comment How is アェ pronounced?
This is just a guess: In many European languages, the sound between a & e gives the "a" in "fat." Many languages don't have that sound, but it's considered somewhere between "a" (as in father) and "e" (as in pet). The Japanese ア is more like the "a" in "father," so if you wanted to specify the "a" in "fat," アェ seems reasonable.
comment Are numbers part of romaji? (i.e. 1, 2, 3 vs 一二三)
The linked article sums it up nicely; I would also say "Arabic numerals" in English, so calling them the same thing in Japanese doesn't seem like a stretch.
comment Why is “ゼロ” more popular than “れい”?
@Pacerier So a little more digging indicates that both the concept and the word (sifr in Arabic) were taken by the Arabs from Sanskrit (sunya), and I remember someone indicating that the Indians may have lifted the concept from the Chinese. But at some point, you're digging around in the dawn of history for a curious cultural game of one-upmanship. Suffice it to say that humans have been able to conceptualize "nothing" for a very long time, and we should give our ancestors some credit ;).
comment Why is “ゼロ” more popular than “れい”?
Claytonian, that's fair; we stole it from the French, who stole it from the Italians, who stole it from the Arabs, and we probably think it's an English word :). If young people think it's Japanese, and everyone eventually believes them, then it will become true.
comment Verb volitional form (動詞の意志形) - usage
I don't think you need to be defensive about posting Bible verses, anymore than you should be offended if someone asked questions about text from some other religious tradition. As long as it's a relevant question, there's no problem.