I was asking if something is possible or not, and received the "ありじゃないかなぁ" answer below.

I had never heard this expression, is my translation correct?

Q: 独習×ゲーム的なソーシャルウェブサイトは可能ですか?

A: 聞いてみないとわからないけど、ありじゃないかなぁ。

My translation of the answer: We have to ask to be sure, but I guess it is not possible.

2 Answers 2


あり is a slang meaning "be acceptable", "can be dealt with", or "be cool", (or, more literally, "exists within the acceptable domain"). See my answer to this question.

As for the question part, you translated the opposite. Here, you have a negation, but that is used rethorically. Just like the English negative tag question isn't it? implies affirmative, so does the negative question here.

The whole sentence means

I am not sure without asking to someone, but isn't it acceptable?
I am not sure without asking to someone, but I suppose it is acceptable.


To explicit Chocolate's answer and by the way answer gibbon.

ありじゃないか should be read as "[something]じゃないか" that you would basically translate as "Doesn't/Isn't it [something] ?". Even as a negative form, turned as a question with the ?/か/かな, it becomes a positive wonder. Like a question tag. Plus, you should not see it as a question directed to you, more like the person speaking to him/herself and just expressing his/her wonder out loud.

The [something] itself, can be positive or negative, it does not matter. It will mean "Doesn't/Isn't it [something] ?"

To Gibbon> でしょう/だろう can be used for similar cases. Ex: you don't find something, it would be 100% normal to say "どこでしょう?" speaking to yourself or someone else.

  • Not sure how that answers my non-question, but thumbs up. :)
    – gibbon
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 12:21
  • That Chocolate cannot say かな and だろう are the same. They are not the same but have a common ground of usage and that is what Chocolate was talking about.
    – oldergod
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 12:29
  • Yes well, even grammar with common usage has subtle differences, that's what I was objecting to. Surely you agree that "どこでしょう?" and "どこかなぁ" are not completely the same when said to one self.
    – gibbon
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 12:44
  • 1
    @oldergod-san, I didn't mean 「かな」 and 「だろう」 were the same... I said 「~じゃないかな?」 and 「~だろう?」can be the same, and the だろう? that I was talking about in my post is something that you use when seeking for agreement, not the one that you use to say 'I wonder~~?'. That's quite another usage of だろう. I never imagined anyone would confuse these two usage of だろう, so I didn't mention the latter in my post, and treated only the former usage, which has to do with OP.
    – user1016
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 16:12
  • 1
    I didn't say you said they were the same either by the way.
    – oldergod
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 23:55

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