Questions tagged [homonyms]

同音異義語. A pair of distinct words identical both in pronunciation and in writing, but with different meanings.

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1answer
150 views

How do you differentiate saying vague words in Japanese that have multiple meanings? E.g. tokei, koshi

I'm not talking about homonyms that have very different meanings to be able to make it abundantly clear from context alone like hana (nose, flower) or kami (hair, god, paper), but like tokei(watch, ...
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1answer
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Distinguish between homonyms & potential form

How can you distinguish two verbs when the dictionary form of one is exactly the same as the "potential" form of another. E.g: 開く  [Godan verb with ku ending, intransitive verb] (Potential form: 開ける)...
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ambiguity of どうこう

Perhaps one of the more interesting/infuriating things i've found is how どうこう is seemingly always written without kanji... the obvious ones with する default to 同行 I assume ...
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1answer
165 views

What is the Japanese Homophonic Group?

Equivalent question: What Japanese letters won't equal 1? From: the homophonic group: a mathematical diversion → This is an exercise from Michael Artin's Algebra on, well, abstract algebra. In this ...
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1answer
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is there any evidence that ばら is commonly understood as gay

My japanese speaking but not native friend talked about a foreign friend whose name translates to "ばら" (bara - 薔薇) with some native japanese. They quickly objected that she shouldn't call that friend ...
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2answers
345 views

Specific examples of tonal Chinese words rendered into Japanese

It is often said that Japanese contains a large number of homonyms because there was no way to render tonal Chinese words into Japanese. This makes complete sense. But I am looking for specific ...
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1answer
207 views

Translation of “to buy a cat” vs “to own a cat”

This question is to confirm that the two verbs (to buy and to have) are homophones. わたしはねこをかっています。 Could the above sentence be translated to "I have a cat" as well as "I am buying a cat"? Are ...
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3answers
250 views

When is the “しりつ” reading of “市立” used?

In various dictionaries, the word "市立" has "しりつ" listed as the main reading. However, they then go on to list the reading "いちりつ", with a note saying "when spoken to avoid confusion with 私立【しりつ】". This ...
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3answers
446 views

How do I find the right meaning of homonyms 同音異義語 via audio?

Japanese has a lot of homonyms and sometimes one has more than 10 meanings. When I heard the following sentences on the phone or a radio. How do I deal with it? はしのはしですか? きのう、かきをたべたけどあまりおいしくなかった ...
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2answers
857 views

Usage of 如き, 如し, 如く

如き【ごとき】, 如し【ごとし】, 如く【ごとく】 all mean "like/as if/the same as". Is there a certain way they can be used or are they interchangeable?
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4answers
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について Usage and Honorifics Subject

I have the following sentence to translate. 父母や教師達は、もっとよく子どもの教育について、考えていただきたいものだ。 So far I have the following. Parents and teachers "do something" better with children's education and they want the ...
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男の子 vs 男のコ are they the same?

On Denshi Jisho looking up "おとこのこ" brings up two results: 男の子 and 男のコ Edit: (child not boy) I read the first one literally as "Male [possesive] child" or "Male's child" (or maybe の here is not a ...
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What's the difference between 下りる and 降りる

My current understanding is that 下りる means to go down, for example, 階段を下りる (Go down the stairs); while 降りる means to get off some form of transport, for example, 飛行機から降りる (Get off from the aeroplane). ...
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1answer
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Are 短(い) and 身近(い・な) related?

Is one derived from the other? 身近 means - amongst other definitions - "close/near to one(self)", so it's not that much of a leap to say that something near to you is a "short" distance away, and get ...
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273 views

Two definitions of けれども

In this dictionary I checked, there are two definitions for けれども. I also checked in my Japanese to English printed dictionary and there was only one definition, but in my Japanese to Chinese printed ...
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How many translations of “ichigo” are there? [closed]

"Ichigo" can be the pronunciation of a person's name (as in the cartoon "Bleach"), or words meaning "strawberry", "one and five", or a part of the word "一期一会". Are there any additional meanings of "...
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1answer
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How difficult is it for Japanese to distinguish between 五日【いつか】 and 何時か【いつか】 in spoken contexts?

There are times when both 五日 (5th day of the month) and 何時か (someday) could be used I think. Does this become a minor problem for Japanese when speaking (no kanji to guide), or do they speak in some ...
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“Seemingly cute” - かわいい + 〜そう

The 〜そう form means "seemingly 〜" and is usually conjecture made based on first-hand information. This usually means seeing something or hearing about something and making a conjecture, e.g., おいしそう ...
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Does 髭 refer to the beard or the moustache?

My dictionary lists 髭 as moustache / beard, but from the example sentences in WWWJDIC, it seems like 髭 is more often used to mean "beard" than "moustache" ? So for example, in this sentence: ...