Questions tagged [meaning]

意味. The meaning of words or phrases within certain contexts, especially when it does not seem to match the standard definition.

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What is the difference between 仲間 and 友達?

I've seen nakama used in One Piece a lot, but I've learned tomodachi in my text book. Is there a different in usage?
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Confusion over the use of いい人

The scenario is a group of friends trying to figure out what to eat. One person says: 決を採ります! 洋食焼き[どど]がいい人ー?! Friends respond: はあーい He then says: 次に和食定食[めんぼう]がいい人ー! Response: はあーい I feel like I'm ...
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What is the difference between 得意 and 上手?

Both 上手 and 得意 seem to both mean something along the lines of "good at" or "skilled". However, I don't understand the difference (if there is one) between them. In fact, some of the sentences on jisho....
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What does 「など」 mean in this context?

I have been translating articles from NHK News Easy for practice, and I've noticed they sometimes use 「など」in a way I'm not familiar with. For example, in an article about a train that's about to be ...
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How can we determine the subject of 「彼{かれ}が来{こ}ないことを知{し}りませんでした。」?

Consider the following sentence. 彼{かれ}が来{こ}ないことを知{し}りませんでした。 I really get confused in determining the subject. Which is the correct translation? I did not know that he will not come. He did not ...
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Difference between「と思います」and「かと思います」?

What is the difference in meaning and usage between「と思います」and「かと思います」at the end of a sentence?
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What is “koto” used for? [duplicate]

I know "koto" means thing, but I've seen it used like this in my Self-Study Japanese book: Nihon no koto ga yoku wakarimasu ka. and Chiimu no koto o kangaete imashita. Does this mean Japan's thing ...
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Why can だって have so many meanings?

According to jisho.org, だって has these meanings: after all; because but even too; as well; also they say; I hear; you mean In my opinion, "because" and "but", and "as well" are completely different ...
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母 (haha) and お母さん (okāsan)

What is the difference in meaning and usage between 母 (haha) and お母さん (okāsan)?
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Nuances of 老いる and 老ける

I return with another nuance question! Today, I learned the kanji 老. Two of the example words were [老]{お}いる and [老]{ふ}ける, which my book defined both as, "to grow old". I searched around for the ...
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Meaning of 「生きるにしても死ぬにしても」

In the video game Mother 3, there is a group of beings called the Magypsy, who are rumored to be very old. While talking to humans, one of them says the following: 人間なんて生きるにしても死ぬにしても精々たった100年。 ...
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What does かの日 mean?

In my Japanese Bible, I've seen several passages that use the phrase かの日. Here are a couple. ある人たちの習慣に倣【なら】って集会を怠【なまけ】ったりせず、むしろ励【はげ】まし合いましょう。かの日が近づいているのをあなたがたは知っているのですから、ますます励【はげ】まし合おうではありませんか。 ...
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Does しかたない imply disappointment?

From the context of the original Japanese text, is seems that しかたない does not imply a negative feeling such as disappointment or dissatisfaction. Instead, it seems to mean "That's just the way it is" ...
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Why are 前 and 後 used backwards from how I would expect on this site?

I was practicing katakana reading here, and noticed at the very bottom of the page that the "forward" and "back" buttons have the characters I understand to mean "after" and "before," except that "...
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How is 何者にもなれない translated?

何者にもなれない Let's break it down... *何も here means nothing (with negatives) *者 means people *に is the target particle *なる means to become *なれない is the negative potential of なる How in the world does ...
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What conjugation of 願う is 願わくば, and what does it mean here?

This is my first post here, I'm sorry if I didn't follow any formatting or posting rules. Original sentence, from a character's monologue: 願わくばこの時間が少しでも長く続くことを。。。 The English translation I have (...
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How can 「うん」 be used to mean both “yes” and “no?”

I was told by my Japanese teacher that 「うん」 can be used as a casual way to say "yes" as well as "no." If this is true, how can you tell the difference, absent any additional information?
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How broad is the meaning of 薬?

I saw on a board the other day someone referring to insecticide as "薬", which doesn't really fit with the English conception of "medicine". I looked up "薬" in Kenkyuusha, and sure enough, "chemical" ...
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つけ用 in Udon preparation recipe

I have the following text on some Sanuki Udon I brought home with me ;) This is the part for ざるうどん: 水洗いした麺をざるに盛り、あらかじめ用意したつけ用つゆに、生姜、ねぎ、ごまなどお好みの薬味を添えてお召し上がりください。 So, つゆ is the sauce or soup, ...
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「探してくる」には「見つける」という意味は含まれますか?

今まで、「探す」には「見つけようとする」という意味しかないと思っていました。辞書が挙げる語義にも、現代において一般的な用法(下記1.と2.)では「見つけようとする」以上の意味は含まれていません。 1. 必要なものや失ったものを見つけようとする。「安い下宿を―す」 2. ものを見つけるためにかき回す。「押し入れを―す」 3. 中にある物を表し出す。「...
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What nuance does ガールフレンド have?

Does ガールフレンド have a meaning of a female friend (like girl friend), or a female romantic partner? Someone told me it had the former meaning, and I should use "彼女" for a romantic partner. However, the ...
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What does おめでとう煜ございます mean?

At first I thought it was a typo, but inserting the character 煜 into birthday wishes or the like seems to be common, e.g. おめでとう煜ございます おめでとうございます煜 おめでとう煜ございます煜 I have several problems: What ...
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What does “ちるの、びるの” mean?

Context: 織次{おりじ} the protagonist is trying to buy back a set of drawings from his father's friend, who is mysteriously evasive about the matter. [織次]{おりじ}も[後]{のち}に[東京]{とうきょう}から[音信]{たより}をして、[引]{ひき}[...
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What does 台 mean when proceeded by a number (of yen)

I came across this phrase in a news article about a budget reduction: ....6千億円台になる.... I was wondering what this use of 台 means. I did a Google search of 円台 and the amount of yen doesn't seem to ...
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What's the meaning of もの in this sentence?

てっきり、兄は腰を下ろすものだと思っていた。 I have no clue about what it could mean.
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meaning of: ういっく

I'm reading a manga and ういっく has come up three different times. Unfortunately, it's the only word/phrase so I can't garner what it means based on context. I've attached the three panels in which I've ...
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How do I decide when to use plain or past verb form?

In (1) 明日、家へ帰って、母が作ったおいしい料理を食べます。 why is it 作った when it’s a future event? If I wanted to create a clause meaning 'delicious food my mother makes', it would be 母が作るおいしい料理. Does changing 作った in (1) ...
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Meaning and usage of ~としたことが

I came across the expression ~としたことが, for example: 私としたことが I'm trying to figure out the meaning and usage of this phrase, but I can't find any English resources that explain it. What does this ...
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What does ~たまえ mean exactly and how do you use it?

I've seen the verb 給え【たまえ】, usually written in hiragana and after the stem of another verb, ending a prhase. I'm not too sure on its meaning. I've read that it means "...please" but is that the only ...
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Meaning of トッツケ on a house plan

Same as with my question about a Kanji I tried to identify on a bad image source, I have a katakana word I need to understand / translate. The word reads トッツケ, as marked in this image: I tried to ...
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Did standalone noun “好き” mean a person in classical Japanese?

In classical Japanese, did standalone noun “好き” mean a person who likes something? I do not think that it does in modern Japanese, although it sometimes means a person when used as a suffix (e.g. ...
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Qualitative intensifiers e.g. とても, とっても, 超, etc. How are they different?

How are とても/とっても, でかい/でっかい, 超 (and others that I have yet to encounter) used differently? I figured that for とても/とっても-type difference is that the double-consonant(geminated) version is stronger i.e. a ...
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X+これを久しゅう meaning

In sentences like here. What does it mean? Which of the dictionary meanings of 久しい do I apply here? 幽谷先生が感歎これを久しゅうしたのも無理ではない。 と、私は慨嘆これを久しゅうしたことであった。 etc. (there are many more in the link)
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What are the differences between すぐ、もうすぐ、すぐに?

As far as I am aware, すぐに means "immediately", but in which contexts can you use もうすぐ and すぐ?
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The colour of 青黄色い

I'm reading Kawabata's 「雪国」alongside Seidensticker's translation from 1956. A few pages in our narrator casts a glance at a sick man's hand and describes it as 男の青黄色い手. Now I'm wondering what colour ...
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Meaning of 果たして?

果たして、遺産を独り占めするためだけに、それだけのことを兄さんがやってのけるのか、わしも確信は持てん。 I'll translate it roughly as "I don't think he will go that far just to have the inheritance for himself." However, I don't understand the 果たして ...
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The “cultural” meaning of 人間 (ningen)?

So, I have a general question about the word 人間 (ningen), and it's not about grammar. The most common translation for this word is "human", but I have been noticing that its usage is somewhat ...
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What does かぎのあるヱ mean?

In the Japanese radiotelephony alphabet, all kana are assigned a mnemonic code word in the form Nippon no ni (日本のニ)... except one. ヱ (we) alone stands out with kagi no aru we (かぎのあるヱ). Why is this ...
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What does 臨海学校 mean?

I ran across 臨海学校{りんかいがっこう} in a manga (ときめきトゥナイト) and I'm unsure what the exact meaning is. All the online dictionaries I've checked translate it as "seaside school", which doesn't quite make sense ...
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Does なかなか (with negative verb) mean “by no means” or “considerably”?

WWWJDIC defines なかなか (with negative verb) as by no means But shouldn't it have been considerably ? By no means means 100% not considerably means like 85% not So does なかなか (with negative verb) ...
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Meanings of 可愛くない

The main meaning of 可愛くない is of course "not cute", but I think I've heard/seen the word in other contexts, too. Is it possible for 可愛くない to be a kind of insult, like "loser" maybe? Especially when it'...
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What does うさ晴らしとばかりに mean in this context?

I have read some similar answers, which mostly point out とばかりに as meaning "as if to say", but I am having trouble understanding this meaning in this excerpt I have from a manga I'm trying to read: ...
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其之 what's the exact meaning of this?

I'm translating a comic and I found this kanji combination on the headers. It's like a counter for pages. 其之一 其之二 etc. その is the reading. I wanted to get more info about that but I didn't find ...
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How to understand 叶う here?

The following is copied verbatim from a JLPT prep book: 将棋歴30年のベテランに、初心者の私が叶うべくもない I read it as, A beginner as myself should be no match for a shougi veteran with 30 years of expertise. But I ...
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Seemingly redundant 帰る in 「今日、帰りに買って帰ります」

In my textbook is the following. あの店のパンはとてもおいしいとか。今日、帰りに買って帰ります。 From what I understand, 「帰りに買う」 means "to buy on the way back (home)". However, this seems to already imply that you are heading ...
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What does セレブ mean these days?

There appears to be some disagreement/confusion about the precise meaning of セレブ - some dictionaries claim that セレブ means the same thing as English "celebrity", while others claim that it just means "...
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What is different between 分かります and 分かりました。

What is different between 分かります and 分かりました。
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Can んだった and んじゃなかった be used like the past version of んだ and んじゃない?

I know that んだった and んじゃなかった can be used to say "Should have done" and "Shouldn't have done". I am wondering, however, if they can be used as a past version of んだ Take for example this conversation: ...
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Meaning of “お戯れを”?

Can someone tell me what "お戯れを" means? I came across this in a Japanese drama. I can't quite figure out if this is almost like a formal and polite request to make somebody stop 'kidding around' or if ...
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Is there a difference between 公開日 and 発売日?

Both seem to mean "release date", but I've heard that 公開日{こうかいび} is typically used to refer to movie release dates, and 発売日{はつばいび} to book release dates. Is this true, and are there any other ...