Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [nuances]

ニュアンス. Subtle differences between two seemingly interchangeable expressions.

5
votes
3answers
145 views

Meaning of 寒くなる vs. 寒くなっています

Today it crossed my mind how I could translate this, and some confusion arose with the verbal forms to use. If I wanted to say "I got cold", I would say 寒くなった However, for "I'm getting cold", I ...
6
votes
1answer
806 views

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" ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Multiple words with same definition

I am seeing pairs of words with similar meanings (where one of the words has a single kanji and the other has two kanji). Examples include: 豊か、豊富 保つ、保存する 防ぐ、予防する Do these pair of words share the ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Polite form of apology with tense form?

After missing an appointment, which would be more appropriate for asking for forgiveness or apologizing? ごめんなさい でした or 本当にごめんね。ほんとうに ごめんね In particular, considering the difference between the ...
5
votes
1answer
294 views

Nominalisation and は

I posted a question a long time ago about why we need の in this sentence: 毎日、同じ物を食べるのは、面白くない Eating the same thing everyday is not interesting. To which I was told that adding の here ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Nuance between AやB and AやBなど?

AとB is an exhaustive list, whereas AやB and AやBなど mean A and B and more. (And AとBなど feels inconsistent.) But is there a difference between AやB and AやBなど? Aなど means 'something like A' or 'A and the ...
-1
votes
0answers
274 views

Is 歌を歌う not redundant?

I keep bumping into the seemingly redundant 歌を歌う, meaning 'to sing'. Is there a nuance compared to just 歌う? Is 歌う by itself too ambiguous? Does 歌を歌う amount to a set phrase?
3
votes
1answer
88 views

忙しいところ vs 忙しいなか

I've been preparing for an interview, and I've seen both of these phrases used when introducing yourself and thanking someone for their time or when support is being given. For example: ...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

How to say “to work for”

I would like to say "I work for" company X. I have found two ways of saying that: 仕える -> company-name に仕える 勤める -> company-name に勤める But I can't find which one is correct or where to correctly use ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

ものだ expressing ambiguous emotions/concern?

This article lists many examples of using ものだ to articulate "deep concern." The author of this article explains that when you connect words which indicate desire like …たい and 欲しい with ものだ, your speech ...
6
votes
2answers
126 views

What is the difference between はみ出す and はみ出る?

They are both intransitive: シャツがズボンからはみ出していますよ。 Your shirt is coming out of your pants. 足が 線からはみ出ています。 Your foot is over the line.
3
votes
2answers
133 views

“Robust Software” in Japanese

I'm struggling with how to say "robust software" in Japanese. From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robustness_(computer_science): In computer science, robustness is the ability of a ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Difference between 禁 and 禁止 (and 禁じる/禁止する)

Both nouns mean 'ban, prohibition​' and both verbs 'forbid'. I expect that in set combinations, such as 禁煙 for 'no smoking', there is only one correct possibility. But, otherwise, what's the ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I use English in place of katakana?

A habit that I have is replacing certain words with how I'd say them in English. For instance I'd write something like this: 私はイングランド人。 私はイーストアングリアに住んでいます, but say something like this: 私はEngland人。 ...
30
votes
4answers
104k views

When is it appropriate to use お疲れ様 (otsukaresama)?

I know the general meaning of using お疲れ様です/でした to express gratitude for some work, but I'm a bit fuzzy about appropriate times to use it. I know it is a common saying when leaving for the day, and I'...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

私には versus 私は - difference in nuance?

Can anyone help explaining the nuance in difference between: 私はまったく分かりません。 私にはまったく分かりません。 With expressions such as ヨーロッパには行く (versus は) I can see what affect including the に particle within the ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Appropriate “No, I don't have” response to “お持ちでしょうか”

I'm regularly asked at shops/supermarkets with something like: ポイントカードはお持ちでしょうか  My understanding is that the person is asking if I have a point card. I've also read What's the difference ...
2
votes
3answers
223 views

What is the difference between 「もらいませんか」 and 「もらいましょうか」? [duplicate]

I came across this fill-in-the-blanks question in a reviewer: にもつ、_____ か。 The choices are もらいません or もらいましょう. My current understanding is that もらいませんか is of the form V-ませんか which translates to "...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Difference between 家内、嫁、妻、奥さん、かみさん and other words meaning wife

I have seen and heard all these words being used before all to mean wife, but what is the differences between them? I know some, such as 家内, can only be used for your own wife, but which are which? ...
5
votes
1answer
76 views

Meaning of 以上 and 以下 according to water depth level

Reading a text like: 海の深さが200m以上{いじょう} The first thing that came into my mind was: Above a level of 200m depth But then I realized that my understanding can be wrong and it may mean something ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Please help with deciphering the meaning of this sentence

お見合いの相手は、理想を絵に描いたような男性だった。 First part is something like: since he/she was/is an omiai partner or since they met in omiai . I’m having difficulty in understanding the second. Explanation says: ...
22
votes
3answers
6k views

Love in the air: 愛x恋 {あい vs こい}

From WWWJDIC: 愛 【あい】 (n,n-suf) (See 愛する) love; affection; 恋 【こい】 (n) love; tender passion; My understanding on affection, love and tender passion is like the following: affection < love ...
5
votes
2answers
200 views

Questions about comparatives

I have two questions that I think are quite related regarding the interpretation of comparatives. 1. Is it necessary to include a より or a 方 expression to convey a comparative? Suppose you are having ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

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....
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What’s the difference between [v] たとしても and just the plain ても

What’s the difference between [v] たとしても and just the plain ても? Example: (1) 説明書を読んでも分かりにくい (2) 説明書を読んだとしても分かりにくい
17
votes
2answers
580 views

住んでいたい and 住みたい

Can anyone tell me, what is the difference between 住んでいたい and 住みたい? Both seem to be valid words... But I'm unsure which I should be using.
5
votes
1answer
110 views

Is there any clear distinction in Japanese for the words 拉致 and 誘拐?

I'm writing an essay about the North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens. In English literature I found that the concepts "abduction" and "kidnapping" are used interchangeably. I'm not familiar ...
5
votes
1answer
85 views

Any differences between 領収書 and 受領書?

First time asking a question here. I was curious if there is any relevant distinction between these two words that mean receipt: 領収書 and 受領書.
0
votes
0answers
59 views

How should I read constructions like “NPのそのNP”?

I encounter these sometimes, but I have a hard time understanding what they're trying to say. Just wandering if someone could explain what it means when you have a possessive noun construction behind ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

なんてね interpretation

So we have the following situation. There is persons A, B and C. Long ago A and B were friends when according to A B suddenly betrayed her. Now A has been using C for a long while pretending to be a ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

What is the difference between “みだらな格好” and “あられもない格好?”

I'm trying to figure out the difference in nuance between みだらな格好 and あられもない格好. My dictionary tells me "みだらな" means "lewd"/"obscene"/"indecent", and あられもない means "unladylike", "immodest", these ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

What is the difference between 適切、適当 and 適宜?

As the title says, I've been having some trouble with recognizing the difference between 適切、適当 and 適宜 as in dictionaries they are all translated to "appropriate, suitable". According to this site 適当{...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

Do words differing only in the voicedness of consonants act as functionally homophonous?

In Japanese, there are some sound differences that clearly distinguish words from one another, such as falling on a different 行 or 段 on the 五十音 ([傘]{かさ} vs. [風]{かぜ} or [友]{とも} vs その); while other ...
3
votes
2answers
388 views

Differentiating between the many words for bullying, teasing and tormenting

In the course of my study I've come across several words which all seemed to have a high degree of overlap, in that they all essentially meant 'to tease, to bully, to torment'. If possible I'd like to ...
-1
votes
1answer
98 views

大恋愛の末に結ばれるわけではないから、アバタもエクボということはありえなかった。先行するのは条件である。 [closed]

Could somebody please help me decipher the phrase above which I came across while reading 逃がした魚は大きかった。It’s about two people in relationship. I understand that the first sentence means something like “...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

あなたはそれでよいのです what/how does the でよい bit here work?

Context: Jobs are being appointed and one of the minions is given a simple job of wrecking some place. The minion exclaims how simple it is (not the smartest cookie) and then the job giver (the ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the difference between “verb+て+みる” and “verb+(よ)う+とする”?

In Japanese there are words which mean "to try something or attempt at doing something", e.g. 試す, 試みる and つとめる. However, at the same time we also have two grammatical constructions "verb+て+みる" and "...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

Meaning behind adding 'め' after someone's name?

I've come across this once or twice where people will say someone's name and then add 'め' in an irritable/victorious tone [e.g: ヒカルめ, マコトめ, etc.], but I've yet to find a textbook example explaining ...
17
votes
5answers
11k views

What is the correct usage of 承知しました, 了解です and かしこまりました, the more formal forms of 分かる?

At work, it is wrong to simply say 分かる to say that you understand something. In what situation should I opt to use one of the previously mentioned forms?
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Difference Between かなり~ and 結構~ as Adverbs

Is there any difference in meaning between かなりうまい and 結構うまい? How about other usages?
0
votes
1answer
119 views

Asking a business contact to make a request on my behalf?

I am helping to plan an event featuring the work of a Japanese artist. I'm speaking to his representative, and would like to ask the question, Can you ask (name) if he would be willing to write a ...
15
votes
1answer
166 views

what's the difference between 話をする and 話す?

I'm trying to understand the nuances between 話をする and 話す. When is one used over the other? I'm reviewing A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, and it has the following example sentence: ...
0
votes
0answers
94 views

Do I need to reply in this situation?

(In a game) I am a newbie(Lv29), and I saw B(lv100+) having filled his room's wall with numerous super-super-rare(SSR) posters, which can be only be earned with enormous effort. (I don't have any) I ...
5
votes
4answers
209 views

Can 奪う be a synonym of 殺す?

In the following dialogue, and in general, is 奪う a synonym of 殺す? Maybe a more 'poetical' one? Character A: 誠士郎【せいしろう】を殺したのは鈴爾【れいじ】と雪也【ゆきなり】さんだ。 Character B: なに?誠士郎【せいしろう】を奪ったのが鈴爾【れいじ】と兄さん…!? ...
9
votes
1answer
492 views

How interchangeable are の/である/なる/たる when qualifying nouns?

So we know that we can qualify/equate two things with a の. 友達のジョン → My friend John 先生の山田さん → A/My teacher Ms. Yamada 勝利者の亀さん → The winner: the turtle (as opposed to the hare) It seems ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Interpreting the meaning/nuance of a conversation

The following is less a question of grammar or language but more of understanding and context, because I feel like I'm maybe missing something. I have the following conversation/sequence of events. ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

When can I get away with implying the の possessive?

I was reading the bible in Japanese a bit and came across this bit of Jonah 1: アミタイの子ヨナに、主から次のようなことばがありました。 Notice how the noun-phrase "Jonah son of Amittai" in the NIV became "アミタイの子ヨナ" in the ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Difference between 何て言う意味、何て言うこと、どう言う意味 etc

When someone says something to me and I don't really understand the meaning, how can I respond? What is the difference between: 何て言う意味ですか。 何て言うことですか。 どう言う意味ですか。 I might be wrong, I might mix ...
5
votes
2answers
104 views

What's the difference between 母方 and 母系? The same question goes to 父方 and 父系

I saw these words a while ago but just now I decided to ask it here because I didn't find the answer anywhere. As the title says, I don't really know if there is a difference between 母方【ははかた】 X 母系【...
4
votes
2answers
150 views

What's the difference in nuance between multiple 形容詞 (い-adjectives) with and without て-form?

When multiple adjectives refer to the same noun, the adjective(s) other than the last one are usually written in the て-form: ① 大きくて重い本 However writing all adjectives in their い-form is not (...