Questions tagged [phrase-requests]

Topics related to finding a phrase that fits a given context or meaning.

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23
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a term for Japanese characters as a whole?

There are kanji, katakana and hiragana, but is there a native word or phrase for the union of these sets?
19
votes
3answers
13k views

How do you ask for “the bill” at a restaurant?

This is probably a bit of a silly question, but what do you say in Japanese when you're asking for the bill in a restaurant? Or is it unusual to say anything at all? When I was in Japan I could never ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

How should I start an email when requesting something from someone I don't know well?

In English, there is a certain etiquette to follow when writing a business letter. From what I've seen so far, the same seems to be true in Japanese as well. If I was making a business-related ...
16
votes
8answers
7k views

What's the 日本語 equivalent of saying “That's none of your business”?

What's the Japanese equivalent of saying "None of your business", or "None of your concern"?
15
votes
3answers
3k views

“Strike while the iron is hot” - Japanese equivalent

Is there an equivalent expression in Japanese for "strike while the iron is hot"? I've seen a few questions on here with phrases and their equivalents. Does anybody know of a site where these are ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How to say to “persuade into doing something”?

I am looking for a Japanese phrase or an idiom which could be used to describe a situation in which a person A persuades person B into doing something, not required for the person B, but beneficial to ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

What do you say when giving something to somebody?

In English when you hold out something to someone, sometimes a vocal prompt like "here" or "there" is said to indicate that you are giving it to the person. In Chinese (or at least in Singapore) we ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Is はじめまして only suitable for the first contact?

When I'm contacting a colleague for the first time and we're communicating online, I can use はじめまして as part of my greeting. Likewise, if I'm meeting someone for the first time and it is an in-person ...
12
votes
1answer
8k views

What is usually written at the end of a slides presentation to imply “Thanks for listening”?

I've seen this phrase a couple of times but couldn't read the Kanji so I don't remember it. Otherwise, what phrase would be good to include in the last slide to imply "Thanks for listening!"? For ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

How do you say “You have gotten better at X”?

I was just reminded on another site that "being good at something" is expressed as [上手]{じょうず}/[上手]{うま}い, not いい. How do you tell someone they "have gotten better at something"? Xさん, 料理することがもっと上手いですね。 ...
11
votes
2answers
840 views

Is there a name for the promotional packs of tissues peculiar to Japan?

Anybody who has visited a Japanese city will have noticed that peculiar type of advertising not common elsewhere. Packets of tissues containing some promotional offer or even quite like a calling ...
11
votes
1answer
911 views

How to invoke God/spirits in Japanese

No, this is not about any Buddhist chant or mantra that can be used to call forth Japanese gods or heavenly spirits, but rather about any specialized words or interjections that attract attention of ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the formula to say “I'm trying to do X regularly”?

I was trying to think of a way to say "I'm trying hard to read a news article every day" (in the sense that I'm trying to find the time to sit down and pay attention long enough to read, not ...
10
votes
2answers
425 views

Proportion and Rate

How do I form a sentence pattern for: The more/less X happens, the more/less Y happens E.g. The more you stir, the faster the salt dissolves. The colder the weather, the more ...
10
votes
2answers
580 views

How to write about something in the future where something will have happened

How could I write about something in the future where something will have happened? That is, I'm writing from the perspective of the current time, about a perspective in the future where something has ...
10
votes
2answers
538 views

Are we done here?

Today I was getting help from someone behind a counter and when I had handed in my form and shown my ID, I wasn't sure if I needed to do anything else, or if I was free to go. Usually in that ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Japanese term for weight gained in a loving relationship?

I came across this phrase in reading a few weeks ago, and can't for the life of me find the note I made on it. It refers to plumpness in a positive sense, reaching a comfortable state of gained ...
9
votes
2answers
375 views

How to say “100% virus free”?

In English we put the following phrases below software we want customers to download to put their mind at ease (for example, a neat weather app). ✓100% virus free ✓Contains no malware ✓Contains no ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Just so you know

I'm looking for a good way to tell someone that I want to inform them of something, but I don't actually need them to do anything for me. Something like "Just so you know, the printer is broken." As ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Japanese idiom equivalent to “that ship has sailed”

What is the closest expression in Japanese that conveys a similar meaning to the English idiom "that ship has sailed", referring to an "missed opportunity" and "it's too late (to do anything about it)"...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How to express the phrase “overrated” or “over-…”

What is the natural way to express the concept of 'overrated'? For example "this actor is overrated". The nearest I can think of is この役者はこうひょうかすぎる。But I don't know if this is even grammatically ...
9
votes
3answers
779 views

How would you say “for all I know” using 限り/限る in Japanese?

The best I can think of is 僕が知る限り + fact + とは限らない. Does this work, are there better alternatives?
9
votes
2answers
6k views

How to correct myself or somebody else when speaking

For example, if I were in a situation where I said something and it was misunderstood (maybe because of bad Japanese), what would be the best way to attempt to correct myself? In English one could say,...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a Japanese phrase equivalent to the English phrase: “Guilty Pleasure”?

I am at a loss of words to describing to my host family why I sometimes listen to "bad" or embarrassing music. Is there a japanese phrase that can help me tell them it's a "guilty pleasure" of mine?
8
votes
2answers
13k views

a natural and short way to say I'm currently learning Japanese, and it isn't very good?

background: I'm playing Shogi 将棋 on a Japanese site since there are no good english ones, and every once in a while someone tries to open a converstaion with me. While I try to participate as much as ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a Japanese term to express the concept of “Comfort Zone”?

According to Wikipedia, it would be "舒适区" IN CHINESE- I would like to know if this is valid and recognizable in Japanese, too, or if there are more specific/nuanced terms to convey the same idea in ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

How would you say “if you don't mind my asking”?

This is something that is often said in English to politely ask a question while avoiding sounding overly intrusive. For example, What do you do for a living, if you don't mind my asking? The way ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

How do you say “Are you sure?”

Lets say you ask someone 元気, and they reply 元気, but their facial expression and body language says somethings wrong. In this scenario what would the Japanese equivalent be to asking "Are you sure?" or ...
8
votes
1answer
286 views

Saying “I have no need for 'that'” ('that = insert any phrase') in three different circumstances and in various degree of politeness

Situation1: My close friends offer me 'something' that of no use for me. So I want to reject it by saying 'I have no need for 'that'. (Situation 1-1: I want to sound really rude to my close friend as ...
7
votes
5answers
51k views

Question about supposedly a Japanese proverb

I came across to this sentence: The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family. The third face, ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

Is there a form for “I have never heard of”?

Some examples of what I'm trying to convey: I have never heard that song before. I have never heard of Miyazawa Kenji I have never heard of that before? I've never heard of that store? ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Expression equivalent to “as far/long/much as I/you X”

Is there an expression in Japanese that is equivalent to "as far/long as I/you X", for example "as far as I know", "as far as I'm concerned", "as much as you want", "as long as he is still alive" etc? ...
7
votes
3answers
371 views

What would be the best way to express the term 'master', as in a master of some sport?

For example, 'a tennis master'?
7
votes
2answers
282 views

Is there another cheering phase to say rather than 頑張って?

I usually followed several Japanese actors on SNS. Sometime when they have an audition, people usually cheer them by commenting "頑張って/頑張ってください". However, I learned that some of them doesn't really ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you write “translation mine” in Japanese for academic writing?

When you translate a quoted citation, how do you write "translation mine" in Japanese to let the reader know that it is your own translation rather than an official one (or, to contrast yours to the ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a Japanese word or phrase for the chemistry in a relationship?

Is there a Japanese word or phrase for the chemistry in a relationship? And by "relationship", I don't mean a strictly romantic one. It could be the chemistry between best friends, or even the lack ...
7
votes
1answer
196 views

A phrase for a capable person with a critical view of himself

I am looking for a word, idiom or a phrase to describe an attitude when someone is able to and often publicly makes fun of one's own deficiencies. Having an objective, critical, maybe even cynical ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

translation for “It serves as a good reminder for me”?

After I've say watched a film with some friends (or read a fable or something) and learned something from it, i want to say "It [the teachings of this fable/film] serves as a good reminder for me". I'...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to say “You are lying!”

How do I say "You are lying!" in a joking way? Can I say: 嘘{うそ}だよ or is there a friendlier way to say it?
6
votes
3answers
471 views

Can 全部 be used like 「全部の月は忙しいですか?」

全部の月は忙しいですか? What that is supposed to say is: Will you be busy all month? But I feel that using 全部 in this way might mean all of the months in the year. So first, when talking about the entirely of ...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

How to say “See you soon” when meeting up with someone

I'm just wondering a simple way to say "See you soon" when the context is that you are talking to your friend remotely (via phone/messaging) and you plan to meet up with them in the very near future (...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to say “I like watching birds”

The title explains it all. I think that one would say (mind you I'm just starting out, so I will write everything in hiragana) わたしはとりがながめるのすきです。Would that be correct? Or am I totally wrong, and if so, ...
6
votes
1answer
149 views

“One time wonder”

I told my teacher that I wanted to start writing something for each class so that I could practice the stuff I was learning. Something like a diary if you will. Jokingly, she asked me if I was going ...
6
votes
2answers
345 views

What's the 日本語 equivalent of “Wipe them off the map”?

皆さん、こんばんは! What is the 日本語 equivalent of saying the semi-set-phrase(or whatever you call set-phrases with parts you can fill in) "Wipe them off the map"? Like when you say "North Korea knows that if ...
6
votes
2answers
807 views

Expressing a mild preference

I'm wondering how to express a very mild preference towards an option when being offered several choices in a conversation (e.g. when arranging a meeting time with a colleague). I am familiar with ...
6
votes
1answer
474 views

Is there a Japanese word for “area with a collection of izakaya stalls or booths”?

I know that the traditional Japanese style pubs that serve food as well as drinks are called "居酒屋". But once a few years ago in Yamagata city, and last night here in Kagoshima city, I ended up in a ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Greetings to use in email enquiries

As a potential customer, how should I start and end an email if I am emailing a business, for example, to ask about a product? How should I introduce myself? Would I need to use 謙譲語 and 尊敬語? ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

What is the Japanese equivalent of “at the back of one's mind”?

In the context of one being aware of something deep down but choosing to ignore it or lie about it to themselves. Example sentence: At the back of his mind he knew that his words would never reach ...
6
votes
1answer
8k views

How to ask someone to do something for you

I'd like to know how to politely ask someone (as a question, not a statement) to do something for me in Japanese. I'm already aware of the basic "___をください" and "___をおねがいします" patterns, but I don't want ...
5
votes
4answers
11k views

How to say, “things like”

If you want to say "things like" you can use とか、など、and し。 What if you don't want to list out several things. You want to say, "things like A." Then what do you do?