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Questions tagged [phrase-requests]

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

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5 votes
3 answers
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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, ...
RileyBugz's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
6k views

how to say "does not make sense"?

I recently wanted to say "The Japanese counting system does not make sense." However, I could not figure out how to communicate the full meaning of "does not make sense". I don't want to say that it ...
user312440's user avatar
  • 2,910
5 votes
3 answers
26k views

How to say "no thank you, I don't want / need it"?

Sometimes I am offered something but because I'm just a beginner I don't know what verb they used. I know the proper way to say "no" is to answer with the negative form of the verb the other person ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 15.4k
5 votes
2 answers
351 views

How do you say "To count" or "That doesn't count" as in "(not) a true experience"

I've come across ふくむ and かぞえる, but to my understanding, that's used for counting sequences and quantities. How would you say "That doesn't count" in the following contexts. A- Have you ever ...
Kaney Dudey's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do you say "If only things were different"?

Context: Bob is angry that event X happened today. A series of unfortunate events throughout his life led up to this crappy day, and thus he thinks to himself, "if only things were different"...
idlackage's user avatar
  • 1,015
5 votes
2 answers
374 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 ...
Tirous's user avatar
  • 3,412
5 votes
1 answer
7k views

How to express "X sounds like Y"

How can I express the idea that one word sounds like another? As a concrete example, I wanted to say, 「フライアー」sounds like 「fryer」. Looking in dictionaries (wadoku/jisho) for "sound like" turns up 「...
waldrumpus's user avatar
  • 1,019
5 votes
2 answers
349 views

My notebook is almost full

So I was trying to ask for a new notebook at my office, I wanted to say that my notebook is almost full, so I need a new one. I ended up saying 私のノートはページがあまり残っていませんので、新しいノートをお願いします。 But I don't know ...
IhsanOak's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Politely asking to stay at someone's home? お邪魔させてもらう、泊めてもらう、or 滞在させてもらう?

Which of the following is the most polite? Is any of them incorrect? Is there a more standard way to ask someone if you could stay with them while in town? ~ 8日から9日まで、あなたのお宅にお邪魔させてもらえませんか。 ~ ...
seijitsu's user avatar
  • 2,153
5 votes
2 answers
486 views

In Japanese, how do you say you will skip ahead past one section for time's sake while reading aloud to an audience?

How do you succinctly say that you are going to skip ahead past the next section or paragraph for time's sake and tell the audience which spot you are picking up again when reading a paper aloud at an ...
seijitsu's user avatar
  • 2,153
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the word or set-phrases of "grinding/grindy gameplay" as opposed to "power-leveling" in formal/informal Japanese

Background: Japanese online games are known for its grinding process while people often find a way to "power-level" in a certain way so that they can bypass the 'grindy process'. I have difficulties ...
Flonne's user avatar
  • 745
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Openings and Closings (Salutations and Valedictions) When Writing a Letter/E-mail

This question came to me because I am writing a personal thank-you letter to a friend's family who hosted me in their home over the holidays. What is the proper way to address the entire family? For ...
Andrew Kozak's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Japanese equivalent of "caught red handed"?

Is there a colloquial phrase in Japanese that would be the same as or similar in meaning to the English phrase "caught red handed"?
Mork's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
2 answers
432 views

Catch one's breath

Background: I climbed Mt. Fuji the other day and a Japanese coworker asked me if the altitude made the hike difficult. I wanted to say "The altitude didn't make it too difficult but there were times ...
Leo's user avatar
  • 455
5 votes
1 answer
303 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 ...
idlackage's user avatar
  • 1,015
4 votes
4 answers
17k views

How to thank somebody for their hospitality?

Having been on the receiving end of Japanese hospitality quite a bit in the past week, I'd like to know the best way to thank people for it in Japanese. I've found several words for "hospitality" but ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the word for "to furrow" in terms of eyebrows?

Trying to say "her eyebrows furrowed" but cannot find the right expression. I recall there being a similar expression (which warranted a different English translation), but can't remember what it was.....
idlackage's user avatar
  • 1,015
4 votes
2 answers
632 views

How to get clarification in Japanese

I sometimes find that when Japanese answer my questions, their answers are too vague. For instance, I asked what つなぎ is in a given context. A Japanese person told me it is 作業着の種類, "a type of work ...
language hacker's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

My Teacher just had a baby, how do I congratulate her

My Japanese teacher just gave birth and our long-term sub is having us make cards to congratulate her, we need to write something in Japanese, and I want to write something different than what she ...
Brynn's user avatar
  • 53
4 votes
1 answer
5k views

How can I say "I want one of each kind" in Japanese?

I remember a trip I did to Japan (it's a magical place) back in 2007 when my Japanese was not as rusty as it is now. In Kyoto I had the chance to buy a meron pan from a stall in a park. The fact is, ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
2 answers
586 views

How to speak about causing pain

tl;dr How do I say "You're hurting him"? Suppose I'm teaching a child how to care for a small pet. If the child holds the pet wrong, I can say "Stop that. You're hurting it". In English, this has two ...
Ohad Livne Bar-On's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
akj's user avatar
  • 661
4 votes
1 answer
345 views

Way of the bicycle

I'm a karate-do practitioner. And I love the meaning of DO (way). I'm building a cyclist group. And I want to call it "The way of two wheels". Does it make sense to call it Niwa-Do?
Alberto García-Villarrubia's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Japanese equivalent of saying to keep something to yourself?

What's the Japanese equivalent to saying for people to keep something to themselves? Like, "Keep your toilet humour to yourself," or something?
Tirous's user avatar
  • 3,412
4 votes
1 answer
115 views

Is "ランタイム時" (runtime-time) acceptable?

I'm writing a manual, and needed to say something to the effect of "at runtime", as in "Some program debugging can only be performed (or is more efficient or accurate when performed) at runtime." (...
Amani Kilumanga's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
357 views

Translating the phrase "Says the guy who..." into Japanese

I got curious thinking about this. Is there any phrase that conveys the same idea/feeling as the English phrase "says the guy who [...]!" For example: "You should stop watching TV all ...
Ver's user avatar
  • 129
4 votes
1 answer
692 views

What is the Japanese wording for unsheathing a sword (katana) for about half an inch with your thumb?

I know that "tsuba" is the handguard that you use to push katana out of its scabbard and "nuke to" means to draw a sword I think. I'm curious how would you say/write down "...
sceadu's user avatar
  • 71
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it correct to say はい in this situation?

For example, let's say someone says いつでもいいよ! In English I would just simply say, "okay, sure, alright" just to tell the speaker I heard what they said. I initially thought to reply with はい but ...
Blaine Lafreniere's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
139 views

Want to say something like "I will work here in the replacement of XYZ-さん"

I'm in a situation where one person left the company so I will work as his replacement. I am new to the place so I want to tell the client through mail and orally that "I will work instead of / in ...
Irfan's user avatar
  • 299
4 votes
2 answers
245 views

How to say that something is like nothing or not comparable to other?

How can I say that something is not comparable, or "nothing" in comparison to the other? For example, in case of two rivals in a battle: Comparing to my power level, your power level is ...
cooldave's user avatar
  • 268
4 votes
1 answer
267 views

What is the phrase for "the amount of time for paid activities"?

It might vary from company to company. When we work as a part-time employee, most companies usually pay only for the time we work. It means that we don't get paid for the break time in between. For ...
Display Name's user avatar
  • 7,489
4 votes
1 answer
236 views

Indicating a lack of surprise

How do you indicate a lack of surprise at something? For example, in response to someone noting that Cyprus had given 12 points to Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest. I tried using "本当に?" ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 16.2k
4 votes
2 answers
1k 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 the ...
Wenzel Jakob's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
380 views

Is there a Japanese phrase equivalent to "crisis of faith"

I am wondering if there is a way to describe this concept in Japanese, or an equivalent phrase. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_of_faith it is a mostly western concept (if you ...
user3169's user avatar
  • 1,081
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to ask someone to repeat what they said [duplicate]

A recurring problem I have in Japanese dialogue is when I can't quite hear what someone said, attempt to ask them something to the effect of "excuse me?" or "what was that?" only for them to rephrase ...
Amani Kilumanga's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Japanese idiom for "don’t get your meat where you get your bread"?

There is an idiomatic expression in Portuguese: Onde se ganha o pão não se come a carne Literally, it would translate to "where one earns their bread one does not eat the meat" and it relates to a ...
manoelpqueiroz's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
391 views

How to ask if a connection/relationship exists between two things

I would like to ask if there is a connection or relationship between two different parts. For example, would this be an appropriate way of asking "Is there any connection between the two compilations/...
Linen's user avatar
  • 43
4 votes
1 answer
204 views

How can I express sentences like "How long is ..." or "How old is ... " or "How convenient is ..." etc.?

I want to know if there's a grammar structure that can be used when you want to know the extent of an adjective. E.g. 会長は若いね >> How young is he? この映画はとっても長いよ! >> How long is it? たきくんは遅れてしまいました。 >> ...
Lou's user avatar
  • 2,801
4 votes
2 answers
2k 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? ...
小太郎's user avatar
  • 4,422
4 votes
1 answer
6k views

Appropriate "wishes" for pregnancy

What is the appropriate way to express your best wishes to a woman who is having a baby? (This is for a colleague, if there are different ways depending on different contexts please explain those, ...
p.marino's user avatar
  • 901
4 votes
2 answers
191 views

Losing concentration

During some kind of repetitive task which doesn't involve thinking, I lost my concentration and forgot what I was doing. When I told someone about this I said 途中でぼけてしまった but I wonder if that is the ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do you say 'close' as in a close contest?

When I play sports in Japan I hear おしい!a lot when for example a shot is almost in, but just out, or if you just about lose a closely contested point or game. Is there a way to say a match or game ...
Pootan's user avatar
  • 1,466
4 votes
1 answer
518 views

"Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes"

What is the Japanese equivalent of "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes"?
mjvande's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
1 answer
214 views

Cartel, syndicate, anti-competitive practice

I've heard this story from several foreigners in Japan: I hired Japanese Company A for a service. I didn't like Japanese Company A, so I went to Japanese Company B in the same industry and tried to ...
James Brock's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do you say "I already can tell (understand) X"?

I want to say the equivalent of I can already tell (understand) that game X is (going to be) harder than game Y. For instance, I've already beat game Y. And even though I've only just started ...
アメリカ人's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do you say "beware the cats" in Japanese?

The Italians have the famous phrase "Attenti ai gatti". Is there something similar in Japan? Would be good to have both the kanji and kana versions, since I am still a beginner. I can work out the ...
MXMLLN's user avatar
  • 239
3 votes
1 answer
266 views

Proper term for "study"

If I form a group of people who plan to study photography together, and I want to name that group "Photography Study" or call it a "photography study group," what word should I use for "study" in both ...
Eric's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
2 answers
10k views

How do you say "I worked for [X company]."?

The context is you're casually telling a person where you've worked in the past. I was thinking something like: IBMで働いた or IBMで仕事した. But it didn't seem right. In English, the conversation would go ...
dotnetN00b's user avatar
  • 6,806
3 votes
2 answers
5k views

ホワイトデー: use ハッピー or おめでとう?

When wishing a woman a happy White Day, would I say ハッピーホワイトデー, or ホワイトデーおめでとう, or are both ok? If both forms are used, do they have a slightly different nuance, such as "have fun on White Day today [...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 16.2k
3 votes
1 answer
423 views

"At the end of the day..." と同意の日本語表現はありますか?

例えば、"At the end of the day, what do you work for?" と日本語で言いたい場合、下記の空白はどんな表現で埋めますか? "______、何のために働くのでしょうか?" 「結局」だと思うのですが、違いますか。
Mico's user avatar
  • 53