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Questions tagged [semantics]

意味論. The study of meaning.

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How to interpret 「石の鼎さえ枉げる」

In the story 「英雄の器」by Akutagawa, while discussing the legendary hero Xiang Yu (項羽) one of the one of the characters says それは強いことは強いです。何しろ塗山の禹王廟にある石の鼎さえ枉(ま)げると云うのですからな。(from: Aozora Bunko) From what ...
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This fantasy world description: 時の異次元世界

Excuse me, I'd like to know if "world with a different time dimension" is an accurate/sufficient translation of 時の異次元世界. Thank you.
Profectus's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Development of existential verbs ゐる / いる (居る), をる / おる (居る)

How did the verbs 居{ゐ}る / 居{い}る, 居{を}る / 居{お}る develop their function as existential verbs?
Arfrever's user avatar
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Should "obake" be understood to refer to shapeshifters, or rather to things which have been transformed?

In the tvtropes article on Youkai, the following remark is made on the meaning of "obake": Obake is another Japanese word that can indicate some type of monster. Derived from the word for &...
Southfar's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
167 views

Looking for example where 明ける means "to begin" *unambiguously*

All the dictionary entries I have found for 明ける include definitions that are almost opposites of each other. More specifically, in some of the definitions, 明ける means something like "to begin&...
kjo's user avatar
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「国や国といった留学生が多い」?

I came across a sentence on a Japanese grammar site that strikes me as somewhat odd. この学校には中国やベトナムといった留学生が多い。 (source) Shouldn't it be この学校には中国人やベトナム人といった留学生が多い。 because countries can't be ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
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Kanji compounds with the same meaning

I've come across a lot compunds of kanji where the kanjis mean the same thing. For example, 状態=state, 態=state, 状=state 表面=surface, 表=surface, 面=surface,mask Can someone explain how these two kanji ...
user397811's user avatar
3 votes
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Semantic classification of verbs

Lately, I've been spending a lot of focus in how to translate certain verbs in the form ~ている. Mostly comes from the fact that, depending on the verb, it can have a meaning of prolonged action (e.g. ...
Jak's user avatar
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What is the proper way to describe the weather as cool?

I was asked 今日{きょう}天気{てんき}はどうですか? My response was: 涼{すず}しいです。 I was told that's not the right way to say that. Instead I should say: あまり寒{さむ}くなりません。 Which is the right way? If I'm wrong, why? And ...
On The Net Again's user avatar
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What would 箆深い (のぶかい) mean?

While 深い (ふかい) means "profound; deep; dense", 箆 (へら, の), as a noun, means "spatula; arrow shaft" in japanese and, originally, "fine-toothed comb" in chinese. This word is used adverbially in this ...
Daniel's user avatar
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Should I include my step-siblings as 兄弟?

If I'm asked, "兄弟がいますか。" and my only siblings are a younger step brother and younger step sister, should/can I respond "はい、いもうととおとうとがいます。"? Do I need to specify but still answer in the affirmative? Or ...
themathandlanguagetutor's user avatar
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Why is it more suitable to use 「V辞書形 」 than 「N+の」 right before 「代わりに」 in the following sentence?

The sentence is from my textbook, where I'm asked to pick the correct or more suitable choice from inside [ ]: 最近[ 車の / 車を持つ ]代わりに、カーシェアリングを利用する人が多い。 According to the textbook, the correct (...
jarmanso7's user avatar
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1 answer
166 views

On the interaction between tense harmony and factivity in (dialects of) Japanese

First of all, I'm a linguist asking a VERY technical question, so I'll do my best to make myself understood. I'd prefer if commenters made it clear what their level of Japanese is (native, advanced, ...
user242292's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
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Can you leave a kanji as hiragana in a haiku?

In my Japanese class, we are writing haikus on Japanese American history, and I decided to write about the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombs. In the third line, I wanted to leave し as the hiragana because ...
Japanese Student's user avatar
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1 answer
205 views

Is there a Japanese universal verb for "imply"?

Very often I want to express an idea of "X is implied in Y", e.g. Is "I" implied in the following sentence? Google translate tool offers the following: 「私」は次の文で暗示されていますか? Three-part question: ...
user1602's user avatar
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2 answers
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the different adverbia between 'mousugu', 'mamonaku', and sorosoro

What is the difference in meaning between "mousugu", "mamonaku", and "sorosoro"? According to what I found, in English they all mean "soon"?
user25388's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
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暖かい・食べ物 / 例えば、火が作れる場合は→を起こせば冬にぬくもりが作れるし / 燃やしてしまう可能性もある

I'm writing small compositions on a regular basis and putting them on italki, so that someone proofreads it and makes corrections to it. Recently, I posted this and got a rather comprehensive answer. ...
Narktor's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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The meaning of やっと

I read in some sentences やっと has several meanings like 'finally, & just'. I'm curious about the differences between them. Because when I substitute the sentence that have 'finally' meaning with '...
yurinda's user avatar
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1 answer
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Problems with the function of に and the meaning of 失礼

Why is 失礼 used here? And what function does に take? カラオケはあまり好きじゃありません。失礼の内容に断ってください。 First, I have no idea how the meaning „impoliteness“ should fit into this, with which jisho.org provides me ...
Narktor's user avatar
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Meaning of 「位置の平等」は難しい。

It's from line 14: https://www.docdroid.net/847v2dg/img-20170413-0001-new.pdf.html 「位置の平等」は難しい。 Literally, I'd translate the stuff in bold as "The equality of situation". Does the whole sentence then ...
Narktor's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
263 views

How to interpret なりました at a baseball game radio broadcast? [closed]

On my local radio station baseball games translations take the most of the broadcast slots. Commentators speak very fast and the only thing I can differentiate is なりました. なりました is repeated literally ...
user1602's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
233 views

Does 連用形 always reflect the meaning of 連体形 of a verb? [duplicate]

The verb 調べる means to examine;  to investigate;  to check up;  to sense;  to study;  to inquire;  to search The 連用形 調べ means investigation;  inspection;  examination tune;  note;  melody ...
Nutkin's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
5k views

Rules and phenomena about reading/writing words with kanji

I'm trying to learn Japanese but I'm the kind of person who can't really learn if they don't understand some of the mechanisms. I'm stuck when learning vocabulary because I can't just be like "OK this ...
Destal's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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ご近所様に配達 - Where exactly this will be delievered?

One of the options on Japan Post re-delivery form is ご近所様に配達. 近所{きんじょ} neighborhood 配達{はいたつ} delivery Delivering to customer's neighborhood is a little bit obscure. Could someone explain where ...
user1602's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between 取り除く and 削除?

When a security threat is detected by Windows Defender, the two of four available actions are: 取り除く and 削除. Both of these terms are translated as "remove" and it is confusing when deciding which to ...
user1602's user avatar
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