Questions tagged [set-phrases]

成句. Phrases with fixed words used as a single unit, such as idioms. For questions about a particular idiom, please use the tag "idioms".

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4
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1answer
315 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"?
4
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1answer
105 views

What is 思う doing in this sentence?

What does the first 思う, right after なったら, mean here? 私は大人になったら思う存分ライブに行きたいと思う。
4
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1answer
1k views

How to confirm plans?

If you make plans to meat with someone, what's the best way to confirm the plans are still on. Something like "We're still meeting up tonight, right?" Would anything like the following work, or is ...
4
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1answer
1k views

How to ask if someone is ready

I think I can ask something like もう学校に行く用意はできてるの for "Are you ready to go to school yet". I was wondering what is the most natural way to simply ask "Are you ready yet?". E.g. the wife is in the ...
4
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1answer
554 views

How do you break down “かといって”?

In the phrase かといって or かと言って, meaning having said that, on the other hand, I'm not sure what the か and と are. My first guess is that these are the generic particles (か+と+いって), but I couldn't find any ...
4
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4answers
333 views

Why is 一緒に needed when it's already clear two people will be together?

A father is talking to his kid about their plans tomorrow and says, けんしんくん、お父さんと一緒に買いに行きましょうか? Why not: けんしんくん、お父さんと買いに行きましょうか? (The sentence is supposed to say, "Kenshin, would you like to ...
4
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0answers
93 views

Is 寝るの朝 a set phrase? [duplicate]

In a manga I am reading, I found this sentence: "私も最近は寝るの朝の9時くらい" I understand its meaning from context: I also sleep around 9 in the morning these days. But I don't get why there is の ...
4
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1answer
744 views

“~において、…” vs. “~にとって、…” differences?

I'd like to ask about the difference between "~において、..." and "~にとって、...": example #1 アジア地域{ちいき} にとって は、日本{にほん}は超大国{ちょうたいこく}です。 アジア地域 において は、日本は超大国です。 example #2 中国人{ちゅうごくじん} にとって は、...
3
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2answers
233 views

function of the particle も in 「~も辞さない」

I came across the sentence「訴訟も辞さない」in a book today and even though I am able to understand its meaning, I can't figure out the actual function of も in this case. I looked into my grammar dictionary ...
3
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1answer
591 views

Why are こんにちは and こんばんは used for greetings?

If they are translated literally it gives "today is" and "tonight is". Is it some sentence that got shortened ? (Also not sure how to classify this question so forgive me if I used the wrong tags......
3
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2answers
263 views

Origin and meaning of the proverb 死人【しにん】に 口【くち】 無し【なし】

The proverb 死人【しにん】に 口【くち】 無し【なし】 (the dead do not have a mouth) is listed e.g. here and I've also heard it from my (native) teacher. Here's what I'm wondering: From what I've heard so far, it ...
3
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1answer
157 views

How to stay “chest out”

I tried Google Translate and just get チェストアウト. Other dictionaries do not provide any meaningful results. This is a common phrase used in sports training. I cannot believe there is no Japanese ...
3
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1answer
158 views

How do I decipher each word in a sentence, if all is written in hiragana?

I don't know what this sentence means. "相変わらずつーといえばかーだね". I tried using google translate but it produces way too different meanings, when I try to translate the sentence bit per bit. ex. ...
3
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2answers
122 views

サインもらっとけとでも言う - Breaking this phrase down

今のうちにサインもらっとけとでも言うんスか!? What I thought he was saying: "Are you saying we should get his signature now while we still can!?" I was stuck for several days on this sentence having trouble making sense ...
3
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2answers
715 views

Farewell message - 悔しさをバネに

On my last day my co-worker told me this. I'm not sure what バネに means. I tried looking it up but didn't get anywhere. ここでの悔しさをバネに、次のとこでもがんばってくださいね
3
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1answer
461 views

How should the proverb “能ある鷹は爪を隠す” be understood?

The literal translation of "能ある鷹は爪を隠す" is “The wise hawk hides its talons.” But what should I understand the proverb as meaning? Is it just about humbleness, or about not letting your adversaries ...
3
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1answer
396 views

translation of 「あえて言えば、…」

What does the phrase 「あえて言{い}えば」 mean? What are a few example sentences? Is the following usage correct: 「好きな日本料理{にほんりょうり}はあんまりないが、あえて言えば 納豆{なっとう}ですね。」 "I don't really like Japanese food, but if I ...
3
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2answers
651 views

On the two equivalents on maps of “you are here” (現在地{げんざいち} and 現在位置{げんざいいち})

I've noticed on my travels around Japan that on maps there are two ways of indicating the viewers position in the manner of the English "You are here": 現在地{げんざいち} is common on maps in Japan, and ...
3
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2answers
201 views

What is the nuance of 鬼 in 「鬼十則」?

吉田秀雄{よしだひでお} created the 鬼十則{おにじっそく} while working for 電通: 仕事は自ら創るべきで、与えられるべきでない。 仕事とは、先手々と働き掛けていくことで、受け身でやるものではない。 大きな仕事と取り組め、小さな仕事はおのれを小さくする。 難しい仕事を狙え、そしてこれを成し遂げるところに進歩がある。 取り組んだら放すな、...
3
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1answer
249 views

Is there a term for “the one that got away”?

I'm thinking of something like 失恋対象 or 失恋相手, except 1) I just made those up off the top of my head, and 2) on the off-chance they're real words, they don't really capture the essence of "the one that ...
3
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2answers
419 views

Meaning of “何もそこまで”

ものすごく酸っぱい梅干しを食べたみたいに顏をしかめて、猛烈に残念がった友蔵{ともぞう}に、「何もそこまで」とおかあさんが、みんなの気持ちを代表して、ボンっとつぶやいた。 Mum, representing everyone's feelings, muttered 何もそこまで to Tomozou who was acting as though it (what he'd just ...
3
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1answer
321 views

Icebreakers to use with strangers

Let's say I am in a gym and had an eye contact with a person working out next to me, is it OK to say 今日は、如何ですか。 どうも、元気か。 What are the best simple expression to break the ice with complete strangers?
3
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1answer
725 views

verb-ている in potential form やってられないよ

A girl is moaning about how she is treated for not doing her homework then pauses and says: やってられないよ I assume this is a contraction of やっていられないよ which would literally be "I can't be doing it". I'...
3
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1answer
85 views

Meaning of じわれができる

その瞬間、まる子は、地割れができて、AとBとCの三人と、まる子とDとEに分けられてしまったような気がした。 Just then Maruko had a feeling that the group seemd to be divided into the three people A,B,C, and herself and D and E. The only meaning I can ...
3
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1answer
415 views

In Japanese, how do you tell the reader that a quotation is literally translated from the original when the original sounds strange?

In cases where the original wording of a quotation sounds strange, and thus the Japanese translation of it sounds unnatural, my advisor says I need to add a note each time in my academic paper to tell ...
3
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1answer
3k views

What is the Japanese for “I'll check it out, I will try and see”?

I found a form using 見て, and it seemed very useful, but I could never remember it. It means something like "I will try it out" or "I will try and see", and the Japanese form is something like 自転車見て... ...
3
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1answer
79 views

Understanding 「…でけっこうですので、…」

In my textbook, I encountered the phrase 先生のお時間があるときでけっこうですので、[わからない言葉を教えていただきたいんですが] I assume that the meaning is approximately "I'd like to ask you something, but it's OK if you don't have time"...
3
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2answers
185 views

Is either 霊験 or あらたか used outside the phrase 霊験あらたか?

Is either 霊験【れいげん】 or あらたか used outside of the phrase 霊験【れいげん】あらたか "miraculous"? (I believe れいけん is also a possible reading of 霊験?) The goo辞書 entry for あらたか has 「霊験―な神」 as its example phrase, and the ...
3
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1answer
211 views

Is なきにしもあらず~なきに a set phrase?

This sentence recently appeared in one of my N1 training books: 彼女が合格する可能性はなきにしもあらずだが、彼がパスする可能性はなきにひとしい。 My translation: While she may have a slight chance of passing the exam, it is hopeless for him....
3
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1answer
208 views

The grammar of Xには我慢がならん

おかしな服{ふく}を着{き}た連中{れんちゅう}には我慢{がまん}がならん。 He couldn't bear folk who wore strange clothes. My translation comes from the obvious context, plus the fact that Jisho says of ならん "Cannot bear not to". But ...
3
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1answer
128 views

Which is the most correct Kanji Compound equivalent to 'aji mumpung' or 'being opportunist'? (オポチュニスト、便乗主義者、日和見主義者、御都合主義者 and 利己主義者)

Context: I read an article here and stumbled over an interesting kanji compound, i.e.: 便乗主義者 - or オポチュニスト (according to this) Meaning: しばしば倫理に反する手段で、可能性のある利益の状況で目前の利益を取るさま. In Bahasa Indonesia, we ...
3
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2answers
162 views

What does 稀な公募 mean?

I am translating a personal statement and when talking about his work experience, the writer has stated 私は、役所の人事としては稀な公募によって、広く民間企業からの採用を行うこととした。しかし、同時に、公募を行うと、採用実績のない民間企業から採用する可能性もあり、...
3
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1answer
2k views

End of semester farewell/thanks to teacher

We are approaching the end of this semester at my school. What is a good way to say thank you to my teacher? 「お世話になりましてありかとうございました。」 ? Are there any other suggestions/additions?
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3answers
464 views

Can ことはない be used to express something other than 'you don't have to'?

I understand that ことはない is used to state that something does not have to be done, such as: 時間は十分あるから急ぐことはない。 However, I am currently translating a survey from Japanese to English for a friend and ...
3
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1answer
172 views

meaning in context of 矛先 and 逃げ切る

I'm writing my thesis on the newly perceived generation of さとり世代. My Japanese reading is fairly good but I have this one article that I cannot crack. My question is regarding the meaning of a word in ...
3
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1answer
231 views

Context of “何様のつもりか”

I came across someone referring to the phrase "何様のつもりか" in the middle of an English-language discussion: if I were [person X], I would be shouting "何様のつもりか" (although I am not, and so I can't) ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Confusing use of と言えば

「おれは...」と田中が言えば、「おれは...」と吉田が言った。 Literally, "if Tanaka could say ... then Yoshida said ...". What is the meaning of this structure? I've seen Aと言えば to mean "speaking of A", but that doesn't seem to ...
3
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2answers
221 views

Does the term 大和撫子 predate WWII, or was there an equivalent term for the ideal Japanese lady?

Does the term 「大和撫子」for describing the ideal Japanese lady predate WWII, or was there an equivalent term before that? These sites here and here indicate that the term was co-opted for propaganda ...
3
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1answer
747 views

Is there a preferred way to say “If you think about it..?”

What's the best way to say "If you think about it..?" i.e. "If you think about it, this way is better than that way..." Especially when promoting your suggestion as a logically superior suggestion ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Fast Food Conversation - Any Practical Guides?

I looked up for fast food conversation but I could not find anything very practical. While most guide always emphasize on how to order, I never found it prepares one to understand what a fast food ...
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3answers
160 views

Why does 「頭にきた」signify being mad at something?

Is there any source or explanation for the phrase「頭にきた」and why it means to be angry? For example: 彼の言ったこととその言い方にはイライラして頭にきた。 Why does "what he said and the way he said it came to my head" mean ...
3
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1answer
122 views

どういう in Place of Other Question Words

Related: の意味は何 versus はどういう意味 I was wondering why どういう is used in situations like asking for meanings of words, or in something like どういう状況, for "What's going on here?" Does anyone have a good reason ...
2
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2answers
3k views

“お手伝いできますか?” used to ask for help

Is this a natural combination of phrases when asking for help when you are lost somewhere? 道に迷ってるんですけど、お手伝いできますか? My gut feeling is the "お手伝いできますか" part is awkward and sounds like a literal ...
2
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3answers
5k views

Common ways of asking for someones phone number

I saw somewhere today that [電話]{でんわ}[番号]{ばんごう}は何番ですか is used to ask for someone's phone number. It seemed strange to me since I usually hear it as [電話]{でんわ}[番号]{ばんごう}何ですか, and also because the literal ...
2
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1answer
146 views

Rain on your parade [closed]

How can I say something like "I hate to rain on your parade, but..." In Japanese? If there is no equivalent then kindly teach me how to say "Sorry to disappoint you, but..." Thanks!!!
2
votes
2answers
285 views

Is there a Japanese saying like その頑張りは、すべてむだというかそういう気持ちになる , related to the working conditions of doctors in a hospital?

On NHK NewsWatch 9 yesterday, they were talking about the shortage of emergency room doctors, and the resulting situations lately where hospitals were forced to turn away emergency patients. In many ...
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1answer
3k views

いいことですね vs. いいですね

Is there a difference between these two responses? いいことですね。 and いいですね。 Examples: A: 日本語のために、毎日日本語のラジオを聞いています。 B: 勉強のためですか。いいことですね。 A: 週末は大阪に行くんです。 B: そうですか。それはいいですね。
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1answer
209 views

When might someone say おしたいしておりました?

In what situation might a Japanese person say: 「おしたいして おりました。」 and what is it most commonly used to imply?
2
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1answer
6k views

Can you say 'make friends' using 作る?

I'm directly translating from Eng so I'm wondering if 作るworks. I'm only familiar with ~と友達に成りたい & 友達ができたい。
2
votes
1answer
137 views

What does 三馬を偸んで mean?

I found it in 吾輩は猫である in the sentence この間おさんの三馬を偸んでこの返報をしてやってから、やっと胸の痞{つかえ}が下りた. After the cat has tried for several times to climb into the kitchen. Is that 三馬{さんま}を偸んで{ぬすんで} (3 horses stolen?) ...