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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3
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1answer
145 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
94 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
557 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
398 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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2answers
605 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
198 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
153 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
345 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
179 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 ...
3
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1answer
561 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
81 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
403 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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2answers
184 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 ...
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2answers
204 views

“Safe” as an adjective?

Today at my company, I was involved in something, and I was unsure if the action we were about to do was safe. Normally in English, I would say something along the lines of "Hey, is this safe to do?". ...
3
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1answer
180 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 ...
3
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1answer
92 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, ...
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2answers
158 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
425 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
122 views

The grammar of Xには我慢がならん

おかしな服を着た連中には我慢がならん。 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 I can't understand ...
3
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1answer
707 views

Regarding 何と言うか、というのがある

regarding this bit, 日本人がアメリカ人によく聞かれて困る質問の一つに、”How are you?" は日本語で何と言うか、というのがある I'm guessing the meaning is something along the lines of "One of the troubling questions that Japanese are asked often ...
3
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1answer
159 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
223 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
885 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
200 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
633 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 ...
3
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3answers
157 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
117 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 ...
3
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1answer
613 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、...
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3answers
3k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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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1answer
125 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
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2answers
278 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 ...
2
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1answer
2k 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。
2
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1answer
322 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 ...
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1answer
3k 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
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1answer
115 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?) ...
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1answer
85 views

can i say “四者択一の問題”?

Since "二者択一の問題" is a multiple choice problem with 2 options, would it be understandable to say: "三者択一の問題" --> multiple choice with 3 options "四者択一の問題" --> multiple choice with 4 options ..... would ...
2
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2answers
219 views

The usage of “性【しょう】に合う合わない”

I came across this sentence: 今後の自分には、そういった社交術が必要なのだと頭ではわかっていても、性に合う合わないというのはあるものだ。 Whats the meaning of "性に合う合わない" here? Does it indicate uncertainty or something like that?
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2answers
363 views

meaning of “目{め}に見えるほど、〜”

I wanted to say: "As best can be predicted, economic conditions will continue to worsen" I tried: 見{み}える ほど、景気{けいき}が悪くなっているようです。 分析{ぶんせき} できるほど、景気が悪くなっているようです。 推測{すいそく} できるほど、景気が悪くなっているようです。 A ...
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1answer
87 views

What does 意識が遠くなる mean?

I ran into this japanese medical site. http://www.kojinkai.or.jp/msc/outpatient-selfcheck18.html The title "意識が遠くなる" stumps me. Best I can guess is "Consciousness is fading." Is that right? "...
2
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1answer
102 views

What is this 「お忘れ物ございませんように」

For full context, see here: https://www.docdroid.net/XIK9pCk/img-20171020-0001-new.pdf#page=2 The sentence in question is taken from line 24-26: でも、日本のアナウンスははっきりわかるので役に立つし、「お忘れ物ございませんように」と丁寧な話し方から、...
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1answer
74 views

Meaning of 工夫をこらす

Regarding decorations at a 七夕 festival: 道の両側には、工夫をこらした飾りがぶらさがっていた。 On both sides of the street ??? decorations were hanging. I can't understand what 工夫をこらした means. I saw this question. Perhaps ...
2
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1answer
346 views

Explain what はめになる is and give some examples

I heard that it means something like "to get stuck with something." Can you explain what this means and give some examples?
2
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1answer
101 views

How to ask “How about you?” after answering a question yourself

I've run in to many conversations where I was asked something in Japanese: 「お元気ですか」、how my weekend was, what kind of music I like, describing family members, etc. After answering, I have the urge to ...
2
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1answer
92 views

What's the meaning of 私でもたまに in the following sentence?

I'm a bit confused about this sentence: 斜陽の日本語は、私でもたまに難しい This part is easy: 斜陽の日本語は. It means "the Japanese (language) in (the book) The Setting Sun ..." But this second bit confuses me a lot: ...
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1answer
69 views

Polite phrase apologizing for irregular (written) correspondence

What is the set phrase used to apologize for not corresponding regularly?
2
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2answers
95 views

Is “煽りを喰らう” an idiom/set-phrase? If so what does it mean?

I came across the phrase in a novel, I've never heard of it before and am curious to know if it's an idiom/set-phrase and what context it could be used in. In this novel for example two characters ...