Questions tagged [word-choice]

使い分け. The differences between two or more words or phrases and how to select the best one for a given situation.

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1answer
85 views

光の差さぬ暗い影 vaguely understanding this line

I started a light novel and I knew I would see more of formal writing and I have this part that I only understand a little. The subject is about shadows, which relates to supernatural beings (this ...
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1answer
129 views

Better to say 床屋 or 散髪屋?

Every time I walk by a barbershop (not a 美容院), I think of the words 散髪屋 and 床屋. Which word is correct, or sounds better, more interesting, for a non-native speaker to use in a conversation? And, ...
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1answer
85 views

Differences in use between 水蒸気, 蒸気 and 湯気?

So from my dictionary 蒸気 means steam, and 水蒸気/湯気 both mean water vapor. What I would like to understand is when is 水蒸気 used over 湯気 ?
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176 views

How can I say “female soldier” in Japanese

I have trouble translating "female soldier" in Japanese: Is it 女戦士 or 女性戦士? Also is the particle の lacking between the two words?
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1answer
109 views

What is the difference between 祖先 and 先祖?

From my dictionary, both mean ancestor so I am wondering about what is the difference between them. Is the difference in politeness ? For example [息子]{musuko} and [子息]{shisoku} both mean son, but the ...
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1answer
61 views

じゃor じゃあ for meaning “well then”

Both of these translate to "well then", for example, both would be valid: じゃ、またね! Well then, bye! じゃあ、パンをください。 Well then, the bread, please. They are both more casual than でわ for example: ...
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2answers
503 views

Which is most critical? 警報 or 注意報?

A disaster warning app asks me whether I want notifications for 警報 or for 注意報 or both. First I signed up for both, but it sends me notifications about inconsequential things such as air dryness. So I ...
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1answer
76 views

Meaning of 寝落ちしてた and differentiating 寝 as either sleep or lying down?

I interpret 寝落{ねお}ちしてた as "I fell asleep", but I can also see it as "I was lying down". As for whether or not 寝 in a sentence implies sleeping or simply lying down, is that determined merely by ...
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0answers
23 views

Can 終わる be used as a transitive verb? [duplicate]

I came across this sentence in my textbook (上級へのとびら): 電話を終わるあいさつ As far as I'm concerned, 終わる is an intransitive verb and as such, it can't be used with the particle を, but with が. The transitive ...
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1answer
92 views

Nuance of ひどい as cruel?

いくらなんでも、あんまりひどい。ひかりがあんなチョコレートででも組みあげたやうな三角標になるなんて。 http://contest.japias.jp/tqj2002/50133/story-old_03.html I don't quite get how to translate ひどい as cruel here, is there a nuance I'm not getting?
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969 views

Why can できている carry a judgemental, negative connotation?

My Japanese teacher, who is a native speaker, once answered a student's question about the difference between: (彼は)ドイツ語ができる。 (彼は)ドイツ語ができている He said that a younger speaker might be more likely ...
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382 views

Differences between ひ弱い and か弱い

How did the prefixes ひ and か come about and what are the differences in meaning between ひ弱い and か弱い? Are either of the prefixes pejorative like how ド is in the examples in dainichi's answer to '...
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1answer
116 views

Difference between いたします and させていただきます

When writing in humble 謙譲語{けんじょうご} language, I see いたします and させていただきます. What is the difference between these two forms? For example both mean "I will contact you" in humble language, what is the ...
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1answer
184 views

What are simple “No” responses?

I've learned from textbooks and online sites like Duolingo that "no" is いいえ, but I've rarely heard native speakers say that. I learned さあ today as sort of an "I don't know" response. I saw a ...
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1answer
168 views

“applause”: What's the difference between 「喝采」 and 「拍手」?

My dictionary translates both 喝采{かっさい} and 拍手{はくしゅ} as "applause". Are they interchangeable or do they have different nuances?
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1answer
257 views

Interpreting 流石に

The word 流石{さすが} is a bit tough to convey sometimes and I came across a sentence as I started reading a light novel: 作り話に使う名前は流石に選べよ I'll try to give a bit of context. Someone (let's call him A) ...
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0answers
97 views

What's the difference between 調整する and 整える?

Both meanings are about adjust or fix, but I can't manage to understand why 温度を調整した ( right ) 温度を整えた ( wrong ) If 整える usually means fix something to the right condition/state the second sentence ...
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2answers
567 views

Would a native say 心底から申し上げる? What's a better way to say “speaking with genuine sincerity…”

I've always thought / said that "心底から申し上げる" means "I am saying this with highest level of sincerity (bottom of my heart)" "心底から申し上げて、お詫びいたします。" I very sorry for what I have done. Google search ...
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1answer
76 views

ファーストネーム vs. 名/名前 for first name?

I'm in the middle of doing a translation project for a website that has UI elements for filling out forms. The pre-programmed UI has 「ファーストネーム」, but I would think 「名」or「名前」 would make more sense. ...
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2answers
216 views

best phrase choice for a derogatory reference to the “young generation”?

which is the natural way to refer to the "young generation" (ex: now its the "millennial generation") in a derogatory way: 若い連中 若連中 // don't say the い 若者 若者達 若者ら Maybe say something like: ...
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1answer
133 views

Difference between 店{みせ} and 店{てん}舗{ぽ}

What is the difference between 店{みせ} and 店{てん}舗{ぽ}? Both mean shop?
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0answers
108 views

Differences between ways to express obligation?

1) I know that, to express something that you must do, you can use 方{ほう}がいい and, for a stronger feeling, べき. 2) I am also aware you can use conditionals like 〜なくちゃ、〜なきゃ、〜ないと to express that you need ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there any difference between 旅行者 and 旅人?

Is there any difference between the words 旅行者 and 旅人? Which one is more frequently used?
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2answers
93 views

Te form for consecutive verbs

I came across with this term "使われ始めて". It was translated as "Started to use". My question is why the first verb is not in TE form, ie. 使われて始めて ? Thanks a lot.
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1answer
94 views

What is the difference between 刹那主義 and 快楽主義?

The dictionary says that 刹那主義 means "principle of living only for the moment" and 快楽主義 means "hedonism/epicureanism", but I also found entries that say epicureanism for the former. I don't think they ...
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1answer
93 views

A little help with the usage of 「……わけだよ」

I came across the following sentence in my dictionary : 下手なわけだよ,習い始めたばかりなんだから Because of the absence of context, I imagined one by myself. Suppose I ‘m cooking unskillfully and a friend who sees ...
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2answers
143 views

Differences Between 興味深い & 面白い?

面白い has the meaning of fun or interesting, whereas 興味深い appears to represent a similar state of "interesting". What are the differences between these two adjectives, and when should 興味深い be employed?
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1answer
173 views

What's the difference between 繁盛 and 隆盛?

According to Jisho they both mean "prosperity; flourishing; thriving", but unfortunately it doesn't give any example for 隆盛 and a Google search isn't helpful, I wasn't able to find any discussion ...
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0answers
114 views

What are the differences between うちに、間に、同時に, ながら & ついでに

These all generally mean whilst & during but I still (after ages of trying) make mistakes on where to use which one. For anyone who knows the ins-and-outs of these grammar points, please explain ...
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0answers
78 views

Interpretation of にはな in this sentence

I know that based on the title it might sound a bit odd, but thing is, there's a video game I like and it only has an English dub and Japanese subtitles. There's a line (which is spoken by a guy), ...
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1answer
156 views

how much use of カタカナis good or bad in Japanese?

While learning Japanese we students have a secrete weapon called カタカナ。We use katakana words even though there are perfectly fitting Japanese words which we obviously don't know. Just because we ...
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1answer
1k views

Is 忍者/忍び also used for women?

I was discussing with a friend, who asked me if 忍者 is also used for women, or if くノ一 is used/preferred. I know 者 means "person", so it seems to be neutral; and Weblio defines the word using 者, which ...
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1answer
92 views

Which verb can I use with the word “散文”?

So basically, what I want to say is something along the lines of, "He begins his story with a rhyme" or, "He tells a poem and begins his story". What's the word for "tell" here? Is there a verb phrase ...
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3answers
144 views

Is there a rule for deciding if we should write こんばんは or 今晩は?

I always have problems deciding if I must write a word in hiragana or in kanji. For example, should I write こんばんは or 今晩は ? I know children would rather write in hiragana but what about for adults ? ...
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2answers
244 views

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 ...
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1answer
235 views

分{わ}かる vs. 分{わ}かっている

What's the difference between 分かる and 分かっている? Based on my experience and this answer on HiNative, I assume 分かっている means something more like "I already know that (so you don't have to tell me)" and ...
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1answer
83 views

くせに when the subject is the first person?

I'm quite baffled by what a character in a manga says. I'll try to explain the context as best as I can so you can get the picture:There are 2 characters, A previously said (in the last chapter of the ...
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1answer
457 views

Native Japanese vocabulary, pure Wago/Yamato Kotoba

Can you still speak Japanese while avoiding to use most Chinese loan words? The native portion of the Japanese language is called Yamato Kotoba or Wago, but how fluent could you still be without the ...
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2answers
151 views

Please illustrate the differences between 数 and 量. Also 番号?

数 refers to something's corresponding number. For example, a reading on a monitor. 量 refers to an amount, something that can be measured. However, if you wanted to say that the number of something ...
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1answer
179 views

湿度 as “humidity” in general

I'm using materials I found on the Internet to learn grammar points. This source includes examples, which is really nice, but I reckon there are many mistakes - mostly typos, but sometimes worse. What ...
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1answer
131 views

Confusion between 誰でも and 誰か

I was practicing and tried to write the following sentence in Japanese: Anyone playing games on PS4 or Switch? 誰でもPS4でゲームをやっていますか。スイッチでゲームをやっていますか。 A few minutes later my sentence was corrected to ...
4
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1answer
470 views

Should I use 無料 (muryou) or 只 (tada) for a free chatsite?

I have a free chatsite, and people ask me if there is a charge. Should I use muryou or tada? I want to indicate that my site is free. I see the term muryou written on free weekly magazines. Is the ...
3
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2answers
305 views

鶏肉【とりにく】? 鶏肉【けいにく】? 鶏肉【ちょうにく】? チキン? for chicken meat

Others have asked about "chicken meat" in general, but I do not see any answer to this question: what is the usage difference between: 鶏肉【とりにく】, 鶏肉【けいにく】, 鶏肉【ちょうにく】, and チキン? Thanks.
1
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1answer
78 views

What's the difference between 身寄り, 親類 and 親戚?

Jisho gives "relative, relation" for both; I found this answer saying that 身寄り it's like a place where you belong and can stay, but it's not clear by the examples provided if it's something more broad ...
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1answer
116 views

DIfferences between 限定 and 制限

I was trying to understand the differences between 限定 and 制限, but I don't really get it: I found that the former is generally a business term seen as positive and special, yet as example sentences I ...
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1answer
66 views

オレンジ色のズボンを履きます vs オレンジ色ズボンを履きます

I came across this simple definition in my lesson, and I was wondering what the difference between these statements is. Both of them have the same meaning, "I wear orange pants". Is it a difference in ...
3
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0answers
42 views

Why is 今年 written in hiragana in this NHK news article? [duplicate]

Article in question (Note that it's not NHK easy news, but the regular nhk news) ことしのノーベル賞の受賞者の発表が7日から始まり、日本人としては去年、医学・生理学賞を受賞した京都大学特別教授の本庶佑さんに続き、アメリカ国籍を取得した人を含め27人目の受賞者がでるか注目されます。 I thought at ...
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3answers
243 views

What is the right translation and saying for ”Paper World”

I would like to know the right translation and saying "紙界"(Paper World) in Japanese. Should it be "pepa kai", "kami kai" or something else? Google translate "紙" as "Kami", and "Kami" as "神" when ...
3
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1answer
115 views

事に感ず and Shigin vocabulary

I recently heard of the poem named Koto ni Kanzu, and I came across this page that provides the poem's text, along with a pretty convincing interpretation. The poems reads as follows (I only added the ...
4
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1answer
113 views

そのものだ how is it translated?

So, I recently was reading something and I found the structure そのものだ, which at first glance it is not quite mean "that thing" as I thought, and the best explanation of it that I could find was in the "...