15

いかがですか is a more formal way of saying どうですか, and similar to どうされますか. Saying コーヒーはいかがですか can also mean "Would you like some coffee?" Context should clarify it of course, but I think that どうですか would be preferred for asking about the coffee, and if you really wanted to drive the point home you can say something like コーヒーの味はどうですか? To make it more casual you ...


11

Yes. 見える (divalent) A が B に見える "A is visible to B". 大切なものは目に見えない。 What is essential is invisible to the eye. (divalent) A が B に見える "A looks (like) B". 「でつ」がスヌーピーの顔に見える。 "でつ" looks like Snoopy's face. (monovalent) A が見える "A can see things". [吸血鬼]{きゅう・けつ・き}は夜でも見える。 Vampires have night vision.


10

From what I've read, the original meaning of "かわいい" had less to do with "cuteness", and more to do with inherent qualities such as weakness, small size, docility, etc., that engender a feeling of pity. As far as I recall, the change in meaning to "cute appearance" is fairly recent. So it could be that either "かわいそう" just hasn't caught up with the new meaning ...


10

私に言われても is Suffering Passive (迷惑の受身), a kind of Indirect Passive Structure (間接受身構文), and 私が言われても is Direct Passive Structure (直接受身構文). 「(あなたが)私に言う」 (Active/能動) "You tell me." → Direct Passive: 「私が(あなたに)言われる」 "I am told (by you)." → Indirect Passive: 「(私が)(あなたに)私に*言われる」 "You tell me (and it affects me in some way)." This means "You do the action 私に言う (you ...


8

The negative form …したくない means “WANT(NOT(…)).” For example, 山に登りたくない means the speaker wants to avoid climbing a mountain. To express “NOT(WANT(…)),” we have to use other constructs such as 山に登りたいのではない. Compare the following examples. 竜とは戦いたくないが、姫を助ける方法はほかにない。 竜と戦いたいわけではないが、姫を助ける方法はほかにない。 In the first example, the speaker wants to avoid fighting against ...


8

This happens a lot in patent translations, so you might get some hints by searching for these terms: 特許 請求項 翻訳 This site has this example: A dynamic random access memory including at least two banks, each of said banks including memory cells arranged in rows and columns, said memory cells storing data provided by at least one bit line and by at ...


8

Actually, this kind of "double が" situation happens all the time. Sometimes there's just no elegant way around it. In this case, Aさんは doesn't feel exactly right because these notifications appear out of the blue with no surrounding context. In cases where brand new information is coming in, が usually feels better in introducing it. Imagine it sort of like an ...


8

Unfortunately, there is no easy and clear rule to determine which parsing strategy is correct. The general rule is "Choose the shortest and simplest parsing strategy as long as it makes sense". It depends on the context, your vocabulary, and your common sense. But please don't worry too much — English speakers also do similar things every day. Compare ...


7

You say X に [入]{はい}れる, but X を [入]{い}れる. The answer to these type of questions always seems to be the same, but you need the context to decide on a reading for a particular 漢字. There are many examples for when the reading of a 漢字 is dependent on the context, and the word pair you quote is one of the easier ones to guess, because [入]{はい}れる is an intransitive ...


7

First of all, I do not think that people use かわいそう to mean “seemingly cute.” But I cannot pin down the reason of this. I think that it is at least partly because かわい+そう would have the same form as かわいそう meaning “pitiful.” However, I am not sure if this is the only reason. As you noticed, かわいい describes appearance. I cannot think of a context where 白そう ...


7

As you know, most glyphs in Japanese fonts share the same width, so problems arising from kerning (or variable character widths, broadly speaking) almost never happen in Japanese typography. Well, we can think of some unrealistic examples... hankaku katakana イム (i+mu) looks like kanji 仏 (ほとけ), and hankaku katakana ノレ (no+re) looks like zenkaku katakana ル (ru)...


6

My answer builds off of rdb's answer. My understanding is that ~そう for usage of "seems" cannot be used for actual information that is apparent. I.e. you can't say "she looks cute" using そう for someone you are looking at. Though, you get on the slippery slope when you want to say something like "she sounds cute" after you get off a phone conversation. But ...


6

I've found several webpages online which talk about the sentence 黒い髪のきれいな女の子 as a famous example of an ambiguous sentence. (For example, this blog post). Here are a couple ways in which this sentence could be considered ambiguous: 女の子 could mean a female child or a woman's child. 黒い could modifies 髪, meaning black hair, or it could modify (髪のきれいな)女, ...


6

「と」 here is a quotative particle used to quote 「ふん」; It is not an abbreviation of anything. 「と」, all by itself, is in its full form. It may look like 「と」 is at the beginning of the sentence, but in essence, it is the same as: 「ふん」と、彼女は鼻を鳴らし、中学の制服である・・・・ A direct quote, no matter how short it is, is often treated as a full line in stories, which is what ...


6

Recently, @naruto mentioned the phrase 頭が赤い魚を食べた猫, which can be understood in many ways. There is some ambiguity in how each word relates to each other. Among other possibilities, it could mean [(頭が赤い)魚]を食べた猫 (red-headed fish) [(頭が赤い)+(魚を食べた)]猫 (red-headed cat) The same applies here. Consider the following pattern: AとBとCのD As far as logic and grammar ...


6

This ~と一線を画す is an idiom, and in this context it means "to keep a distance from ~". It's not even ambiguous, and I think your translation attempt is correct. 年長者であり医師であり is of course "being a senior, and (also being) a doctor", and it's technically different from 年長の医師であり ("being a senior medical doctor"). I don't know the story, and this may not be a ...


5

The bad news-は we don't really have an effective way to distinguish them. The good news-は in fact you don't have to distinguish them. The particle は's function could be loosely described as "singling out one thing you and I know as the current focus," that is, every usage theoretically carries contrastive overtones, as long as it has possible competitors in ...


5

「[俺]{おれ}が[話]{はな}していた[男]{おとこ}」 indeed can mean the two different things you listed. (Note that this is an equivalent of the English relative clause. It is NOT a "sentence" as you said that it was.) As always, the context will tell you which one of the two it means. With this particular phrase, however, it might take more than just a sentence or two as ...


5

"I felt the person was just like me" is the correct interpretation. The author of the poem (passively) felt sympathy for the person waiting in a station skipped by express trains. Hence the explanation 「自分の人生は急行ではなく鈍行列車のようなものだ」. Note: Actually I think the meaning of this poem as a whole is very ambiguous and difficult to interpret, and 天声人語's explanation ...


5

I hear かわよさそう used frequently as a substitute for かわいそう, and sometimes its altered companion, かわよい. I presume it's very slangy and I feel perhaps a bit feminine, but it does exist nonetheless. Another workaround might be to use 可愛{かわい}らしい, which while technically different, at least approaches the intended meaning. As for when it's used, I don't think it ...


4

I agree with sawa that from syntactic clues this fragment is ambiguous, but there are actually more syntactic clues if you look at the whole sentence, which is: あなたが呼べば主は答え、あなたが叫べば「わたしはここにいる」と言われる。 It would be possible, but quite perverse (and impious, as Sawa notes!) to interpret the 言われる in the second half as a passive rather than an honorific form ...


4

To a certain extent they are just different levels of politeness. Check the following: ちょっと待って! 少し待ってください 少々お待ちください 少々(しょうしょう)> 少し > ちょっと The phrases get longer the more polite they are. Also, I believe ちょっと is more of a spoken phrase than a written phrase.


4

In this case, it isn't the volitional form, but よう(様). See this entry in the 大辞泉, sense 2 and 6. よう〔ヤウ〕【様】 2 方法。やり方。 6 動詞の連用形の下に付いて複合語をつくる。 ありさま、ようすなどの意を表す。 …する方法、…するやり方などの意を表す。 Therefore, 名づけようもなく could literally be interpreted as [there] not even being a way/possibility to name [it], .... Or shorter, it cannot be named or ...


4

You're 90% there. Let's take your list in order, shall we? 1. Quotation Particle As you noted, if you see it followed by a verb indicating expression (思う、言う、話す, etc.) then it's being used in this manner. 2. Conditional Particle The following sentence is the way I was taught to use this one: 秋になると、葉が落ちる。 "When autumn comes, the leaves fall." In other ...


4

The particle "が" is not different in your examples, but the verb "見える" has more than one meaning. Theoretically, you are correct. A person like Altair might be described as 目が見えない人. Of course you have to say フードのせいで外から目が見えない人 or something like that in order to avoid confusion. Similar things happen in English, and the natural interpretation greatly ...


4

たとえ{おまえ自身が(強く記録し、その復活を望んだ)→}人間がいたとしてもだ。 たとえ~としてもだ means "(the aforementioned sentence is true) Even if ...". たとえ is optional. Example: 何も喋るな。たとえ聞かれてもだ。 (≒ たとえ聞かれても、何も喋るな。) Don't say anything. Even if you're asked. その復活を望んだ人間がいた refers to B: the person whose revival you desired. Depending on the context, 復活を望む人間 by itself can mean "someone who is dead ...


4

This would probably depend on context, as in English. For instance, I think the following sentence would be ambiguous in both English and Japanese: 田中さんと島田さんのメモ帳のおかげでいろいろと分かりました。 I found out all kinds of things thanks to Tanaka and Shimada's notebook. It could mean that the speaker spoke to Tanaka and read Shimada's notebook, or it could mean that the ...


4

I believe there's no way to differentiate other than reading paragraphs. 検索対象文書 may mean both, depending on the context. If you want to clarify the meaning, you should say explicitly : フォルダの中で特定のファイルを検索する ファイル名で検索する 文書名で検索する (find a certain document by document name) against: ファイルの中のデータを検索する ファイル内を検索する 文書内の単語を検索する (find a certain word in a document / ...


4

(1) The words are still used commonly as you describe, i.e. 彼 = he/him/boyfriend and 彼女 = she/her/girlfriend (2) Semantic context is definitely the easiest way to differentiate. Yes, there might be times when the words could be ambiguous or be construed in unintended ways, but that is probably true of some words in most languages. In any case, the speaker ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible