19 votes

孫悟飯 - Songohan, why non-Japanese say it comes from "gohan = meal/cooked rice"?

It's a pun. In fact, many, many of Dragonball's characters are puns on food (or food-related) items: サイヤ人 Saiyajin from [ヤサイ]{野菜}人 "vegetable people" ベジータ Vegeta from ベジタブル "vegetable" ウーロン Oolong ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
  • 48.2k
16 votes
Accepted

Why would a Japanese adult be embarrassed to use the word "friends"?

いい年して「友達【ともだち】」って、ちょっと照れるけど。 The word tomodachi ("friend") itself is not really embarrassing, although there is a more formal word for this concept. In this case, this tomodachi also represents the ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
13 votes
Accepted

What is the verb ending of われん mean?

救われん is made of 救われる and the archaic suffix ん, which came out of む. む・ん had similar roles to よう・おう today; that is to say, 救われん in modern style would be 救われよう or 救われるだろう. It is not related to the ん ...
Angelos's user avatar
  • 11.6k
12 votes
Accepted

In what ways is the Japanese used in anime different from real world Japanese?

It very much depends on what anime. For example, an anime about daily life in the modern world would have generally "normal" Japanese. Conversational snippets sound totally normal, for the most part. ...
ericfromabeno's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Seemingly non-interrogative use of sentence-ending か

This function of this か is not purely phonetic, but rather serves to make the sentence less of a outward statement and more of a self-directed or self-reflecting one. It makes the information value ...
Darius Jahandarie's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

How do you say "canon" as in "official for a story universe"?

Official as opposed to fanfiction/dojin is simply 公式. But do you want to refer to the canonical story line as opposed to that of a spin-off based on an alternative/what-if story? Like "main" Attack ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
10 votes
Accepted

Why use で in「私でよければ入部させてください」?

~でいい (or ~で大丈夫, etc) is an expression that means "~ is acceptable (if not ideal)". I think this is something you can learn by rote. See: What is the difference between それでいい and それがいい here? ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
9 votes
Accepted

Any hints on how to translate the 'Nanny' in Totoro?

ニコニコしとれば 悪さは しねえし いつの間にか いねくなっちまうんだ。 This is the same as the following sentence written in the standard Japanese. ニコニコしていれば悪さはしないし、いつの間にかいなくなってしまうんだ。 If you keep smiling, they won't do bad ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
9 votes
Accepted

Naming suffix -氏 (-し) used by an otaku character in anime

Is it otaku version of -さん? Yes...sort of. Originally, -氏【し】 is a honorific and highly formal name suffix used to refer to someone with high social status. There are several existing questions ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
9 votes
Accepted

「とらわれた くつじょく は はんげき の こうし だ」Would a Japanese person understand こうし in this spoken line WITHOUT kanji? [Attack on Titan]

嚆矢 is a rare word, but it's not exceedingly rare. Along with terms like 狼煙 and 鬨の声, it's a word you might find in fantasy or historical fiction, and even in journalists' news commentary, to symbolize ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
8 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of きいしません?

[襲]{おそ}っては[来]{き}いしませんで It means 襲ってはきませんよ. Here in Kyoto, we sometimes say things like: あらしません to mean ありません わからしません to mean わかりません かましまへん to mean かまいません でけしまへん to mean できません みいしまへん to mean みません In ...
chocolate's user avatar
  • 65.5k
8 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of 死せる?

死せる is an archaic/literary equivalent of 死んでいる. 死せる餓狼 is a literary way of saying 死んでいる餓狼 or "dead starving wolf". To break it down: 死す: An archaic variant of modern 死ぬ. It's still in use ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
8 votes

"B" meaning "hot and heavy"?

I assume this is sense 12 in this dictionary, although I haven't heard the term myself as a learner. 俗にペッティングのこと。Aをキス、Cをセックスとして、その間の段階ということから。 Colloquially, (sexual) petting. From the fact that if A ...
jogloran's user avatar
  • 6,811
7 votes
Accepted

How are made up words for anime/manga formed (reading and kanji)?

Made-up words are generally based on the existing Japanese naming convention. I generally recommend that you familiarize yourself with a lot of Japanese existing compounds before wondering about this ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
7 votes

What is the meaning of っ on its own

In a light novel, manga or such, 「……っ!」 without any preceding kana describes the speaker is speechless or breathless for a moment. Usually it expresses a strong surprise, anger, confusion or any "...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
7 votes

第 [dai-] vs 目 [-me] in forming ordinal numbers

As far as I know, 目 is used to talk about the position of something that is not structured or categorized beforehand and whose elements are equal if you disregard their position. On the other hand, 第 ...
jarmanso7's user avatar
  • 6,651
7 votes
Accepted

Unusual words in anime

It is true that Japanese people use a larger number of words on a daily basis. According to one survey introduced here, the number of words needed to understand 90% of English sentences is 3,000, but ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
7 votes
Accepted

Noun-も+Noun-も+Noun-が construction?

You've answered your own question here, you just haven't managed to figure out how your answer applies to the given text. AもBも is supposed to mean "Both A and B", but as far as I understand ...
Mindful's user avatar
  • 4,760
7 votes
Accepted

meaning of だけど in this context

Your intuition is pretty accurate. It's expressing a feeling of "...what does that have to do with anything?" or "why are you asking?". Mugen doesn't understand why he's being ...
Ninj0r's user avatar
  • 789
7 votes

What's this gesture called? Does it have a name?

As far as I know, there is no single Japanese word for the gesture (I'm a native Japanese speaker). If I talk about the gesture, I would use several words to describe it, such as 「鼻{はな}の下{した}を指{ゆび}...
Masa Y's user avatar
  • 136
6 votes
Accepted

Trouble with a sentence

これは儀式だ! This is a ritual! これは[Vする]ための儀式だ! This is a ritual to [verb]! これは[S]が[Vする]ための儀式だ! This is a ritual for [S] to [verb]! これは[お互い]が、[「深まった」と了承しあう]ための儀式だ! This is a ritual for [both of us] ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
6 votes
Accepted

What is the correct counter to translate 'One Piece'?

I am more like curious what it would be called in japanese if it wasn't called via an English word Okay... ワンピース has been referred to as ひとつなぎの大秘宝【だいひほう】 (literally "unseparated great hidden treasure"...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
6 votes
Accepted

この世に生まれてきてしまった - How does this translate to "born into the world"?

You've broken down everything perfectly. 生まれてきて is the combination of 生まれる+てくる in the Te-form. This is a grammar point that is explained in more depth here. Here, てくる essentially adds the nuance that ...
Shurim's user avatar
  • 3,774
6 votes
Accepted

Kaguya-sama: Does maji manji (マジ卍) really translate to based or dope A.F.?

This site in its explanation of the term 卍 mentions 「マジ卍」 is something of a set phrase. ここ最近(最近でもないかもしれないし、もはや速攻で死語のカテゴリに入れられているかもしれない)、特に10代を中心に「マジ卍」という謎の言葉が出てきましたね。 It further lists the phrase's ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
  • 11.5k
6 votes
Accepted

'yofukashi' in yofukashi no uta?

夜更かし is the modern standard spelling, and 夜更し is an abbreviated spelling. The latter is inappropriate in modern newspaper articles and such, but may have a literary or traditional flavor. The meaning ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
6 votes
Accepted

The Quintessential Quintuplets: Is 'Koi no Summer Vacation' better translated as 'Love of Summer Vacation' instead of 'Summer Vacation of Love'?

The Japanese possessive / genitive particle [の]{no} works kinda "backwards" from the English preposition of. A of B A belongs to B → B owns A. A [の]{no} B A owns B → B belongs to A. It ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
6 votes

The Quintessential Quintuplets & Higurashi - What does it mean to repeat a word? Does たのしいたのしい means fun-filled?

Repeating a noun like うそうそ 冗談冗談 ジョークジョーク mean like うそだよ 冗談だよ ジョークだよ. You could repeat them more than twice うそうそうそ 冗談冗談冗談 ジョークジョークジョーク, but it's used when you're upset like the listener got angry. And ...
Chance's user avatar
  • 627
5 votes
Accepted

と quotation particle: Omission and the で particle

The omitted verb is a bit different from what you have in mind: 世間では警察も無能、Lも無能と思われている。 In the society, it is thought that both the police and L are incompetent. Note that I used the passive form ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
5 votes
Accepted

Quiz question on keigo

While there were many blog entries on keigo usage that said both 参る and 伺う are 謙譲語 for 行く, all of the dictionaries I checked (広辞苑, 新明解, 大辞林, etc.) agreed that 伺う is a 謙譲語 for 訪問する/訪れる, not 行く. So the ...
mirka's user avatar
  • 7,108
5 votes
Accepted

Usage/context of 「私ね…」

This type of ね is a filler particle meaning nothing. Such fillers can appear in many places within a sentence. ね is one of the typical "girly" filler particles. You don't have to translate them, ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k

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