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46 votes
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Why is Katakana not pronounced Katagana?

This phenomenon is called 連濁 (rendaku). The basic rules for rendaku can be found in the following question, so please take a look at it first: Rules or criteria for 連濁: Voiced or unvoiced syllables ...
naruto's user avatar
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13 votes

What are the pitch-accent rules for compound nouns?

So, Toshihiko's answer gives the answer for the normal case, but there is a whole other facet of this issue: Do two nouns always compound or not? And the answer is that in many cases they do not. I ...
Darius Jahandarie's user avatar
12 votes

What is the correct reading of 火防女?

The name of this NPC is ひもりめ in hiragana (Himorime in romaji). ひ is the most common kun-reading of 火. もり corresponds to 防, but this is a nonstandard kun-reading even native Japanese speakers do not ...
naruto's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is 上がり refering to in this sentence?

Here 上がり is connected not to 床 but to 呼吸(が). 呼吸が上がる is a set phrase meaning "to be out of breath". 息が上がる and 息が切れる mean the same. Perhaps it's related to the thirteenth definition here. The masu-stem ...
naruto's user avatar
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9 votes
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有り難う vs 有難う — Is this the same word?

Both are different spellings of ありがとう, neither is more formal, although all three spellings may be differentiated by frequency (see below). ありがとう "thank you" may be derived from ありがたい through sound ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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8 votes

人 - on'yomi ニン or ジン rule of thumb

人 following a place name is read as じん: 関西人, 韓国人, 宇宙人 人 following the name of a field or a social group is read as じん: 芸能人, 業界人, 社会人 人 following a number is read as にん: 三人, 五人 人 following a suru-verb ...
naruto's user avatar
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8 votes
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Why is vegetable 野菜 and not just 菜?

Well, this isn't totally a Japanese problem, but a nature of Chinese vocabulary. You said "菜 by itself mean vegetable", but more exactly speaking, 菜【さい】 means: "edible plant": 菜食, 山菜, 菜園 etc. "dish (...
broccoli forest's user avatar
8 votes

grammar - 接続 of compound words ending with verb-ず

If you already know the masu-stem of some verbs can act as a noun or na-/no-adjective, you can think these ず-words are almost the same except that negation is included as part of the word. That is to ...
naruto's user avatar
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7 votes

What does the word 「ちゃらくさい」mean?

Most likely it is ちゃらい+くさい, meaning 'really gaudy/cheap' or 'reeking of gaudiness'. When used as a suffix, ~くさい usually adds a negative connotation to whatever precedes it. This can be used in the ...
kandyman's user avatar
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6 votes

有り難う vs 有難う — Is this the same word?

Yes, they're both the same. It's just an alternate spelling, think color vs. colour. Not to my knowledge.
Ninj0r's user avatar
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6 votes

How do I read 数 in ページ数?

It is read すう in this case From Tangorin: PEEJIsuu From Weblio 読み方:ページすう
Flaw's user avatar
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6 votes

Pronunciation of 年

I think it might be much more helpful for you to think of "words" having "writings" rather than "characters" having "readings". For instance, as a speaker or learner or Japanese you know the "word" ...
sazarando's user avatar
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5 votes
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Is 翻す a former compound verb that merged into its current form?

[翻]{ひるがえ}す is a transitive verb of [翻]{ひるがえ}る. It seems that it shows the movement of a flag originally. This theory remains a matter of speculation. 翻る…[旗]{はた}が翻る(A flag flaps)  →ひらひらと[裏]{うら}[返]...
nariuji's user avatar
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5 votes

Why is it 悪魔 and not 悪の魔?

Shouldn't there be の to signify that 悪 modifies 魔? No. This term was borrowed in its entirety from Chinese, as a single term. Borrowing aside, two-character compounds are generally parsed as single ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
5 votes
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Do 山人 and 仙人 have the same meaning of they mean different things?

I don't typically consider these the same words, despite similar origins. 山人 {やまびと} to me specifically refers to people living in the mountains, as hermits or in small villages. 仙人 {せんにん} implies ...
psosuna's user avatar
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5 votes
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Is [馬面]{うまづら} a facial expression or a type of face shape?

I searched for the meaning in Japanese (googled 馬面の意味) and got the following: 馬の顔のように長い顔。 From this, I feel that it is safe to assume that by 'long face' they were talking about the physical shape ...
ajsmart's user avatar
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5 votes

Why is Katakana not pronounced Katagana?

Unfortunately I think there is no logical explanation. Even a pair of 2 identical kanjis may have "both versions" eg when used in names. One example is 大島 ("big island"), with the "大島" that island ...
Tuomo's user avatar
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5 votes
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How to approach compound verbs?

There are two types of compound verbs: syntactic and lexical. According to Compound Verb Lexicon, there are 30 syntactic compound verbs in Japanese. You can find the full list in the link (Click "...
naruto's user avatar
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4 votes
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Why does gemination happen in many 真 compounds?

(Seems like we're not getting anything more specific, so I'll format my comments as an answer for ease of future reference.) The electronic edition of the Kokugo Dajiten has it like this: 接頭語「ま」...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
4 votes
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can the same compound have different readings when having the same meaning?

Can the same compound have different readings when having the same meaning? Yes! There are two ways of reading Kanji. One is "訓読み" the Japanese reading of a Chinese character(Kanji) and the ...
Sonny365 TANAKA's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

A question about the usage of なるべく

なるべく may be close to the English word "preferably" and it doesn't always mean "as much as possible". For example, you can say なるべく静かにしてね (Please keep as quiet as possible). "なるべく + adverb" means "as ...
Yuuichi Tam's user avatar
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4 votes
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Order of compound particles

Yes, the order matters. Since things before the と will be treated as a part of the quote, お前とはもう別れたいまでと言われた sounds like he actually said "別れたいまで", which makes no sense in this context. It's somewhat ...
naruto's user avatar
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4 votes
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What's the difference between 取り消す vs 取り下げる?

取り下げる is used with an accusation, a bill (law), an academic article, a statement of opinion, etc. Its use is limited to withdrawing things related to someone's claim or opinion. 取り消す is simply "to ...
naruto's user avatar
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4 votes

Kanji compounds with the same meaning

Compound words are made of kanji, but each kanji is not necessarily "words" that can be used on its own. Consider, in English, telepathy is made of tele- and -pathy, both of which have some ...
naruto's user avatar
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4 votes

Can '渡 + country' be generalized to say 'going to country' for any country?

I've never heard of 渡亜 and 渡印(or at least as far as I can recall). I believe that it's (almost) only used with 渡米, 渡英 and 渡欧(Going to Europe). Perhaps it may be used in very formal situations, but so ...
Skye-AT's user avatar
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3 votes

A question about the usage of なるべく

I would say that なるべく, when it is modifying not an adjective or adverb but a verb phrase, (as in your examples) means you'll do something if possible, often with the connotation that you'll make your ...
goldbrick's user avatar
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