42 votes
Accepted

What is the Japanese equivalent of "mhm"?

They're called aizuchi. はい is certainly one. うん is the more casual option. Wikipedia has the following: In the Japanese language, Aizuchi (Japanese: 相槌 or あいづち, IPA: [aizu͍t͡ɕi]) are the frequent ...
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13 votes

What is the Japanese equivalent of "mhm"?

yes, one way of indicating that you are listening and the other person should continue talking is by saying "はい". However your habit of saying "mhm" would not be so out of place, actually. There is a ...
11 votes
Accepted

Are possessive particles implied in a conversation?

To answer your question, let's forget about も for a while. も is a particle that can replace は, and this question is actually more about the usage of は. Consider the following conversations: A: ...
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6 votes
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Keeping track of the speaker/subject in written conversation

Are there any obvious tricks I'm missing that help me keep track of who is speaking and who they are speaking about? Thanks. ・Pronouns This one's pretty obvious. What pronouns do each character tend ...
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6 votes
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My Japanese friend often says 中(なか) in our real life conversations - what does it mean?

As @virmaior suggested in the comment, it's likely that you've misheard なんか(何か), which is an informal contraction of なにか or なんだか. Basically なんか can be used in the same way as なにか, but なんか very often ...
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6 votes

How to know the difference between two words with same pronunciation?

Context. For example, きかい can mean either "machine" (機械) or "opportunity" (機会). You can come up with some sort of sentence that includes one of them, and it may be ambiguous: 自己紹介{じこしょうかい}...
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6 votes
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向こうも向こうで What does this mean in this context ? (mukou mo mukou de) Is this some kind of Japanese Idiom?

This is a variant of the AはAで construction that has been asked several times on this site: Meaning of あいつはあいつで What is the meaning of あいつはあいつで? What is meant by それはそれで面白い in this sentence This も ...
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6 votes
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キミの心が、綺麗なのがいけないんだよ? >> What does this mean ? "Why is your heart ,it's beauty made me so hopeless/defenseless against you ?"

While いけない can indeed mean “hopeless”, in this context it is used more in the meaning of “not good; wrong”. Some examples from Kenkyusha J-E dictionary: なんていけない子だろう. What a naughty child you are! ...
5 votes

Are possessive particles implied in a conversation?

Yes, that's the literal translation and is an excellent example of very common 省{しょう}略{りゃく} ("omission", in this case, of parts of speech) in Japanese. In Japanese the subject and/or object is often ...
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5 votes
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What's the difference between shokumotsu (食物) and tabemono (食べ物),

For everyday conversations use たべもの。 しょくもつ is more formal and not used in casual situations, unless it is part of an expression like 食物繊維. As a general rule, 音読み words are more used in formal, ...
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5 votes

A dialogue from 『狼と香辛料』

At least from the one source I could find, there are some supplementary lines that may clarify things. だから俺の前でないてるのがお前じゃなくても、俺はーー と、その先のロレンスの言葉は出なかった。 ホロが傷ついたような顔をして、ロレンスの方を見つめていたからだ。 「・・・・・・お前、...
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4 votes
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話がすっきり what does this means?

すっきり is a mimetic word that describes how clean or tidy something is. Depending on the context and the subject, すっきりする can mean "to be clear/clean/tidy/simple", "to feel refreshed",...
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4 votes
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Reading comprehension N3

In the text you have: 三ヶ月分 which means, "the equivalent of three months (of rent)", where the (of rent) part is understood from context. The keyword here is 分. In the question you have: ...
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4 votes
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What's the response to あなたにもっと早くしてなんて言われる覚えはないですよ。?

The point is how 言われる覚え is not 言われた… but 言われる, in other words, it doesn't mean if s/he was told or not. The verb form not being た but る means that the thing has not happened yet but is going to happen ...
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4 votes

会話では助詞を省略することができるかできないか、くわしく説明してもらいたいです。

I'll answer in English, since I assume your native language is English and some nuance of my answer might be lost if it was in Japanese. Messages on this board are mostly in English as well, with a ...
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4 votes
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Icebreakers to use with strangers

Both of these sound a pretty unnatural and even in English I can't think of many times where I would just say "how are you" to break the ice to someone working at the gym next to me. Something just ...
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4 votes

How to say please could I have my money back?

返金{へんきん}して頂{いただ}けますでしょうか? Is a very polite way of asking for a refund.
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4 votes
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1から10まで (ichi kara juu made / 一から十まで) >> What does this mean in this context?

1から10まで is a set phrase that means "everything", "from beginning to end" or "from A to Z". It's synonymous with 何から何まで. We also say 1から100まで. 目論見 is "plot/plan/...
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4 votes
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What does 張ってた (hatteta) mean in this context?

I think it means definition 22 from デジタル大辞泉. 22 見張りを置く。見張る。「国道を―・る」 So the detective stood watch over the area to see if the culprit would return. This is because the detective thought it was ...
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4 votes
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ゴミ、捨てに行くけど、ついでに、これも捨ててこようか

よう has many meanings, and it can indicate the speaker's own will, too. For example 海に行こう(か) can mean either "Let's go to the sea (together)" and "(Okay) I'll go to the sea" ...
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4 votes

"sounds familiar" or "it rings a bell" phrases but a Japanese version

(Posting as an answer rather than a comment) I think 「(名前くらいは)聞いたことがあるような」 may work, 'I feel as if I've heard of [the name] before'.
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3 votes

How rude is it to speak to a Japanese stranger informally instead of using the polite form?

Language is about communication, first and foremost, but whereas in many languages (such as English) the focus is on getting the information in itself across as smoothly as possible, other languages (...
3 votes
Accepted

If someone says you're being silly and you don't know why, should you ask 何ですか? or なぜですか?

The most natural response to that would be probably be some form of why: なぜ, なんで, or どうして. But 何ですか would make sense if you interpreted it as "What is it (in my conduct that you think is cringey)?" In ...
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3 votes

If someone says you're being silly and you don't know why, should you ask 何ですか? or なぜですか?

何ですか doesn't mean "why", but 何でですか? or simply 何で? mean "why".
3 votes

今更自分で突っ込まないでよ。追加料金払ってるんだからいいでしょう >>What does this mean in this context

The word 突っ込む has several meanings, spanning from literal to figurative, to everyday idiomatic. Literally it means to put into, to trust or to plunge. Figuratively, it can mean to poke your nose into ...
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3 votes
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ほいほい騎士団が誘い出された時点で、半ば勝負はついてるんだよ >>What does this mean?

The first half of your translation should be right. I think you have a good understanding of that part of the sentence: ほいほい騎士団が誘い出された時点で By the time the knights were lured out, In the second half ...
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3 votes

What does this mean in this context で、幽が引っ張っていくオチか >> So she is the one pulling the punch line?

This オチ is "(unfavorable but easily expected) outcome" rather than "punchline". In particular, ~のがオチだ is a common set phrase that means "Surely it'll end up (something bad)&...
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