16 votes
Accepted

Some Japanese dictionaries (e.g. 大辞林, 大辞泉, and 明鏡国語辞典) use this inverted triangle outline symbol (▽) for some kanji compounds. What does it mean?

Am I going in the right direction with this interpretation? You got it, friend! 大辞林曰く、 【 】の中【なか】の漢字【かんじ】が「常用【じょうよう】漢字【かんじ】表【ひょう】」にないものには「 ▼ 」、その漢字が「常用漢字表」にはあるが見出【みだ】しに相当【そうとう】する音訓【おんくん】が示【しめ】...
  • 1,155
14 votes
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What would be the closest native Japanese word to エラー in the context of IT?

エラー is a very common word and I don't think you need to avoid it in IT contexts. That said, some errors can be safely translated using non-katakana words. 不正 (na-adjective) is commonly used in the ...
  • 273k
12 votes

How would I know whether a word existed and was commonly used N years ago?

BCCWJ is a corpus of written Japanese and you can search it here. Type the word in the search box and you can see the published year of the texts in which the word was used. However, it focuses on ...
  • 340
11 votes
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What is the thing written in grey that sometimes shows up in the macOS Sierra dictionary app?

It is archaic form of writing called 歴史的仮名遣い. It was not until November 16, 1946 that Japan began using modern writing form(現代仮名遣い). For that reason 歴史的仮名遣い was widely used those days, and today in ...
  • 582
11 votes
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What does 動ラ下二 means? And how to pronounce it?

動{どう}ラ下二{しもに}, an abbreviation of 動詞{どうし}、ラ行{ぎょう}下二段{しもにだん}活用{かつよう}. That is, a Classical Japanese (文語{ぶんこ}) verb of the “lower bigrade” conjugation, with a root ending in -r. To really understand ...
10 votes

Why is 登録した the past tense of 登録?

登録 does not have a past tense because it is a noun (meaning registration). It can be made into a verb by adding する. 登録する means 'to register', so naturally the past form would be 登録した. Many nouns can ...
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9 votes

Why are there multiple katakana readings for a single kanji?

I don't exactly know what you mean by "translations", but kanji have different readings, on'yomi readings (which are adapted from the original Chinese) and kun'yomi readings (which have nothing to do ...
  • 47.4k
8 votes

Why are there multiple katakana readings for a single kanji?

Hiragana are used for native Japanese words, but also very commonly for kanji, even for onyomi. Readings of kanji can be split up into 3 broad types: On'yomi These are readings taken from the ...
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8 votes
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響: what is N5116?

As mentioned by Earthliŋ, these are indices in the Classic Nelson kanji dictionary. A quick search tells us that N5114 corresponds to the index N6610 in the New Nelson dictionary. Here's an image from ...
8 votes
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Difference between 誤解 and 勘違い

There is certainly some overlap, but there is a difference. In general, 誤解 is to misunderstand, whereas 勘違い is often about misreading or misremembering. So 誤解 can sometimes be deeply entangled and ...
  • 6,883
8 votes

How would I know whether a word existed and was commonly used N years ago?

青空文庫 is a library of public-domain literary works, and it mainly consists of novels written between 1870 and 1950. I often use this full-text search to check how a certain word was used around the ...
  • 273k
8 votes
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また usage in a dictionary

It means or/also. It's commonly seen in Japanese dictionaries in the form of また、そのさま。when talking about suru-verbs (among other things) to describe both the action (verb) and the state (noun). You ...
  • 8,273
6 votes

響: what is N5116?

I think that N5116 is a dictionary index for the "Classic Nelson", i.e. The Original Modern Reader's Japanese–English Character Dictionary: Classic Edition by Andrew Nelson, so that N5116 means "...
  • 47.4k
6 votes
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Is there an official Japanese dictionary?

There does not seem to be an 'official' dictionary. However, there are some dictionaries regarded as more comprehensive than others, and dictionary publishing in Japan remains, to this day, as a ...
  • 8,877
6 votes

What is the order of the full list of kana?

The dictionaries I have use the following order. (From the publishers 小学館, 三省堂 and 学研.) The usual lexicographic order by gojūon, mostly ignoring whether a kana has (han)dakuten or is a small kana. (...
  • 47.4k
5 votes
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How was the first Japanese-English dictionary made?

To the best of my knowledge, and the knowledge of the dictionary's creator, the first Japanese-English dictionary is the one published by by James Curtis Hepburn in 1867. Hepburn was a physician and ...
  • 242
5 votes
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What is the meaning of 副助?

Dictionaries usually list abbreviations. 副助 stands for 副助詞 "adverbial particle", i.e. [副助] = [adv. part.]. The suffix 詞 is added to all parts of speech and is omitted in the abbreviations. There are ...
  • 47.4k
5 votes

出来る{できる}: kun'yomi from Takoboto dictionary do not correspond

While this answer doesn't readily address the issue of で vs で.る until the end, I believe it is important that the OP approach the subject of kanji rather differently than s/he appears to be doing. ...
  • 7,721
5 votes
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What does the hyphen in this dictionary entry mean?

It's just a hyphen to split the word stem from the suffix 家. It's not written that way in normal text, but you do see it in dictionaries or word lists.
  • 11.3k
5 votes
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What are the katakana in the definition headers of jp-jp dictionaries?

These characters show the spelling of the word according to the old spelling rules (歴史的仮名遣い). In this specific case, it means that the word was originally spelled as イチヰン/いちゐん in kana. I do not know ...
4 votes
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What does '-' mean?

This is simply a notation of the dictionary used. It doesn't say so explicitly on the results page, but the dictionary for the entry you linked is the デイリーコンサイス国語辞典 第三版. An overview of the notation ...
4 votes

Dictionary definition of multiple words with identical pronunciation but different kanji

To add to the good technical reasons given by user897730, let me explain how the relationship feels to a native mind. Every kanji character already has meanings tied to itself, independent of any ...
  • 6,883
4 votes
Accepted

To think kanji: 思う (おもう): シ (shi) versus (shitau)

To answer your specific question, of " why does Google Translate..." -- it is a machine program, and thus it is only as good as the data fed into it, combined with the cleverness of its algorithms. ...
4 votes
Accepted

What does "きゅうにゅう" means?

This should be ぎゅうにゅう meaning "milk", although ミルク is much more common.
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4 votes
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Japanese word for "savage" (modern usage)

As you suspect, none of the more literal "savage" words you listed would be a good fit for the more figurative usage. To call someone "savage" in the figurative sense, something along the lines of 「...
  • 6,551
4 votes
Accepted

How to figuratively express something that has been lost/disappeared as in "where did (something) go"?

For objects you can use 行く どっか行っちゃった 靴とかあったんだけど、どこ行ったんだろう To some extent this also works for abstract concepts: 夫婦の絆はどこに行った 親子ゲンカはどこ行ったんだろ A similar expression is 〜はどうした "what happened to&...
  • 47.4k
4 votes

What is the meaning of ー・

This dictionary definition, which you quoted, looks a bit half-baked. Have a look at 大辞泉 for 話す. It first defines the root (constant) part: はな・す And then uses it in examples: 「電話で―・す」 「父に―・...
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