32 votes

What does やれ{HL}やれ{HL} "yare yare" mean?

No, やれ{HL}やれ{HL} is not an onomatopoeia but an interjection. It doesn't symbolize any sound or state, and cannot used like other onomatopoeiae: × やれやれという音を立てて × やれやれした様子で But as you said, it's ...
30 votes

the logic behind "te" in "chotto matte te"

ちょっと待ってて (chotto matte te) literally means "Keep waiting for a while (please)." That て (te) at the end does not mean "I'll be back shortly", at least grammatically. ちょっと (chotto) just means "for a ...
  • 284k
26 votes

How to say "How do you say~?"

I'd personally use... ~は日本語【にほんご】で何【なん】と言【い】いますか? For years, I used the... ~は日本語で何ですか? But I had a Japanese native tell me it was more natural to use it with the verb 言う (polite form is 言います). ...
20 votes

このとおりよ as an expression

I think the この通り means (or, comes from) something like 「この通り、謝ります(だから許してください)。」 "I'm apologizing like this / as you see (so please forgive me)" or 「この通り、お願いします(だから頼みを聞いてください)。」 "I am begging you like ...
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16 votes
Accepted

How to speak about "one" thing in Japanese?

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. One morning -> ある朝 Is this ある may be what am I looking for? ...
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15 votes

Why is 一日 used instead of 日 to ask how your day is?

In this case, it would be read as [一日]{いち・にち} which just means "(one) day" as opposed to [一日]{≪ついたち≫} which means first of the month. My gut says that in this case 一日 is acting like "your day" in ...
  • 43.2k
15 votes
Accepted

Why does 「もう待てないよ!」 mean "I can't wait any longer"?

待って is indeed the te-form, but 待て is not. It is the potential form. Remember that the final う sound becomes an え sound for the potential form of godan verbs? I guess this verb is a little more ...
  • 28.2k
14 votes
Accepted

Correct phrase for "I'm just browsing" in a store

The most common phrase would be: 見てるだけです。(Literally: "I'm just looking.") I think you could also reply like this: 店員:何かお探しですか?(Are you looking for anything in particular?)    客:いえ、だいじょうぶです。(...
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14 votes
Accepted

How to respond to ポイントカードが宜しいですか。

Japanese よい/いい/よろしい sometimes means "... is not necessary" or "fine without ..." コーヒーはいいです。 (Thank you but) I don't want coffee. いや、いいです。 No thanks. / I don't need it. (e.g., to a salesperson) ...
  • 284k
13 votes
Accepted

Do you also say 「もしもし」 on Skype?

もしもし is like "Hello" and it's used in two kinds of situations: As the very first word of the call ("Hello, this is Tanaka speaking.") As the word to check if the other person can hear you, when the ...
  • 284k
13 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of しも?

I'm afraid to say that いつしも is very rare, and you can use it naturally only in literary sentences. ~しも was a grammatical element in archaic Japanese (it was a kind of intensifier similar to nothing ...
  • 284k
12 votes

What does やれ{HL}やれ{HL} "yare yare" mean?

やれ、やれ is an interjection often uttered when ① you are relieved from a burden or mental pressure, or ② when you have some burden or a little problem ahead, for example: ①やれやれ、[一仕事]{ひとしごと}終わった - Oh boy,...
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11 votes
Accepted

How to say "How do you say~?"

The general pattern is: 「something」は日本語で何ですか。 To break things down a bit: 「something」は = the phrase 日本語で = "in Japanese" 何ですか = "is what?" In this context, the で particle is used to mean "in ...
  • 748
11 votes

A formal/informal way to say I don't want anything

If the scenario were saying "I don't want anything" in response to someone offering you something (food, drink, etc.), you could also use (私は)[結構]{けっ・こう}です。 → I'm fine/all right.
  • 43.2k
11 votes
Accepted

Different usage of 普通に?

In this context 普通に means "just ~", "plainly ~", "simply ~", "~ in its plain sense" or "not in a tricky way but in a straightforward manner". This ...
  • 284k
11 votes
Accepted

What is the Japanese equivalent of 'you're in my heart'?

Culturally, Japanese people are not as publicly direct about their deepest feelings. In English speaking cultures, we use the phrase "I love you" a LOT. It can be for an intimate relationship, or it ...
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10 votes
Accepted

How to say "to do one's hair"?

As pointed out in the comments by @chocolate, 髪をセットする is a good way to say "to do one's hair". It can involve blow-drying, applying hair wax etc. 髪型をセットする means "to fix one's hairstyle", which sounds ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Meaning of せないかんのよ

It's probably Kansai dialect (or some western dialect). せないかん means しないといけない "have to do" in standard Japanese (deriving from せねばいかぬ to せにゃいかん to せないかん, perhaps?) Here in Kansai (esp. Kyoto ...
  • 62k
9 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "gkbrです"

According to the ja.wikipedia page on GKBR, it can be ゴキブリ as well as: ガクガクブルブル - 恐怖で震えるさまを表す擬態語。 So it'd be "GaKu BuRu," onomatopoeia that represents fearful trembling. It's some 2ch slang, ...
  • 18.2k
9 votes
Accepted

How to ask whether a dish is pescetarian-friendly?

I'm a lacto-ovo-pescatarian who eats fish but not other seafood, who is living in Japan. The most bewildering thing about your question for the Japanese server is that most Japanese do not consider ...
  • 2,153
9 votes
Accepted

Etymology of 天地無用

Yes, many Japanese wonder why, too. The truth is that it's an obsolete usage of 天地 (except in this idiom!). 日本国語大辞典 (kind of the OED of Japanese) apparently has a definition: てん‐ち 【天地】 (...) (6)(─する)...

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