17 votes

"Opposite" of `和製英語`

(すごく古い質問ですが、偶然見つけたので) Although the number is small, there are some "英製和語" (an English word of Japanese-origin that has gained a significantly different meaning from the original Japanese ...
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  • 271k
17 votes
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Japanese term for weight gained in a loving relationship?

Perhaps you're looking for 幸せ太り (pronounced as しあわせぶとり due to rendaku). This word is not particularly positive nor negative/derogatory. Gaining weight itself is not a desirable thing, but some people ...
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  • 271k
16 votes

Why does なんてね mean "Just kidding"?

なんて is an informal word that is used after some phrase and implies it is not important. Usage of なんて and なんか as emphasis Basically when you're kind of ignoring the importance of, or even slightly ...
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  • 271k
13 votes
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"なし" used for both animate and inanimate things?

There's two reasons. Historically, 無し (modern ない) wasn't the negative form of ある but an adjective in its own right (meaning 'absent', and valid for any subject). The negative form of ある was あらず. ...
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  • 7,549
13 votes
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"Strike while the iron is hot" - Japanese equivalent

There is an exact Japanese equivalent to "Strike while the iron is hot," that is "鉄は熱いうちに打て." I don't know whether this proverb had existed before we knew English version, or is just a translation of "...
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  • 9,445
13 votes
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About what age to stop using おいくつですか?

It appears to me that you have some misunderstandings about おいくつ... Is it natural to say 「おいくつですか」 to children who are around 10, or younger? No, it isn't. おいくつ is an honorific expression. It's a ...
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  • 271k
12 votes
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"Hey Bro!" how to call out friends

Although 相棒 is not bad a translation for "bro" IMO, we usually don't need those friendship "pronouns" because the greeting words in Japanese are diverse enough to distinguish those nuances alone, ...
12 votes
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What is the difference between 見てない and 見たことがない?

見たことがない means "Someone has never seen something ever." 見てない is 見ていない that is omitted い. ~している has two meanings. One is progressive form and the other is result state. So この映画は見てない means &...
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  • 23.9k
11 votes

The という in things like 〜ということ・〜というの・〜という感じ・〜というわけ etc

Japanese-Japanese dictionaries give almost complehensive lists. “Aという” originally meant “someone says A”, but its original meaning has been lost in many cases, and it is used like a 助詞. “Aということだ。” ...
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  • 1,234
11 votes
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What does 次行ってみよう mean?

次{つぎ}行{い}ってみよう is a famous phrase used by a Japanese comedian いかりや長{ちょう}介{すけ}. IIRC this phrase caught on in the late 1970's. He used this catchphrase frequently in his TV comedy show, at the end of ...
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  • 271k
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.
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  • 42.5k
11 votes

Saying お疲れ様でした to teacher at the end of a lesson?

In this case, just saying お疲れ様でした would sound disrespectful, because she is the sensei during the lessons, after all. After you reach an advanced level, saying ありがとうございました first and adding お疲れ様でした ...
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  • 271k
10 votes
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What does "声が出る" mean?

When you use "say" or "言う", the content of the speech is the most important. The existence of the physical sound/voice is not usually important, nor necessary. Dictionaries say so. 彼はブログで、...
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  • 271k
10 votes

Why 'okane o haraimasu'?

The short answer is "because Japanese speakers will it to be that way." The pedagogical answer is that 払う operates on お金, not the thing you're paying for. This is exactly the same as in English. You ...
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  • 520
10 votes
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How do you write "translation mine" in Japanese for academic writing?

引用文の終わりに、括弧に入れて (訳は筆者による) ←recommended または、(筆者訳) ← recommended (拙訳) (私訳) のように書くとよいと思います。
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  • 60.6k
10 votes
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Meaning of nounってとこ

You are correct that it is a colloquial form of というところ. It doesn't literally mean place, but perhaps you can think of it as “in that vicinity”. ってとこ is often used when you are pretty sure, but not ...
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  • 6,883
10 votes
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What kind of grammar is it in 調査に調査を重ねて?

X に X を重ねる (lit. to pile up X (further) onto X) is an idiomatic phrase to mean "doing X extensively, or unthinkably many times over", usually X is a noun that means some kind of (hard) work. I also ...
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10 votes
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Understanding 軍服に着られた

It is a rhetorical use of passive voice. 服に着られる basically means the person in the clothes gives a funny impression, e.g. the size is too big, it simply does not go well, etc. (Added) It is less common ...
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  • 15.5k
9 votes
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why isn't "そなわち" in dictionaries? what does it mean?

The word you are looking for is すなわち and should be in every dictionary. It means "therefore"/"namely".
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  • 42.5k
9 votes
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Why "お食事の際は、..." instead of "ご飯を食べる際は、..."?

This looks primarily like a 敬語{けいご} problem, more than a syntax or semantics problem. お使いいただく is 敬語, and 食べる does not match it at all. 食べる is neither 尊敬語 nor 謙譲語. This means that 「ご飯を食べる」 is not even ...
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  • 6,883
9 votes
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Why is やりたい放題 used as opposed to やり放題?

やりたい放題 is a bit different from other ○○放題. It's an idiomatic phrase which primarily refers to someone's tyrant-like, irresponsible, self-indulgent behavior. Because it usually has a negative ...
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  • 271k
9 votes

"fancy meeting you here"

A common word for this is 奇遇【きぐう】 (not to be confused with 奇偶: oddness and evenness (of numbers)). 奇遇ですね is an idiomatic phrase worth memorizing as-is. こんなところで会うとは奇遇ですね。 What a coincidence to ...
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  • 271k
9 votes
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function of the particle も in 「~も辞さない」

I think the も here is this: 1⃣ 係助詞 3-㋑動詞の連用形や動作性名詞に付き、打消しの語と呼応して、強い否定の意を表す。「思いもよらぬ話」「返事もしない」(デジタル大辞泉) So the も indicates emphasis, used with a negative phrase. I think this も is usually ...
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  • 60.6k
9 votes
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Can 全部 be used like 「全部の月は忙しいですか?」

Using [全部]{ぜんぶ} in your context might make sense, but it is not idiomatic. If you want to ask someone if he will be busy for a month, you could use [一ヶ月]{いっカげつ}の[間]{あいだ}ずっと[忙]{いそが}しいですか? (...
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  • 2,078
9 votes

Why does なんてね mean "Just kidding"?

The verb 言う is omitted after なんて. So you can translate it "saying (something) like that", or virtually as a subjunctive: "(as if) it be/were like that". That's why it comes to have "I'm kidding" sense....
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8 votes
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Can you say "よい夢へ" instead of "よい夢を"?

「よい夢を」 is the normal* way of saying "Sweet dreams" not just in emails or instant messages but also in conversations or letters. As Kokoroatari says, 「よい年を」is also common, and is the normal way of ...
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8 votes

Why 'okane o haraimasu'?

You can't ✗ "pay the drinks" ✗ 飲み物を払う in English either, even though you can ○ "pay the bill" ○ 勘定を払う ○ "pay the rent" ○ 家賃を払う ○ "pay attention" ○ 注意を払う In ...
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