30

YOU and Mark have already mentioned that 全然 can be used with a small set of positive descriptions, and that this is usage is not considered correct (which might be true, but it's absurdly common, so that doesn't really matter). But my impression is that the positive version of 全然 is not really limited to a small set of words, but rather to particular ...


27

What Lyle said is true―you'll want to practice a lot. It's much easier to recognize words and phrases you're used to hearing, not just used to reading. That means ear training, and there's no way around it! Still, we can look at some facts about Japanese pronunciation. I'm a non-native speaker, and one of the trickiest things for a non-native speaker to ...


21

もしもし is used to call for someone’s attention. Although it is often used on the phone, the use is not limited to phone calls. もしもし is a repetition of もし, which is also used to call for an attention. もし is a variation of 申し (もうし), which was used in the same way in old time. 申し definitely predates telephones, and I guess that both もし and もしもし for asking for ...


21

You may be familiar with the concept of sentence-level pitch changes in English; for example when you are asking a question, you end the sentence with a rising pitch to indicate that it is indeed a question. Japanese also has sentence-level pitch changes, but more relevantly to this question, it has word-level pitch changes. Downstep Notation In the ...


17

It might have been おっす instead. According to gogen, it's おはようございます that has undergone shortening to form おっす.


17

Like YOU mentioned, Zenzen being used with positive words is slang and not correct Japanese. That being said, Japanese people use it all the time, especially young people. Typically I hear 全然 with OK、大丈夫、平気, 楽しい、and きれい with others possibly I haven't heard. That is to say that the words that are used with 全然 in a positive sense are probably limited to just ...


14

"Written Japanese" doesn't mean "forms that can only be expressed in written form". It means "forms that are generally used in writing rather than speech". So there's no need to replace anything on the fly as you read it. You read it as written, whether it's 走らないこと, 走るべからず, な走りそ, whatever. It doesn't matter if it would be weird as a conversational ...


13

In my experience, the nature of the relationship and the nature of the communication are both important for knowing when/how to use the plain form and to knowing what the use of plain form signals. In written workplace communication, I never see plain form (I work at a university). In written personal communications (things like Facebook or IM), I rarely ...


12

As you probably already read in the question on dialects, Yakuzas are often pictured speaking Hiroshima-ben on TV. According to Japanese friends, this has probably as much to do with the fact that Hiroshima-ben naturally sounds quite hard to the ear (whereas soft-spoken Kyoto-ben is the typical dialect choice for cute, feminine characters) as any real-world ...


12

Actually, you've already got the right answer! The verb in question is する, and one of its negative stems (未然形) is せ〜, as in せず, せぬ, and as you've just discovered, せん. The other negative stem of する is the well-known し〜. Note that these are not interchangeable: **せない is ungrammatical, as is **しず. The only verbs that have this extra negative stem are する and ...


12

No, it's not really used in everyday speech. "Everyday writing" is a little ambiguous because it's mostly the form of the writing that determines the tone. To address your edit, it would be weird to use まい in a message to your friend, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it in work correspondence if only because that tends to be more formal in general. The ...


12

This doesn't only happen with じゃない > じゃねえ, but generally /ai/ > /ee/, like きたない > きたねえ やばい > やべえ (食{た}べたい = ) 食{く}いたい > 食いてえ As in the other answer, this is extremely informal and in the wrong context can easily be considered plain rude. Xと違う = to differ from X 完成前 = before completion Edit. For completeness, there's also /ae/ > /ee/ e.g. お前 > おめえ /...


11

It's fairly common for both ai and ae to be slurred to ee in colloquial speech. For example: じゃない → じゃねぇ   janai → janee のみたい → のみてぇ   nomitai → nomitee おまえ  → おめぇ    omae → omee てまえ  → てめぇ    temae → temee Your example has an additional contraction. When a vowel is dropped between r and n, you end up with rn. This isn't pronounceable, so it ...


10

You are parsing the sentence incorrectly. It should be 長年やってるけど かかった ためし (は) ない なぁ It then roughly means, I have been doing this for quite some years, but it's not like I have ever caught anything. ためし (written 試し) can mean "trial/test", but here it is used in the sense of "experience" (written 例 or 様; see Tsuyoshi Ito's comment below and the entry ...


10

Because Chinese doesn't have voiced consonants. In Chinese, voiced /b/d/g/ are just variants of their voiceless counterparts. So you can't hear the difference between voiced sounds and voiceless sounds. It's hard to explain and learn by text. Instead, I recommend you practice it by listening and imitating. The site 首都大学東京 mic-J 日本語教育 AV リソース may be helpful....


10

It's uttered as a colloquial, casual and exclamatory phrase. It's typically used in response to a situation/stimulation that strikes you suddenly. っ is often added after the stem. 高っ! (Wow,) it's expensive! やば(っ)! (Wow,) this is bad! 痛っ! Ouch! きもちわる(っ)! Gross! In formal settings, you should generally avoid this, but no one would blame you for ...


8

I feel that speaking a foreign language in an accent other than the 'standard' one is kind of like playing the violin: it sounds really awful from a beginner, but from someone skilled it can sound very nice. I myself lived for two years in the Kanto area and learned to speak 'standard' Japanese. After that I spent a year in Kyoto and though I learned to ...


8

I agree with Chocolate: it is not expected, regardless of whether the traveler is a native speaker of Japanese or not. And as a result of doing something unexpected, some people may interpret it as making fun of the local accent, because it seems to be the most plausible explanation why anyone from another area would imitate (probably very poorly) the local ...


8

I think you should follow your teacher's advice and avoid second person pronouns. I speak Japanese daily, but never use them. But since they do exist, I don't think "just don't use them" suffices, so I'll try to give a list of situations when I hear them. But even in these cases, they're used much less than in English. Usually sentences are created in a ...


8

Another possibility is that the /g/ is being lenited into a voiced velar fricative /ɣ/, as is common between vowels in Japanese. (See "Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: Japanese" by Hideo Okada, or Wikipedia.) Further, since the second /g/ has rounded vowels (/o/) on both sides, it is likely to be somewhat rounded (/ɣʷ/ = /w̝/). The ...


8

As you say, ねー is a (very) informal, rather masculine, way of replacing ない at the end of words. Works for both verbs: 行かない → 行かねー and い-adjectives (which are kind-of-verbs anyway, but let's not get into that debate here): 危ない【あぶない】→ アブねー in fact it also works with other "-a" kanas. E.g: ヤバい → ヤベー Adding のだ/んだ as you do in your example is only ...


8

I have heard it used in formal (e.g. business) contexts. I have never heard it used in casual conversations among friends or family. This is what you might expect, because Sino-Japanese words like みょうにち do tend to have a more formal feel than native Japanese words like あした or あす, when they exist alongside each other with similar meanings.


8

Other samples from this character in your manga would be helpful to confirm this, but my guess is that せん is equivalent to しない (and possibly derived from せぬ, see Zhen Lin's comment below). Then, 苦労せん means something like "don't worry" or "don't fret". This is really part of the group of dialects from 'Western Japan'. In particular, [九州弁]{きゅうしゅうべん} uses せんで ...


8

けど is the short form of けれども, which could be written け(れ)ど(も), because all of けれども, けれど, けども, けど are used. けども is what, in my experience, is often used in a half formal, half informal setting. It is more refined than けど, but not quite as stiff as けれども.


8

We call our pets by their (nick)names most of the time. [ The pet's name (+ chan to show extra affection)]、 こっちおいで。([...], kocchi oide.) You can replace the name with generic terms like 猫ちゃん(neko-chan; kitty) and ワンちゃん(wan-chan; doggy) if you don't know what they are called. 行くよ(iku yo) means "let's go", by the way.


8

「言{い}わんこっちゃない」 is the common colloquial form of: 「言わないことではない」 which is a set phrase that means: "I told you so.", "Didn't I tell you?", "That's why I told you.", etc. 「やれやれ」 just means "Oh dear!" or something along those lines.


7

You just read it as it is written. These kind of "written language" sometimes do appear in conversations, but rare. However, if you are reading it out (to yourself or to anyone else), the "spoken" "written language" will perfectly OK. I don't know if I've made myself clear ...


7

In some parts of Tohoku, the greeting "おやすみなさい" or "また明日" is said "おみょうにづ", with is a deformation from "おみょうにち". Even though it refers to the next day, I think that "お" is the same one as in "お早う". I can't remember whether "あした" is casually said "みょうにづ" though…


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible