64

There is no difference in meaning when the two words refer to "woman/women". There are, however, differences in how native speakers perceive the two words and the nuance they carry. To discuss the exception first, 「[女性]{じょせい}」, has an extra meaning "feminine" or "female gender" when used in grammar terms for certain languages such as Romance languages. ...


25

The difference is rather huge. 「旅行者{りょこうしゃ}」 sounds neutral/bland, businesslike and matter-of-fact with virtually no nuance. It is like "tourist" in English, or somewhere between "tourist" and "traveler". 「旅人{たびびと}」 sounds poetic and a bit profound. It is more like a "pensive type of traveler" or "wayfarer" than a "tourist" or "average traveler". For ...


22

It's just that 友人 is more formal than 友達. I don't feel there is any difference in what they refer to. For example, saying 「友人が会社を経営していまして。。。」 in a job interview would sound natural, but saying「友達が会社を経営していまして。。。」 sounds a bit childish. Conversely, 「ずっと友人でいような!」is weird but 「ずっと友達でいような!」 is natural.


20

Just like the most, if not all, other pairs of originally Japanese words and their Sino loanword counterparts, the former ([優]{やさ}しい in this case) is more intuitive in meaning and/or nuance than the latter ([親切]{しんせつ}). Japanese-speakers learn the word 「優しい」 a few years before they get to learn 「親切」. The biggest difference between the two words, IMHO, is ...


17

Simply, 一番 is colloquial/casual, and 最も is formal/technical. Oh, this is one of the rare cases where 漢語 words are more informal than the 和語 versions. In addition, 最も can only function as a modifier, while 一番 can work as a noun which means number one. 私が一番だ。: OK 私が最もだ。: NG


17

女性 means female (*for humans). (lit. the female kind; Cf. 男性 male / 中性 neuter) 女の人 means woman. 女の子 means girl. 女性 is a 漢語 (Chinese-origin word) which is often more formal. 女の人 is 和語(Japanese original word).


17

貧乏 is a Sino-Japanese word (kango), and it only refers to financial poorness. It's an easy word, but it can sound somewhat direct and rude. In formal or academic contexts, 貧困 ("poverty") is mainly used. 貧しい is a native Japanese word (wago), and it can refer to not only financial poorness but also various kinds of poorness. For example you can say 心が貧しい人 ("...


15

The differences come from the fact that: 「名前{なまえ}」 is an originally Japanese word while 「名称{めいしょう}」 is a Sino-loanword. Formality: For the reason above, 「名称」 is more formal, academic and technical than 「名前」. Think about "chat" vs "conversation", "deep" vs. "profound", etc. in English. In both Japanese and English, the big words have mostly come from "...


12

友人 is more formal than 友達. I think this formality results in the side effect of it suggesting a closer friendship, because one would usually not refer to someone as a friend in Japanese in a serious conversation if they were not close, in my opinion. So no, they are not identical — there are situations where one makes more sense to use than the other — but ...


12

There certainly is a difference in nuance and therefore, how the two readings are used in real life if not in their basic "dictionary" meaning. Frankly, there would not exist two completely different readings if there were no difference between the two in the first place. 「ねんげつ」 tends to sound more formal, academic, technical, etc., which are the ...


11

According to Japanese dictionary, although it is written about various things in detail, I have an image like an attached file. In short, "石" is small, 岩 and 岩石 are big. Hope it helps.


11

石【いし】: stone, typically of a few centimeters in size 岩【いわ】: rock, typically of a few meters or more in size 岩石【がんせき】: stones and rocks. Another important difference is that, as a Sino-Japanese word, 岩石 sounds technical, and used as an academic term for rock in general. In everyday conversations, 石 and 岩 are commonly used.


10

Muryou is more formal and literally means free in the sense of "no charges apply". In your case case muryou is better, as it is less ambiguous. "Tada" also carries the meaning of "only" / "just" and esp if you say "tada no chattosaito" one would more likely interpret it as "this is just a chat site [in the sense if the above sentence continued as "...., not ...


9

I think there's definitely lots of truth in that tendency. 漢語 was essentially the Latin of Japan for a long time; i.e the language of the elites. In fact, Chinese poetry is still compulsory in Japanese education, a bit like Latin I guess. Because of this history, 漢語 is associated with art, science, government etc. and is thus generally more formal.


9

Like a million other pairs of words, the big difference is that the on-yomi word of Chinese origin ([横断]{おうだん} in this case) is more formal, technical, academic, etc. than its kun-yomi Yamato conterpart ([横切]{よこぎ}る). Here. Yamato means "originally Japanese". The same phenomenon occurs in English as well where words of Latin origin are generally considered ...


9

Origin: 「沸{わ}く」, as I hope you could tell from its kun-yomi pronunciation, is a 100% originally Japanese word. The word already existed when Japanese was only a spoken language. 「沸騰{ふっとう}」, as its on-yomi reading would suggest, is a Sino-loanword. Thus, 「沸騰する」 tends to sound more formal, academic, technical, etc. than 「沸く」 does as one could generally ...


9

I would say there is no difference, at least in everyday language. Maybe 速さ has a slightly more casual feel to it... at least I see more myself using 速さ than 速度 in a daily conversation. Now, 速度 is velocity and 速さ speed. That means that in the field of physics, they are indeed different, namely: velocity is a vector, including not only a value but a ...


9

The Sino-Japanese word (kango) that directly corresponds to 禁煙 is 喫煙【きつえん】 (喫 = "take and enjoy"), which is a suru-verb that can be found in stiff situations including statistical or medical contexts. (We say 禁煙 but not 禁喫煙 for this reason.) On the other hand, (たばこを)吸う is a wago which is commonly used in casual day-to-day situations. English speakers happen ...


9

They're synonyms, but 生き物 is more colloquial. You can still use it in formal situations, but it's not common to use 生物 in normal speech. It's not weird to refer to plants as 生き物, but I think animals would first come to mind.


8

As in @deeeeekun's answer, 生き物 is more colloquial and it is used to describe living things with clear vital sign. Students taking care of rabbits or golden fish in an elementary school is [生き物係]{いきものがかり}. (いきものがかり is a popular music group in Japan for this 20 years.) The homophone word 活きもの is used to describe fresh fish (Probably alive, but necessary if it'...


7

There is a clear difference -- the word "class". 「おわり」, as I hope you could tell from the distinct "kun" sound, is an originally Japanese word. We had this word when Japanese was still merely a spoken language (and we never knew there existed another country). 「[終了]{しゅうりょう}」, as the "on" pronunciation would suggest, is a Sino-loanword. It came from China ...


7

This question could probably be answered on different levels, but here is what you might want to know for starters because that is what I, an average Japanese-speaker, know. The key word here is phonetics, not orthography. [大和言葉]{やまとことば} are the words that existed when Japanese was only a spoken language. Sounds were everything we had to express ...


6

First of all, if a word contains both kanji and hiragana, it's very likely to be wago. (E.g. 食べる、美しい、…) If the word consists of kanji only, like you said counting the number of syllables is a good approach. (Of course, on'yomi are to be one syllable, so long vowels, like リョウ, and endings like ク、ン、ツ、チ pass as one syllable, even if the reading is two morae.) ...


6

They are, in Japanese term, all subcategories of 笑い, the widest word that covers both loud laugh (giggle, chuckle etc.) and silent smile (grin, smirk, simper etc.) 笑み/笑顔 The two words are related to every kind of silent happy face (abovementioned). 笑み is the action itself (< verb 笑む), but is a bookish word that hardly appears in conversation. 笑顔 is more ...


6

I'll leave any definitive answers to our native speakers, but rather than formal–informal I've started to think that maybe poetic–prosaic might be a more apt duality. (And formality usually implies little poeticality.) One other example where both readings are common is 竹林 with チクリン being "prosaic" and たけばやし being poetic.


6

If you are familiar with the general difference between on-readings (音読み) and kun-readings (訓読み), you already know the basic difference between 形【かたち】 (kun) and 形状【けいじょう】 (on). 形 is used in informal conversations/writings and most of formal conversations, while 形状 is preferred in formal written texts or scientific articles. Usually Japanese children learn 形【...


6

The actual meaning of 血 and 血液 is basically the same. Having two or more different lexical items for the same concept is an extremely common phenomenon in modern Japanese. This is because when kanji were originally borrowed from Chinese, the Japanese scholars decided to keep many Chinese words, even though a word for that concept already existed in ...


6

It depends on the context. さくじつ and きのう both mean yesterday (and the same Kanji 昨日 is used for the words). A major difference in their usage is that さくじつ is almost always used in a formal context (written and spoken), while きのう is often used both in formal and informal contexts (written and spoken): Using さくじつ in a casual conversation seems weird. You can ...


6

Although Sino-Japanese words (aka kango) are technically loanwords, they have been an integral part of the Japanese vocabulary for more than 1000 years. Practically speaking, it's almost impossible to avoid all of them. Some very common kango which have no easy wago equivalent include: 百, 千, 万, ... hundred, thousand, ten thousand... 学校 school 日本語 Japanese (...


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