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20 votes
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貧しい【まずしい】 poor 貧乏【びんぼう】な poor What's the difference?

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 ...
naruto's user avatar
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18 votes
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Difference between もっとも and 一番

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, ...
naruto's user avatar
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15 votes
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What is the difference between 山道【さんどう】 and 山道【やまみち】?

さんどう is often an alternative name for a 登山道【とざんどう】 (a mountain trail/path where cars cannot pass). Modern hikers/trekkers normally use さんどう or とざんどう. For example 増毛山道 is a さんどう. When 山道 is combined ...
naruto's user avatar
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11 votes
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Should I use 無料 (muryou) or 只 (tada) for a free chatsite?

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 ...
Tuomo's user avatar
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10 votes
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Is there any difference between 速さand 速度?

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 ...
Nicolas Couvrat's user avatar
8 votes

What is the difference between koi, ai, and renai? 恋、愛、恋愛

恋【こい】 and 恋愛【れんあい】 are basically the same. They both mean romantic love or romance, that feeling based on sexual attraction. 恋 is a native-Japanese word (wago or yamato-kotoba) whereas 恋愛 is a Sino-...
naruto's user avatar
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8 votes

Why is 'no smoking' 禁煙, whereas 'to smoke' is 吸う?

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. ...
naruto's user avatar
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8 votes
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Difference between 生き物 and 生物

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 ...
deeeeekun's user avatar
  • 805
8 votes

Difference between 生き物 and 生物

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]{...
kimi Tanaka's user avatar
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7 votes
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What are the differences between 田{た}, 水田{すいでん}, and 田圃{たんぼ}?

田圃 is usually written in 田んぼ or たんぼ, and it's the word usually used in conversations. 水田 is a Sino-Japanese word (漢語), and it sounds more technical/formal, as usual. See: Are 漢語 always more formal ...
naruto's user avatar
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7 votes

Nuances in the word "smile"

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 ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
7 votes

Are 漢語 always more formal than 和語?

While 漢語 is more formal/technical/academic than the 和語 equivalent in most cases, there are a few exceptions. 一番 (kango) is less formal/academic than 最も (wago). 喧嘩 (kango) is less formal than 争い (wago)...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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Heuristics for identifying Japanese-origin words (和語)

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 ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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6 votes
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difference between 血 and 血液?

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 ...
kandyman's user avatar
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6 votes

Difference between 絶滅, 消滅 and 滅ぶ

絶滅: "extinction (of species)"; a kango technical term used only in biological contexts 消滅: "disappearance", "vanishing"; a kango used with various subjects in various technical/legal/academic contexts ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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Can さくじつ and きのう be used the same way?

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 (...
user's user avatar
  • 386
6 votes
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Native Japanese vocabulary, pure Wago/Yamato Kotoba

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 ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 320k
5 votes

What's the difference between 女性 and 女の人?

The meaning stays the same, but the connotation is that 女性 is the more scientific of the two. 女の人 is simple, everyday language. And while 女性 is used a fairly high amount of times also, it’s more used ...
BelgianCoder's user avatar
5 votes
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When would you use 相互 as opposed to お互い?

I'm thinking the former is slightly more hard/archaic, and for written style japanese, where was the latter is more conversational? But they both seem to have the same meaning. 相互 is slightly more ...
user20624's user avatar
  • 15.3k
5 votes

恥知らず【はじしらず】 versus 厚顔無恥【こうがんむち】

These two are basically same meaning,so either one is fine in this situation. To be exact, for me, 厚顔無恥 sounds a bit stronger than 恥知らず, but Japanese don't care the differences so much.
Nobnob's user avatar
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5 votes
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Difference between 帰宅{きたく}する and 帰{かえ}る

帰宅 means "to return home", but 帰る only means "to return". You can say 会社に帰る, but 会社に帰宅する is wrong. Depending on the situation, 夜になったので帰った can mean "I returned (to the office/base/school/etc)". There ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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Strictly speaking, are 重箱読み and 湯桶読み mostly 漢語 or 和語, or 50-50?

I don't know the "authoritative definition", but according to Japanese Wikipedia, 重箱/湯桶 words are not kango: 「雑木」を「ぞうき」と読むような重箱読みや、「夕刊」を「ゆうかん」と読むような湯桶読みは、和語と漢語を複合させた混種語(和漢混淆語)であり、漢語の範疇ではない。 ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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What is the difference between 新規 with 新しい and 新た?

新規 and 新たな cannot be used as a predicate, and they cannot be used in comparative sentences, either. pre-noun adjectival adverbial comparison predicate 新しい計画 新しく計画する これより新しい計画 この計画は新しい 新たな計画 新たに計画する ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 320k

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