72 votes

How should I choose between [知]{し}る and わかる?

I am a native Japanese, and I discussed this today. To be honest, this was quite interesting for us. I see many good answers here. The concept of "inside or outside" in another answer ...
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  • 3,252
52 votes
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Do the Japanese actually use the word "Hentai" to mean "Anime Porn", like in English?

No, hentai is a typical "英製和語" that has gained a totally different meaning outside of Japan. It never means anime porn in Japan. Wikipedia defines hentai as "catch-all term to describe a genre of ...
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46 votes
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When is "na" used at the end of a sentence?

な at the end of a sentence usually gives the sentence one of the following five meanings. 1. Seeking confirmation This usage is probably the most common. The addition of な to the end of a ...
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  • 3,001
41 votes

"to be impressed" in Japanese

I am a native speaker of Japanese. In order to show the differences of words given by OP, I placed them on the illustration below.
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  • 15.1k
36 votes
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What is the difference between そして (soshite) and それから (sorekara)?

There is an article about the difference (although in Japanese): 「そして」/「それから」の一考察 As shown in the picture below, in a nutshell, this article says that それから involves a shift in viewpoint, while そして ...
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  • 270k
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 ...
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29 votes
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Five different verbs meaning "to close" with the same kanji (閉)

[閉]{し}まる is intransitive, [閉]{し}める, [閉]{と}ざす, [閉]{た}てる are transitive, and [閉]{と}じる can be transitive and intransitive. [閉]{し}まる -- intransitive. Something (physically) closes. 「ドアが閉まる」 a door ...
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29 votes
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Would it be odd to refer to English-style tea as お茶?

Black tea is usually referred to as [紅茶]{こうちゃ}. a friend asked me, 「何飲んでる?」, would it be odd to reply, 「お茶だよ」? お茶 might be understood as Japanese tea (like, 麦茶{むぎちゃ} or 煎茶{せんちゃ}). Would ...
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29 votes
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Does Japanese have an original word for banana besides the loanword バナナ?

The most important older word is bashō, 芭蕉. It comes from Chinese, and the first known occurrence of the word in Japanese materials is from ca. 706, in the Nara Ibun historical records. Bananas are ...
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25 votes
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Difference between the words for "feeling"

具合【ぐあい】 - Health / condition. It's worth noting that this doesn't apply exclusively to people, though! 「エンジンの具合を調【しら】べる」 ("Check the condition of the engine.") 「具合が悪【わる】いので休【やす】む」 ("I'm not feeling ...
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  • 1,145
24 votes
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Why can't だ be used after an I-adjective?

だ is the plain-form copula (the "is; to be" word). In the plain form, い adjectives already form a complete predicate (the piece of a sentence or clause that can complete that sentence or clause). In ...
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19 votes
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Why did の disappear from 山手, but in 御茶ノ水 it's in katakana?

According to Wikipedia, the correct name of “山手線” is “やまのてせん.” In the application form of business license submitted by The National Railway (then 日本国有鉄道) to the government before the start of ...
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  • 9,445
19 votes

Can たい and たがる be used for a 1st/2nd/3rd person's desire?

Yes, たい can be used for another's, and たがる for your own desires あなたは行きたくて、佐藤さんは行きたくないんですね。 私がフランスに行きたがるのは、理由があります。 Part of this are my own thoughts, part of this is taken from this paper: 中里 理子, ...
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  • 4,421
19 votes
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Are any Japanese words ever intentionally misspelled for any reason?

(It's easier to give examples using kana (それでわ, もうやめれ, 止めろください, ぬこ, イソターネット, メーノレ, ふいんき, ようつべ, ...), but you want examples with kanji? Okay...) {{pad}} For historical reasons Japanese kanij compounds ...
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19 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 ...
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19 votes
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Etymology of レントゲン?

レントゲン is named after the inventor of the X-ray, Wilhelm Röntgen (ウィルヘルム・レントゲン) — who named them X-rays, whence the confusion. A number of words in Japanese medical terminology were adopted from ...
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  • 47.4k
19 votes

What is the diference betwen 電気製品 and 電化製品?

電化製品 is synonymous to 家電 or home/consumer electrical equipment such as cleaners, refrigerators, laundry machines, microwaves, and air conditioners. 電気製品 is less common and just means "electric ...
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  • 270k
18 votes
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住んでいたい and 住みたい

住みたい means "want to live" and is the default choice. 住んでいたい is its progressive form and is used when there's some sense of progression, which works best when you're already living where you want to ...
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18 votes
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What's the difference between 完成 and 完了?

完成 & 完了 have almost the same meaning, but there is a slight difference. According to my Chinese character dictionary the character "完" means "completeness", "成" means "forming and making something"...
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