36 votes
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What is the 中 in ダウンロード中?

Yes, you are correct that 中 (ちゅう) in this case means "in the middle of ~ ". For your sentence, the simple translation "downloading" is probably the most natural. It is fairly ...
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15 votes

Why is 一日 used instead of 日 to ask how your day is?

In this case, it would be read as [一日]{いち・にち} which just means "(one) day" as opposed to [一日]{≪ついたち≫} which means first of the month. My gut says that in this case 一日 is acting like "your day" in ...
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14 votes
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when do I have to use naru hodo, and when do I have to use wakarimashita?

Both "naru hodo" and "wakarimashita" mean "I understand," but there is a difference in the usages and nuances between those two words. "Naru hodo" means "...
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What is the difference between ayumu, sanpo and aruku?

Difference between ayumu, sanpo and aruku aruku (歩{ある}く) is a general term for to walk. ayumu (歩{あゆ}む) is a little old-fashioned expression for to walk, especially to walk step by step, and it ...
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12 votes
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Differences between the various readings of 描く and 画く

I think this is actually a place where the Chinese-imported kanji obscure the usage of native Japanese words. Etymology The etymology of all these words (and 書く) is the same 和語 of かく, which has the ...
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12 votes

So I understand 人外 is an anagram of 外人, but does 外人人外 mean evil foreigner?

人外【じんがい】 is an uncommon and old-fashioned word. In fictional works, it typically refers to evil monsters, undeads, Japanese yokai, etc. You won't see this term often unless you're a fan of fantasy. ...
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12 votes

What is the 中 in ダウンロード中?

I think you answered your own question. 中{ちゅう} is a suffix that means "in the middle of". e.g. 道路は工事中だ The road is in the middle of construction.
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12 votes

Book error: パパは銀行に出かけていていないよ

Grammatically, there are two predicates in this sentence, (銀行に)出かけている and いない. 銀行に出かけている: "has gone to the bank", "is out at the bank" いない: "is not here", "is away&...
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11 votes

How is こちらこそ used?

It's being used here as B being humble and saying that the pleasure of this meeting is all theirs. You know how sometimes, especially in cliched movies, there will be an exchange like this? X: ...
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11 votes

知っているはずです is over complicated?

The correction does not have the same meaning as the question in English, so I think your friend misunderstood what you wanted to ask (which is another reason to avoid はず here). Even though はず can be ...
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Existence verbs in the Kansai Dialect

That statement basically only applies for おる as a simple existence verb. Non-humble おる is very common in Kansai. As a subsidiary verb, various forms including とる/ちょる/よる are commonly used instead of ...
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Could 家族 be used for really close friends?

We may not use 家族 to refer to friends as much as in other cultures, but calling someone with whom you have a family-to-family relationship as you describe in your post 日本の家族 is totally acceptable, and ...
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10 votes
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Difference between 者{もの} and 人{ひと}

Not necessarily old-fashioned, but standalone 者 does sound stiff. It's commonly found in military settings or in legal documents, where everything is written in an objective manner: 違反した者は、...
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あかひげ [赤髭] modern usage?

Born in Japan and raised in Japan for more than 30 years, I have never seen "赤ひげ" used as a derogatory term of "westerner". Before I write this, I did find an entry 赤髭 in a Japanese derogatory terms ...
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What's the difference between 上手い, 美味い, 旨い, and 巧い?

These can be divided into two large categories. 上手い ≒ 巧い ≒ good at something, skillful 彼女は料理がうまい。 She is good at cooking. 美味い ≒ 旨い ≒ delicious, yummy この料理はうまい。 This dish is delicious. The ...
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知っているはずです is over complicated?

I feel 何字知っているはずですか? is unnatural. I feel a question form of はずだ like はずですか? is unnatural, and the native Japanese speaker also would feel so. The reason why I feel it is unnatural is because はずだ ...
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Why is ば in this sentence?

ば is the accusative particle used in wide area of (northern, as I remember) Kyushu as much as を in Standard Japanese. Etymologically it's from を + は contracted but no longer has share the は sense in ...
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Why is "language" represented by 言葉【ことば】 instead of 言語【げんご】 in this book for learning Japanese?

言語 is more of an academic term, while ことば is more colloquial and accessible. 言語 is normally used with longer compound words. Functionally, though, they mean the same thing. Although the example that ...
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Meaning of「〜てみたいと思います」

You've gotten the みたい part wrong. What you are seeing is a subsidiary verb (~て)みる, which means "to try doing something (and see what happens)". See: What is the difference between "verb+て+みる"...
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What is the meaning of 「ほう」in the following sentence?

If I were translating these sentences naturally but relatively 'faithfully' into English, I'd probably go for the following: 日本の労働時間は世界でも長いほうだ。 Working hours in Japan are on the long(er) side, even ...
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9 votes

What's the difference between そうです and そうでしょう?

~だろう/でしょう in this context does not represent the uncertainty or guessing of the father. This actually is a strong affirmation of the Yotsuba's observation. I would translate this そうだろう as "Indeed," "...
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ならでは vs. ぐらいのもの

~ならではの + noun is a set phrase meaning "(noun) only seen in ~", "(noun) unique to ~", "(noun) that can be done only by ~", etc. For example, you can say 渡辺先生ならではの手術, which means "surgery that can only ...
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Can ところで be ambiguous (time vs. location)?

駅の近くでケーキを買ったところで彼女に偶然会った。 The sentence doesn't sound ambiguous to me. It means "I met her by chance right when I bought a cake near the station." According to 明鏡国語辞典: ところ【所(処)】〘名詞〙 ⑥-㋒《「・・・(ようと)...
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What's the most common way to say you are bad at something?

You have several ways to say "I'm bad at Japanese". The most common (and direct) ways to say it would be: 私は日本語が[下手]{へた}です。(lit. As for me, Japanese is poor.) 私の日本語は下手です。(lit. My Japanese is ...
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