Hot answers tagged

50

○ まる OK; correct; yes; supported; available (like ✔; note that the check mark usually means "wrong" in Japanese examinations) masked/censored character (like * in English used to mask characters in certain words; see this) rival horse; second likely to win (horse race; favorite horse is marked with ◎) win; victory; 白星 (when used as opposed to 黒星 = ● =...


33

In technical documents or technical news media, the name of a foreign website or company is typically written completely as-is. 米国Microsoft社のWindows 日本語についての質問サイトであるJapanese Language Stack Exchange Mass media for general public (e.g., 読売新聞) usually katakanize foreign proper nouns because many of their readers do not understand English at all: ...


33

They are different words. They are not only different in kanji/kana but also very different in pronunciation. 良い = よい = good, nice 用意 = ようい = preparation, readiness That is, 用意 has an elongated vowel, which is a distinguishing feature in the Japanese language. For details, see long-vowels tag and this question: Are there many occurances of elongated ...


31

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 adds information from the same viewpoint. Let me try to explain this. When you describe something happens after something, basically you can use both そして and ...


30

In short, that is because "island" is not the only meaning of 「島/しま/シマ」. Besides "island", it can mean "settlement", "arable land by a river", "isolated area", "territory", "turf", "sandbank", etc. Even each section of a supermarket or any sizable store is called 「シマ」. So, it does not have to be sea water that surrounds a 「島/しま/シマ」. 「[福島]{ふくしま}」 was ...


30

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 another term like ミルクティー be more appropriate? Yes, ミルクティー is also common. So I'd recommend using 紅茶 or ミルクティー to avoid any confusion.  (That said, you'd still say 「...


25

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 to good today so I'm gonna rest.") 気分【きぶん】 - Mood. 「仕事【しごと】をする気分になれない」 ("I can't get into the mood to do work.") 「今日【きょう】は気分がのらない」 ("I'm not in the mood today."...


24

By far the most-often used verb would be 「合{あ}う」. Its negative form is 「合わない」. We often say things like: 「そのラーメンは私には合わなかった。」 Expresses general dislike without specifying the reasons. Just sounds "nicer" than saying it was terrible. It can imply that others might like it though you did not yourself. 「そのラーメンは私のお腹{なか}には合わなかった。」 Ingredients were ...


23

A を B に is a common literary adverbial expression that means with A in/on B, literally or figuratively. In most cases you have a part of body in B, as 小銭を手に with coins in hand, 期待を胸に with expectation in chest (= heart), ドアを背に with door in back (= with back against the door), リュックを(背/肩)に with backpack on shoulder etc. But it's also frequently used with ...


23

日本語 日本語が理解できると思いますので日本語で回答します。 一般に、また、私も、「じんせい」と聞いて「仁星」を思い浮かべることはできません。私は全く「仁星」という言葉を見たことも聞いたこともなく、自信をもって日本語には無いと思っています。 若者が「仁星」と理解した理由を想像しますと、唯一の可能性は、「しゅう」という言葉が「じんせい」とともに聞こえてきたからだと思います。 私には、その物語を知らないので「仁星」を想起できませんが、もし私が、「じんせい」と「しゅう」を同時に聞いたなら、「じんせいのしゅう」という言葉は日本語にはないので、「人生の終**」か何かの言葉ではないかと考えるでしょう。 私には、あなたと似たような経験がありますのでお話しします。 私が大学生のとき、スイスからの留学生がいました。...


23

According to Wikipedia the symbol itself is named 郵便記号{ゆうびんきごう}, but EDICT/Jisho also lists ゆうびん as "reading" for it. Since the origin of the symbol is katakana te (テ), you can probably just say "te" as well. Chiebukuro offers: 郵便記号(ゆうびんきごう、〒) 郵便マーク(ゆうびんマーク) 郵便番号(ゆうびんばんごう) 日本の郵便事業・郵便局の記号・シンボルマークです。 If you want to read it as part of the address (e.g. 〒100-...


23

ちんちんかく means 正座をする(sitting straight) in Toyama dialect. However you had better not use it except in Toyama prefecture, because most Japanese people would think it means "to scratch a penis".


22

No, we basically never do that in Japanese culture. We would use the actual name or nickname of the son nearly 100% of the time. The only time that I could think of parents (mostly fathers) addressing their sons as 「息子{むすこ}」 would be in very serious/important letters or poems. In such cases, it would generally be 「息子よ」 instead of just 「息子」. Even on ...


22

Yes, they are, and it comes from Western Influence. 日曜, 月曜, 火曜, 水曜, 木曜, 金曜, 土曜 are Classical Chinese names for the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn, respectively. English names for the days of the week are mostly Germanic names for the same planets. Sunday, Monday, and Saturday are obvious, but we have Tuesday (Norse: Tiw for Mars) ...


22

For the etymology of 赤ちゃん "baby" gogen-allguide.com says the following: 赤ちゃんの語源・由来 新生児の皮膚の色が赤く見えることによる語で、「赤ん坊」や「赤子・赤児」も、皮膚の色に由来する。 民間語源には、赤ちゃんを意味する韓国語「アガ」を語源とする説もある。 しかし、「赤ちゃん」や「赤ん坊」の語が成立する以前に「あが」の例は見られず、成立後に見られる「あがちゃん」や「あがんぼう」は訛りであるため、この説は考え難い。 また、子供を叱る時の「メッ」という言葉も、韓国語で「鞭(ムチ)」を意味する「メ」に由来するものとし、それを根拠に赤ちゃんの語源も「アガ」とするものがある。 「メッ」の語源と「赤ちゃん」...


21

おりる and くだる both mean to move from a high place to a low(er) place. The difference is that the former focuses on the end point/result, whereas the latter focuses on the movement and/or the course taken. さがる means to go down or back, often used in relation to some value or standard. You also use it when a part of something (bodily or other) lowers from its ...


21

The particle な indeed has both meanings: "Don't do ~" and "Do ~". From デジタル大辞泉: 1 動詞・動詞型助動詞の終止形、ラ変型活用語の連体形に付く。禁止の意を表す。「油断する―」「まだ帰る―」「かの尼君などの聞かむに、おどろおどろしく言ふ―」〈源・夕顔〉 2 《補助動詞「なさる」の命令形「なさい」の省略形》動詞・動詞型助動詞の連用形に付く。命令の意を表す。「早く行き―」「好きなようにやり―」 To distinguish, な means "don't" when it follows the dictionary-form, and "do" when it follows the masu-stem. するな。 ...


21

I hate to sound realistic here, but the concept of the female ninja is basically all fictional to begin with. If I am not mistaken (which I do not think I am), there exists no record so far that proves the existence of a female ninja in real life that performed the same tasks as a male ninja such as surveillance and destruction. That being said, the word 「...


20

Usually reversing the order drastically changes the meaning even if it happens to mean something: 会社【かいしゃ】 company ≠ 社会【しゃかい】 society 牛乳【ぎゅうにゅう】 cow milk ≠ 乳牛【にゅうぎゅう】 milk cow 現実【げんじつ】 reality ≠ 実現【じつげん】 realization 家出【いえで】 running away from home ≠ 出家【しゅっけ】 entering the priesthood 日本【にほん】 Japan ≠ 本日【ほんじつ】 today But some pairs have a very ...


20

To us native speakers, 「古{ふる}い男{おとこ}」 does not mean "an old man". This is why direct translation could be dangerous at times. 「古い男」 to us generally means "an old-fashioned man". In other words, it is synonymous to 「古いタイプの男」、「価値観{かちかん}の古い男」、「考{かんが}え方{かた}の古い男」, etc. Therefore, 「古い男」 does not necessarily have to be biologically old because it is his ...


19

Euphemism vs. Taboo Words [婉曲語法]{えんきょくごほう} vs. [忌]{い}み[言葉]{ことば} 「[閉]{と}じる」 ("to close") is considered a taboo word for auspicious events such as a wedding party (even though the word itself is something we use without thinking on a daily basis). Thus, we choose to say 「お[開]{ひら}きにする」 to mean "bring (a happy event) to an end". 「閉じる」 is not the only 忌み言葉 ...


19

I'm wondering how long you've been studying Japanese. Japanese is hardly primitive. It is highly expressive: in fact, in many regards it is more expressive than English (or Russian). For example, the use of honorifics and keigo make clear relationships between people that is not possible in Indo-European languages in the clean straight-forward manner of ...


19

「おいしいとこ(ろ)(を)もって(い)く」 had been an extremely popular phrase for several years until about a decade ago but it is not very 'cool' anymore. Though its novelty has worn out, it is still heard often enough. It basically means "to steal the show", "to take a big bite" or "to take the best part". For this "new" meaning, 「おいしい」 should be written in kana. Using 「...


19

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 German (a popular example being カルテ from German Karte). I guess it would not be surprising if レントゲン was also imported already as a medical term for X-ray, from ...


18

べき is a fun part of modern Japanese grammar with odd rules probably best explained using the historical explanation. History べし used to be a 助動詞{じょどうし} (auxiliary). Connecting to things before it: べし followed the 終止形{しゅうしけい} (conclusive form) normally, and with ラ変{へん} verbs it followed the 連体形{れんたいけい} (adnominal form). (NB: One could think of it as u ...


18

I think it's [熟練者]{じゅくれんしゃ}... Source


18

はおる and 着る are somewhat close but not the same words! はおる(羽織る) means to wear clothes over another, as if you're covering them. So I'd say someone "はおる" his/her coat when they do so without closing its zipper / buttons. It's kind of hard to explain in words, but there's a very similar word 羽織{はおり}, which is a noun. 羽織 is similar to coat. Try googling how ...


18

The correct word for it is yōi (用意), but perhaps you failed to perceive vowel length and/or your sensei isn't a native speaker. In many martial arts we start a match with: 用意――はじめ! Ready......Fight! Or in track race: 位置について――用意――ドン! On your mark......Get set......(bang!)


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