Tom Kelly
  • Member for 5 years, 6 months
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1 answers
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431 views
How did スマート (from 'smart' in English) shift to mean 'slim, trim' and 'stylish'?
8 votes

This is not a semantic shift nor are they false friends. In English, smart has several distinct meanings. It has been used for to look stylish for a long time. It is still used for this meaning, ...

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3 answers
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440 views
Hiragana chart: yi, ye, wu - where and how?
5 votes

They're not "missing", these hiragana characters aren't needed as they don’t exist in modern Japanese language. The language doesn't have these sounds so they did not need to be represented. ...

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2 answers
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2k views
In Japanese, what’s the difference between “Tonari ni” (となりに) and “Tsugi” (つぎ)? When would you use one over the other?
5 votes

隣{となり}に or 隣{となり}の pertains to a location (similar to 近{ちか}く) for if something is directly next to something else. For example the building next door. 次{つぎ} pertains to a sequence of events such as ...

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2 answers
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200 views
Why is the term 者 used in some job titles and not others?
Accepted answer
4 votes

~者 is a generic suffix which means "person who does the job of". It's usually used when there isn't a common alternative. It's typically used for a profession and doesn't require membership of an ...

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2 answers
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190 views
What semantic notions underlie 和 and Japan?
3 votes

和 (pronounced “wa” in Japanese and “wo” in Chinese) is an old name for Japan, older than 日本. Sometimes it was written as 倭 (which has negative connotations when used by Chinese to refer to Japan). It ...

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844 views
What is the better way to say 'Asian Studies'?
3 votes

There are differences between 学{がく} and 研究{けんきゅう} that may help to understand how these are used. 学{がく} is used for an academic field of study or a class in school or university. For example, 生物{せいぶつ}...

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2 answers
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436 views
Who is the subject of すきです?
Accepted answer
3 votes

Japanese word order is different to English. These “particles” は (pronounced “wa”) and が along with を are important for this. In the example: 「私{わたし}はあなたが好{す}きです」 which translates to “I like you” we ...

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1 answers
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98 views
difference between よ and んだ
2 votes

嬉しいんだ is the casual (spoken) form of 嬉しいのです. This form is used for a variety of reasons but primarily to give a reason or explanation (or ask for one). It can be unnatural if used elsewhere so is best ...

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5 answers
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11k views
Why is the Hepburn system of romanization generally used over the Nihon-shiki system?
2 votes

It's not. Kunrei-siki (the updated version of Nihon-siki) is still widely used in Japan, as are non-standard romanisations and mixtures of different systems. They're taught in Japanese education ...

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3 answers
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1k views
What kind of Japanese "dialect" is this?
2 votes

Many Buddhist prayers and chants aren't really understood by most Japanese people (except perhaps monks and scholars). I've attended Buddhist temples and ceremonies in Japan and Taiwan and they use ...

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1 answers
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1k views
What is used more in Japan for numbers? Kanji or Hiragana?
2 votes

Numbers are frequently written using Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3,...) in Japanese just as they are in English. However, numbers written in kanji are still used from daily life in traditional style ...

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1 answers
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216 views
Saying "It's the principle of the matter"
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2 votes

主義{しゅぎ} is a principle or rule. I think this would apply to your personal principles or values. So for the "it is the principle that matters", you could respond: 私の主義ですから。 Since it is my ...

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2 answers
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283 views
What does 私様 means?
2 votes

It means “I/me/myself” but it is unusual to use this form rather than わたし or わたくし. Referring to yourself (or your inner circle) with an honorific is very impolite. These titles (such as さん, 氏, or 様) ...

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3 answers
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2k views
How do you say "hello" properly in Kyoto?
2 votes

Japanese greetings depend on many factors. Local dialects There are many local dialects and the Kansai region (including Kyoto) famously use their local dialect quite frequently. They'll usually use ...

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2 answers
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310 views
いつ and とき how to tell when to use which
2 votes

These have different meanings: At this time, ... とき means “time” and can be used to state a time period. This is translated to “when” in the sense of “at that time in which I was” 高校{こうこう}のとき、〜 ...

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2 answers
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181 views
Differences between いる and まつ
2 votes

まつ 待つ 待ちます means “to wait”. いる います means “to exist” (animate objects such as people and animals). ある あります means “to exist” for inanimate objects and is not to be confused with いる. もつ 持つ 持ちます means “...

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1 answers
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86 views
What does います mean if used as an answer to a question?
1 votes

いる is the verb "to exist" for animate objects (います is the polite form). ある is the verb "to exist" for inanimate objects (あります is the polite form). So in this case a literal ...

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1 answers
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1k views
How would a Japanese woman hyphenate her last name?
Accepted answer
1 votes

Legally she cannot do this. Under Japanese law you can only have one surname registered on your residence and family register documents. If her husband is Japanese, then she will have to change her ...

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3 answers
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732 views
what is relative time in Japanese language?
1 votes

An absolute time or date is a time period that will refer to the same time, regardless of when it is mentioned. These are typically exact times (on the same day in the current timezone unless ...

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3 answers
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726 views
Question about switching formality in a conversation
1 votes

How formal/polite you are (or should be) depends on the nature of your relationship. If they’re older, in a more senior position, or you don’t know them very well, you use some degree of formality. ...

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2 answers
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260 views
Choice of シティ and 市 in translating "Mega city police"
1 votes

The katakana form シティ is used in Japan for City” and would be recognised as shown in the “City Hall” below. I think メガ for “mega” is also acceptable this is used in アニメ{anime}. However, even in the “...

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2 answers
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518 views
Nが好き vs Vのが好き what form should be used?
1 votes

The meaning conveyed is the same do I think it is a personal choice. I think most people would use the shorter phrase as there is not need to use a verb. Still you could use either word choice, just ...

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2 answers
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127 views
the direct translation for と思います is (sometimes) being omitted by international news outlets after interview translations
0 votes

I wouldn't read too much into this. Translations and subtitles often take some liberties to convey the main meaning, especially given time or space constraints. Another consideration is different ...

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2 answers
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200 views
Using nicknames or first name with high school peers
0 votes

The assumptions here aren't strictly true. Informal and diminutive "honorifics" ~ちゃん and ~くん can be used with either family or given names (or shortened forms of either). This depends on the ...

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4 answers
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10k views
Does a small tsu double all consonants?
0 votes

The small つ (written as っ) is used to represent a very brief pause before the next consonant. These occur in the readings of Kanji and in hiragana grammatical conjugations. This is Romanised as a ...

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2 answers
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822 views
Is 笑 more like "LOL" or "haha"?
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笑{わら}い means "laughter" and 笑{え}み means "smile". When used like this specifically with brackets (笑) it's short for laughing on social media, similar to LOL, in that refers to the ...

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464 views
Fukushima in hiragana
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It’s ambiguous as there are many homophones in Japanese. If you refer to Fukushima-shi (the city) or Fukushima-ken (the prefecture) they should understand but the kanji would be more specific. It’s 福島 ...

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5 answers
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10k views
How is 空気を読む translated into English?
0 votes

Not a literal translation but “read the room” or “feel the atmosphere” have similar idiomatic usage in English.

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2 answers
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330 views
The difference between すみません and すみませんが
0 votes

Literally, the が here means “but” (in this case it is not used as a particle). Polite or humble Japanese often uses が or けど to end subclauses. Similarly, passive or negative verbs are used as it is ...

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5 answers
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2k views
Is this character a そ?
0 votes

The 2 stroke version is the original. It’s still taught in many books this way. The one stroke version is derived from writing in cursive but is widely used. This is also the case for ゆ and ふ for ...

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