Teno
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2 answers
32 votes
6k views
How did 面白い end up meaning "Interesting"?
Accepted answer
38 votes

According to 語源由来辞典 ( http://gogen-allguide.com/o/omoshiroi.html ), 「面白い」 is originated from 「面白し」. 「面」 used to mean "a sight/view" (the source says the front of eyes) and 「白い」 used to mean "bright ...

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1 answers
3 votes
210 views
What does 金 have in common with triggers/guns?
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10 votes

「金」 in 「引{ひ}き金{がね}」 does not represent "money" but "metal". "Metal" is translated as 「金属{きんぞく}」 and "metal fittings" are translated as 「金具{かなぐ}」. 「引き金」 is the part of a gun that is made of metal and ...

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2 answers
9 votes
2k views
Help with the difference between causative and the causative-passive for the verb 笑う
10 votes

In the sentence, "△△さんの冗談には、いつも思わず笑わせられた。", "笑わせられた" has a nuance "I could not resist △△'s jokes". The sentence implies the jokes were really good.

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1 answers
7 votes
1k views
What is "masu-stem + ざま"?
9 votes

手裏剣をよけざま 「よけ」 should be 避ける(avoid/dodge). 「~しざま」 means "while / the moment / at the same time". It can be rephrased like 「~する際」 「~しながら」. So the sentence appears to be "he did something while he ...

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3 answers
6 votes
4k views
It's time to [verb]
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9 votes

Jikan wa deru koto desu If it is written in Japanese, 「時間は出る事です」. We don't say it.  One, is this correct? No. If you mean It's time to leave, 「もう出る時間です」 should be fine. Two, when translating ...

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2 answers
10 votes
5k views
けど vs. が for "but" conjuction
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8 votes

今日はサッカーをして疲れたけど楽しかった。 今日はサッカーをして疲れたが楽しかった。   去年は遊びまくった。けど、成績は落ちなかった。 去年は遊びまくった。が、成績は落ちなかった。   ご飯食べるのはあとにしよう。おなかすいたけど。 ご飯食べるのはあとにしよう。おなかすいたが。 By comparing these sentences, "けど" appears to be ...

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2 answers
8 votes
355 views
Questions on the (underlying) meaning of the word お化け
8 votes

I think those words come from 化身, which ancient Japanese believed that any form of nature has a spirit in it. And sometimes a spirit moves into another entity and it's called 化身。 If you've ever seen ...

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2 answers
14 votes
771 views
Different conventions for animal meat
7 votes

There is no convenient rule you can use. The different pronunciations come from the different origins of the words. There are basically three kinds of words that are written in kanji in Japanese. 和語 ...

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2 answers
8 votes
433 views
Sentence-final 「ど~」?
7 votes

「~したど」 is a kidding way of saying 「~したぞ」.

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1 answers
9 votes
1k views
What's the difference between いつだって and いつでも?
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7 votes

「いつだって」 is a more casual way of saying 「いつでも」 and it has a little emphasis on its meaning compared to 「いつでも」. You'll hardly see 「だって」 being used in newspaper articles compared to 「でも」. だって source: ...

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3 answers
5 votes
664 views
Why use 数年 in あれから10数年?
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6 votes

あれから10数年 It means 10 plus several years passed. like 14 to 17 years. 10 to 19 years passed. (corrected) あれから10年後 It means exactly 10 years later. すう‐ねん【数年】 2、3か5、6ぐらいの年数。 source: デジタル大辞泉 ...

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2 answers
5 votes
370 views
前 as a counter word?
5 votes

「~人前」 can be rephrased 「~人分」 meaning, "for n people/person", where n is a number. まえ〔まへ〕【前】 [接尾] 1 名詞や動詞の連用形などに付いて、それに相当する分量や部分などを表す。「五人―」「分け―」 source: 大辞泉 http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/dsearch?p=...

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2 answers
6 votes
367 views
Is being called an オタク derogatory?
5 votes

I think it depends on the person who gets offended by being called so. According to 日本語俗語辞書 ( http://zokugo-dict.com/05o/otaku.htm ), オタクとは、特定の分野に関して強い興味を抱き、関連するものを収集したり、詳しく知ることに時間を費やす人のこと。【年代】 ...

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1 answers
6 votes
318 views
How do we roll a ball along a street from A to B?
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5 votes

"I rolled a ball along the street from the police station to the second traffic lights?" Let's make it clear that along is a preposition(前置詞) in this sentence, not an adverb(副詞). "rolling along ...

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2 answers
5 votes
346 views
Meaning of 気負わずに奮ってご参加ください
4 votes

I would just translate it to "please do not hesitate to join us" as a free translation (意訳). 奮う  奮ってご来会下さい. You are cordially invited to the meeting. (source: weblio http://ejje.weblio.jp/...

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3 answers
13 votes
970 views
神様がある vs. 神様がいる
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4 votes

We hardly say 「神様がある」 as "There is a God. / God exists." But you can say 「~神様(というもの)がある」 as "there is a god called ~" From some of the Google results, たいていの郷土玩具の産地には天神様があるそうです。 「天神様」 here means ...

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1 answers
6 votes
526 views
What does そこによるところは大きい mean?
4 votes

賢愚の次第で民は泣き、国際社会は迷惑を被る。拉致被害者の早い救出も、そこによるところは大きい In this context, そこ (that/it) points to 賢愚 (to be wise or foolish) の次第 and よる should be 依る, meaning depends on. So it reads: the rapid rescue of the ...

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2 answers
4 votes
2k views
what does "mata ha" stand for in this sentence?
4 votes

It means or. It is written as 又は.

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1 answers
4 votes
485 views
When is it appropriate to use お宅 to refer to the second-person?
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3 votes

When a politician of the political party in power talks to a member of the former Government political party, he/she may say 「お宅の党の政策のつけが今こちらに周ってきているんですよ。」. It is less polite than saying 「~さんの党の政策のつけが・...

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2 answers
4 votes
384 views
What does 血のしょんべん mean?
3 votes

血 means blood. しょんべん means pee. So it should be 血尿 meaning bloody urine. I cannot think of other meanings.

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3 answers
3 votes
255 views
Why does the か come before です in this question?
3 votes

It's very common to say 「~するかだ」. It would be easier for you to get the meaning by inserting 「が重要/問題」 after か. 隅の黒一子が次にアタリですが、ここをどう考えるかです 隅の黒一子が次にアタリですが、ここをどう考えるかが重要/問題です The translation would be ...

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7 answers
17 votes
8k views
Are there any Japanese words as versatile as "fuck" in English?
2 votes

What about 「[微妙]{びみょう}」. It is used to express something not quite well. e.g. [今日]{きょう}行{い}ったレストランは[微妙]{びみょう}だった。 It is also used to say about something subtle. e.g. [微妙]{びみょう}な[色彩]{しきさい}が[施]{ほどこ}された[...

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3 answers
11 votes
839 views
Imperative used instead of conditional form
-1 votes

とは言え and どっちにしろ are not imperative(命令形). どっちにしても vs どっちにしろ どっち is an informal way to say どちら. どちらにしても is どちらに(したと)しても. どちらにしろ is どちらにすれども. Similarly, とは言え is とは言えども.

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3 answers
9 votes
1k views
Why does 「(から)というもの」 have a meaning of "recently/since"?
-1 votes

I would regard it as the omission of の間. この一週間というもの(の間)、忙しくてほとんど寝ていない。  結婚してからというもの(の間)、映画館で映画を見ていない。 ここしばらくというもの(の間)... The second sentence uses から to emphasize that the period of time started ...

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2 answers
9 votes
451 views
Do we use odd day pronunciations outside of calendar ranges?
-2 votes

I've never heard of よんじゅうよっか, ひゃくはつかかん, or にせんさんびゃくななじゅうよっかかん. Sounds very funny to me though. So my answer is we don't say it. This might be of your interest: http://q.hatena.ne.jp/1185325505

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