naruto
  • Member for 7 years, 10 months
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  • Tokyo, Japan
What do the shapes △ ◯ ╳ ◻ mean in Japanese? And are there variations in meaning, depending on whether or not the shape is filled?
52 votes

○ 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 ...

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Do the Japanese actually use the word "Hentai" to mean "Anime Porn", like in English?
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51 votes

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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Why is Katakana not pronounced Katagana?
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43 votes

This phenomenon is called 連濁 (rendaku). The basic rules for rendaku can be found in the following question, so please take a look at it first: Rules or criteria for 連濁: Voiced or unvoiced syllables ...

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Native Japanese word for フリー
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35 votes

It's because English "free" has two major meanings which are totally different, and no native Japanese word covers both of the two meanings of "free". Free as in "free WiFi", no charge = 無料 Free as ...

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Why is the word オタク written in katakana?
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34 votes

In this case, katakana is used to indicate オタク is used not in its original sense but in its derivative sense. おたく was (and still is) an honorific expression used to refer to someone's family. So オタク ...

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Is the ''yoi'' meaning ''ready'' when doing karate the same as the ''yoi'' which means nice/good?
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33 votes

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 ...

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What is the term for Japanese Language Stack Exchange in Japanese?
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33 votes

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 ...

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What is the difference between そして (soshite) and それから (sorekara)?
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33 votes

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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Why do they say 'kawaii' for 'poor thing'?
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33 votes

You are mixing i-adjective かわいい (kawaii, "cute, lovely") with na-adjective かわいそう (kawaisō, "poor, pitiful"). These are simply different, although they share the same etymology. かわいい(かはゆし) actually ...

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Different meanings of こわい
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32 votes

怖い indeed means both "to be scary" and "to be scared" depending on the context. You may feel this is insane, but English has similar examples, too, so let me explain about this first. In English, "I ...

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How to read: the "~" (tilde) in "3~4 行"
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31 votes

There is no strict rule about this. It's best not to use this "~" symbol denoting a range, when it's meant to be read out loud by someone. But if you really have to, you can read the "~" symbol as "...

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the logic behind "te" in "chotto matte te"
30 votes

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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Standard mathematical operations, expressed in Japanese
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29 votes

First of all, let me assume: You're only interested in the simple four operations (+, -, *, /) and brackets ( ) Multiplication and division have higher priority, e.g., 1 + 2 * 3 is 7, not 9 Of course ...

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What is the meaning of 金〇
27 votes

This 金〇 is 金麦, a well-known beer brand by Suntory Ltd. You can see the character 麦 on the can. Here 麦 is masked by the circle in order to avoid issues regarding trademarks or conflict of interest. ...

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Why is this written in katakana instead of hiragana?
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27 votes

の in traditional proper nouns are commonly written in katakana. 壇ノ浦 三ノ宮駅 鬼ノ城 沖ノ鳥島 Practically, this can help people notice that this の is part of the proper noun and not the ordinary particle. ...

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Is there a reason why numbers in Japanese are delimited into blocks of four?
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26 votes

The following is a summary of this Wikipedia article. A math book called 塵劫記【じんこうき】, published in 1627, was the first book that described (and probably defined) how to count large numbers in Japanese. ...

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Saying ジャパニーズ instead of 日本の
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24 votes

There are various reasons to use katakana or loanwords (see other answers), but in this case, I think the reason is very close to why 日本 is sometimes written as ニッポン or why トヨタ is written in katakana. ...

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Why is 私 a sixth grade kanji?
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24 votes

This is because you don't have to write it in kanji even after you have become an adult. On BCCWJ, there are 65,182 examples of 私は, while the number of the examples of わたしは is 11,372. This means many ...

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Why are katakana preferred over hiragana or kanji sometimes?
24 votes

Japanese often use katakana for certain Japanese-origin words when they are difficult to write or imagine in kanji. I guess it's because they sound somewhat like 'foreign' or 'onomatopoeia' to ...

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Should 私の be omitted?
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23 votes

Since this is a formal statement, it's better to keep 私の. But people can understand the sentence without it because they know it's your profile. What's worse about your sentence is that your sentence ...

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Meaning of 人 in Japanese internet slang
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23 votes

人 represents two hands pressed together. It appears in many kaomoji. In this context it represents praying hands (合掌), a traditional Buddhism/Shinto praying gesture. It can also mean more casual "...

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Why is a verb in the past (た形) contradicted with ~ていない?
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23 votes

@snailplane introduced this interesting article to me! 山下 好孝. テンスの「た」とアスペクトの「た」 (PDF) 初級日本語教科書では「~ましたか」の質問に対して,「~ていません」と答えるのを初級の学習者に導入する時は、「もう」と「まだ」を教える時である。(略) しかし、実際は、去年のことやもっと昔のことを開いても、「~ていません」「...

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How to parse ~なくたって?
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23 votes

This たって is the same as たって (≒even if, even though) in 雨が降ったって出掛けるよ. The difference is that なく (te-form of ない) is inserted between the main verb (=言う) and たって. (And of course 言う is in its nai-form ...

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What is the exact meaning of "kaizen"?
22 votes

In Japanese, usually 改善【かいぜん】 is no more than a neutral and simple word that corresponds to "improvement" or "refinement". The only fact I know as a piece of knowledge, which make this word somewhat "...

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Why is the て-form being used before ん?
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21 votes

誰探してんの is a contracted form of 誰探してるの, which in turn is a contracted form of 誰(を)探しているの ("Who are you looking for?", notice the progressive form). More generally: ている contracts to てる. (See this chart)...

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What is the purpose of the redundant "いい人" in this example sentence
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21 votes

Repeating a word using は is a way to emphasize something. There are several patterns. X + は + X + が/けど/けれど works like "indeed ~ but ~" or "it's true that ~ but ~". X can be an adjective, a noun or a ...

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Is the word 「やんな」positive or negative?
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21 votes

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・...

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What does や after someone's name mean exactly?
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21 votes

There are two types of や which should be distinguished. や as 終助詞 (sentence-ending particle) or 間投助詞 (interjectory particle): A casual vocative particle. In English, "hey" as in "Hey Siri" or "o" as ...

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Why does 悪く(は)ない give a condescending feeling?
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21 votes

I think it may sound condescending because it sounds like you have the right to say something is clearly bad. Typically, you can directly say 悪く(は)ない to someone when you judge their performance/...

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"雷{かみなり}" is thunder, or lightning, or both?
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21 votes

Yes, 雷 refers to both the lightning and the sound caused by it. If you need to distinguish, the specific term for the visible discharge of the light is 稲妻【いなずま】, and the specific word for the sound ...

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