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Japanese Language newsletter

Top new questions this week:

History of 馬 and 梅

I learned recently that two mora Sino-Japanese words using one character always end in /ki/, /ku/, /i/, /u/, /chi/, /tsu/, or /n/. However, I was also told that 馬【うま】 and 梅【うめ】 are Sino-Japanese. What …

asked by Anthony 8 votes

How did 参った come to mean 'defeated' from 参る?

I've heard the phrase 参った and understood it to mean something like 'I/we lost' or 'knocked out'. How did this come from 参る, to visit or go by? I read in a dictionary that it's some phrase said by a …

asked by user50702 7 votes
answered by naruto 3 votes

Pronouncing + in dictionary definitions

Dictionary definitions often use plus signs when describing what words or phrases are made of. For example, the definition for たところで…ない in 大辞泉 says: …

pronunciation symbols  
asked by snailboat 7 votes
answered by 非回答者 7 votes

謙譲語{けんじょうご} nouns such as 弊社{へいしゃ}, etc

As explained in the thread titled "Can 美化語{びかご} create implied subjects?", in a very, very limited number of circumstances a noun could be upgraded to pseudo-尊敬語 by using 美化語 (such as ご気分{きぶん}, etc). …

asked by user312440 6 votes
answered by 非回答者 5 votes

When do we use doori-ni instead of toori-ni

I noticed that in the case of nouns - we can use either 'N no toori-ni' or 'N doori-ni'. But this seems to be case-specific. When or in which circumstances do we use the latter?

asked by IUnknown 6 votes

What's the difference between 値段 and 価格

They're both "price", but I don't see the difference. Even the Kanji appear to suggest similar meanings. Thanks for any advice!

word-choice words  
asked by James 6 votes
answered by naruto 4 votes

華麗にスルーする Ignore someone . . . how exactly?

I was watching an anime series called Steins;Gate today. In episode 9 (around six minutes in), one of the characters proposes physically travelling through time: 凶真「ずばり、物理的タイムトラベルだ!」 The other …

asked by snailboat 5 votes
answered by naruto 4 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

ち suffix I've never heard of before

Ok, so I've been reading よつばと recently, and I've been seeing a suffix coming up that I cannot seem to find a meaning for. It's not in any dictionary, and I'm not sure if it's a name suffix, or some …

grammar translation suffixes  
asked by KingPumpkin 10 votes
answered by Ash 16 votes

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

As I understand, Japanese numbers are divided into blocks of four, so while we would think of the number 89123889 as 89,123,889, in Japan they would think of it as 8912,3889 (八千九百十二万三千八百八十九). So …

orthography numbers writing written-conventions japanese-numbers  
asked by Leo King 13 votes
answered by naruto 18 votes

Can you answer these?

How do you politely and gratefully reply to an invitation to be published?

Is there a set phrase for politely replying to an invitation to have your academic paper published as a journal article? I presented a paper at a Japanese academic conference, and I've received an …

nuances politeness  
asked by seijitsu 4 votes

_っ_り form adverbs

I keep seeing these onomatopoeic adverbs popping up with the form: _っ_り. Some examples include ぐっすり、ぴったり、すっきり、etc…. Is there a name for these adverbs, and why are they in this specific form?

words etymology adverbs  
asked by KingPumpkin 4 votes
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