Japanese Language Weekly Newsletter

Japanese Language newsletter

Top new questions this week:

Why と言っていました and not と言いました

My textbook I studied from many months ago stated that to quote what somebody said, you have to use と言っていました. I was wondering why that form is used and not と言いました。 Is there any specific reason for ...

grammar  
asked by Daniel 6 votes

Where does the な in 大人 (otona) come from?

As far as I understand, the word 大人 (otona) uses the kanji 大 to represent お and the kanji 人 to represent と. According to this site the readings for 人 do not include な. Where does the な come from then? ...

kanji etymology  
asked by Jorge24 6 votes
answered by user5185 7 votes

What is the etymology of the "emphatic" ない?

Upon looking up the term 大事ない, I was, shall we say, nonplussed to learn that it could mean both "very important" and "not very important". The explanation of the "very important" meaning clears things ...

etymology  
asked by senshin 6 votes
answered by l'électeur 2 votes

What's the meaning of this pastry pun?

I saw a sticker set being used on a popular social platform the other day that I found very interesting. They were pictures of food items, sweets mostly, and had words next to them that seemed to be ...

meaning puns  
asked by waldrumpus 5 votes
answered by Nicolas Raoul 5 votes

Use of question particles in plain speech

I'm becoming increasingly confused about the correct way to form questions in informal speech. I originally learned that I should replace か with の. Then I learned that that was a bit girly. Then I ...

nuances particle-no questions particle-ka  
asked by user3856370 5 votes
answered by Yuuwa 3 votes

If 鳥肉 is chicken meat, what is duck meat?

鳥 means bird or poultry. It's understandable that 鳥肉 would be chicken meat since chicken is the most popular "bird meat". But in this case where chicken has monopolized the meaning of bird, how would ...

meaning kanji  
asked by Mark Gabriel 5 votes
answered by akj 5 votes

How to pronounce 繁栄 han'ei?

How to pronounce 繁栄 han'ei? Is there a glottal stop between the two syllables? Is it //haɴʔeː//, //haɴeː//, //haŋʔeː// or //haŋeː//?

pronunciation phonetics  
asked by Hugh Vun Vor 5 votes
answered by Earthliŋ 5 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

What does "mononoke" mean?

I would like to know what the meaning of the word mononoke is? Of course it's the name of the princess in Miyazaki's wonderful film Mononoke-hime, but what is the deeper and acctual meaning of the ...

meaning  
asked by komakino 2 votes
answered by momerathe 5 votes

Is 「たくなった」 a typo or a grammatical structure that is different than I think it is?

I have this sentence in my JLPT exercise book: 彼{かれ}は有名人{ゆうめいじん}ゆえの不自由{ふじゆう}さから逃{に}げたくなった。 The translation offered is: He wanted to get away from the difficulties of being a celebrity. ...

verbs tense  
asked by Questioner 8 votes
answered by senshin 20 votes

Can you answer these?

Are there verbs that simply cannot work alone under any circumstances?

Some verbs, like 過ぎる can be added to the stem of other verbs to alter the meaning, (食べる>食べ過ぎる), can 過ぎる be used alone in specific circumstances? Are there verbs which are either grammatically ...

verbs adverbs subsidiary-verbs compound-verbs  
asked by Teco 1 vote

childish manner of speaking

I've heard that this phrase: 王様のベッドで寝ちゃおっと is spoken in a child-like way. The full translation is "let's sleep in the king's bed", and the portion that is child-like would be 寝ちゃおっと (let's sleep). ...

expression  
asked by Dave 2 votes

名 and 名前 - the difference

My impression is that, in speech, 名前 is polite, and 名 is ruder - but in writing, 名 sounds more literary. Am I correct?

word-choice words  
asked by Yuuwa 1 vote
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