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The "What's this word/phrase?" thread

I agree, I went maybe a little too far by saying it was a mistake.
But I don't think I was stressing the definition.
I was more concerned about the situation/context.
I was pointing out that "that's enough for today" doesn't convey the idea of thankfulness, or can even make you believe you could use お疲れ様 for yourself ("ok, i'm done, i'm out, bye")
But if you're the boss in a group and talk to your mates, yeah why not.
Edited: 2017-05-02, 12:59 pm
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Thank you, everyone who replied to my question. Your answers have been very illuminating. I have a couple more questions, please.

According to GENKI's 'Expression Notes' on p. 36 (Textbook, 2nd. edition), when friends say 'goodbye' to each other, they use the expression じゃあ、また, and when a student takes leave from a professor's office, they say しつれいします.

1. I couldn't find the expression じゃあ、また on Jisho.org. The closest was じゃあね. Is the former expression actually used?

2. According to Jisho.org the meaning of しつれいします is 'excuse me', not 'goodbye'. Is Jisho.org missing a definition, or is GENKI mistaken?
Edited: 2017-05-02, 3:30 pm
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じゃあ、また is used; think 'Alright, later!' for a similar English phrase. またね and また明日 are also used, think 'Later!' and 'See ya tomorrow!' respectively. All are casual (so you'd use them with friends, not superiors or strangers).

じゃあ is a contraction (might not be the right word; it's slurring two words together) of では, which is used to break away from the previous topic (there's a word for that, but I can't think of it) in cases like these. So if you were having two choices described to you, you'd probably shift from that conversation to your decision with では. I think Genki has a section on this.
Edited: 2017-05-02, 4:53 pm
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(2017-05-02, 12:13 pm)pied2porc Wrote: I was more concerned about the situation/context.
I was pointing out that "that's enough for today" doesn't convey the idea of thankfulness, or can even make you believe you could use お疲れ様 for yourself ("ok, i'm done, i'm out, bye")
Yeah, this is a general problem with English glosses of Japanese words and phrases that have any kind of nuance at all. The English is often only true for one very narrow interpretation in one very particular situation. If there's any doubt it's best to check a dictionary with examples. Or an example sentence site. Or both.

(2017-05-02, 3:28 pm)ItaiB Wrote: when friends say 'goodbye' to each other, they use the expression じゃあ、また, and when a student takes leave from a professor's office, they say しつれいします.

1. I couldn't find the expression じゃあ、また on Jisho.org. The closest was じゃあね. Is the former expression actually used?

2. According to Jisho.org the meaning of しつれいします is 'excuse me', not 'goodbye'. Is Jisho.org missing a definition, or is GENKI mistaken?
The root of the expression for saying goodbye casual is 'では、また(今度、明日)ね'. では is always turned into じゃ in modern Japanese, and often elongated to じゃあ. The full expression gets shortened to any of 「じゃね」、「またね」、「じゃまた」、with long or short じゃ, plus variants with 今度 or 明日 (or even 来週 for co-members of a group that meets weekly).

JMdict (= jisho, rikai, yomi ) has both 失礼 meanings (and more) under 失礼 as a suru-verb. This is another case where the phrase literally means 'I will be rude', but you have to just see how it's used. It's used for all of interrupting someone, entering someone's office, joining someone's table, leaving someone's office, and taking your leave from a group. And more.
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Thank both of you very much for the informative answers.
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The official GENKI Vocab app pronounces the word 留学生 (/りゅうがくせい/, 'foreign/international student') as /りゅうなくせい/, i.e. the 'g' sounds like 'n' (link to the audio file, will expire in 24 hours). Is this

a) The correct standard pronunciation? (standard = educated Tokyo)

b) A correct, but non-standard pronunciation? For instance, as found in some non-Tokyo dialect.

c) Incorrect pronunciation.

d) I misheard. The reader actually pronounces 'g', but very mildly.
Edited: 2017-05-04, 1:19 am
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I remember having this problem. XD

It's d).The Japanese G is often MUCH softer than the English one and can easily sound like an N until you get used to it.
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Kinda a).
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%BC%BB%...1%E9%9F%B3
ガ行鼻濁音 (nasalisation of /ga, gi, gu, ge, go/) that you'll hear for some /g/ sounds from NHK announcers and such.
The NHK accent/pronunciation dictionary marks this with 半濁点(゜)like か゚ etc.
Edited: 2017-05-04, 4:25 am
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(2017-05-04, 4:21 am)Ash_S Wrote: The NHK accent/pronunciation dictionary marks this with 半濁点(゜)like か゚ etc.

Thanks. How can I search this dictionary?
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(2017-05-04, 7:37 am)ItaiB Wrote:
(2017-05-04, 4:21 am)Ash_S Wrote: The NHK accent/pronunciation dictionary marks this with 半濁点(゜)like か゚ etc.

Thanks. How can I search this dictionary?
NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 is the name to search for. There's a few different editions.
You can get a physical copy, or get the app (neither are cheap :/)
If you're interested in pitch accent, there's OJAD and other dictionaries freely available online, though not as comprehensive as the NHK one.
The NHK one is the only dictionary I've seen that marks the nasalised /g/.
Edited: 2017-05-04, 8:07 am
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I have a question that is very basic but that for some reason I can't get my head around, in this story: http://www.hukumusume.com/douwa/pc/jap/01/01.htm
why is it それでネズミが最初の年の大将になり instead of それでネズミが年の最初大将になり ,  isn't the story trying to say that the mouse became the first general of the year calendary?
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(2017-05-07, 8:29 pm)Iuri_ Wrote: I have a question that is very basic but that for some reason I can't get my head around, in this story: http://www.hukumusume.com/douwa/pc/jap/01/01.htm
why is it それでネズミが最初の年の大将になり instead of それでネズミが年の最初大将になり ,  isn't the story trying to say that the mouse became the first general of the year calendary?

Because the title that all of the first twelve animals will receive is '年の大将', and ネズミ is the first of those, it becomes 「最初の『年の大将』」. The other way isn't wrong in principle, but it's talking about someone who becomes a 「大将」, not someone who becomes a 「年の大将」, so it's wrong for this context.

(In other words, not "the first General of the year" but "the first 'General of the Year'").
Edited: 2017-05-07, 9:18 pm
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(2017-05-07, 9:12 pm)SomeCallMeChris Wrote:
(2017-05-07, 8:29 pm)Iuri_ Wrote: I have a question that is very basic but that for some reason I can't get my head around, in this story: http://www.hukumusume.com/douwa/pc/jap/01/01.htm
why is it それでネズミが最初の年の大将になり instead of それでネズミが年の最初大将になり ,  isn't the story trying to say that the mouse became the first general of the year calendary?

Because the title that all of the first twelve animals will receive is '年の大将', and ネズミ is the first of those, it becomes 「最初の『年の大将』」. The other way isn't wrong in principle, but it's talking about someone who becomes a 「大将」, not someone who becomes a 「年の大将」, so it's wrong for this context.

(In other words, not "the first General of the year" but "the first 'General of the Year'").

Wow, it became much more clear when you put the brackets, suddenly my mind was able to connect the dots. The distinction between those two are kinda subtle(much like the English ones), but I got it, thanks! Smile
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On p. 57 of GENKI (textbook, 2nd. ed.) the question "how old...?" is given as おいくつ (oikutsu). Jisho doesn't have an entry for this expression, however it has one for いくつ (ikutsu) which is translated as "how old...?" and the example sentence contains the expression おいくつ : "あなたのおとうお父さんはおいくつですか。How old is your father?" (the emphasis is mine).

So what does the お mean? Why isn't おいくつ listed as an entry in Jisho? Why doen't GENKI translate "how old...?" as いくつ?
Edited: 2017-05-11, 12:45 pm
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(2017-05-11, 12:42 pm)ItaiB Wrote: On p. 57 of GENKI (textbook, 2nd. ed.) the question "how old...?" is given as おいくつ (oikutsu). Jisho doesn't have an entry for this expression, however it has one for いくつ (ikutsu) which is translated as "how old...?" and the example sentence contains the expression おいくつ : "あなたのおとうお父さんはおいくつですか。How old is your father?" (the emphasis is mine).

So what does the お mean? Why isn't おいくつ listed as an entry in Jisho? Why doen't GENKI translate "how old...?" as いくつ?
That's just the honorific お(御); in this case it just makes the sentence more respectful towards the listener's father (since the question applies to the father, an honorific on the question word also applies to the father.)

It's the same お as at the beginning of お茶、お元気、etc.

There isn't always a separate dictionary entry since it's an honorific prefix that can be applied  to many different words according to the situation. Separate dictionary entries are used for those cases where the honorific お has become semi-permanently attached to the word and it's used even in non-honorific situations, or cases where the word takes on a different idiomatic meaning with the お. Some fixed expressions or extremely common お-words also get their own entry.

As for why genki did that, I don't really know, but probably simply because they haven't explained honorific お yet. If they define お and いくつ separately without explanation it could be confusing, so they defined the whole expression instead.
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The お is 御. It's a prefix that's added to words make them more respectful/formal. A lot of words are paired with it so often that they have dictionary entries to show this (otousan being one of them), but it's not limited to just those words. Whenever you're having trouble identifying a word starting with お or ご you should check if excluding the first mora gives you something that fits.
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(2009-06-12, 4:32 pm)lanval Wrote: I found another word for husband: うちの人.

Kenkyusha's New Japanese–English Dictionary, 5th Edition says: "my husband"

EDIT: I replied to a very old post by accident.
Edited: 2017-05-11, 6:46 pm
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I'm rereading the Tengu story on hukumusume and another question came up, because of the following sentences, I got the impression that in the story there is another old man with the protagonist and the horse, did I get it right?

http://www.hukumusume.com/douwa/pc/jap/01/03.htm
「よけろと言うたって、ここはおらが道じゃ。おまけに、おらこの通り、ウマと二人連れじゃ。お前がよけろ」
と、大テングを睨みつけます。
"You tell me to go away, however, this is my road, to make matters worse, there is already me, my horse and another person in the path, you go away.
-Said the old man with a scowl."

「ヒヒ、ヒヒーン!」
 ウマもないて、おじいさんの応援です。
"-Horse neighs.
The man without the horse also cheers on the old man."

Did I get the translation right? If yes, how can I tell the sex of the other person and is there any previous sentence in the story that indicates his/her presence?
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No, by ウマと二人連れ the old man is saying "I'm with my horse, so there are two of us". In ウマもないて、おじいさんの応援です。 the subject of both parts is the horse -- this can't mean an unstated third actor is the subject of the second half, that would need to be explicitly stated.

PS: your translation has lost the 大テングを part in 大テングを睨みつけます.
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(2017-05-17, 1:09 pm)pm215 Wrote: No, by ウマと二人連れ the old man is saying "I'm with my horse, so there are two of us". In ウマもないて、おじいさんの応援です。 the subject of both parts is the horse -- this can't mean an unstated third actor is the subject of the second half, that would need to be explicitly stated.

PS: your translation has lost the 大テングを part in 大テングを睨みつけます.

Thanks for the help! I understood what you're saying but the phrase ウマと二人連れ is kinda misleading, what is the function of と in that phrase exactly? Does that phrase relates to the previous one, おらこの通り?

I know where I got it wrong in the second sentence, I confused ないて with nai, for some reason, but now I realise it's the naku verb.

I didn't forget 大テングを, I just choose to translate 大テングを睨みつけます as "Said the old man with a scowl" Would "the old man scowled at Tengu" be better?
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If it helps to draw an English comparison:
The old man will be going together with his horse. と is acting like 'with' is in this English sentence, and 二人連れ is acting like 'together'; both of those English words suggest multiple parties, but they are both referring to the same parties in that sentence; same with the Japanese.
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(2017-05-17, 1:28 pm)Iuri_ Wrote: I didn't forget 大テングを, I just choose to translate 大テングを睨みつけます as "Said the old man with a scowl" Would "the old man scowled at Tengu" be better?
Yes, or "glared at the tengu". The man isn't just grimacing because he's annoyed -- he's glaring *at* the tengu, staring him down, active confrontation and defiance. The verb is transitive and it takes an object even if it's implied rather than explicit, and translating it into an intransitive verb is losing something.

For this kind of forum and as a language learner in general, I think that dropping clauses from your translations is a bit of a bad habit. Ideally you should understand exactly how all the bits of a sentence fit together, and making sure they all appear in the translation performing the same function acts as a check of that. For q&a threads like this it also means that people reading can see when you have got things the wrong way round and also when you haven't. This does tend to result in slightly less-than-natural English occasionally but that's fine here. (There's a bit in Jay Rubin's _Gone Fishing_ where he recommends that students make a habit of carefully translating active verbs in Japanese as active verbs in English for similar reasons -- it makes you keep closer track of who is doing what to whom, which is particularly important in more complex sentences where the existence of an actor (or somebody being stared at) may be implied only by the verb choice, and when passive, causative and giving-and-receiving are in use.)

(2017-05-17, 1:28 pm)Iuri_ Wrote: Thanks for the help! I understood what you're saying but the phrase ウマと二人連れ is kinda misleading, what is the function of と in that phrase exactly?
Generally in Japanese, to connect a noun like ウマ into a sentence you need a particle that attaches it to the head noun or verb in the clause that it's in, and indicates its function. Here that particle is と and as sholum says it's basically indicating "with", as it does in sentences like 彼と一緒に行きました and 藤村さんと会いました. Sometimes the English translation of the verb/noun's meaning will already include or imply that 'with' meaning (we can say "I met with Mr Fujimura" or just "I met Mr Fujimura"), but the particle is not optional in Japanese in the same way.

PS: the similar-looking Xを2人連れて does mean "me together with 2 X", as in sentences like 大人1人で幼児を2人連れて行きますが、JALホームページで予約できますか.
Edited: 2017-05-17, 4:19 pm
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(2017-05-17, 2:48 pm)sholum Wrote: If it helps to draw an English comparison:
The old man will be going together with his horse. と is acting like 'with' is in this English sentence, and 二人連れ is acting like 'together'; both of those English words suggest multiple parties, but they are both referring to the same parties in that sentence; same with the Japanese.

Thanks for the English comparison, it was really insightful, it really helped!

(2017-05-17, 3:58 pm)pm215 Wrote: For this kind of forum and as a language learner in general, I think that dropping clauses from your translations is a bit of a bad habit. Ideally you should understand exactly how all the bits of a sentence fit together, and making sure they all appear in the translation performing the same function acts as a check of that. For q&a threads like this it also means that people reading can see when you have got things the wrong way round and also when you haven't. This does tend to result in slightly less-than-natural English occasionally but that's fine here. (There's a bit in Jay Rubin's _Gone Fishing_ where he recommends that students make a habit of carefully translating active verbs in Japanese as active verbs in English for similar reasons -- it makes you keep closer track of who is doing what to whom, which is particularly important in more complex sentences where the existence of an actor (or somebody being stared at) may be implied only by the verb choice, and when passive, causative and giving-and-receiving are in use.)

I hadn't thought about it in that way but I think you're right, besides making the task of others helping me easier, it should also teach me a lot about grammar.

(2017-05-17, 3:58 pm)pm215 Wrote: Generally in Japanese, to connect a noun like ウマ into a sentence you need a particle that attaches it to the head noun or verb in the clause that it's in, and indicates its function. Here that particle is と and as sholum says it's basically indicating "with", as it does in sentences like 彼と一緒に行きました and 藤村さんと会いました. Sometimes the English translation of the verb/noun's meaning will already include or imply that 'with' meaning (we can say "I met with Mr Fujimura" or just "I met Mr Fujimura"), but the particle is  not optional in Japanese in the same way.

PS: the similar-looking Xを2人連れて does mean "me together with 2 X", as in sentences like 大人1人で幼児を2人連れて行きますが、JALホームページで予約できますか.

I think I got it now, thanks for the careful reply!
Edited: 2017-05-17, 7:17 pm
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