Tag Archives: expressions

A few ways to express “more” in Japanese (more than just “motto”)

In this post I’d like to go over a few different ways to express the concept of “more” in Japanese, essentially when something is going to be a greater degree or amount than it was previously. Keep in mind that in English sometimes the concept of “more” is implied (even though the word itself isn’t… Read More »

The expression「お茶はどう?」 (“ocha wa dou?”) and the vagueness of the Japanese language

When compared to English, Japanese can sometimes seem like a language filled with vagueness. Not only are subjects often omitted, but sometimes particles are too, and to make things even more confusing there is less verb tenses (there is no future tense). To be sure, Japanese has it own ways to help clarify the meaning… Read More »

Japanese literary expression:「〜かのように」 (~ka no you ni)

If you read enough books in Japanese you’ll start to come across certain expressions and grammatical patterns that are used frequently in certain genres. In this post, I’d like to go over the expression 「〜かのように」 (~ka no you ni) which I’ve found to be pretty common in Japanese literature. Before I discuss the pattern itself… Read More »

Japanese book review: “その日本語、大人はカチンときます!” [That Japanese is offensive!]

The other day when browsing Kinokuniya’s Beaverton store (near Portland, Oregon), a book titled “その日本語、大人はカチンときます!” (“That Japanese is offensive!”)  caught my interest so I decided to try it out.  It was published in 2016 by 青春出版社 (Seishun Publishing Company), edited by  ビジネス文章力研究所 (Business Bunshoryoku Kenkujo), and is a little under 200 pages. (Note: the title technically literally says… Read More »

Japanese expression “〜するも” (~suru mo) and vagueness of the が (ga) particle

Recently I read the very enjoyable short story “麦本三歩は今日が好き” by 住野よる in the literary magazine 小説幻冬 (Dec 2016 edition). I even translated a short excerpt of it into English here. There was one line of the story whose grammar I just couldn’t figure out, and I thought that it was either some strange pattern I had never… Read More »

Spoiling and being spoiled in Japanese: 甘やかす (amayakasu) and 甘える (amaeru)

甘やかす (amayakasu) and 甘える (amaeru) are two words I use somewhat frequently in daily life which are little tricky to express in English. As a hint to their meaning, it’s good to notice that both of these words contain the Kanji “甘” which is the same one as used in the word for “sweet” (甘い, “amai”). Let’s… Read More »

Being girly in Japanese (“womens language”)

One thing I’ve tried to be cognizant in my Japanese studies is the different nuances of each word or phrase. It is by older men, younger men, or maybe only girls? Though the dividing line between “mens language” (男言葉) and “womens language”   (女言葉) is not black and white, I think there are some expressions which… Read More »

Three expressions in Japanese for “by the way”

The casual English expression “by the way” is used to transition from one conversation topic into another. In this post, I’ll go over three different ways to express this type of feeling in Japanese, each with it’s own unique nuance. そういえば 「Sou ieba」 This phrase does not contain a subject and literally means something like… Read More »

Japanese 手(hand) : usages and expressions

In Japanese, the word for ‘hand’ is written as 手 and pronounced close to the English “te” sound from “tell”. In this post I’ll talk about a few words that use this character, plus other meanings of it. To start with, in baby-speak the word “お手手” (otete) is often used to mean “hand”. The word for “wrist”… Read More »