Different words, same meaning

I have a couple of questions. While listening to the Japanese vocal in anime, it seems to me that there are many words that mean the same thing.

I guess what I’m getting at is— is it just a matter of dialect or are there many ways to say the same thing.
I’m not sure what I heard, but according to WK, mimiuchi means whisper in ear.

The words I heard were mimimotode yamate yo. For those that have already watched the anime, could you make sure? I know that I dont always hear things correctly.


Spoiler details

Teasing master Takagi-san Season 2, Episode 7 (Netflix) 20:57 ~ 21:00

How is it that people in Japan actually understand each other from different dialects? If you’re taught Tokyo-ben, how do you recognize and understand Kanto-ben or Hiroshima-ben?

Thanks in advance,



Synonyms are a thing in any and all languages :slight_smile:

I suspect that what you actually heard was みみもとでやめてよ (耳元で止めてよ) - a request that says “please stop being so close to my ear”.


The de was the particle. Wouldnt the character say “stop whispering in my ear” instead? Then again, the Japanese arent one for being direct.

Welcome to the wonderful world of idiomatic phrases!

I don’t know what the other char was doing, and it’s entirely possible whispering took place and was referred to with what was said, but the words used were different than “whispering”.

That said, Japanese does have a bunch of synonyms for ‘to whisper’.


Particles don’t really translate 1-to-1 with English. Learning when to use で versus に is a bit complex and isn’t as simple as mapping them to an English equivalent. Also yeah synonyms are a thing, English has tons too. Whisper, murmur, mutter, mumble, speak softly/quietly, speak in a hushed tone, undertone, etc. They all have different nuances of course, but same for Japanese synonyms.

As for the question about dialects, it really depends on whether they’re mutually intelligible or not. Speakers of American English and British English can generally understand each other just fine, despite some differences. Whereas Manglish (a pidgin language of English) or certain other dialects can be a lot more difficult for speakers of American English to understand.


Synonyms/confusing words, reupload

This is a collection of all the synonyms in WaniKani alone. I know the one you heard is not one of them, but it can be nice to know of some of the synonyms so you don’t have as hard a time when they appear in the wild

@Candygaming Thanks

Tokyo is Kanto. Did you mean Kansai? And it’s really the same way anyone else learns to understand a dialect - exposure. I grew up reading a lot of British books, so I was familiar with some differences between British and Canadian English. When I visited England, some people’s accents were so thick I barely recognized what was ostensibly my own language. Luckily, I had friends with more familiar accents to help clarify, or there’s always the old fallback of nod and smile and back away…

But British English (even Scouse!) isn’t TOO different from Canadian English. I imagine I might struggle if I ever move to Scotland, or Australia, or Jamaica, even though the main language in each place is some form of English. But over time, and with the help of Google, I’d manage alright.

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All Japanese people, regardless of dialect, understand and speak Standard Japanese (which is very close to Tokyo dialect, but not necessarily 100%). It’s the language they use in school, all TV and radio people use it, it’s the default for polite speech which is very important for day to day life.
Besides standard Japanese, most people also understand some Kansai dialect, because of the popularity of comedians from Kansai.
Other than that, it’s really a matter of similarity of dialects. People from different regions will typically use standard Japanese with each other, but often times, their dialects will be similar enough that they can understand each other fine. I have 2 Japanese acquaintances, one from Hiroshima prefecture, and one from Okayama prefecture, and they each use their respective dialects with each other without a problem because they say they’re almost identical.


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