The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

I believe that’s the right way to do it. Here’s another example:

It’s from the website of the Consulate General of Japan in New York.

I know that in English and French, there’s a tendency to put an adjective in that box (like ‘French’ or “Française” – because “nationalité” is feminine), but in Japanese, it seems you just put the country name in there.


Many thanks for your researched answer. You’re awesome!


「誰そ彼と われをな問ひそ 九月の 露に濡れつつ 君待つわれそ」

Is a sentence from 君の名は。I don’t get it at all. What does the そ mean in this context?


It’s classical grammar (古文). (Does that still count for the “not grammar” thread since it’s not modern grammar? haha)

~な~そ is apparently a way of saying something is not allowed.

Another hint that you’re looking at classical Japanese is stuff like the spelling, for instance 問い as 問ひ


Thanks! I didn’t know it’s classical grammar so I just asked it here instead.

We’re reading this in the bookclub! How far along are you?

君の名は - Your Name (Intermediate Book Club)

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Page 28! I’m re-reading it as I think I skimmed through too much in my first read.

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Hello, I’ve been wondering about the meaning of 多分.

WaniKani and Jisho puts “maybe”, “perhaps”, and “probably” as its definitions. How would I know if someone meants it as “maybe/perhaps” or as “probably”?

Oh then you can ask questions there as well, so we can all learn from it, if you want. Also, some questions that come up might’ve already been answered there as well.


たぶん is more than 50% from my experience. Something more uncertain would be -かもしれない, like 50/50.


分 means ‘part’ or ‘portion’. If something is true for the ‘most part’ or for ‘many parts’ (多), then it’s mostly i.e. probably true. I don’t think ‘maybe’ or ‘perhaps’ is wrong, but ‘probably’ is likely closer to the actual meaning. Here’s a little table of expressions with the rough probabilities they express:

Source: (from Kayo-sensei, a Japanese calligrapher on Twitter)

I don’t think every native Japanese speaker has these exact percentages in mind, but at least this gives you an idea.


weblio says

A guess/inference about some matter.

I tend to think of it as something between the perhaps and probably - just confident enough to make the guess, but not much more than that.

whether I’d translate it as maybe/perhaps/probably is largely down to context, based on how sure the surrounding context sounds :sweat_smile:

my main problem with this is that stuff like 多分そうかもしれない isn’t exactly rare :stuck_out_tongue: the ordering is probably about right though…


@morteASD @Jonapedia @denzo thank you very much everyone :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Is (みどり) supposed to be idiomatic for trees like the given translation or does “greenery” fit or work better?

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Both I think. Jisho says greenery, and Weblio says:

Sprout/bud/shoot. Especially pine tree shoots.

Green plants, vegetation. Also nature.

Apparently definition 2 might be the original etymology (I’ve omitted definition 1 because it just for the colour)


Thanks! I looked up (みどり)も instead of just (みどり) and now I feel silly, but thank you for searching it properly!

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長男(ちょうなん)and 長女(ちょうじょ)

Can we call the eldest female( not first born) a 長女?
Child1: Male
Child2: Female

Or are those words reserved only for the first born ones?


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Yeah, that’s perfectly fine. Even in English, the eldest daugher is still the eldest daughter, even if she has an older brother.


Thank you!

This is probably more a question on Japanese culture…but it’s to do with language.

So with adding honorifics to people’s names, it’s my understanding that as you become closer to a person the honorific you use for them would change over time. Assuming you’re the same age for the sake of argument, you’d probably start out with さん. Then as you became friends with the person maybe progress to ちゃん or くん, or really close then dropping suffixes altogether.

So my rather depressing question is this…is the same true then in reverse? Maybe there was a break up or you drifted apart over the years? Would you return to formality in that case?