The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

黒鳥(こくちょう) apparently


I SWEAR I couldn’t find this.

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Hehe, it happens

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Is the middle character above a そ? Google OCR seems to think it is and おすそわけ makes sense given the context. Is this a handwritten or cutesy variation? (This is from Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, which has been a not-too-painful way to get some extra Japanese exposure, and has built-in language settings so you don’t have to change the language on your phone, though fonts are pretty tiny.)

Yeah it is. Idk what the variation is called but it’s definitely a そ and you’ll see it written that way quite a bit depending on the font.


I’m not sure which form is actually more common, but if you know that the source kanji for そ is 曾, it’s not all that surprising. The horizontal stroke you see is really just the connected form of the two little strokes at the top of 曾, so if you choose to write them one at a time instead… you get the kana you’re asking about.

If you want, you can take a look at this video I shared a while back about how the hiragana evolved from their source kanji to get an idea:


What’s the best way to say “All or nothing?” I looked at responses on hinative, but they were completely different. This would be all or nothing in the context of something like “give it your all while fighting or don’t even show up.” Example context is example, not looking for a verbatim translation of that sentence.

There’s a Japanese dialectal expression that I’ve come across a couple of times now, but I’m having a hard time finding a proper translation for it. And since it’s from listening, I don’t really know how it’s written either. :pensive: I’m hoping maybe some of you people recognize this expression: てあんで teande - is how it sounds to my ears. But, since that’s not getting any search hits, I’m guessing it’s wrong. it’s said in exasperation at a situation of some sort.

Edit: found this about Kansai-ben

1. Nandeyanen (なんでやねん)

This is probably the most popular, well-known phrase of the Kansai dialect and is the equivalent to doushite (why) in standard Japanese. Interject with this, and you’re sure to get a huge response from your partner. To share an anecdote of just how popular this phrase is, a Japanese friend of mine from Kyoto went to Tokyo for job training, and, at one point during a conversation with his peers, interjected with a “nandeyanen”. Much to his annoyance, they went on and on about how exciting it was to hear it used for the first time in real life.

Which (after realizing it’s “ya”) allowed me to use Jisho to find:

てやんでえ - what the hell are you saying!?​Vulgar expression or word, Kantou dialect, from 何を言ってやがるんだい

I think this is it. ^>^

Do you know which (べん) it is? Or if you just know area, you should be able to look up that (べん) and there’ll be a guide to it. Even my fairly small area has multiple guides.

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Maybe Kansai-ben? :thinking: I’ll do a bit of more searching. Thanks for the tip! ^>^

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I don’t know the “best” thing to say (in any context), but 一か八か popped in my head as a possibility. I’ve definitely seen the phrase frequently in critical moments. And you can see how it’s constructed pretty much the same way as a phrase as “all or nothing.”

The catch though is if you mean “it’s all or nothing – because you’ve got to take this seriously in general” not “it’s all or nothing – because this is the climax and it’s come to this,” then that expression would fit less (because I think 一か八か generally describes a situation), and I don’t know what a better option would be. Perhaps just explaining in a non-expression sentence that they need to take it seriously, or オール・オア・ナッシング if it comes to it.


That might work, especially with the take this seriously in general. The context is very, don’t bother unless you’re giving it your all.

That’s almost a title of a Bond video game by the way :smiley:

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I suddenly vividly remembered where I’ve heard 一か八か the most… it’s in a combat bark in Tokyo Mirage Sessions.
I think when the protagonist has a shot at taking out an enemy, but it’s not guaranteed maybe? Something like “一か八かで-”(ある?やる?)?

Anyway that’s playing on loop in my head now.

Yes, that’s how I think about that expression as well. It feels like a way to say, you have to do your absolute best, as the risks are high from a possible failure. So, it’s not quite the same as “all or nothing” or the context provided by @DIO-Berry

It’s more like, “taking the leap” into a possibly difficult situation, hoping it will go well.

At least, that’s how I’ve seen it used.


Oh I see. Dang.

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Building on your advice for me, have you tried looking at Japanese idioms? There might be something out there, if you start off with a broader search criteria. :eyes:


I find a lot of them are mistranslated online, so I don’t trust searchable resources too well. I should try asking some of my friends though.

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I’m not sure if it’s grammar or vocab question, but I’ll shoot here. In casual speech, things often get shortened/smashed together. For example, ~ている gets shortened to ~てる, or ~ておく changes into ~とく. Yesterday, while reading a VN, I encountered another one - which I saw for the first time. ~てあげる changed into ~たげる, specifically ”私おごったげるよ". Since I saw it for the first time, I’d like to ask - how common is that form?

Maybe saying it in a more explicit fashion might work? Something like「こういうのは、全てをかけてやるしかない」, perhaps?

In casual speech? I think it’s really common. It comes up quite a lot on VTuber streams anyway, and I think you can catch it in anime from time to time. It’s definitely common enough that Tobira decided to include it in one of its earliest chapters. The shortening I hear the most is forms of 〜ておく→〜とく.