The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

Looks like 級 to me.


Thanks, that makes sense since there are two different archer units.


I’m reading the book 告白 right now, and this section will necessarily involve at least implied spoilers:

It's almost more a puzzle than a language problem?

So there’s a part where people write a message for someone. It’s clear by context that there’s meant to be sort of a hidden message within it – my wife read this book in English so I’ve actually referred to that on a couple occasions when I really wasn’t getting something, and they rewrote the whole message to have various first letters bolded and say something like DIE MURDERER. The surface level stuff is easy to read here, but whatever other layer there is meant to be is totally lost on me. I’m attaching an image because I don’t see anything up with its formatting, but since it was relevant in that translation, I want to show it exactly as it is:


it’s split into blocks separated by commas and full stops.

you can find the message by combining the first kanji/kana in each block (note that some of the kanji you have to read the sound rather than the meaning)

the final message is


Excellent, dunno why I didn’t think to try basically the same method, thank you so much!


Someone didn’t watch Death Note. :eyes:


Why the different kanji?

And how is 幸 し?

Am I the only one that doesn’t get what it’s supposed to mean >_>

Is there not someone named ゆきのぶ or something? That’s the only way I can make sense of 幸信.

I think the 幸 as シ is just “getting the first kana from this sentence”, so あわせになろうよ.
Not saying that’s the original intent of the writer, but I assume that would be the reasoning behind the シ.

1 Like

And it means something to you in that form?

Isn’ it 人殺し? ヒトコロシ

I do agree the しんね thing still scapes me, though.


Oh, if we forget the ん it becomes a 人殺し死ね, pretty much a direct translation of the DIE MURDERER thing. It could be, I guess?

As a word it would usually be ひとろし

Seems sloppy to me if that’s what it is.

I realize ciphers have room for leniency, but if you wanted to make ひとごろししね it would be very easy to do it in a non-sloppy way.

1 Like

I did wonder about the ゴ thing, but I also think that’s perfectly excusable in this specific context.
Specially considering that ころし itself is a working verb.

1 Like

Maybe it’s 人 + 殺し屋? (I dunno if 殺し would still rendaku or not if you chose to say it that way though. Or indeed if anyone actually says that. But that’s the only thing I can think of)

しあ sounds close enough to しや, and しやわせ is apparently a rare/irregular reading of 幸せ. Not that I saw that one listed on Goo when I double-checked there, but:

Edit: nvm, it’s 人 that’s the odd one out, not 幸. The ん in 信 elided into the ネ in my head and I didn’t realize that was using only the first kana from it too. Now it’s 人 that’s bothering me lmao

ah yeah, it should have just been し for 信

How come 手 is て in 手順(てじゅん), but しゅ in 手段(しゅだん)? I’d love to hear whether there are any particular reason for this or whether it is just an arbitrary “that’s just how it is”.


I don’t think there’s a deep reason. There are definitely lots of words that are just the way they are “because.”

I suppose you can say that you can think of it as 手の順, and that makes sense. You have 手, which can mean “work” or “technique”, etc. and then just slap 順 on it and it works as a word. As though 順 is just a suffix, the way it would be in 申し込み順, いろは順, or 早いもの順.

As opposed to it being an “equal” part of a Chinese-origin compound which would typically consist of both parts being onyomi.

I’m just speculating though.


Ahh, so one way of thinking about it is how 順 is being used in words rather than how 手 happens to be different in this case. I like that, it makes sense.


how do you translate literally the Japanese proverb “二度あることは三度ある”?
I would say it’s “things existing/being two times, are/exist three times (as well?)” but I’m not sure it’s the most literal translation, or if it’s even correct.
Fun fact, if I got it right it’s very similar to the Italian version “non c’è due senza tre” which literally is “there’s no two without a three”


Wiktionary renders it as “what happens twice will happen three times” or “if it happens twice it will happen again”. I don’t think there’s a similar English proverb.