The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)


I’ve just entered the vocabulary section for the first time. When clicking on the audio readings, it’s too fast for my ears at this point. So, I’m confused about a pattern here. These words begin with a “fu” sound in the reading:

Two things = fu-ta-tsu
Two people = fu-ta-ri

Is the “fu” silent? I can’t hear it in the audio. Is it silent, or just spoken so fast my n00b ears can’t pick it up yet?


So, it just sounds like たり or たつ to you? You hear nothing before that? You might have some kind of audio playback issue. The Japanese ふ is very light and “breathy” but it shouldn’t be silent.

Both recordings sound fine for me.


Honestly to my ears it sounds like an “s” - it sounds like “stah-ri” - I mistook what I was hearing as an “s” sound at the beginning as being somehow attached to the “ta-” portion of the audio. I guess I’m just hearing “s” for “fu”


What about this recording on Forvo? To me it sounds the same as WK’s (other than being, you know, a woman as opposed to a man).


Thanks! Yeah, in that version I can hear the “fu-” sound clearly. I’m not suggesting a flaw with WK at all, I just can’t hear it that way at all. Sounds like “stahri” to me on WK. Anyway, thanks for answering!


Jisho definitions are not really authoritative, if it doesn’t quite fit you should consider words with a similar meaning as well. I think 相 is used as a noun, and means something like “fate” (for さが you get 運命。宿命). “A ‘seeming’ that fortune-tellers relate to one’s fortune” (noun) could be “fate” I guess? I don’t really know if the reading is そう or さが, though.

Character 1 describes the fate (“Your fate is unrequited love where you can’t make yourself understood at all …”), and Character 3 refers to the same fate and adds more description (“A fate full of obstacles, right?”).


I’m still at level 1 with WaniKani. I’m confused by one … okay I’m confused by a lot of things but I’m pushing through, but this one, I can’t get past the curiosity.

Some of these initial words - there are a number of times where words have totally different meanings, different kanji … but the kanji reading seems to be the same. For examples:

Nine, Mouth = “Ku” reading
Mountain, Three = “San” reading

Are we just supposed to know from the context, if we hear “ku” or “San” as to which meaning is intended?


Those aren’t words, they are just individual kanji. For instance 山 will never be read さん when it is by itself. You’ll only ever hear it as part of other words, like 富士山 (Mt Fuji) or 山頂 (mountain peak).

山 by itself is read やま.

That being said, Japanese does have many homophones, and you deal with them just like you deal with them in English, through context.

For instance, something like やさしい can either mean “nice, kind” (優しい) or “easy, simple” (易しい).

So, やさしい人 is a “nice person”
And, やさしい仕事 is an “easy job”

Based on the limitations of those adjectives.


I have a questions about とって.

When it is used in a sentence like これは私にとって難しいです.
Meaning: This (thing) is difficult for me.

Does anyone know what verb とって is derived from? I’m guessing 取る, but it’s always written in hiragana.


But I’m not too sure what you mean exactly, since the other kanji usages for とる are still basically the same word, just expressing different nuances.


I struggle with the に meanings with alot of verbs.
So if 取る is “to take” (and alot of other things),
you could say 私にはお金を取った.

I could be thinking of this all wrong (it could be “took to me”… thats what im saying, i have trouble with the に)

^^^^all this is wrong. It would mean take “for me” as the beneficiary as in “I stole bob(<-io) $50 (<-do).” So I guess it is kinda the same.


In the case of 私にはお金を取った, に marks the indirect object of a verb - the indirect object is the benificiary of the verb being done. In “Alice gave money to Bob”, the money is the direct object (the thing being given) while Bob is the indirect object (the person who benefits from the giving of the money). It’s helpful to translate に as “to” here, same as you would for movement verbs.

That said, it’s weird in Japanese to use yourself as the indirect object. Japanese doesn’t like that - it’s as though you’re empathising more with someone else than with yourself.

にとって is different, though. Just treat it as an expression - don’t try to break it down into its component pieces.


Yeah, I don’t see any reason to try to interpret にとって literally.


I was reading 不機嫌なモノノケ庵 and wrote down a bunch of things I didn’t understand, it’s mostly because it’s informal. Any help would be great?

What does ず do to a word? Example 役立たず。
What is the ちゃ in 言っちゃ?
Am I correct that you can further make volitional form informal by taking a う of, as in the case of あそぼ?
what is 暑ィ (あちぃ)?
what does ぼけてたん do in 寝ぼけてたん?


ず is the same as ないで (without doing X)
So 役立たず is the same as 役立たないで (without being helpful)

These all sound like attempts to represent spoken language in text.

Yes, the last う is often left off of volitionals in speech (at least depending on the dialect).

To me 言っちゃ is probably just 言った and 暑ィ is あつい, but maybe it’s like baby talk or something?

I think you’re just parsing this wrong. It’s the verb 寝ぼける.


Thank you!!

There was a lot of use of ちゃう in the bit with 言っちゃ so I think it might be an extension of the shortening principal… however I didn’t know what that was either… These men speak really weirdly…


Well, ちゃう is a standard abbreviation of てしまう, so 言いちゃう could be 言ってしまう, though I would usually say 言っちゃう if I was going to abbreviate it.

EDIT: Never mind, I misread it anyway.


言っちゃ is 言っては


Is たくさん formal language enough to use with the ます form or is there a fancier word? I’m trying to say


I would say that たくさん and ます-level politeness go together fine. I’m sure there are higher register options, but ます isn’t so formal that it really demands seriously formal words to go with it.