I am a native speaker of Japanese. As such, I sometimes come across questions that, although I think I know the answer, are difficult to find a sufficient sources or objective explanations. This is especially the case for questions with the "word-choice"/"translation" tag or questions that contains "is it natural to~ ?".


For the first question, I would like to say something like "No, it doesn't. It is true that "筆順" is more formal, though. Kanji dictionaries would prefer "筆順"". For the second, I say "Your expression makes sense, but try these to sound more natural".

Both answers I would post are mostly based on my own experience and sense as a native speaker. I always try to find sources by consulting dictionaries, searching for web pages (I can find the exact information the asker is looking for when I'm lucky. 文化庁 does fairly good job.), trying 青空文庫 or other corpora for actual usages, and whatever things I come up with. But that does not always succeed.

Provided that the original question is not focused on these concrete sources and/or evidence, can I post an answer in these cases? How valuable would that be?

Although I mainly talked about native speakers here, I think the same thing applies to those who have substantial skill in Japanese.

In Japanese:

僕は日本語の母語話者で,時々,出典をつけたりはしづらいけれど答えはわかる,というような質問に出くわすことがあります.とくに, word-choice とか translation のタグがついた質問や, "Is it natural to...?" というような文面を含む質問でそういう傾向があります.


ひとつめの質問に関しては,「そんなことはないです.ただ "筆順" のほうが堅い言い方なのは事実で,例えば辞書ではそちらがよく使われます」と,ふたつめについては「その言い方で問題はないけれど,こういったほうが自然かもしれません」というようなことを回答したい.



  • 1
    I hope, personally, that questioners not demand a "complete answer". Whereas, English is old North German origin, French added, Latin added, even Slavic added, but we do not know exactly where our language came from, may be, related with central asian's, but some say the vocabulary is related with old South Asian, and even the notable Shintaro Ishihara pointed out that the sentence of our CONSTITUTION was strange! Then how, we amateurs, can give you the "complete decisive answers" whereas – Kentaro Tomono Feb 14 '15 at 19:01
  • even professionals are arguing. – Kentaro Tomono Feb 14 '15 at 19:01
  • 3
    Native-speaker intuitions about what things are more or less natural are incredibly valuable! If I want to know the etymology of something, or how a grammatical structure works, I can generally consult a dictionary or some other scholarly source. But, for the most part, there don't seem to be good, compiled works identifying things like which word choices are more natural than others (and why would there be? every native speaker knows this stuff anyway!). I would much prefer to hear a native speaker's opinion on what is more natural than to try to deduce this from a corpus or something. – senshin Feb 14 '15 at 22:48
  • I'm not sure about that. You can certainly get "something" from the native speaker, but refer here ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/…, even we do not speak ours correctly. Or rather we don't pay so much attention, as it might be the case too in English. No offense to Mr. Broccoli, but the Japanese on the photo he uploaded is weird. japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/21685/… 化粧室は – Kentaro Tomono Feb 15 '15 at 1:47
  • 後方へ。Sounds really strange when I think "in the desk". ( While I am looking for a bathroom, I probably won't care. ). The phrse should be added with へ、 – Kentaro Tomono Feb 15 '15 at 1:48
  • denoting the direction, so that the "correct" sentence is, to me "化粧室へは – Kentaro Tomono Feb 15 '15 at 1:49
  • 後方へ”.denoting "Go backward to find the bathroom". I am sorry I repeated too many times, but here it looks like return-key sensitive. – Kentaro Tomono Feb 15 '15 at 1:51

Feel free to post any answer that you reasonably believe to be true. I think that the intuition of a native speaker is great as an answer to any question we have where you feel that your input as a native is valuable. If people agree that the information is valuable, you will be upvoted. There are many questions about how something feels or other such subjectivity that might not be able to be answered convincingly by someone saying "I don't know, but maybe ~," so by all means answer away.

I'd say post whatever sort of answer you like to whatever question you feel you can provide a valid answer to. So long as it falls under the guidelines of what makes a good answer generally, it won't be a problem.





  1. 〇〇って、日本語でなんといいます?
  2. 〇〇って、どうして〇〇って言います?
  3. 〇〇って言葉って、いつ・どこ使えます?どんな感じがします?どんな人が使います?




  1. そのまま答えること(笑)学習者はいずれ「習うより慣れよ」の道を辿ることなので、ヒントをあげても無駄ではありません。
  2. 自分の、答えに対する感覚の根拠を探り、思う存分吐き出すこと(笑)こういう話は人類学・歴史・社会学的な話につながり、様々な意見は回答に出るけれど、その分興味深いと思います。単純な例だけれど、「マクドナルドの略は、”マック”か、”マクド”か、どっち?」という質問に対して、自然に関西と関東の違いに入りますね。そう言った答えこそに甲斐があると思います。

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