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In English I could write, "Birds (various kinds)". In Japanese could I translate the version using parentheses as something like 鳥類(各種), or should the language/parentheses be used differently?

I'm not sure what the rules are for round vs square parentheses.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The way you have it is fine. In general, always use round parentheses, square parentheses are not used very much perhaps except only in specialized areas. However, it is common in Japan to use different types of parentheses when nesting, i.e. [()]. This is also why they are referred to as 小カッコ (), 中カッコ {} and 大カッコ [].

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Don't forget these bad boys:【】〈〉〘〙《》 and so on –  ssb Feb 7 '13 at 7:01
@ssb: As far as Japanese grammer is concerned, those versions have no valid use cases. –  Jesse Good Feb 7 '13 at 9:08
@JesseGood, can you elaborate? Who decides what is valid or not? –  dainichi Feb 7 '13 at 14:30
@dainichi is that directed at Jesse Good? –  ssb Feb 7 '13 at 14:32
@ssb, whoops, sorry. Edited. –  dainichi Feb 7 '13 at 14:34
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