Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Expanding on my previous question,

What if the range is not numerical? I encountered these on a book for learning Japanese.

The 初~中級編 book for beginner to intermediate level and 中~上級編 for intermediate to advanced level.

(Question) If I were to read "~" out loud, what would it be? Can I similarly use から and 乃至?

In English I can use "From One to ten" and "From beginner to advanced", is it reasonable for me to map this to Japanese? i.e. the use of から and まで?

share|improve this question
    
Should this be retagged from "readings" (which is about kanji having more than one reading) to "writing" (which is about written text in general)? –  Andrew Grimm Oct 8 '11 at 0:11
1  
@AndrewGrimm: I think that the tag [readings] is fine here. The question is about how to pronounce a particular symbol. Although the term “reading” (読み) is most often used for a kanji, I find nothing wrong with using the term for a symbol. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Oct 22 '11 at 11:39
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is an interesting question. In library catalogs and similar contexts, "初~中" tends to be treated as a variant of "初・中" (or vice versa), and assigned the pronunciation "しょちゅう". I assume the same applies for other non-numeric ranges. But I'm not sure if this is the result of a conscious decision by a human being, or just software limitations.

I recall reading that "~" should only be pronounced から when it is either explicitly paired with まで (e.g. "月曜日~水曜日まで") or, less ideally, not paired with anything at all (i.e. just meaning "From X [to an unspecified end point]"). In other cases, including when it is part of a pair that does not have まで after the second item, the rule was that it should not be pronounced at all -- as described in my first paragraph.

This is sort of like the pronounced hyphen in "4-6 mL" ("four to six milliliters") versus the unpronounced hyphen in English phrases like "the Boston-New York route", I guess. On the other hand, I don't remember exactly where I read this tidbit, but it was definitely in a prescriptive style guide so it could be an artificial rule with no basis in actual spoken Japanese.

share|improve this answer
1  
Some people combine the symbol “~” and the word まで as in “月曜日~水曜日まで,” but that notation drives me nuts. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Oct 7 '11 at 11:13
    
@Matt Then would 初~上 be "しょじょう"? It feels weird when it's not a consecutive term. –  Flaw Oct 9 '11 at 14:04
    
Yeah, that would be the rule... it seems kind of weird to me, but just saying から does too. (Also, if you search for the book "名将・眞境名オスカー&知将・中村恭平のチームレベルが簡単にあがる5つの約束事 : フットサル超初心者〜上級者対応" at the Tokyo Metropolitan Library, the subtitle is given the reading "フットサル チョウショシンシャ ジョウキュウシャ タイオウ"... but again, I don't know if that's something a human decided, or just an overlooked edge case.) –  Matt Oct 9 '11 at 14:12
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.