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Several years ago I invested some time and energy digging up more ways to write "Australia" in Japanese than I ever expected would exist:

  • オーストラリア is the usual spelling these days
  • 濠太剌利 is a rare old ateji I believe
  • 濠洲 was a shorter ateji before the spelling reform
  • 豪州 is the previous after the spelling reform
  • 濠 and 豪 are the pre- and post- spelling reform variants used in compounds

But just now I came across one I hadn't seen before:

豪斯多拉利

Is this latest one also valid? How does it fit in with the others? Older, younger? Derived from Chinese or invented in Japan? Obsolete, archaic, or still in use?

And is it ateji or some other phenomenon?

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Interestingly I can find plenty of places listing it as a name for Australia but none mentioning its origin. I'd assume ateji but who knows... you may want to change the wording of the main question, though. And just to add to your search, this site lists 9 different ways to write Australia. –  ssb Jan 9 '13 at 13:39
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I think that [豪州]{ごうしゅう} refers to the continent and 濠太剌利(亜) or any of the other 当て字 to the country, i.e. mainland Australia. In addition to @ssb's link, here are a few more ways of writing Australia. –  Earthliŋ Jan 9 '13 at 13:53
    
I also think that many 当て字 are derived from Chinese. After all, Chinese has no choice but write in 当て字. As for current use I think that 豪 may well be used today (e.g. in 日豪 "Japan-Australia"), but the rest of the 当て字 is probably obsolete. –  Earthliŋ Jan 9 '13 at 14:01
    
Yes I tried to mention that is the current (post spelling reform) character used in compounds like "Japan-Australia relations". Thanks for the new link. I wonder if all the variants also occurred in Chinese. In fact usually only 澳大利亞/澳大利亚 is seen (and 澳洲). –  hippietrail Jan 9 '13 at 14:31
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@user1205935: I think that the literal meaning of 豪州 is the continent, but it also refers to the country. A more logical abbreviation for the country would be 豪国, but somehow this word is rare. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Jan 9 '13 at 19:04
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Interestingly I can find plenty of places listing it as a name for Australia but none mentioning its origin. I'd assume ateji but who knows... you may want to change the wording of the main question, though. And just to add to your search, this site lists 9 different ways to write Australia.

those 9 ateji that i listed on my blog are those that had been used in Japan; publications published in Japan.

but on the other hand, those that could be understood/used by the majority of the people living in present day Japan would only be two, i guess. 豪州 and its abbreviation 豪.

most of the ateji i listed, can be found on this dictionary " 宛字外来語辞典" ateji gairaigo jiten, published from 柏書房, kashiwa shobou: which has references for each usage, mainly from Meiji era.

as far as i know, this dictionary is the best of its kind.

there are lists on the web that include those that are used/found only in China, Hongkong, Taiwan, Korea.

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