正書法. The standard way of writing the language.

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627 views

Spaces in children's books

Written Japanese ordinarily doesn't use any spaces to separate words. But Japanese children's books do. For example, the opening of Tomi Ungerer's The Three Robbers (すてきな 三にんぐみ) あらわれでたのは、 ...
4
votes
2answers
86 views

The Kanji for ありがとうございます

有難う御座います is one Kanji spelling. However, I thought, 'is ございます here an auxilliary verb, and thus are the Kanji incorrect?' Should the proper spelling be 有難うございます?
3
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2answers
154 views

Difference between 交替 and 交代

Is there any difference between 交替 and 交代 or are they completely interchangeable?
3
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1answer
70 views

What phonetic shorthands (like 〼, 〆) are there in Japanese?

I recently learned that the symbol 〼, called 枡記号【ますきごう】, can be used as a phonetic shorthand for ます, as in 豆腐あり[〼]【ます】. In a similar vein, I am aware that 〆 is used as a shorthand for しめ in 〆切【しめきり】 = ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

How common is the practice of writing わたし in kana and わたくし in kanji?

I've heard that some people only write わたし in kana and only use the Kanji 私 when the intended reading is わたくし. How common is this practice? Is it old-fashioned? If I used it myself as a foreigner, ...
3
votes
4answers
169 views

Are ミツバチ and イルカ more frequently written in katakana?

I was looking through a list of words that normally are written in kana, instead of their kanji. Two caught my attention because the list has them written in katakana, instead of hiragana. But, as ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

Why is hiragana used in the middle of this compound word?

I saw this article on Gizmodo Japan: だれもがスマホの便利さを享受できる第一歩。視覚障がい者がiPhone操作を学べるアプリ Obviously, this is 視覚障害者 (or possibly, 視覚障碍者). It is in the title of the article, as well as several places ...
5
votes
3answers
124 views

If 結婚 is written as 結{けっ}婚{こん} rather than 結{け}っ婚{こん}, why do we write 持{も}って rather than 持{もっ}て?

My question is: If 結婚 is written as 結{けっ}婚{こん} rather than 結{け}っ婚{こん}, why do we write 持{も}って rather than 持{もっ}て?
0
votes
1answer
101 views

Classical form of 落{お}ちる

I read in a haiku written by Bashō/芭蕉 (source - see my addendum at the end of the post) : をちこちに 瀧{たき}の音{おと}聞く{きく} 落{おち}葉{ば}かな My translation : From far and near, hearing the ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Mixture of romaji and hiragana in NHK “Meet and Speak”

In the NHK program "Meet and Speak", the phrases they use have a mixture of hiragana and romaji. Not as in hiragana on one line, and romaji underneath, but individual words being composed of the two, ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

Difference between んい and に

I noticed that the word 単位 is written as たんい in hiragana, not たに. Is there a difference in the way んい and に are pronounced? If so, does the same principle go for んあ and な, んえ and ね, etc.?
2
votes
1answer
271 views

Understanding hiragana-only texts in videogames

I've been reading since a long time ago that reading hiragana only texts is quite difficult or frustrating because you don't know where a word begins or ends, I understand that and the importance of ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Why was “アオ” used instead of ”あお”?

I was reading a picture book, and there was this sentence: アオくて ちいさな ぼくのイス。 Why is "ao" and "isu" written in katakana and not hiragana?
2
votes
0answers
165 views

What do dots next to Hiragana mean in literature? [duplicate]

I've been reading more Japanese literature, and in doing so I've come across hiragana with something that looks like 、to the right of some characters where ふりがな would be (keeping in mind that Japanese ...
6
votes
4answers
191 views

Standard for writing/pronouncing loanwords: ウインドー v.s. ウィンドウ, etc

In スーパー大辞林 I found: ウインドー [0] 〖window〗 (1)窓。 (2)ショー-ウインドーの略。陳列窓。 (3)コンピューターのディスプレー画面上で情報の表示されている部分。画面をいくつかの部分に分割し,それぞれに異なった情報を表示する方式をマルチ-ウインドーという。 In Wikipedia I found: Microsoft ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Is this Yamanashi accent?

A friend of mine wrote:  誘えていないんだ。 But aparently it should be written as:  誘いていないんか。 He's from Yamanashi, so I thought that it could be Yamanashi's accent. I think this is not a typo ...
7
votes
1answer
255 views

How do you indicate line breaks in a poem when it is written without actual line breaks?

In English, if you have a poem, like Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet, And so are you. and you need to write it on just one line (for reasons of space or whatever), you ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Are you allowed to continue words on the next line? [duplicate]

I would imagine this would make reading harder, but is it allowed to finish a word on the next line if you run out of room? Does it not matter? 。。。。お姉さんはとて も楽しです!
3
votes
2answers
185 views

When writing by hand, can kana be half-width and kanji be full-width?

Simply I find when I'm writing I can only make kanji so small before they become sloppy, but I can write kana nice and small. Is it allowed to write half-width Katakana/Hiragana alongside regular ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

Can I insert hiragana in words I only know partially how to write?

This is a problem I encountered today and I had no idea how to decide what was the best course of action, and I only got the advice of a classmate (You're doing it WRONG) to confirm. As I am still ...
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1answer
80 views

What is this character? [closed]

I was reading a book and I couldn't figure out what character this is: What is this character?
3
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1answer
110 views

What is the difference between 目を細める and 眼を細める

Example: 「できるのか?」【大男】 大男が眼を細めてくる The definition for the first expression as given from weblio is 目の開き方を小さくする。 うれしそうにほほえみをうかべる Is the reason that this line uses 眼 instead of 目 ...
7
votes
2answers
206 views

When was 歴史的仮名遣い standardized?

Enno Shioji's answer to my question about 直音表記 says (emphasis added) that: Historically there were multiple way to write a word, and this wasn't standardized. For example, some very old documents ...
6
votes
1answer
198 views

What do you do if a genkoyoshi line ends with e.g. す。」?

Suppose that you're writing on genkoyoshi (原稿用紙), and you are writing a quotation, e.g. 「これはペンです。」 And let's say that each line of the genkoyoshi has 8 blocks. The first block would, I presume, ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a reason why numbers in Japanese are delimited into blocks of four?

As I understand, Japanese numbers are divided into blocks of four, so while we would think of the number 89123889 as 89,123,889, in Japan they would think of it as 8912,3889 (八千九百十二万三千八百八十九). So ...
4
votes
1answer
424 views

Is しゃぶしゃぶ typically written in hiragana rather than katakana?

Is しゃぶしゃぶ typically written in hiragana rather than katakana? If so, why is it written in hiragana? Wikipedia says that it is onomatopoeia: The term is an onomatopoeia, derived from the sound ...
3
votes
3answers
690 views

How would one emulate capitalized letters in Japanese?

Capitalized letters look like I'M SHOUTING AT YOU. How would you reproduce this effect in Japanese? I don't think any of the obvious choices, using カタカナ instead of 漢字 or ひらがな, using punctuation, ...
1
vote
1answer
267 views

Intuitive or logical way to know when to use a kanji spelling vs hiragana spelling?

A recurring theme on this site is that foreign learners of Japanese use too much kanji. Often the reaction is puzzlement that we can't "just know the right way". Native speakers literally say they ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

How to know when I should use katakana form words referring to animals, lesser creatures, or other organisms?

I know many words for animals are usually written in katakana in contemporary Japanese, even though kanji exist: イルカ クマ And it seems some very common domestic animals I don't seem to notice ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

穿る vs ほじる vs ほじくる

In wondering how to expressing the act of picking one's nose in Japanese I came across the following term or terms: 穿る / ほじる / ほじくる I got the feeling from WWWJDIC that the two hiragana are ...
2
votes
2answers
255 views

Is there a “right” or “best” way to write this Okinawan expression for “cheers”?

When I was still in Okinawa I learned how to say "cheers" / "乾杯{かんぱい}". You can either say just karii or you can use the extended version I pefer karii sabira. My question is how to write it? I have ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

What does it mean to write wasei-eigo and gairaigo in Romaji?

Wasei-eigo and most Gairaigo (especially in a text or sentence as opposed to being by itself) is usually written in Katakana (イメージ, ジュース, スマート,パンツ,アベック). However, there are times that have seen some ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

Are 万葉仮名 (man'yōgana) chosen consistently?

This answer got me wondering how relevant the presentation in 万葉仮名 is to finding a 漢字 for a given word. As far as I understand, 万葉仮名 are used largely for phonetic value. Knowing that some word was ...
5
votes
2answers
277 views

even on 常用漢字表{じょうようかんじひょう}, no kanji have an official 送{おく}り仮名{がな}?

Recently, I was talking with a friend regarding the 常用漢字表 as specified here I noticed that the 送り仮名 property of kanjis is not specified. She was a little puzzled, but concluded that the 文部省{もんぶしょう} ...
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votes
6answers
2k views

Are there words which consist of katakana and hiragana letters together?

Obviously many Japanese words consist of kanji characters plus hiragana since the latter are used for okurigana: 食べる 水割り 鷹の爪 Recently I'v started to discover a few words that use kanji characters ...
14
votes
2answers
884 views

Are there general rules on when to use kanji vs. kana?

This post is inspired by Tokyo Nagoya's comment in 出来できる vs ~えます form for “can”, “able to” asking why everyone was writing 出来る in kanji in their responses. As I mentioned in my reply to his comment, ...
2
votes
1answer
412 views

Origin of 夜露死苦?

I've seen よろしく written out as 夜露死苦 on a couple of occasions where it's being used sardonically. At first I thought it was just authors having fun substituting characters that sound the same, but it ...
5
votes
1answer
467 views

What special kana are used to write foreign words?

How does Japanese handle sounds outside the 五十音図【ごじゅうおんず】? Are there ways of distinguishing sounds such as V or L in katakana renderings of foreign words? How are the missing sounds in the ワ column ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

ー vs small kana vs long kana for writing long vowels

I had thought that for writing long vowels in Japanese, that small kana was mostly used with hiragana and ー was mostly used with katakana. I was actually thinking of asking whether there were ...
8
votes
1answer
277 views

Orthography at the turn of the previous century

A couple of days ago I purchased an old book published in 1908. It uses a strange orthography I haven't encountered before. Everything that is not in kanji is written in katakana, including ...
2
votes
3answers
959 views

How do you punctuate phone numbers in Japanese?

Given the phone number in English: (012) 345-6789 how do you write this in Japanese? Is it: (012)345-6789 or: 012・345・6789 or somewhere in between? My personal research suggests ...
3
votes
1answer
311 views

Is 芸姑 a real word?

Do IMEs offer gibberish non-words when they make suggestions? I know that there's many words that have the same pronunciation, and therefore users of IMEs have to choose the correct one. I think 感じ ...
4
votes
1answer
260 views

Why would one use 当て字?

I came across 当て字 in my N1 vocabulary list, and while I think I understand what it is from the definition "kanji used as a phonetic symbol, rather than for its meaning", I'm not sure what the point of ...
5
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0answers
362 views

Haphazard usage of katakana and hiragana for particles and okurigana

I'm looking at this picture of the 日米和親条約 (Kanagawa convention) from the late Edo period and it seems rather strange: It looks like the non-kanji parts are rather haphazardly written in katakana ...
4
votes
1answer
397 views

Why is “Yamata no Orochi” written in katakana?

In the game Okami, the demon Yamata no Orochi is written here, and also in a separate game here as ヤマタノオロチ, not やまたのおろち. Even the particle の is in katakana. I'm curious as to why this is. I know that ...
0
votes
2answers
284 views

口ロ Those are supposed to be different characters. How can you tell? [duplicate]

The first is supposed to be the kanji for mouth, "くち" and the sencond is supposed to be katakana. When I typed them in google translate, the sizes were different so I could differentiate them that ...
6
votes
3answers
340 views

Ordering a drink, conversational Japanese

Disclaimer: This relates to prose, I would never consider being intentionally rude in real life. I'm currently writing a short-story, and in it there's a scene in a Japanese restaurant. It calls for ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Under what circumstances does Japanese read from right to left?

In The Global Soul: Pico Iyer, (disclaimer: the depiction of Japan may be offensive) Iyer says: Rather perversely I live in Japan, which, as you know, is the most alien science fiction place on ...
5
votes
1answer
274 views

What is the current usage of Siddham (梵字)? [closed]

I was taught that Siddham is used in modern cultural context of Japan as a system of writing the Buddhis texts and (or) mantras. What is the exact context of its usage? Is it applicable at all? My ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

Why the き and さ in the 送り仮名 of 大きい and 小さい?

I've always been puzzled over why 大きい isn't 大い and 小さい is not 小い. Is there some etymological reason? (I'm suspecting historical conjugations that changed the き and さ too, just like why 食べる has the べ ...