正書法. The standard way of writing the language.

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2
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1answer
70 views

Japanese words with を in shiritori?

I've been playing some しりとり recently at http://www.shiritori.org/ and was wondering why no words with を show up. siritori.net suggests there are quite a few nouns starting with を: を をかし ...
5
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1answer
93 views

Comma between adjectives?

Is it okay to separate adjectives with a comma? Since my sentence has three adjectives, I added them just like how we would in English to separate a list containing three or more items (no comma if ...
3
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3answers
5k 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 ...
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1answer
186 views

Why does Japanese lack word wrapping? [closed]

Why does Japanese (more or less) lack word wrapping, with even words written in katakana broken up by new lines?
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2answers
214 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, ...
4
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1answer
96 views

覚せい剤 - why is it written with kana?

Why is 覚せい剤 a common variant writing of 覚醒剤? 醒 is a Joyo kanji and wouldn't pose any recognition problems. Example: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/覚せい剤取締法
6
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1answer
131 views

Are Japanese speakers likely to confuse “message” and “massage” in English?

I've occasionally noticed native speakers of Japanese using "massage" when they mean "message", but I can't recall native speakers of other languages mistaking the two. As far as I know, both ...
1
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0answers
58 views

Is there any way to input hentaigana into text documents?

Having found some books that use hentaigana (e.g. the 古今琉歌集) alongside standard hiragana and kanji, I've been trying to find a way to input hentaigana characters into text files. I've found proposed ...
13
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2answers
520 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 ...
8
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1answer
99 views

What do you need kanatype sensitivity for?

Question to any Japanese reader: When you look in SQL-Server and do SELECT * FROM sys.fn_helpcollations() WHERE (1=1) --AND description LIKE '%insensitive%' AND name LIKE '%japanese%' you get ...
3
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0answers
101 views

How has Japanese kanji and kana usage changed since 1945

How has the percentage of writing using each script changed since 1945? With script reform, increasing influx of loanwords, and stylistic choices, several factors affect how much certain parts of the ...
4
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3answers
1k 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
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1answer
143 views

Is this a different accent than Tokyo's?

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。 I think this is not a typo because he wrote two different sentences, both with え instead of い. Is this ...
6
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
7
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2answers
302 views

What is the proper term for the use of archaic kanji?

I noticed that in various works of Japanese art, the artists sign their work with a seal whose contents range from fairly regular kanji to very abstract variations of kanji. I have also seen it used ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Why would the Japanese transliteration from Greek Χριστος be spelled as ハリストス instead of キリストス?

Although it's not as common as キリスト, ハリストス is seen in the name of Japan's Orthodox Church. But why ハリストス if the pronounce of the Greek Χριστος is khristós (with a clear kri sound)? There is キリストス too, ...
2
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3answers
1k views

Usage of Traditional style characters vs Simplified Chinese characters adopted in Kanji

As I started peeking into Japanese, I see lots of characters in hiragana and kanji where the latter uses Chinese characters that are similar to traditional Chinese ones (I'm familiar with hanzi). For ...
10
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1answer
244 views

How can one stop “去年【きょねん】教職【きょうしょく】” from looking like a weird 4 kanji compound?

In writing, sometimes you get the illusion of a 4-character compound: Xさんは去年教職を退【しりぞ】いた。 This bothers some non-natives. To correct the "problem", can I always just place a comma between the ...
10
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3answers
677 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、 ...
5
votes
2answers
113 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?
20
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3answers
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What does the little っ (tsu) signify when at the end of a word?

The small っ (tsu) is usually used before a consonant to indicate gemination, less technically known as doubled consonants, which is how they are transliterated in romaji. I have seen it at the end of ...
3
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2answers
171 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
92 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
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1answer
118 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
290 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 ...
17
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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 ...
2
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0answers
168 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
229 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 ...
2
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3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
285 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
452 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
347 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 ...
5
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1answer
289 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
217 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
227 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
127 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?
9
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2answers
1k views

Why is ローマ字 spelt without an ン?

Why is ローマ字 spelt without an ン? As far as I can tell, it's not because you can't have an ん sound before a じ sound, because 漢字 has an ん sound before 字. Did early Europeans' term for Roman letters not ...
0
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1answer
103 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
892 views

Is the “wa-particle” in katakana ワ or ハ?

Is the "wa-particle" in katakana ワ or ハ? (Just a quick question - I think I have seen both used, but if ワ is correct then I have just seen the results of a computer o/p automatically using ハ)
3
votes
2answers
140 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
410 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
160 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?
11
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7answers
5k views

Why are there 3 ways of writing in Japanese?

Why are there kanji, hiragana and katakana? Is there a logical reason behind this or just tradition?
6
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4answers
215 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 ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What qualities characterise girlish Japanese handwriting?

In English, handwriting is generally seen as girl is the mini. caps are almost as large as the maxi. caps, the edges are rounded out, and if the dots are replaced with little cirles reminiscent of the ...
7
votes
1answer
329 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 ...
14
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2answers
1k 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
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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!
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1answer
92 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
119 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 ...