The various ways in which Japanese can be Romanized or transliterated into Roman letters or the English alphabet, and the uses this is put to.

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15
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2answers
1k views

What is the more common pronunciation for the r­ōmaji letter Z in Japanese?

I was on the phone with NTT the other day and things were going well (or as good as they could), until I had to spell some email address for the customer rep, and fell upon the letter 'Z'. ...
13
votes
1answer
396 views

Why is English “ka” and “ca” sometimes rendered as キャ (kya) instead of カ (ka)?

I sometimes see that English ka and ca are rendered キャ (kya) instead of カ (ka). Why is this? Do English ka and ca really sound more like kya than ka, at least to Japanese listeners? (I know it ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the difference between tori vs. dori?

In Aikido, different dojos seem to latch on to using either dori or tori when describing grabbing attacks. For instance one dojo might say: Katate Dori Another would say: Katate Tori Each dojo ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

What are the advantages/disadvantages of writing in romaji instead of kanji, hiragana, and so on?

Romaji is somewhat of a conversion from kanji, hiragana, and so on to the Roman alphabet. What are the disadvantages of learning only or mostly romaji aside from being unable to read/write in kanji? ...
9
votes
1answer
594 views

Are foreign personal names usually written in katakana rather than Romaji?

Are foreign personal names usually written in katakana, or is this dependent on the type or writing, and the target audience? For example, this Japanese Wikipedia entry on Steven Bradbury uses ...
8
votes
1answer
572 views

Legal characters for first names include: hiragana, katakana, jinmeiyo and joyo kanji. What about latin letters?

Is it legal for parents to give to their child a first name with latin letters (romaji, I guess), instead of using katakana, hiragana, or kanji? For example, if Japanese parents want to give their ...
8
votes
2answers
284 views

Are numbers part of romaji? (i.e. 1, 2, 3 vs 一二三)

Romaji is when you use the Roman alphabet to write out Japanese. I.e. you use "abc" instead of "あいうえお". Taking that one step further, what do you call it when you use "123" instead of "一二三"? My first ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the differences/characteristics between katakana, kanji and hiragana?

I already know that romaji is the conversion from those to the roman alphabet, so which are the differences or characteristics between those? Are they used on a different context? Is one of them more ...
6
votes
3answers
445 views

Japanese language “compression ratio”

Somewhat cryptic title, but a simple question. I start with the (logical?) assumption that kanji makes writing Japanese shorter than using romaji. How shorter is it compared to English written in ...
6
votes
2answers
365 views

What romanization scheme is used by programmers?

I noticed that in this book on bioinformatics with Ruby (the programming language!) (Rubyではじめるバイオインフォマティクス―生物系のためのプログラミング入門), the authors sometimes used romanized Japanese in code examples. For ...
6
votes
2answers
382 views

How does one transcribe the romaji “ō”?

I use The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, which describes pronunciation in romaji instead of kana. I never learned romaji in a classroom, and generally only use it when reading this dictionary. ...
6
votes
1answer
144 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
2answers
230 views

How to form the “chi” sound, and others?

I was looking at a chart of hiragana and trying to find the characters to form the name of a song Inochi no Namae. I started with i, then no, but there's no chi. I then started wondering where chu and ...
4
votes
2answers
259 views

How is determined whether a sound should be romanized into an L versus an R?

I know there isn't a particularly distinct difference between L and R in native Japanese, but very often proper nouns and other non-translated Japanese names/words work their way into English ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

When romanizing a Japanese title, which words should be capitalized?

Specifically, when you are trying to romanize Kanji titles of movies, plays, written works, etc. for formal writing targeting non-Japanese speakers, what are some good guidelines? As seen in this ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the Hepburn system of romanization generally used over the Nihon-shiki system?

Generally when you see romanization of Japanese it is in the Hepburn system; however, I recently came across the Nihon-shiki system which seems to be preferable. Why is it that the Hepburn system ...
3
votes
3answers
318 views

へうげもの - Hyouge Mono?

There's this manga that is called へうげもの. However, this name is romanized as Hyouge Mono. Although I know little Japanese, I think the kana there spell something like Heuge Mono. Why does this ...
3
votes
1answer
225 views

What does this person mean by “doryo” in this context?

Two Japanese-fluent characters in an English novel I'm reading are talking about a specific heart problem one character concealed from medical exams. That character is requesting the second character ...
3
votes
2answers
269 views

Which romanization system should I use in my word game?

I have developed a word game quite similar to Scrabble, and I am currently considering adding a Japanese word list to it. Please note that I have no real knowledge of the language, apart from knowing ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

The stylistic use of romaji for the particle “de”

Or other cases when a single word/particle is rendered in romaji within a sentence otherwise written in normal Japanese. This is something I first came across on cooking websites, for example: ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Improved romanisation of Katakana

I'm in the planning stages of programming my own Katakana => Romaji converter. However, I've noticed that every other converter already out there just converts literally. I want to try and employ a ...
1
vote
0answers
102 views

When did LOC adopt modified Hepburn?

If I look in Google Ngrams, I see that the transliteration "honbu", meaning HQ, basically didn't exist until 1964. But it didn't surpass "hombu" until 1976. I believe Modified Hepburn was introduced ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

What loan words have a Hepburn romanization that matches the spelling of the original language?

For example, the word サッカー is "soccer" in English, but the romanization "sakkā" bears little resemblance to the original word. Are there any loan words in Japanese that preserve the spelling of the ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I translate Romaji text to English? [closed]

I have a block of Japanese-language text that has been transliterated to Romaji that I would like to translate to English. They are lyrics to a song. I have very little experience with the Japanese ...
0
votes
1answer
211 views

What is the correct romanization of イー?

According to the rules of Hepburn, (http://www.halcat.com/roomazi/doc/hep3.html) しいたけ is correctly romanized as "shiitake". What is the correct romanization of イー as in シート? Should it be "shiito" or ...
-1
votes
4answers
922 views

Using “ha” instead of “wa” with QWERTY keyboards [closed]

Why is it standard practice to type "ha" when you are translating は{wa} using a QWERTY keyboard? This has always confused me. これは... is pronounced "Kore wa" but when you type it out you type "Kore ...
-2
votes
0answers
107 views

Romanization of this artist's name [closed]

Need help on the romanized name of this artist: じゃあにぃ from this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1DiX2AGFzo&feature=kp I cannot find her english name to be honest. Need some help. Thank ...