Which sequences of kanji and/or kana form accepted ways to write a given word, particle, or other speech sound.

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9
votes
1answer
236 views

Was “乎” the man'yōgana spelling of the accusative/object particle “を”?

In the English Wiktionary entry for "を" there is a quote or example sentence using the character "乎" with no explanation seemingly where the particle "を" would normally occur. Now I couldn't find ...
8
votes
1answer
258 views

Where's the missing い in ありがた迷惑【ありがた めいわく】?

One of the most useful turns of phrase in Japanese is ありがた迷惑{めいわく}, which is that of being helpful in a way that is not helpful. It can cover situations where one is being helpful to ...
16
votes
2answers
630 views

Why did の disappear from 山手, but in 御茶ノ水 it's in katakana?

I realize that very likely the answer to this question is likely to be something along the lines of "that's just the way it is", but I thought it worth asking to see if there were some insights that ...
6
votes
2answers
139 views

Are there some cases where みたす could be spelled as 充たす? 「充{み}たす」という書き方はどんな場合で使えるか?

Since 充 can be used to spell 充{あ}てる it can have the meaning of "to match". Therefore, the only place where I think 充たす fits is to say something like ある条件を充たす. Nevertheless, according to the 漢字漢和辞典 I ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

“絶対について来ないでね。” as “Absolutely don't come/follow”

Overheard the phrase which sounded like "絶対について来ないでね。". I believe it means 'absolutely don't come/follow'. The speaker was actually hinting to follow her. I'm just curious if my translation makes ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

ぐわん: Is this a word? Drunken speech in manga

I'm reading a manga and am completely stuck on what is being said in the following line of text: まわる = まる = circle ぐわんぐわん = ぐん?  ほわほわする = ほほする = cheeks I've attached the page with the text ...
7
votes
1answer
193 views

Spellings of あなた(がた)

The usual spelling would be hiragana for the first part and kanji for the second, but the spellings 貴女(方)(if the addressee is female) and 貴男(方)(if the addressee is male) are also in use. On to my ...
2
votes
1answer
103 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
139 views

Dictionary definition of multiple words with identical pronunciation but different kanji

Recently I've been using the スーパー大辞林 Japanese dictionary, because it is built-in to all my Apple devices. But I frequently find words where there is a single entry in the dictionary, but 2 or 3 ...
10
votes
1answer
241 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
112 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?
4
votes
1answer
114 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

Is 甘じている a typo? (example sentence)

会社では外様の地位に甘じている。  He is reconciled to 「being outside of [not belonging to] the mainstream faction at the company. (Source: dictionary.goo.ne.jp) I wasn't able to find 甘じる or 甘ずる verb in ...
4
votes
1answer
341 views

Kanji or kana in お待ちください

It's considered proper (though often ignored) to write ください in 待ってください and 下さい in 赤いのを下さい, i.e. Kanji as a main verb and kana as an auxilliary. But a thought came into my mind: in お待ちください, is it an ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Why is やっぱり (yappari) spelled the way it is? [duplicate]

I started learning Japanese very recently. The spelling of やっぱり (yappari) seems odd to me. The second letter in やっぱり is tsu in hiragana (っ) which is not pronounced. Why?
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Why is the sound “cha” spelled as ちゃ rather than ちぁ?

I was wondering why is the sound "cha" spelled with a ゃ rather than a ぁ. きゃ, for example, is "kya"; so shouldn't ちゃ be more like... "chya"? The same goes for しゃ. I suppose "sha" and "cha" kind of ...
1
vote
2answers
109 views

Are there words still containing を either officially or colloquially?

I used to work in a Japanese restaurant where the owner and his wife always wrote 「かつを」 rather than 「かつお」. I thought this was kind of cool, so I looked it up. The only information I could find was ...
3
votes
1answer
212 views

What is the difference between spellings しまう、仕舞う、終う、了う?

What is the difference of meanings between the spellings しまう、仕舞{しま}う、終{しま}う、了{しま}う? Or at least, between the first two? (They are marked as common.) If there is a source about such nuances, I'll ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Heard that “master of something” is pronounced as 'shokaneen'—could you help me find the right term?

I attended a talk at SXSW and the chef Paul Qui had a great quote but I don't know how to spell the work in English (and Japanese) and could use some help. Here is the quote, with the best attempt at ...
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
206 views

Clarification on 人の夢は終わらねェ

Good evening! Is 人の夢は終わらねェ the correct spelling for "A man's dream never dies", or is it with a language twist, like someone very specific would spell or say it like that? I know that the way it's ...
16
votes
3answers
904 views

Rules for emphasizing by lengthening sounds

Sometimes, sounds are lengthened for emphasis. For example, see "とっても versus とても". What are the rules governing this process? Are there restrictions on where lengthening can be inserted? とっても or ...
4
votes
1answer
419 views

Can both Hepburn and Kunreisiki romaji be used to write a person's name?

I once asked why there are two input systems to type some of the same letters, like し or つ, which can be written as shi/si or tsu/tu. I was told that both are okay, I could choose the way I like to ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are し/ち transliterated as 'shi'/'chi', and not 'si'/'ti'?

In Japanese あいうえお are pronounced 'a i u e o', かきくけこ are pronounced 'ka ki ku ke ko'. The spelling is simple and natural. However, when it comes to サ行, さしすせそ, its relevant roman spelling is 'sa shi su ...
14
votes
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, ...
8
votes
1answer
131 views

Are グラス and ガラス alternative spellings of the same word?

As in the title: Are グラス and ガラス alternative spellings of the same word? I'm going through a 2級 prep book for vocabulary and it has ワイングラス = wine glass but ガラスのコップ = glass (for drinking) and ...
6
votes
3answers
649 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
257 views

How would you write “Turtle-senpai”

Would it be 亀先輩? How would you write "Turtle-Senpai"? 亀せんぱい maybe? I have no idea how to properly add a suffix to a word/name.
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Why is Typhoon Neoguri sometimes referred to as “ノグリー”?

Why is Typhoon Neoguri sometimes referred to in Japanese as "ノグリー", and not as "ネオグリー"? The English language Wikipedia's disambiguation page for Typhoon Neoguri mentions that it used to be referred ...
6
votes
2answers
593 views

Alternate spelling for ありがたい, or typo?

I looked up ありがたい in my dictionaries within OSX (looking at this question), and one of the 国語 dictionaries (can't tell which) has the entry listed like this: ありがた・い 【有り難い・難有い】 You'll notice that ...
2
votes
2answers
294 views

トウモロコシ: Why kana? What is the etymology?

First came across this written in Kana Midori とうもろこし, トウモロコシ【玉蜀黍】 corn (US), maize (UK) (usually written in kana) Why Kana? Is トウモロコシ borrowed from another language? What is the ...
2
votes
1answer
259 views

Is there a term for words that share the same kana spelling?

I would like to know if there is a word (in either Japanese or English) that describes pairs of words that are spelled the same in kana. For example, 橋 and 箸 would be "homo-kana" words, because they ...
4
votes
1answer
464 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
214 views

ブラウザ or ブラウザー? Words borrowed from English which end with -er

I noticed that some (most? all?) words that were borrowed from English and end with -er in English can have either short or long vowel at the end: browser - can be ブラウザ or ブラウザー driver - can be ドライバ ...
2
votes
2answers
319 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
422 views

Same word - written with kana and kanji in two places in the same paragraph. Why?

I am aware that some Japanese words can be written in either kana or kanji and that the rules about it are not set in stone. This has already been discussed in some questions and answers here (e.g. ...
1
vote
1answer
319 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
165 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

On the two words, several pronunciations, and many spellings for “sake cup”

When I was in Okinawa drinking sake I asked my host what the Japanese word for the sake cup was and was told: お猪口{ちょこ} Then today I went to the Nezu Museum in Tokyo which currently has a ...
4
votes
1answer
435 views

硬い・堅い・固い - how are different spellings used?

硬{かた}い, 堅{かた}い, and 固{かた}い all have very similar meaning and can be generally translated to English as "hard, tough, solid, stiff". Yet it seems that different kanji are used in different situations. ...
5
votes
2answers
897 views

ふるさと (home town, birthplace) uses which kanji - 古里 or 故郷?

I've noticed that there are 2 ways (at least, maybe more) of writing ふるさと (home town, birthplace): 古里 故郷 Am I correct? Are they interchangeable? Is one used more often than another?
-1
votes
1answer
180 views

こおれえぐす, こーれーぐす, こおれえぐうす, or こーれーぐーす to get the word 高麗胡椒? [closed]

高麗胡椒 is a condiment originating in Okinawa that consists of chilis immersed in awamori. I don't know how to type it, especially the long vowels. I can get neither the katakana nor the kanji spelling ...
11
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
460 views

On “おてもと” and its many variants for “chopsticks”

I've always known the Japanese word for "chopsticks" to be (お)箸{はし}. Today in my usual practice of reading everything around me I looked up what was written on the wrapper of the disposable ...
7
votes
1answer
280 views

Are both spellings for ふけ (fuke) “dandruff” ateji? If not what's actually going on?

The other day after washing my hair I decided to add the Japanese word for "dandruff" to my vocabulary. It turns out to be an interesting word. It has only one pronunciatation, ふけ (fuke), but two ...
1
vote
1answer
190 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
542 views

On the replacing of kanji made obsolete in the 1946 reforms with similar-looking kanji.

This is my understanding but please correct me if some of my details are wrong: In 1946 the Japanese language underwent a reform and standardization process A set of 1850 kanji were made official ...
4
votes
2answers
465 views

Are “ピーナッツ” and “ピーナツ” both correct for “peanut(s)”?

I've just noticed that the usual word for "peanut" or "peanuts" in Japanese is "ピーナッツ" (pīnattsu), but the first spelling I found, from looking in the translation table in the English Wiktionary was ...
30
votes
1answer
2k views

How do parents obscure spoken messages in front of their children in Japanese?

Let's say I'm a very young child and I love dessert. After my family goes out today, my dad is going to buy us ice cream; he needs to tell my mom in front of me, without me finding out. In English, he ...
30
votes
4answers
2k views

How did “little tsu” become a lengthener?

How did it come about historically that っ preceding a sound would geminate it? Is it really a little つ or are they just near homomorphs?