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27

They all originate from the cursive versions of kanji with the same/similar pronunciation as the hiragana. Here's a picture from Wikipedia to illustrate: To answer your question - there is no deep connection between the kana with circles. The kanji they came from just happened to have a circle when written in cursive. And just to be complete, Wikipedia ...


22

According to this page, the following types of characters are allowed in names: 名づけ(命名)に使える文字と記号 ひらがな(ゐ・ゑも含む) カタカナ(ヰ・ヱも含む) 「ー」(音をのばすときに使う。例:リリー、サリー) 「ゝ」(一つ前の字の繰り返しのとき使う。例:なゝえ) 「ゞ」(一つ前の字に濁音を付けて繰り返しのとき使う。例:みすゞ) 「々」((一つ前の漢字の繰り返しのとき使う。例:奈々) So that's hiragana, katakana, extension, and repetition marks. Valid examples are given for each in the ...


17

Your question body contradicts the title, so I'll answer both questions: Advantages of roomaji (I never thought I'd say this!): No need to learn new characters Can be "read" by most people, even if not understood. Although anybody who doesn't know Japanese will get even the pronunciation wrong. Disadvantages of roomaji: Complete inability to read and ...


15

It isn't 100 percent clear, but the following is the “well-established” theory: Hiragana (平仮名) As noted in your other question, hiragana was originally called 女手. In the late Nara, early Heian periods, 万葉仮名{まんようがな} written in 草書体 (sosho style) was used for “unofficial” texts such as Japanese poems (和歌), etc. From this 万葉仮名, women in the imperial courts ...


15

When being used as a grammatical particle ([助詞]{じょし}), は is pronounced わ (wa), を is pronounced お (o), and へ (which you may not have come across yet) is pronounced え (e). I've never used Rosetta Stone but it seems quite strange that it would not mention this... Information as to the historical reason for this difference between spelling and pronunciation ...


14

The real question is "Advantages/disadvantages for whom?". For students of Japanese, Romaji is really useful when they start out, because they don't have to learn anything to be able to read it (although without learning Kana, they'll probably end up reading it incorrectly, especially if they're native English speakers :(). Another advantage is that Romaji ...


14

I'll give you the same one I gave to the other question: Yes, the sounds of these words has changed since their spelling was set down. In general, no matter the language, whenever you see a discrepancy between spelling and pronunciation that is not entirely regular, this is the result of sound changes. And while there are some counter-examples of words that ...


14

Expanding on my comment, some word types that are likely to be written in kana which haven't been covered so far: Cases where one or more kanji in the compound are considered rare/difficult (for the level of the text). Examples: 石鹸【せっけん】, where 鹸 is the sticking point. This is commonly written せっけん or 石けん, or if the kanji are used furigana may be provided. ...


13

As ジョン said, 今なにしてる could be written as 今何してる. However, I can think of two plausible reasons why they write 今なにしてる instead of 今何してる. First, hiragana gives more informal and casual impression than kanji. I do not know the overall tone of text used on Facebook, but I assume that it is quite informal, judging from the colloquial expression してる (instead of ...


13

Not per se. EDICT has "uk" (usually kana) and "uK" (usually kanji) annotations, but for the most part either is acceptable. 只今 ただいま (int,exp,uk,abbr,n-t,adv) Here I am; I'm home!; presently; right away; right now; just now; (P)


13

According to gogen-allguide, こんにちは originated from the 今日{こんにち}は ("today") in 今日{こんにち}はご機嫌{きげん}いかがですか? ("how are you today") and similar expressions.


12

Searching on a name dictionary you'll get a long long list (93) of "midori" as a girl's given name. This excludes "midori" being used as a family name or a place name. "Midori" is not limited to the kanji for green though. It can be made up of other kanji having 名乗り (nanori - name reading) of "mi", "do", "ri", "mido", "dori" compounded to form "midori". ...


12

Well, it's always safe to use the hiragana. You could technically write Japanese entirely in kana, although it would become very difficult to read and lack the context clues provided by kanji. If 海山 is someone's (family) name, first make sure it is really pronounced as うみやま because it could have some other pronunciation. Secondly, depending on the context ...


10

By transcribing everything into latin alphabet (heck, even to hiragana/katakana syllables), written Japanese will lose most of the legibility than if it were to be written in full kanji+kana. It may be hard to describe, but let me give you a nonsense english sentence: Wheel you go two the par tea two knight at ate? Eye think it's awed they are having it ...


10

The equivalent of "alphabetical order" for kana that hangs on the wall of classrooms is as follows: あかさたなはまやらわん いきしちにひみ り うくすつぬふむゆる えけせてねへめ れ おこそとのほもよろを I believe children are introduced to them based on this, probably vertically (i.e. あいうえお、かきくけこ and so on). [Thanks to Jamie Taylor in the comments.] I can't really give specific advice ...


10

1)Yes, an international standardized character alphabet exists for transcribing the sounds of all human Languages. It's called the International Phonetic Alphabet and it is maintained by the International Phonetic Association (both are acronymized as IPA). The most recent version of the alphabet was created 1969 and their most recent and currently operative ...


9

I think if you watch this video for 24 hours straight, you will have learned basic hiragana and katakana without much effort. My apologies for any ill effects on your mental health. Complete Japanese Alphabet Song - Katakana - Hiragana - 日本語


9

I think the Wikipedia article on the Japanese writing system explains it pretty well, but to summarize: Hiragana and katakana (collectively referred to as kana) are syllabic writing, that is, each character represents a syllable such as "ta" or "o". They're purely phonetic so they don't have direct connotations like kanji do, and both have the same set of ...


9

Both those explanations seem slightly off to me. My own suspicion is that it was because Chinese characters were associated with the language of administration (the class of scholar-bureaucrats in China), and women were not expected to serve in government positions. Since the educational purpose of learning characters was to produce government officials, and ...


9

Often the particle は is written "wa" in Latin letters, because は, when used as a particle, is in fact pronounced the same as わ. Of course, は, when it is not a particle, is usually pronounced "ha". を is pronounced お, and therefore sometimes transcribed "wo" and sometimes "o". Similarly, the particle へ is pronounced the same as え, whence "he" or "e". For ...


9

There's even an exceptional word which mixes hiragana, katakana, and kanji, くノ一. Generally speaking, words are written with mixed writing systems when there are reasons to write different parts in different ways. (Sounds obvious, huh?) For example, in Tokyo Nagoya's example of あんパン, the first morpheme comes from Chinese 餡{あん}, and the second from ...


9

This site has voice recordings of all the kana: http://www.saiga-jp.com/pronunciation_voice.html Trying to learn kana pronunciation from English is a bad idea.


8

I'm sorry to inform you that there are many, many different ways to write the Japanese name Midori, as you can see from this search of a name dictionary. If you need to know how to write a specific woman's name, you probably need to ask her. As for your other question about みどりの, the の is a word that comes between a word and the word it's describing. ...


8

Simple pictorial information is sufficient for describing the strokes used in kana, for most uses. If you were to want to use them in calligraphy however, then there would be merit in training under someone else.


8

Learning to read and write the kana on your own is fine, if your book is decent. But here are some small caveats: For reasons unknown to me, most books I've come across (rather infuriatingly) seem to write the kana in brush or printed form, where they look slightly different to handwritten. For example, き (ki) tends to be handwritten as four strokes: two ...


8

I'm not Japanese, but based on what I know it is up to you to choose which style you would like to write in. However, as I commented previously, I recommend that you stick with the "handwritten" style rather than the "printed" one if you are using a pen or pencil. However, if you are using a brush then perhaps the other is more appropriate. There is a great ...


8

That's a good question, I used to wonder about that myself! This is what I've found out through my own experiences: When the Chinese brought their written language to Japan, there were only Kanji (Literally, Chinese Characters). Unfortunately, although this kind of ideographic writing system works perfectly for the Chinese language, the Japanese language is ...


8

You will find "chi" in the "t" row and "i" column, hence "ti". There are various ways to transcribe Japanese into Latin script. Whether you spell it chi or ti, it is the same Japanese sound: ち. For cha, chu, and cho, it is chi + ya, chi + yu, and chi + yo. You could also spell it tya, tyu, and tyo.


8

The つ character you're talking about is commonly referred to as "little つ" and looks like っ. This characters is not actually pronounced, but rather it means to take a small pause. In the case of にっぽん, instead of pronouncing it as "nitsupon", you would be pronouncing it like "ni [small pause] pon" which is romanised as "nippon" which has a natural pause ...



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