Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

36

In Old Japanese (probably before 800 BC), the pronunciation of 「は」 (and indeed the entire ハ行) was PA, but it later changed to FA (more accurately, [ɸa], with a bilabial fricative), and this was the common pronunciation at least up to the 16th century (we know this since early Portuguese transliteration of Japanese words use the letter F where we would use H ...


26

This question should be broken into two different questions: When and how did small-tsu come to represent consonant gemination. When and how did consonant gemination (as represented by small-tsu) came to be in Japanese. (For those who don't know the term: gemination simply means doubling of sounds, usually consonants. It's easy to get the sense ...


26

In modern Japanese these pairs are pronounced exactly the same: ず, づ are pronounced either [dzu] or [zu]. じ, ぢ are pronounced either [dʑi] or [ʑi]. (the first sounding like the English J and the second like the French J, but both are with the middle of the tongue raised to the hard palate, producing what seems like a softer pronunciation). So in short, ...


22

Because the pronunciation was lost. "Wi" and "we" are still in some dialects, but standard Japanese does not have those sounds. These characters were just spelling. Similarly in English, we pronounce "through" as "thru" because the "gh" sound is long gone. After World War II there was a massive language overhaul, and they changed/standardized spelling and ...


18

It has two main usages: As an abbreviation of the counter word 個/箇. More often it has a further word after it and it's read か. In this case it's sometimes written as ヵ or even か so the reading is more obvious. Examples: 一ヶ月(いっかげつ) 二ヶ国語 三ヶ所 Sometimes it's used alone just like 個 is (and it's read こ too), perhaps as shorthand. I've rarely seen people do ...


18

In Katakana, we use ー for some long vowels indeed. But words with it, like ユーロ are spelt this way! However, in your case, there is no such word よーく、 ようく nor よおく. What this dash means is that the sound is lengthened. The word is just "よく". So, when the author wrote "よーくわかる" he meant "I reaaaaally understand". That's it!


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 ...


14

In reference to Sawa's request for an example, キャンディ is a case of キャ being used to transcribe English ca. I asked my Japanese teacher exactly this question many years ago. The reply was that the vowel in English candy is higher (in phonetic terms) than the low front vowel in RP English cast. The fact that キャ is palatalised raises the vowel and makes it ...


14

Hiragana syllables are always schematised in a given order which is this one (from right to left, as you may already know): HIRAGANA KATAKANA After a while I started Japanese, I also found this video, the Japanese Alphabet song (only for hiragana), that can be interesting for absolute beginners. One of the best ways to remember Hiragana (and ...


13

The order used today pretty much everywhere is called Gojūon, and this is what Alenanno has described, but there's also a traditional order, with its own song, called Iroha. This order is actually based on the poem (instead of the other way around), and interestingly enough, it is possible because the poem managed to include every letter of the traditional ...


12

From what I've observed, it varies from shop to shop: by publisher → by author name → by book title by author name → by book title by library → by series number (In case of 文庫 [ぶんこ] (library), 新書 [しんしょ] (library of pocket-sized paperbacks) by relevance/context (in untraditional bookstores like ヴィレッジ・ヴァンガード, 松丸本舗 [まつまるほんぽ]) Also, 文庫 ...


11

Kanji were originally from Chinese. Japanese used extremely accented Chinese (sorta like what they do with English now) to pronounce Middle Chinese words, which eventually became 音読み. For example 日本 /njit.pon/ became /nippon/. For 訓読み, they simply find the nearest native Japanese word in meaning. You can imagine an English person seeing 走 and pronouncing 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

This is a difference between historical kana use (歴史的仮名遣) and modern kana use (現代仮名遣い). The kana orthography has been changed over time to reflect newer pronunciations. In this case, the title is written using an older spelling. Take a look at this official cabinet announcement (from 1986) and scroll down to the bottom half. It contains a rather large ...


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

Does anyone know what might be the correct kana for this name? It is your name, so you are entitled to choose the correct kana. However, there is historical precedent for ジョアン. There is a famous Portuguese missionary João Rodrigues who came to Japan in the late 16th century. He left several important books including "Arte da Lingoa de Iapam" (日本大文典) ...


9

Because Chinese doesn't have voiced consonants. In Chinese, voiced /b/d/g/ are just variants of their voiceless counterparts. So you can't hear the difference between voiced sounds and voiceless sounds. It's hard to explain and learn by text. Instead, I recommend you practice it by listening and imitating. The site 首都大学東京 mic-J 日本語教育 AV リソース may be ...


8

It really all depends on how you define preservation, and whether you consider the Ryukyuan languages (such as Okinawan) separate languages or dialects of Japanese, since ゑ and ゐ are used in some Ryukyuan spelling systems (other systems use other conventions such as writing these sounds as うぇ and うぃ). There are one or two problems with considering that as a ...


8

In this context, きれる does not mean "to be cut", but rather attaches to the 連用形 (-i form) of a verb and means "to be able to completely [verb]". cf. the EDICT entry for 切れる: (suf,v1) (16) to be able to do completely When used in this sense, きれる is typically written in kana rather than as 切れる. So, we have 死にきれる (that's the verb 死ぬ, not the noun 死 + ...


8

I suppose this banner struck OP as "super bizarre" for either of the two reasons: Because you are a diligent Japanese learner who only learned how traditional textbooks say about when to use kanji or kana. Because you have a kind of fascination with kanji, as a design element. You regard kanji as cool, and kana as mere, dull, phonetic symbols. Whichever ...


7

The order is あ か さ た な は ま や ら わ If you have a Japanese cell phone, you can use the keypad to check the order, which runs from the 1 to 0 keys. If you have an iPhone, you can activate a Ten Key Japanese keyboard in the Keyboard settings, which is in the same order. You can also listen to this cheesy Japanese hip-hop song by Kreva to hammer it into your ...


7

This is what you're looking for: International Phonetic Alphabet


6

へうげもの is old kana usage (see for example here for some tables of current/old spelling). According to the wikipedia article on this manga, the reading for へうげもの is ひょうげもの, so it is being romanised as it would be pronounced.


6

Actually, it's a simplified version of any of the following: 箇・個・个


6

From Wikipedia: It is an abbreviation for the kanji 箇, which is used as a counter word. Although it resembles the katakana character ke (ケ), it is pronounced ka, ga or ko, not ke.


6

次数 (jisuu) seems to be "degree" in the graph theory sense, not as in angles. I've never heard ちょぼ used for "decimal point", but perhaps I'm ignorant here. The terms I would use are 度 (do) and 点 (ten) respectively. コンマ (comma) is also heard as a decimal point separator (even when the symbol , is not used). Note that, as in English, numbers after a decimal ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible