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24

In addition to user458s list: To give visual and/or very slight semantic emphasis. Almost like using bold or italics in English. それはだめだよ! それはダメだよ! You can see that the latter stands out more. As for the onomatopoeia, those are often a little emphasized too, so it probably overlaps with reason 2 a good amount. Plant, animal, and mineral ...


22

Some of the posts indicate that ヲ is very rare. This isn't really the case. In general Japanese usage, yes, it is very rare. However, if you have all-katakana text, then you will always find を written as ヲ. All-katakana text might be encountered in child-oriented media such as video games. I have seen plenty of old games that use only katakana, such as ...


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 ...


22

It's mojibake, not a valid character. Looking at the character code I suppose it's this emoji sent from a mobile phone: http://code.iamcal.com/php/emoji/


18

but I am constantly baffled by why certain loan words from English are constructed using certain katakana sounds. Loan words do not necessarily need to be borrowed from English. In fact, most old loan words (in the 外来語 sense) were borrowed from Portuguese. For example, if someone asked me to say "energy" in Japanese, I would have guessed エナジー or ...


18

“アェ” is not a valid spelling of any sound in the standard usage of kana letters. If it is used to describe any sound (in a nonstandard way), I agree with AHelps that it probably describes “æ” sound. However, according to web search, アェウクス is a password which appears in a video game “時空の覇者 Sa・Ga3.” As it is a video game, the password used in it does not ...


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

Phonemes and Allophones In English, we have two different /p/ sounds. When you say pin, you use an aspirated [pʰ] sound, and when you say spin you use an unaspirated [p˭] sound. This may come as a surprise! English speakers generally think of them as being the exact same sound. That's because English doesn't have any pair of words which are ...


14

The character you presented is U+E4FB. According to the Unicode standard, it is in the "private use area", which means a software or hardware vendor can define what the character means on their own system. Such a character has no universally accepted meaning. Reference: Wikipedia - Mapping of Unicode characters - Private use characters "The Basic ...


13

ハ for the topic particle. There's no difference from hiragana.


13

Dono has a point in his comment where he mentions that even if there were a way to transcribe it, the sound [wu] does not exist in Japanese. Let me first explain why it doesn't exist. The Japanese phoneme /w/ as in /wa/,/wi/,/we/ and /wo/ (transcribed as ワ,ウィ,ウェ and ウォ) is not the same as the phoneme /w/ in English. /w/ in Japanese is the approximant ...


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". ...


11

As you guessed, it depends on the type of writing and the target audience, and also on the style. In text written for general public, such as newspaper articles, foreign personal names are usually written in katakana. In academic books and papers, it is more common to see names in the Latin script (at least in mathematics and computer science). As for ...


11

It's not a wholly Japanese word. It's a shortening of [空]{から} ('empty') and オーケストラ. So, since at least part of it needs to be written with katakana, the whole word is written with katakana. (Switching between the two within one word typically only happens in slang verbs like サボる.)


11

I think this image sums it up perfectly: Basically, it has to do with the angle you're draw it from and where it goes. You'll see variations on the bigger stroke on the right, especially in hand writing, but this clears up 99% of instances for me. Edit: source=http://ani-nouto.animeblogger.net/2012/08/11/guide-to-katakana-ri-so-n/


11

Here is a list of extended katakana color coded based on usage. In my personal experience, I have seen the orange ones and most of the blue ones in actual use multiple times. The beige and purple ones I have never seen used before (except maybe スィ), so don't bother learning them. Here's a list with example words I made based on the link, roughly ordered by ...


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 ...


10

I took a look at the book OP mentioned and following is a super-simplified summary of how "ン" was invented, as described in the book. I'm no historian nor linguist, so I can't guarantee this is true. There was no kanji for "ん/ン" at all in Man’yōgana (万葉仮名). This is partly because, in those days, the Chinese writing system also had no simple character for ...


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

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

The second paragraph can be answered in large part by What changes are made to the pronunciation of gairaigo? and by Less-approximate and more-approximate forms of loan words and by Different transcriptions for words with related origin . As for the third paragraph, Wikipedia says the Agency for Cultural Affairs (文化庁) at the Ministry of Education of Japan ...


9

まし is not a loanword. It is actually 増し, the noun form of verb 増す (“to increase”). However, it is not usually written in kanji, probably because the meaning diverged widely from the original verb 増す. If you follow the standard orthography, there is no reason why まし should be written in katakana. However, it is true that many people write マシ in katakana. ...


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

But everything I've been reading all seems to say that katakana are mostly used to form loanwords from other languages Katakana are used for way more than just making loanwords: It is used for reading classical Chinese (漢文). It is used for names of people, places, countries, restaurants, etc. It is used in science, for example biological names of ...


9

Yes, it's common to write in that way. Writing いづみ instead of いずみ and 買ひ instead of 買い are a part of the Historical Kana Orthography (歴史的仮名遣). Writing katakana instead of hiragana is considered more formal in old days. See 歴史的仮名遣 and 片仮名 歴史的仮名遣とは ... 明治から第二次世界大戦終結直後までの公文書や学校教育において用いられたものであり、平安時代初期までの発音を反映した表記であると仮想されたものを基点としている。 The Historical Kana ...


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 ...


8

First of all, you are right about ー: it always extends the vowel that came before it. (And the official name for it that I know is 長音符, ちょうおんぷ, "long sound mark", like cypher said.) What struck me though is that in this case, they are using katakana for a word for which there is kanji: 携帯けいたい, and in that kanji, the first character is read けい. Not けえ. ...


8

This tends to be a style choice by an author, who uses a kanji for aesthetic/readability purposes for a word which is usually expressed with 外来語 (borrowed words from foreign languages). The author can choose to do this for a few reasons. Often if they are concerned that the 外来語 they're using will not be understood by everyone, they use kanji to express the ...



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