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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, ...


26

It's perfectly fine to use only half-width arabic numbers. 2009年6月30日 However, there are other rules in operation, coming from various time in the history of writing and printing: A. Don't use arabic numbers at all - maybe seen in formal documents: 二千九年六月三十日 B. Half-width for two-digit numbers, otherwise full-width - mostly in printed materials: ...


21

The Japanese equivalent of underlining for emphasis would probably be using 傍点【ぼうてん】 or 脇点【わきてん】: Dots added over (if writing horizontally) or to the right (if vertically) of each character. Wikipedia Japan has a page detailing their use, as well as their variants: 文字種としては、縦書きの場合は主に黒ゴマあるいは白ゴマが使用され、横書きの場合はビュレット(黒丸および白丸)が使用される。 ...


18

This is a summary of this Wikipedia article. A math book called 塵劫記【じんこうき】 published in 1627, was the first book that described (and probably defined) how to count large numbers in Japanese. In the first edition of the book, actually there was no "4-digit grouping" as we know today, at least for relatively small numbers (smaller than 1 極【ごく】). A different ...


17

What is the learning curve like for learning Japanese writing? About the same as English. Chances are you didn't start learning to read English by pedaling your five-speed Schwinn (with the baseball card in the back tire) to the local library and checking out Pride and Prejudice with your shiny new card. You had to start with the Easy Readers, wherein ...


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. ...


14

It seems that 歳 is the "official"character for the age, even though both it and 才 are reglementary (常用漢字). However, it is too difficult for the pupils (小学生) who are supposed to learn it since it's a very common word. Therefore, the different (but not simplified) character 才 is taught instead so that they can learn a necessary character until they see the ...


14

ローマ字 is ローマ plus 字, not Roman plus 字. ローマ is a Japanese noun, derived from a noun (from Latin "Roma", meaning Rome), while Roman is an English adjective, derived from an adjective (from Latin "Romanus", meaning "of Rome, Roman"). Since ローマ字 does not come from the English word "Roman", it has no ン sound. (Although ローマ is probably not directly from ...


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

Some native feelings about the different spellings: かっこいい is neutral カッコイイ, カッコいい or anything with katakana looks like written by someone pretending to be young かっけえ is frequently heard from young people. When a high-school student writes this in school, it would be corrected to かっこいい 恰好いい looks sixty years old-fashioned.


13

What I can think of is Japanese numbers are using when registration of house, family registrations, and some contracts. But they used 壱 弐 参 拾 萬 instead of ー 二 三 十 万 on those kinds of registrations, contracts to prevent obvious modifications. And according to trade law, session 2, No. 48 「壱、弐、参、拾」 are mandatory. Old books using those Japanese numbers a ...


13

Roman Jakobson famously said: "Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey." His point was that every language can sufficiently convey any idea that can be expressed in another language. The difference is that for each language there are some properties that must be specified when an idea is conveyed, even ...


13

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


12

It's a glottal stop, similar to the usage you mentioned (あっ,もうっ). It signifies that the last mora is cut off abruptly. This can imply irritation (なんだよっ "What!") or excitement (大変だっ "It's terrible!"). In print, it's a little like adding an exclamation point to the end of the sentence.


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 ...


10

I'd like to add to Derek and Lukman's excellent answers my usual plug for young adult manga as a learning resource. Since all but the most basic kanji have furigana next to them, you don't have to know hundreds of kanji to read them, and it's easy to look up the meanings of new words and learn the readings of new kanji. While the content of most young ...


9

I think the difference between the is really captured by their appearance alone. As you mentioned, ~ sometimes has a sort of wavy 'tremolo' type feel to it, or at least that's the image evoked by looking at it. I'm not sure how many times you would actually fluctuate the pitch like that in an actual reading, though. I usually associate it with a kind of ...


9

This may be obvious but not has been stated explicitly on this page: in vertical writing, kanji numerals are much more preferred than Arabic numerals. Moreover, in vertical writing, we sometimes use the positional system with kanji, especially for large numbers; that is, 六万五千七百四円 is sometimes written as 六五七〇四円.


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

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

Generally in Japanese handwriting the more feminine something is the more rounded out and cute it will be. If I think of girly English writing I think of neat bubbly letters while guys tend to be sloppy and angular. This carries over to Japanese. Additional reading: http://guideline.livedoor.biz/archives/51130942.html ...


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

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

All 3 are correct. could appear in old and/or formal Japanese, where the question mark is often absent. Note that you would still need a punctuation then, probably a full stop: 「。」 and 3. will both appear anywhere and depend only on the level of formality of the conversation. Omitting the particle would make your question slightly more familiar (or, in ...


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

I agree with Matt that there's no fixed standard about which romanization scheme to use. My guess is that it depends on the project, author, term and the author's swing of mood at the moment, just as in any other context of Japanese romanization. [Personal point-of-view] If I were to use a Japanese variable name, I'd use Hepburn-style romanization, because ...


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 ...



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