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21

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

I know very little about Aikido and can only explain general facts about the Japanese language. “Tori” and “dori” in these example are the noun form of the verb toru (取る; take, grab). In isolation, this noun form is read as “tori.” Both Katate Tori and Katate Dori are compound words made of katate (片手; one hand) and tori. However, in Japanese, the first ...


16

You are looking at this from the perspective of someone with a reasonable knowledge of Japanese, but romaji is wider in application than that. It is often read by people who have no knowledge of the language, perhaps not even a desire to learn it. In fact, those people may be the main readers of romaji. The advantage of Hepburn over Nihon-shiki is largely ...


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

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 ...


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

In answer to this question, I'll give my personal understanding, although I can't fully substantiate it. The superiority of kunrei-siki Kunrei-siki is often felt to be a "better" system than Hepburn in representing Japanese. That is because kunrei-shiki mirrors kana usage more closely than Hepburn. This is noticeable in the さ row, the た row, the は row, and ...


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

They are known as Arabic Numerals, or アラビア数字 in Japanese. As you may notice, 1, 2, 3, etc. were developed by Indian mathematicians and did not originate from ancient Rome. Up until the 14th century Roman numerals were used, but were eventually abandoned in favor of Arabic Numerals.


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 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 ...


8

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 ...


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

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

Because computers cannot read your mind. When you type "wa", the computer cannot decipher whether you mean わ or は, so it was decided that わ would be the only way. You could argue that you could develop a system to perform 変換 based on context, but I would imagine that any attempt would fail. Also, if you don't like this system, you can always use かな入力 (mainly ...


7

ゼット is the most common pronunciation for Z. ズィー is used by younger generation or by realists, but elderly and conservative people may not understand it. ゼッド is rare. Actually, I have never heard of it. Traditionally, there are several English alphabet letters that are pronounced departing from mere transcription of the sound. They are デー (DEe, HL) for ...


7

It depends. In most cases it is おう. But is some words, the "おお" form is retained, such as "大【おお】きい", "多【おお】い", "遠【とお】い", etc. For 扇, I'd believe if the dictionary doesn't have おおぎ, it should be incorrect. (btw, from the transcription of おうぎ in classic Japanese (あふぎ) which is shown in the dictionary, the transcription now can only be おうぎ.)


7

It is likely [同僚]{どう・りょう} which means "colleague"/"coworker".


7

I think there are no consistent rules for transcribing foreign words to katakana and thus the task of reverting the process is even harder. The most obvious hurdle will be deciding whether ラリルレロ should be La Li Lu Le Lo or Ra Ri Ru Re Ro (or something completely different), e.g. レディー is either lady, or ready. Moreover, there are many source languages, like ...


6

I hate to bring anime into this reply but all Japanese people I have met know the pronunciation "zetto", and all of them have heard of Dragon Ball Z. Which in Japanese is "Doragon Bo-ru Zetto". I work in a Junior High School in Japan and whenever students don't understand "zee" if I say "zetto" or even "zeddo" they understand immediately what letter I mean - ...


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

Are L and R picked simply based on which "sounds better" to whoever is doing the transliterating? Sometimes it's this, and other times it's about figuring out which is correct. It extends to more than just "L" and "R", by the way. For instance: ロック・リー (rokku rii) (from Naruto) : Rock Lee ジュリー (jurii) : Julie ... or jury ジェリー (jerii) : Jelly ... or, ...


6

It is called the history kana orthography, in Japanese [歴史的]{れきしてき}[仮名]{かな}[遣]{づか}ひ. Around the time this kana orthography was introduced, Japanese sounded different than today, words were pronounced differently. As the language changed, the old spelling was preserved. The technical details of the following are taken from "A History of the Japanese ...


6

This is not an answer, but I will post it in the hope that it may resolve part of your confusion. I am afraid that you seem to be mixing “shorter” in the sense that it uses less characters and “shorter” in the sense that it uses less area in typical typesetting (hence less pages in typical books, assuming that the size of a page is similar in books in ...


5

Katakana and hiragana are both forms of kana. They are a phonetic syllabary for Japanese, as in each kana character represents a phoneme. No, one is not more formal than the other. The main differences are that hiragana is used for phonetically spelling out Japanese words, and katakana is for foreign words. Katakana character strokes tend to be more straight ...


5

I've softened significantly from my beginner-level "all romaji should be purged from the earth" fanaticism. There are two related questions here, "Should I avoid a roomaji-based textbook like the plague?" and "Can I get away with learning Japanese without studying kanji?" The TLDR version is "No" and "Yes, but you obviously will be illiterate". "Should I ...


4

I don't think that there is an absolute industry standard ("programmers" can't even agree on the best way of indenting code...), but in my admittedly limited experience, Word-processor-style, influenced by Nihon-shiki, is most common. Thus, 東京 is "toukyou" and "情報" is "zyouhou", "普通" is "hutuu". Pure speculation: This might be because if you romanize things ...


4

If it's a kanji, and it's an ON reading of the kanji, it's almost certainly オウ. Ex. Tōkyō = とうきょう With kun readings, you just have to know which one. I don't think it's an especially common occurrence, so knowing the common cases (おおきい, おおい、とおる)should be pretty sufficient. Even if you get it wrong, you'll be understood.


4

I think it comes from French as you guessed. In modern Japan (as well as in many other countries), it is generally considered that French cuisine is the world's most sophisticated dish, and the best place for studying abroad for cooking was France. Many of the top chefs in Japan had studied cooking in France, and they tend to use French in the menu. That is ...


4

The Japanese Wikipedia page for Aikido refers to the term as 片手取り, but doesn't give any information on how the word is read. The word also doesn't appear to show up in the dictionary. So, essentially, there is a possibility that the ending is read -どり rather than -とり. A quick Google search brings up one or two results that explicitly say it's read as かたてどり, ...



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