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27

(Especially in the ancient times,) there were/are bound morphemes (morphemes that cannot be used in isolation as a word) that end with the vowel a. The a at the end of these morphemes cannot appear at a word boundary. These forms are known as 露出形. saka- (as in 酒) ama- (as in 雨) puna- (as in 船) ma- (as in 目) When they are used as the first ...


25

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 ...


19

Each family would use its own method and all I know for certain is how mine handled the matter. We used on-reading words, meaning kanji compounds, which small kids generally are not familiar with. We also "created" our own on-reading words in cases where the generic words were already on-reading ones. Our final weapon was to say the words in English (we ...


12

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.


12

I do not know any name for rewriting of kanji (because of a kanji reform) using a similar-looking kanji. I am not sure if 濠洲 was replaced by 豪州 because they look similar. I guess that the biggest factor that contributed to this rewriting was they can be read in the same way. Because 濠洲 is ateji, the most important property of the kanji 濠 must be its ...


12

Dave already answered that there is no difference in 迷う and 紕う in modern Japanese. Dictionaries agree on this. However, the original meanings of these two kanji are completely different, and the reason why まよう has these two kanji notations is related to the history of the Japanese word まよう itself, which is explained in Daijisen. Originally, the Japanese ...


11

I also think it's maybe a stylistic thing. In 大阪, there is an area called 森の宮【もりのみや】. Around the area, I've seen it written any of the following ways: 森の宮 森ノ宮 森之宮 森宮 I've also noticed this for places that have a 「が」in them like 関ヶ原. Sometimes it can be が、ヶ、ケ、or not there at all. Not that this necessarily applies to 関ヶ原, but I've definitely seen the ...


11

ありがた迷惑 is not two separate words. It is one word, a compound noun. When you make a compound noun like this in Japanese, you only use the stem of the adjective. The stem of ありがたい is ありがた, so this gets added to 迷惑 and you end up with ありがた迷惑. Here are some similar examples of "adjective stem + noun" compound nouns, and the equivalent "adjective, noun" two-word ...


11

I'm surprised that none of the answers so far have touched on the actual source of the distinction. The rule is: ください when it attaches to the te form of a verb, and 下さい otherwise. That's why 下さい is used in requesting an item, because it's not being used after the te form of a verb (それを下さい). The same goes for other verbs that attach to the te form... the ...


10

This page at the goo.ne.jp Q&A site quotes the NHKことばのハンドブック, which states that while there were at one time rules for when to use くらい and when to use ぐらい, modern-day Japanese has no such distinction. I agree with Tsuyoshi that ぐらい "feels" colloquial, but more often than not I think it's a matter of which rolls off the tongue with the most ease.


9

The number kanji are included on the list of first grade kanji that all Japanese children, theoretically, should know by they are in the second grade of elementary school. The other kanji you list (except for 日, but they may not cover that reading) are at higher reading levels. It's likely that they made an editorial decision that, well, pretty much any ...


9

とっても is just a strong form of とても according to 大辞泉, so both are correct. It has similar pronunciation (may be a bit different intonation) with 取っても, so may be it could confuse some. But usage of とっても can be found since 昭和30年(1955) (at least) from this song called 月がとっても青いから by 菅原 都々子 (すがわら つづこ) So, I believe you can use it most of the time but if ...


9

Wikipedia says that Osaka used to be spelt 大坂, and is now spelt 大阪. It is more complicated than that: Initially it was 難波 (Naniwa). In 1496, it was 小坂 ("Little Hill", Osaka AND Ozaka). 尾坂 and other spellings also exist. This is thought to focus more on the area around Ishiyama Honganji. In 1583, Toyotomi Hideyoshi built 大坂城, and throughout the Edo ...


9

Yes, it was one form. From here: 奈良時代には、「オ」は [o] 、「ヲ」は [wo] と発音されており明確な区別があった。借字(万葉仮名)では、オには意・憶・於・應(応)・隱(隠)・乙などの字が用いられる一方、「ヲ」には乎・呼・袁・遠・鳥・鳴・怨・越・少・小・尾・麻・男・緒・雄などが用いられていた Translation In the Nara period, オ was pronounced as "o" and ヲ was pronounced as "wo", and were clearly distinguished. [借字]{しゃくじ}(Manyogana) used 意・憶・於・應(応)・隱(隠)・乙, etc. for オ and ...


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

屋 and 家 both roughly mean "house", with 屋 tending more towards the meaning of building and 家 more towards home. The choice of which to use is entirely the owner's. や is the ambiguous way to write either and is pretty much a stylistic choice. Do keep in mind that in the olden days Japanese stores tended to be part home, part store, with the owners living in ...


8

OK. Not the greatest answer (based on partial ignorance rather than knowledge), but on the chance nobody can come up with better: 紕う and 迷う are ostensibly two spellings of the same word (まよう). This happens a lot in Japanese, as you probably know and is a characteristic feature of the weird marriage of native (oral) Japanese with native (written) Chinese ...


8

Etymology. おお comes from an earlier おほ or おを, while おう can come from any of おう、あう、おふ、or あふ (and potentially えう、えふ、ゑう、ゑふ if it's now よう). This is due to sound change - originally all of these were distinct pronunciations, but they have since been reduced to a single sound ([o:]). Typically you can guess that [o:] in Chinese loanwords will be spelled with おう ...


8

I am going to say that this is more a matter of personal preference than anything. I hate to disappoint the (many) kanji-lovers on here but 「ふるさと」 in kana would be the most-often used way to write the word. 「故郷」 may be used just as often but it is read 「こきょう」 instead at least half the time. 「古里」 looks pretty corny and you will not see it as often as you ...


7

Almost purely personal preference. Also, more Chinese characters gives a more formal feeling to a document. This has been compared to the way we use Latin/Greek for formal ("salutations") and Anglo-Saxon for less formal ("hello"). This is easier to see when sino-Japanese words are over native Japanese ones, but the rule I think still applies.


7

This is similar with bdonlan's answer, but in my understanding, On first grade, they learned both 三, and 日 kanjis, but only pronounced 日 as "ひ" in "Sun", but not as "か", and also there is some probability that no 日付 related terms learn on first grade like ついたち「一日」、ふつか「二日」、みっか「三日」, ... yet. So, may be that's the reason why they only put ふりがな on 日, but not ...


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

There are no plans that I know of, but I would be surprised if Katakana (and even Hiragana) does not change over time. Writing systems tend to change with time, to better reflect natural changes in the languages they represent. So the real question should probably be whether there will be a change soon. And maybe there will be change soon, since already ...


7

て and って sound different. The /t/ sound in the latter is longer (or you might perceive is as if the latter has two /t/ sounds). This is called gemination. Gemination is rare in some languages (including English), so you might not be used to listening for it. One example is the /t/ sound in "hat trick" versus "Patrick". You might pronounce the t longer in ...


6

deceze's answer may be correct (I do not know), but in present Japanese, 屋 means that it is a store whereas 家 puts more emphasis on the fact that it has been inherited for generations. For 屋, besides your example, it is often combined with the merchandise: 靴屋, 自転車屋, 魚屋, etc. 家 usually combines with the family name that is inherited.


5

Generally, とっても gives a stronger emphasis to what you're describing, but it can be "too strong" in certain situations, such as formal and semi-formal situations(even with new friends) and real writing. On the other hand, it's generally A-OK to use とても in any situation, though for more formal situations, you might want to substitute the word out with ...


5

It's like the difference between really and reeeeally. とっても is not incorrect, but it might be a little colloquial to use in a classroom, depending on the teacher. It's even in my dictionary with a couple of examples. In the dictionary it says 「とても」を強めていう語, it makes とても stronger. とってもおいしい - reeeallly tasty! だめだなんて僕にはとっても言えない - There's no way I could say ...


5

It seems like there's a continuing series over here. :) If you collects some of my answers since the beginning of the beta, you can get a partial answer to your question, but that's not a full answer to your question, and frankly, a full explanation would require explaining the entire pronunciation system of the historical kana usage (歴史的仮名遣い), as it is ...


5

It appears that one more-formal way to describe characters like 「っ」 is to use the phrase 「小書{こが}き」文字{もじ} or simply「小書{こが}き」。 So, in the case of 「っ」, it would be something like: 小書{こが}きの「つ」. But in an informal context, something like「小さい『つ』」would probably get the point across. For more information, there is a more detailed writeup by a user named ...



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