Google Translator gives me no result.

  • 2
    Wiktionary might be of some help maybe? en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E4%B9%83#Japanese – Chocolate Feb 19 '16 at 12:46
  • The meaning and pronunciation of a Chinese character in Japanese is ambiguous without context. In ancient Chinese it means "is" or "your". Also I think this particular Chinese character is no longer used anywhere in Japanese but names today. – zakyggaps Feb 19 '16 at 12:51
  • Nope.The first few meanings it gives,when written in the Google Translator don't give 乃 as a result. It also says "jinmeiyo" under the kanji, but I doubt this is the sign's only use. – Qwedfsf Feb 19 '16 at 12:52
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    You may want to try a dictionary. This one ( kanji.jitenon.jp/kanjif/2697.html ) says 乃 means 「すなわち。そこで。そういう理由で。 すなわち。やっと。ようやく。 すなわち。つまり。 なんじ。あなた。君。おまえ。」 – Chocolate Feb 19 '16 at 13:04
  • @Choco: Thanks, but the first few examples have their own kanji too, such as "即ち" for "すなわち". Is this because 乃 is archaic? Also, I have seen it being read as "no". Why? – Qwedfsf Feb 19 '16 at 13:38

The kanji 乃 was first used to indicate a range of meanings patterned on Chinese usage; afterwards, it was used as a monyougana for the syllable no. As such, it later evolved into the cursive shape の, which is now standard. It is sometimes seen on shop signs and the like much like you might encounter "Ye olde shoppe" in England; there, it is usually read no and stands for the genitive particle. In this style of writing, 之 is also sometimes used with the same reading. Both usages are considered old fashioned.


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