15

In Latin characters, we use — to represent the em dash (—) as follows.

My home town — a small castle town in San'in ...

However, if I use the same — in Japanese sentences, it looks like 一{いち} as follows.

私が生まれ育ったふるさと—山陰の小さな城下町・・・

It should be about twice as long as the Latin one. The following was taken from a textbook (might be rendered by TeX).

enter image description here

Question

What is the correct punctuation for em dash in Japanese? HTML code is preferred.

  • I feel you are looking for a language-grade solution to a html problem. The best solution would be to just use a normal em dash (for the sake of screen readers) and use css to make it look longer on visual browsers. – Pharap Jul 12 '16 at 23:50
15

This kind of long dash is sometimes called 2倍ダッシュ, 倍角ダッシュ or ダブルダッシュ when there is a technical reason to distinguish. But untrained Japanese people call this simply as ダッシュ.

Some punctuation marks imported from Western countries tend to be wider in Japanese typography, because ordinary characters like kanji are already wider than English letters. As you said, the em-dash in Latin fonts is obviously too short in Japanese sentences.

Unfortunately, there is no simple way to reproduce this 2倍ダッシュ in HTML. One ugly but easy way is to use 全角ダッシュ (full-width dash) twice. The 全角ダッシュ should be available whenever Japanese fonts are available. The Japanese 全角ダッシュ and the English em-dash are mapped to the same character (U+2014 EM DASH) in Unicode:

  • 生まれ育ったふるさと——山陰
  • 生まれ育ったふるさと——山陰

The first example above uses two 全角ダッシュ directly, and the second example uses two —:

- 生まれ育ったふるさと——山陰
- 生まれ育ったふるさと——山陰

In my browser (Chrome on Windows), there is no visible difference between the two lines, but there is a small space between the two dashes.

If you are using a good software, this space will not be visible (at least in Japanese fonts). Some DTP applications can also automatically prevent a line break between the two dashes, effectively allowing you to treat two 全角ダッシュ as one character.

enter image description here (Adobe InDesign)

10

There is a unicode character for the two-em dash:

enter image description here

It is possible to represent any unicode character in HTML Using character escapes in markup. For the two-em dash, it would be ⸺

You could also directly include the character in your markup as ⸺ if your html file has the <meta charset="utf-8" /> meta tag.

  • 6
    Hmm, it seems these characters are in Unicode as of version 6.1 (published in 2012), but are currently very poorly supported. Among the Japanese fonts currently installed on my PC, only Source Han Sans has these glyphs. The default Japanese system fonts until Windows 10 cannot display these. – naruto Jul 12 '16 at 13:57
  • 1
    @naruto Good point. You could try embedding a font with that glyph in the webpage, but for best compatibility, it looks you would be best off just using two em dashes, at least for now. – martin Jul 12 '16 at 15:11
4

That's a mark that isn't a standard character. According to the wiki page below, it's basically the same as the em-dash, but often two are written together ―― to make it long enough.

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%80%E3%83%83%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A5_(%E8%A8%98%E5%8F%B7)

By the way, if you're trying to type it out, somebody's already done it for you here: https://www.douban.com/group/topic/14352302/

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