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I looked up in translator that "Snow fox" is gonna be "Yuki no kitsune". Ok, yuki - snow, kitsune - fox. But what if I get rid of "no" part? What if I spell it like "Yuki kitsune" or "Kitsune yuki". Would it mean the same? Or is it just going to be two separate words?

I want to know specifically about "Yuki kitsune" and "Kitsune yuki" examples, but it raises the question about usage of "no" particle.

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    "Kitsune yuki" sounds like a fried tofu served on a plate of snow ;-) – macraf Jul 29 '16 at 2:33
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    We have snow foxes or something like them here in Hokkaido, we call them キタキツネ – virmaior Jul 29 '16 at 2:44
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If you're referring to arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), which seems to be also known as snow fox, its Japanese name is ホッキョクギツネ (ホッキョク = 北極 = the Arctic).

If you are only vaguely looking for a Japanese word which "sounds like snow fox", I would suggest ユキギツネ (yuki gitsune) instead of ユキキツネ (yuki kitsune). Although there seems to be no real species called ユキギツネ, this sounds realistic enough, and it may be used, for example, as the name of an enemy in a fantasy game. Many real foxes are named ○○ギツネ (○○ gitsune, without no) in Japanese. See this question regarding why キ needs to be voiced: Rules or criteria for 連濁: Voiced or unvoiced syllables in compound words

Unsurprisingly, キツネユキ sounds like "fox snow" or "fox-like snow", which makes little sense to me.

  • If I understood correctly, if I use Yuki(雪) as a name and add Kitsune(狐). Then it will be キ not ギ right? – Alyx Jul 30 '16 at 16:22
  • そういえば雪うさぎが珍しく逆(実態は雪)なのちょっとおもしろいですね. – Yosh Jul 30 '16 at 16:27
  • @Alyx What do you mean? Something like "Rudolph the reindeer" where "Rudolph" is a proper noun? Then you have to say "狐の雪" (≒ kitsune no Yuki ≒ "Yuki the fox"). – naruto Jul 30 '16 at 16:27
  • @naruto No, I meant 雪狐 as a proper noun, as it was about 美空 in the link that you gave. Which is, I thought, going to mean the name and "snow fox" at the same time... well, something like wordplay. Also I didn't noticed comments at first and I've read there that rendaku is optional .-. – Alyx Jul 30 '16 at 17:02
  • @Alyx Fox may be a common proper noun in English (eg, Michel J Fox), but 狐 is not common as a proper noun in Japanese. And whether rendaku is used is often unpredictable in proper nouns. For example 中田 is a common family name, but you can't tell if it's Nakata or Nakada only by the kanji. That said, if I encountered a fictional character whose name is 雪狐 in kanji, I would probably guess it's read either yuki-gitsune (with rendaku) or setsu-ko (with on-yomi). – naruto Jul 30 '16 at 17:24

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