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I have seen two variations of this and I am confused now:

  1. chōshoku
  2. Choushoku

The second one makes the most sense to me but I am not 100% certain if it is correct. If the first one is correct then can someone explain to me why as I cannot see that there is a long "o"?

1 Answer 1

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According to the Wikipedia page for Hepburn romanization, long vowels are generally notated with the macron (line above). In the case of ちょうしょく, it would become chōshoku.

It is important to point out that in Japanese, a long O sound ō is made by both either おう or おお. That is maybe why the second one makes more sense.

The exception to the rule of using the macron is when the same vowel comes from a different word. The given example is 邪悪【じゃあく】, which jaaku because the first character is ja and the second is aku.

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  • So I ちょうconsidered as a long vowel? I thought ちょwould be the long vowel?
    – Alan
    Sep 3, 2016 at 10:08
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    ちょ is not a long vowel, it is simply cho – ちょう is a long vowel, chō (or chou in traditional Hepburn)
    – Griffen
    Sep 3, 2016 at 10:10
  • Thanks. I guess I was confused by ょう as I was thinking that was yo followed by U but I see you mention that the in this case the U has the sound of an O.
    – Alan
    Sep 3, 2016 at 10:15
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    I think it is important to learn that when there is a character followed by a small one (ex. ちょ, じゃ) except for in the case of small っ, that you think of those becoming one syllable. (cho and ja in the examples above) ☺️
    – Griffen
    Sep 3, 2016 at 10:19

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