In japanese writing, the ubiquitous 「」is used to mark speech. I have seen "" being used instead of 「」especially on messaging apps. Question is, what's the difference? For the record, I have only seen "" being used in messaging apps

  • 1
    Duplicate but the Q&A is in Japanese: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/19004/… Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 17:46
  • There is no such a rule as "use only double-quotes in message apps", so you may be seeing some technical problem specific to your app.
    – naruto
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 3:35
  • @naruto I didn't mean to say that double quotes can only be used in messaging apps. What I really meant was, I have seen it in messaging apps only so far and not in books, etc
    – Newbie
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 5:46
  • @DariusJahandarie Sounds to me like there are really no fixed rules and "" really just marks as phrase that one wants to emphasize
    – Newbie
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 6:24
  • The English quotes may easily get confused with the voice symbol. Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 5:11

1 Answer 1


The primary function of quotes is to enclose what someone said or thought, usually along with a quotative-と. For this basic purpose, the "proper" Japanese quotation marks (「」) are normally chosen, but other symbols are sometimes used in informal situations.

To highlight important or unfamiliar words, various symbols including 「」, “ ”, 【】, 傍点 and so on are used, according to the writer's preference or the rule of a publisher. (Japanese does not have italics.) Perhaps 「」 is the most traditional, but “ ” is equally common. In general, many Japanese people do not make a strict distinction in the use of these symbols (see this and this) to highlight words, so you don't have to worry too much.

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