I wondered if anyone could help me as I've come across this a couple of times now but don't know if it actually has any significance, but the internet has been no help.

I'm reading a text surrounding compulsory education, and near the end of the paragraph the author writes "...教育カリキュラムもつくり替えるー。" Followed by a sentence stating that this has been the authors theory for a while and they have repeated it countless times.

Is it just a way to mark the end of the author's thoughts? Or is there something more that I should take into consideration when translating?

Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    Possible duplicate: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/60433/9831
    – chocolate
    Dec 13, 2020 at 1:24
  • 1
    This is probably a dupe of the question Chocolate linked, but I'm not 100% certain yet. Please paste the surrounding context, too. Preferably as a screenshot, because there are many similar symbols (-, ー, 一, ―, ―, and so on) and many people are not good at distinguish them.
    – naruto
    Dec 13, 2020 at 5:55
  • Thanks for the link to the potential dupe, I think that answers my question! I highly doubt in this context that it’s an elongated vowel as it’s a formal written piece on education reform, so the idea of it being a marker to show that the author is lingering on the thought makes a lot more sense. Thanks!
    – Megan
    Dec 13, 2020 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


This sign is named chōonpu and it is used to denote a long vowel sound marker. In addition to that, about long vowels according to this article on wikipedia, when writing in hiragana, it is more common to use a second vowel character rather than the chōonpu.

Hiragana usually spells long vowels with the addition of a second vowel kana; for example, おかあさん (o-ka-a-sa-n, "mother"). The chōonpu (long vowel mark) (ー) used in katakana is rarely used with hiragana

Being a learner myself, I've already noticed that listening the vowel length accurately can change a lot in a sentence meaning, for instance.

  • ハト, is pronounced like 'hato' and means pigeon.
  • ハート, is pronounced like 'haaato' and means heart (extended vowel written in katakana)
  • おじさん, is pronounced like 'ojisan' and means uncle.
  • おじいさん, is pronounded like 'ojiiisan' and means grandfather. (extended vowel written in hiragana)

Usually it indicates an extension of the last vowel - as would occur in normal speech.

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