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Questions tagged [language-reform]

Questions regarding the changes imposed on the Japanese language and/or writing system at various points in its history by the country's rulers, the most prominent being the one shortly after the conclusion of World War II.

7
votes
1answer
143 views

What does the へさうな mean in “逢へさうな”

I've come across this phrase (逢へさうな) and don't really understand what's going on grammatically. It's in the context of haiku poetry, I'm assuming the kanji reading is just "a" as in "逢う", but I can't ...
8
votes
2answers
456 views

Academic/historic attempts to create an alternative writing system similar to Hangul?

I was reading upon Japanese writing system history and found out there were several attempts to abolish the use of 漢字 in favor of kana or romaji, e.g. after the WWII. All of those failed, and the only ...
6
votes
1answer
652 views

Why small version of katakana ヵ is used in a word 二ヵ国語

Why do they use sometimes small version of katakana ヵ 'ka' in a word 二ヵ国語 (nikakokugo -bilingual)? For me, more intuitive form could be 二か国語. Katakana characters in small forms other than ya, yu, yo, ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is the Japanese government considering adding kanji such as “cancer” to the jinmeiyō kanji?

The wikipedia article on jinmeiyō kanji states: Before September 27, 2004, there were 2232 government-designated jinmeiyō kanji used in personal and geographical names, with plans to increase ...
11
votes
3answers
377 views

How is Japanese regulated by the Japanese government and any other organizations?

Some languages, but not English, have regulators such as the Académie française (French Academy). Amongst other things, it decides whether or not English words such as email, software and ウォークマン ought ...
20
votes
2answers
685 views

What's the difference between 悪 and 惡 ?

I'd like to know what the difference between 悪 and 惡 is. And also what usage you should do between both. I heard that they both mean "bad"
14
votes
2answers
914 views

On the replacing of kanji made obsolete in the 1946 reforms with similar-looking kanji.

This is my understanding but please correct me if some of my details are wrong: In 1946 the Japanese language underwent a reform and standardization process A set of 1850 kanji were made official and ...
58
votes
1answer
3k views

Why were ゐ and ゑ eliminated?

Sometime in the early 20th century, usage of the now-historical kana ゐ and ゑ (and their katakana equivalents) dropped off, being replaced with い and え in modern Japanese. What exactly happened here ...