Questions tagged [orthography]

正書法. The standard way of writing the language.

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Special Kana in Man'yōgana?

Probably a dumb question, but I'm wondering how certain sounds would be represented in Man'yōgana. Places like Wikipedia have charts that show the normal Kana and their kanji equivalents, but they don'...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is "入っ" still pronounced "はい" when reading it? (Okurigana question)

I am fairly new to reading kanji and grammar, and I just learned that "入る" is pronounced "はい" because it is an okurigana. My question is, are all okurigana pronounced in their &...
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Why is ゴミ箱 written in katakana usually?

I know katakana can be used for loanwords, onomatopoeia, strange plants, animals, for emphasis, and more. However, I don't understand why ゴミ箱 is written in katakana. Can anyone shed some light on the ...
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Why are there no unique voiced kana?

If one were to look at the 万葉仮名 article on Wikipedia, they would find that no specific marks were added to represent the bunch, that is, the ザダガバ 行, with there having been different representations ...
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Why is the イ段 used for 拗音, as opposed to, say, the ア段?

Is there some specific reason or logic that came behind this, or was it simply because everybody thought it was the best representation for the sounds that create the words that use ゃゅぇょ?
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1 vote
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How to say the vertical vowel extension line in Japanese?

I'm learning katakana these days and my book introduces the horizontal line which is use to lengthen a vowel sound as in internet inta-netto My book says this line is called yoko bou which I can find ...
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Was the writing system used in the Empire of Japan (大日本帝国) called 真片仮名?

So, today I encountered the claim on Wikipedia Shinkatakana (真片仮名, mana and katakana): mixed script including only kanji and katakana. Wikipedia doesn't list a source for this claim. This sounds to ...
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gemination orthography

In this sentence ミサイルは高【たか】さ100kmより低【ひく】い所【ところ】を東【ひがし】に750km飛【と】びました The missile flew 750 kilometers east at a height lower than 100 kilometers. appearing here https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/...
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How does one write out "1km" -- in hiragana or katakana or both?

This sentence on NHK's Easy News got me wondering: Uの字【じ】のような形【かたち】をしていて、直径【ちょっけい】は1kmぐらいです It is shaped like a U and is about 1 km in diameter. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10013205991000/...
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Do these three words have the same meaning?「そーじ 」、「ソージ 」、「掃除」

These three words are pronounced the same, but do they also have the same meaning? そーじ ソージ 掃除
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Blank line in balloon

While reading manga, I noticed sometimes in a balloon there is an extra empty line, like here: Which meaning does it carry? I'm wondering if it's meant to separate the two sentences, like saying that ...
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In which year of education is the 々 symbol taught?

A very similar question was asked here: Does 々 have a kanji grade level? but in the end the main question haven't really been answered, and the best answer was "you don't need to know". Well,...
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Does Japanese have characters in small size and in capital size?

In English it's normal for the sentence to start with a capital letter. In German also. Additionally, there are classes of words that are written in German with an initial capital letter. How is it in ...
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1 answer
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Rules to leave spaces between words when using kanji and kana

I'm trying to understand when I should leave blanks (spaces) between Japanese words when using either kana or kanji. My understanding is that blanks should be left when otherwise the text is confusing....
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14 votes
1 answer
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In what unit is the length of Japanese texts measured?

In English, we measure the length of texts in words. 1,000 words for the average college essay, 50,000 for something like a fiction novel. I’m wondering what unit is used to measure Japanese texts. I’...
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1 answer
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How to understand usage of ツ in words with a closed syllable?

We have words ペット、ベッド、ファックス、ピクニック. The symbol ッ usually is indicated for doubling consonants or to indicate a closed syllable. The question is why the word post (ポスト) was written without ッ before ト? ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Different writing of the kanji 誤?

Good day, I've just noticed that the kanji 誤, while displayed almost everywhere that way, when pasted in my Anki deck, suddenly changes into (see picture below) I can't get it to display anywhere else ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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How to write "hasami"

I've seen the word for scissors "Hasami" written in hiragana " はさみ" katakana "ハサミ" and kanji "鋏". which is the most common?
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4 votes
2 answers
197 views

What is the meaning of 巻ノ + number next to a book?

What is the meaning of 巻ノ + number next to a book? I know that 巻 = volume ノ = ? 七十二 = 72 So it's Volume [?] 72
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1 vote
0 answers
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Seemingly random use of Katakana? [duplicate]

I've noticed sometimes, especially in video games, that some parts of sentences that would normally be written in hiragana is instead written in katakana. For example, I've seen "です" written ...
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Should the furigana go above the whole word or individual kanji?

I've seen both styles used, basically: A = 家内{かない} B = 家{か}内{ない} I can see pros and cons for both styles. The rendering of A is probably better and there are words for which it may be difficult to ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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After a Katakana word then "tto" are both Hiragana or Katakana acceptable for the Sokuon?

I have seen examples of both quite often, even for the same exact sentence, examples: おなべの中からボワっと/おなべの中からボワッと。 This is a lyric from おどるポンポコリン(Odoru Ponpokorin)、A song for ちびまる子ちゃん(Chibi Maruko Chan) ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How is writing with 旧字体 over 新字体, using lots of 表外漢字 and using 漢字 in place of かな in a word that is almost always written with かな perceived?

Examples: A: 毎日、学校で桜の木を見る。(新字体) B: 毎日、學校で櫻の木を見る。(旧字体) A: この国の歴史を研究しています。(新字体) B: この國の歷史を硏究しています。(旧字体) A: 私はワニがすきです。(カタカナ) B: 私は鰐が好きです。(表外漢字) A: 私の好きな魚はハタハタとスズキです。(カタカナ) B: 私の好きな魚は鰰と鱸です。(表外漢字) A: ...
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3 votes
2 answers
483 views

Is the ''o'' in ''osara'' (plate) an honorific o 御 or just a normal o お?

I have learned that "plate" is both sara and osara. The fact that the o can be attached implies to me that it is an honorific o 御. My dictionary gives the honorific o as 御 but for osara it ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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What is this dash-like punctuation at the beginning of lines, seeming to indicate rapid-fire thoughts?

Here's a bit from a Kamoshida Hajime novel (Just Because!): I've reviewed the Wikipedia article on Japanese punctuation as well as some related questions on this Stack Exchange but am unable to ...
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0 votes
2 answers
146 views

Meaning of "ー" at the end of a sentence in written Japanese? [duplicate]

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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Strange usage of を-Particle inside a 俳句 (haiku)

There is a company which sells tea in teabags that have a haiku printed on one of the sides (of the teabag). Recently I came upon the following haiku: 昼寝{ひるね}して 鳥獣{ちょうじゅう}戯画{ぎが}の 中{なか}にをり ...
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3 votes
1 answer
151 views

Appropriate typography for listing numbers in Japanese

I want to list some prime numbers in Japanese but I'm not if the Japanese comma should be used when it comes to numbers. On Wikipedia, the western comma is used, which has made me confused and unsure ...
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4 votes
1 answer
473 views

The ''is it included in the kanji or not'' phenomenon?

Some expressions can be written part kanji part hiragana. Sometimes I'm not sure how many hiragana actually condense into the kanji. Example: おとうさん Is it お父さん or お父うさん ? ちいさい Is it 小さい or 小いさい ? I ...
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2 votes
1 answer
230 views

Using an asterisk to indicate a disclaimer

Is there a similar convention to using an asterisk in English to signify the presence of a disclaimer in Japanese? For example, in English, you might see, "Order now for $19.99*" then ...
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0 votes
2 answers
334 views

Do you think it's a good practice to learn writing hiragana using Gothic fonts? [duplicate]

When I was searching for a mobile app that lets you practice writing hiragana, I noticed that a lot of them uses the Gothic font, meaning that さ will be written as 2 strokes and not 3. The most common ...
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2 votes
2 answers
162 views

What does てよりかか mean? Found in the Shinmeikai dictionary

The Shinmeikai dictinary defines 椅子 as: 腰を掛け(てよりかか)るための家具 What does てよりかか mean there?
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3 votes
1 answer
598 views

Doumo or dōmo / arigatou or arigatō

this may be a silly question. However, is there a difference between the following sentences (in terms of spelling): 1) Doumo arigatou gozaimashita. 2) Dōmo arigatō gozaimashita. Is one sentence ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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What do these symbols in manga mean?

In the manga Shinya no Dame Koizukan (深夜のダメ恋図鑑), I spotted four different symbols (marked in red in the picture). The Ψ symbol is even repeated a few times, but I can't figure out what it means. I've ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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In vertical writing, what do these signs (that look like backticks) mean? [duplicate]

This is an extract from 窓ぎわのトットちゃん。 The teacher is talking about how Totto-chan ended up drawing a ふさ around her rendition of the flag of Japan. She is presumably quite astonished at this and my only ...
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1 vote
1 answer
102 views

How to say 一〇年 in a sentence [duplicate]

I see this structure a lot: まるで一〇年以上....... What does the 一〇 mean and how do I pronounce it? Is it いちまる?
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2 votes
1 answer
353 views

で at the beginning of a sentence

I hear native speakers using で or was it でー when speaking a lot at the beginning of a sentence. Judging by context, I think it translates to either "and" or "therefore" or "so" or "because of that", ...
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3 votes
1 answer
516 views

What constitutes as Kyūjitai Kanji?

The English Wikipedia page for Kyūjitai kanji begins with the following line: Kyūjitai (舊字體/旧字体, literally "old character forms") are the traditional forms of kanji, Chinese written ...
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4 votes
2 answers
697 views

How much space is considered standard between consecutive "「" and "『"s?

In a text such as 「『捨てる 』技術」 how much space is expected between the first two characters in typography, if any?
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-1 votes
3 answers
413 views

If it's okay to remove the punctuation in a modern text format of Kojiki (古事記)

The original version of the Kojiki looks like it has no punctuation whatsoever. I found a more recent text version of Kojiki online though, which has all kinds of punctuation and formatting. It has ...
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1 vote
1 answer
128 views

What is the middle character in Todd (Katakana) [duplicate]

While learning Katakana, I was instructed to try and translate my name Todd. I ended up with トド. When I look it up online, I see トッド everywhere. ッ appears to be 'tsu'. I think I am missing something ...
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0 answers
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What are the various 'unuttered' phrases or sentences that Japanese omit in everyday conversation and/or narration?

While translating a book I come across the following sentence. 女の子の注意を逸{そ}らすことができれば..... Research into the ba ending allowed me to discover that the above is a 'unfinished' sentence. This in turn ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Correct method for writing full name in English and Japanese? [duplicate]

First name in English, then Japanese; followed by Last name in English, then Japanese: Lucas 「ルーカス」Ramage「ラメージ」 First and last name in English, followed by first and last name in Japanese: ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Are 变 and 変 the same?

Is there a difference between 变 and 変 or are they different versions of the same thing i.e. traditional/simplified?
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9 votes
2 answers
902 views

Can 々 stand for a duplicated kanji with a different reading?

The title may not be so clear, here is what I mean: 々 is used to avoid repeating a kanji. In some cases, the two may not be pronounced the same because the first consonant of the second kanji is ...
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0 votes
0 answers
119 views

Variants of kanji radicals indicating Joyo vs Non-Joyo [duplicate]

I noticed that there is a variant of the 之繞 radical ⻌ which occurs in some words but not others. The variant is 辶 (with an extra stroke). It appears in words like 逢う and 槌. It turns out that Non-Joyo ...
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4 votes
1 answer
224 views

How to express action (in plays, and online)

So in most languages we can either put text in italics or between asterisks to indicate what the speaker is doing. For instance: Looking up It will be raining soon Or on the Internet: *chewing your ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How does Japanese indicate a contextual scope changes like the internet vs. the Internet?

In english, word capitalization can indicate that meaning word has transitioned into different context and/or scope. For example: The internet is down. vs. The Internet is down. Batman searched ...
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2 votes
1 answer
147 views

How to write こたえ: 答え or 答?

In the microsoft IME keyboard, and my cellphone's as well, when I write こたえ it is suggested 答え. However, in the Genki I textbook, I've seen it written as 答{こたえ} Are both of these valid? If so, ...
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13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why using です in katakana?

This question might sound stupid but it got me thinking for some hours. A friend bought me this gel pen from a Japanese store in my country, and it is written in the pen: かわいいデス instead of かわいいです ...
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