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Questions tagged [orthography]

正書法. The standard way of writing the language.

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4 votes
1 answer
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Is it always legal to replace the kanji iteration mark 々 by the kanji it represents? If not, when is such a replacement okay?

Is it always legal to replace the kanji iteration mark 々 by the kanji it represents? If not: When is it legal to replace "K々" by "KK" for some kanji K? I am aware of three use ...
Lover of Structure's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
619 views

若: Why use this character for "young"?

The native Japanese word わかい means "young" (and I presume has done so for a very long time). A certain Chinese word that is pronounced ruò in Mandarin and written as 若 has quite a few ...
Stumpy Joe Pete's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
145 views

Which one is standard: 水溜まり or 水溜り?

The verbs are 溜まる and 溜める, then it should be 水溜まり, but I've seen 水溜り more.
Haragurodanshi's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
119 views

Why the つ after あのね?

What's the contrasting action over here?
homoflores's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the three boxes? ロ, 口 and 囗

I was scrolling the Kanji Unicodes and spotted three box-like characters. I'm well aware that ロ is the katakana ro, as for which the other two are, I'm not sure. Among the three ロ (katakana), 口 (kanji)...
Someone's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
1 answer
895 views

Why is 正 used for tallying instead of 五?

I feel like it would make more sense to use 五 since it literally means 5. I know that 正 has 5 strokes and 五 has 4, but you could still tally like so: I also know this question isn't just limited to ...
Daniel Baliki's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
193 views

How is "yowee" supposed to be written in japanese? (e.g. "anta wa yoweenda yo!", meaning "you're weak!")

When people are speaking crassly, things like じゃない will often be pronounced じゃねえ, with maybe a few variations (e.g. じゃねー, or using katakana, etc.). My question is, how does one usually do this for &...
chausies's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
434 views

Japanese people using a "?" (question mark) after making a statement (not question) ending in "よ"?

I've encountered this a number of times, where, in Japanese, a question mark (?) is used when someone is clearly making a statement, not when posing a question or hypothetical or any such thing. It ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 2,171
3 votes
1 answer
228 views

What's the meaning of 少フシテ?

I was reading this article on 香川県 in the early 明治 period when I encountered this phrase: 山峰少フシテ平地多ク I've seen stuff like ふ meaning う (思ふ→思う), but that doesn't seem to apply here. I'm guessing this ...
Ringil's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
155 views

How were specific hentaigana selected for writing?

I've been learning how to read older documents and trying to familiarize myself with hentaigana, but as I've started this, I've began to wonder if there is any rhyme or reason to the choices writers ...
lehtia's user avatar
  • 103
2 votes
1 answer
378 views

Does ヘカラサル mean べからざる?

I was reading about the formation of 福井 Prefecture recently and I was a bit confused about two sections quoting old texts: 南越ノ民ト加能越中ノ民トハ、常ニ軋轢シテ氷炭相容レサルノ情況 My interpretation is that this means: The ...
Ringil's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
253 views

About ancient pronunciation on dictionaries

In large dictionaries like 広辞苑 or 大辞林, there are some entries tagged with "ancient pronunciations" which are almost identical to the modern ones but with a voiced consonant voiceless (or ...
Kotoba Trily Ngian's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
205 views

Why do dictionaries differ so much in terms of spelling and is there an established standard for how a word should be written in contemporary text?

If we look at thee はまる, きこり, しじま and うつつ as three examples of many, they are spelt differently in different well known dictionaries. はまる has 填まる first in Kenkyusha and Daijisen, while Meikyo and Shin ...
timseb's user avatar
  • 311
2 votes
2 answers
249 views

Rules and tools for assigning furigana

It often happens that I want to supply the furigana (振{ふり}仮{が}名{な}) for some kanji-containing word, but can't figure out the right assignment of the kana to the kanji. To be clear, the problem here ...
kjo's user avatar
  • 321
2 votes
1 answer
64 views

Quotation marks 「」 only sometimes being used for lines that are made in the first person?

For direct quotes (e.g. He said "_____", 彼は「___」と言った), the quotes are seemingly always used. But in Japanese, it's also quite common to voice thoughts and feelings as if they are quotes ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 2,171
1 vote
2 answers
250 views

Why do some Japanese verbs have different spellings?

I have been wondering, why some japanese verb have a variety of ways to spell. Does it matter which spelling I used or does the variety of spelling serve a purpose. And if it doesn't matter, then why ...
asyraf shaari's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why were hiragana and katakana never merged into one system?

I am familiar with the history of why these two writing systems were invented, and my question comes more from a modern practical standpoint. In my understanding, hiragana and katakana both have same ...
Larper's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
556 views

Is there a name for kanji which look very similar?

For example, 未 and 末. I tried looking for 同じ見える漢字 and 同見漢字 but they didn't seem to be correct or to refer to what I'm looking for.
user19642323's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
176 views

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'...
緑茶七百九十四年's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
283 views

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 &...
Husk55's user avatar
  • 47
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
qiannianchong's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
112 views

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 ...
John's user avatar
  • 154
0 votes
1 answer
149 views

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?
wanwandrew's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
196 views

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 ...
Kantura's user avatar
  • 2,432
1 vote
1 answer
194 views

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 ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 381
3 votes
2 answers
289 views

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/...
Ned Reif's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
330 views

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/...
Ned Reif's user avatar
  • 2,036
0 votes
1 answer
143 views

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
cbrr09's user avatar
  • 3
1 vote
1 answer
263 views

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 ...
Mauro's user avatar
  • 3,649
1 vote
1 answer
208 views

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,...
Erundil's user avatar
  • 63
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
Alfred.37's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
222 views

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....
Martel's user avatar
  • 179
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

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’...
Summer's user avatar
  • 441
1 vote
1 answer
171 views

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? ...
Dcruel's user avatar
  • 21
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
Narrava's user avatar
  • 43
3 votes
2 answers
394 views

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?
user43749's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
246 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
PauloHDSousa's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
98 views

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 ...
J. S.'s user avatar
  • 11
5 votes
2 answers
447 views

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 ...
Edgar Derby's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
294 views

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) ...
ワニの瞬間's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
233 views

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: ...
AlligatorMoment's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
682 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 ...
Kantura's user avatar
  • 2,432
8 votes
1 answer
672 views

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 ...
Ahmed Fasih's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
433 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 ...
Megan's user avatar
  • 1
4 votes
2 answers
352 views

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 ...
Quit007's user avatar
  • 945
3 votes
1 answer
162 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 ...
wbk727's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
1 answer
501 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 ...
Kantura's user avatar
  • 2,432
2 votes
1 answer
360 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 ...
Sandro's user avatar
  • 123
0 votes
2 answers
817 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 ...
Banakat's user avatar
  • 101
2 votes
2 answers
188 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?
Thatguy's user avatar
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