The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [orthography]

正書法. The standard way of writing the language.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
2answers
519 views

Mixture of romaji and hiragana in NHK “Meet and Speak”

In the NHK program "Meet and Speak", the phrases they use have a mixture of hiragana and romaji. Not as in hiragana on one line, and romaji underneath, but individual words being composed of the two, ...
-2
votes
2answers
805 views

Why is ダメ written most commonly in katakana?

I usually see the word written in katakana, although a kanji term is available, and wanted to know the reason.
1
vote
1answer
73 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
683 views

How has Japanese kanji and kana usage changed since 1945?

How has the percentage of writing using each script changed since 1945? With script reform, increasing influx of loanwords, and stylistic choices, several factors affect how much certain parts of the ...
1
vote
0answers
155 views

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 ...
9
votes
4answers
334 views

Is there a reason why some questions have question marks and other don't?

In many things I read question marks are used after what is obviously a question, but sometimes they are not used (even though it is the same person who wrote it). Is there a reason why, even stuff ...
1
vote
0answers
72 views

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: ...
9
votes
2answers
795 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 ...
28
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are points used where furigana would be normally?

Sometimes in mangas there are points where you would expect normally furigana. What meaning is it supposed to have?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Rosetta Stone uses は instead of わ

Just started learning Japanese again. My college offers no class on this so I am learning on my own. I have been using Rosetta Stone on and off again for a while now. One thing I have noticed is that ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

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?
6
votes
1answer
554 views

What is the origin of ゟ (より)?

ゟ is a digraph that is read より. Where does it originate from? Is it a ligature, like & <- et, or German ß <- ſs -> ss? (Wikipedia claims this, citing no source.) Also, if it is a ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Understanding hiragana-only texts in videogames

I've been reading since a long time ago that reading hiragana only texts is quite difficult or frustrating because you don't know where a word begins or ends, I understand that and the importance of ...
8
votes
1answer
318 views

Why is こおり spelt with an お rather than an う?

I thought that syllables with an "お" sound get lengthened by an "う" rather than another "お". I've seen this question asked on hinative, which mentions 遠い(とおい), 大きい (おおきい), 多い (おおい), 通り (とおり/どおり) and ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Usage of Traditional style characters vs Simplified Chinese characters adopted in Kanji

As I started peeking into Japanese, I see lots of characters in hiragana and kanji where the latter uses Chinese characters that are similar to traditional Chinese ones (I'm familiar with hanzi). For ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Are there general rules on when to use kanji vs. kana?

This post is inspired by Tokyo Nagoya's comment in できる vs ~えます form for “can”, “able to” asking why everyone was writing 出来る in kanji in their responses. As I mentioned in my reply to his comment, I ...
4
votes
1answer
134 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
66 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

When writing vertically, where do small kana go?

When writing horizontally, small kana go right next to the syllable they modify as in ちょっと. Also, when using katakana, long vowels are indicated by an horizontal dash, as in メール. When writing ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

How often do single dots stick to the top of kanji?

In Chinese, characters with a single dot on top stay separated from the rest of the character. (Eg. Chinese 宝) In kanji, this is frequently not the case - virtually all 宀 characters I see have dots ...
10
votes
1answer
524 views

Orthography at the turn of the previous century

A couple of days ago I purchased an old book published in 1908. It uses a strange orthography I haven't encountered before. Everything that is not in kanji is written in katakana, including particles,...
3
votes
1answer
120 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, ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I insert hiragana in words I only know partially how to write?

This is a problem I encountered today. I had no idea how to decide what was the best course of action, and I only got the advice of a classmate (You're doing it WRONG) to confirm. As I am still ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to use kanji and hiragana in the same word if a kanji character is unknown?

I have come across this issue a number of times. I am studying Japanese at High School, so I only know about 200 kanji. When I write words that consist of more than two kanji characters, I am unsure ...
11
votes
1answer
542 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
125 views

What does 囚えよう mean in this book?

I'm currently reading a screenplay regarding to Oda Nobunaga. In one of the character line, it is written that あなたは死して尚、この僕を囚えようというのですか? Base on my search, it seems that the kanji 囚 is associated ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are Japanese personal names pronounced the same but written differently?

For example, Michiko can be written several different ways. Last names can also be spelled differently.
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Why are certain terms sometimes written in hiragana and sometimes in katakana? [duplicate]

I was typing something up and when I went to type apple in Japanese, the Microsoft IME on the computer I was using defaulted to リンゴ in katakana. But from what I remember seeing online and out in the ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

How would I write this for a graphic design?

I'm a graphic design student and one of my designs is a pink 桃色 rose 薔薇 = (桃色薔薇). I read that Japanese is read right to left and also horizontally? I want the design's first line to pink and under ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

Is this translation very loose for the word 生き甲斐?

I'm a fan of the Japanese concept of ikigai and finding my ikigai has been an important and rewarding journey for me and I'd like to get a very simple kanji tattoo of it but I wanted to make sure that ...
-2
votes
1answer
176 views

Allographic Differences of れ

I'm doing some research on Japanese streets for an art project. I've been looking at pictures of streets and trying to figure out what the characters are, I'm able to find the first two - to and ma, ...
8
votes
1answer
381 views

Why is hiragana used in the middle of this compound word? (障害者 vs 障がい者)

I saw this article on Gizmodo Japan: だれもがスマホの便利さを享受できる第一歩。視覚障がい者がiPhone操作を学べるアプリ Obviously, this is 視覚障害者 (or possibly, 視覚障碍者). It is in the title of the article, as well as several places within ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a standard for where to put spaces in kana-only Japanese?

I've noticed that when Japanese is written mostly or entirely in kana, it's often written with spaces. For example, a lot of old video games had spaces. I've also seen this in children's books: Is ...
1
vote
0answers
101 views

Why are some words (e.g., 処方箋) sometimes partially written with hiragana? [duplicate]

Some words with complex Kanji are sometimes written in a mixture of Hiragana and Kanji. For example 処方箋 (prescription) is often written as 処方せん in pharmacies. This is used by native speakers that have ...
3
votes
2answers
273 views

How should I write my name with an American first name and Japanese last name?

I generally understand that proper Japanese uses Hiragana and Katakana is for slang/foreign words. Given that, my first name is super American but my last name is Japanese. Would I then make my first ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

Why use the kanji 伸 for “no” instead of the hiragana の, and the kanji 手 for “te” instead of the hiragana て?

In an anime opening song, at 0:08, I read the following sentence: omokage no naka te wo nobasu no おもかげのなか 手を伸ばすの Please, can you tell me: for "no", why is the kanji 伸 used instead of the ...
6
votes
2answers
133 views

Marking figurative meaning of word

In English figurative meaning of word usually marked with quotation marks like this: The motherboard is sometimes considered the "brain" of a computer. I know that in Japanese quotation marks ...
12
votes
1answer
297 views

Why are equal signs used to substitute an English hyphen?

I was reading an article about Idlib and the groups that were there on Wikipedia, and hovered to the language setting to gloss at the title translations. For Japanese, I saw something unusual in its ...
3
votes
2answers
517 views

Difference between んい and に

I noticed that the word 単位 is written as たんい in hiragana, not たに. Is there a difference in the way んい and に are pronounced? If so, does the same principle go for んあ and な, んえ and ね, etc.?
1
vote
1answer
233 views

When a kanji term is listed as outdated, is it for specific words or all of the words that use it?

I read jisho a lot and I run into words with outdated kanji. Does this mean that the kanji term is outdated for a particular word or all words that use it?
0
votes
0answers
232 views

How many of Japanese text can be written using only kanji?

With many frequent words normally written in kana having their rare kanji (looking at ‘ya, 一寸待{ちょっとま}って!), one starts to wonder of an exercise: is it even possible to rewrite any complete text using ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Is the “wa-particle” in katakana ワ or ハ?

Is the "wa-particle" in katakana ワ or ハ? (Just a quick question - I think I have seen both used, but if ワ is correct then I have just seen the results of a computer o/p automatically using ハ)
3
votes
3answers
483 views

Why are “loanwords” written in katakana?

I am interested in learning why katakana was chosen to represent foreign words.
5
votes
1answer
303 views

Is writing the “wa particle” as は a modern convention?

Recently, I was given a copy of Complete Course of Japanese Conversation-Grammar by Oreste and Enko Elisa Vaccari. As it dates back to 1967, I was expecting at least a few things to be a bit old-...
7
votes
1answer
202 views

Use of kanji when writing 言う

I've been reading more novels in Japanese recently (かもめ食堂: recommended!), and have noticed that it's unusual for 言う to be written in kanji. Not just in set phrases like という and とはいえ but in ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

‘から’ と‘ですから’ と、どちらが正しいですか。

例えば、あのレストランは料理も美味しいし、雰囲気もいいから、大人気です。 疑問は以下: このフレーズの中で、どうして“いいから”を使ったんですか。“いいですから”を使うのではないですか。そうだったら、“大人気だ”になりますか。 教えてください。
34
votes
4answers
33k views

What does the little っ (tsu) signify when at the end of a word?

The small っ (tsu) is usually used before a consonant to indicate gemination, less technically known as doubled consonants, which is how they are transliterated in romaji. I have seen it at the end of ...
7
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Difference between the usage of 君 and キミ

From what I read earlier, 君【きみ】 can be used for you. But in many instances over the internet, I have seen キミ being used instead of 君【きみ】. What is the usage difference between the two? If I take the ...