Questions tagged [orthography]

正書法. The standard way of writing the language.

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6
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
130 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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0answers
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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
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1answer
138 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 ...
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2answers
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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
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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
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1answer
504 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,...
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1answer
117 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, ...
14
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1answer
964 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 ...
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2answers
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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
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1answer
331 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
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1answer
122 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 ...
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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.
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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 ...
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1answer
83 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
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1answer
120 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 ...
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1answer
169 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, ...
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1answer
376 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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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2answers
249 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 ...
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1answer
156 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 ...
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2answers
126 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 ...
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1answer
276 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 ...
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2answers
476 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.?
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1answer
184 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?
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1answer
567 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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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)
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3answers
431 views

Why are “loanwords” written in katakana?

I am interested in learning why katakana was chosen to represent foreign words.
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1answer
298 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
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1answer
196 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 ...
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4answers
281 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 ...
2
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1answer
75 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。
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1answer
237 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 ...
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4answers
31k 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 ...
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1answer
144 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
558 views

To Kanji or Not To Kanji for うまく・上手く?

I picked up the following phrase to say "I hope you are well": うまくいきますように! Looking this up in a dictionary, it seems it could become: 上手く行きますように! Is this correct, or is it better to leave out ...
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2answers
486 views

Attempts to distinguish English “L” and “R” sounds using (extended) katakana

Katakana can represent many foreign sounds that do not exist in native Japanese words, either by using special characters such as ヴ or by using special katakana combinations such as フュ. They are ...
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1answer
169 views

Can Japanese words with kanji and hiragana in them start with hiragana characters? If so how common are they?

Pretty much every word I've seen so far that contain both kanji and hiragana, always starts with the kanji character(s) first Like 大きい, 見る, 乗り物 and 話す. The only exceptions I've seen so far are お金 and ...
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1answer
183 views

Is it correct/appropriate to write a word using katakana and hiragana at the same time?

For example: I noticed what the name of the game Nekopara (ネコぱら) is half-written using katakana(ネコ - neko) and half-written using hiragana(ぱら - para). I'm wondering why so. Сould you explain this to ...
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2answers
91 views

Combination Characters

So I'm in the beginning stages of learning Japanese, and I'm a little lost on combination characters such as kya, sho, ryo, or even the voiced characters such as gya, jo, and byu. My question is: ...
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1answer
200 views

How are scientific names (binomial nomenclatures) written in Japan, if they are?

I assume that they would use normal roman letters, but is there a way that scientific names for plants and animals to be written other than the Latin script?
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2answers
411 views

Writing a date range in vertical format

How would one write a range of dates in vertical format? For instance, 2017-18 or 2017-2018.
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1answer
172 views

Language Encoding difference in Chrome

I'm facing some Language encoding problem in Ubuntu 15.04 Chrome 60.0.3112.90 (Official Build) (64-bit) and I use ibus-anthy as my IME (added as this blog). I have faced similar incidents previously. ...
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3answers
509 views

Is this use of 「こみ」 instead of 「ごみ」 in 「ごみ収集ステーション」 accidental or a variation?

In this question on the Travel SE OP is asking about こみ収集ステーション that he has seen, and provided this image of a notice on one of those from Higashidori, Aomori: The pic is blurry, but not so bad ...
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2answers
456 views

Is 別れる the intransitive form of 分ける?

I'm studying kanji right know and I found this verb with the kanji 別 and its: わかれる. It is an intransitive verb and it means to be divided. Then I found out that to divide is 分ける but it has a different ...
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8answers
11k views

Why are there 3 ways of writing in Japanese?

Why are there kanji, hiragana and katakana? Is there a logical reason behind this or just tradition?