Questions tagged [orthography]

正書法. The standard way of writing the language.

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3
votes
1answer
168 views

What's the meaning of 生き乍らへて / 生き乍らえて?

This is my first question on this site, so excuse me if I make any mistake. I found this phrase in a text which uses pre-WW2 grammar (so I'm not entirely sure if it's [生き乍らへて]{いきながらへて} or 生き乍らえて due ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Tally Marks in Japanese?

In English, if we're tallying something on a piece of paper, etc., we usually write a vertical line to count 1, and then when you reach four of them, you cross it with a horizontal line to mean 5, and ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are some country names written in kanji and yet others are written in katakana?

I have seen kanji characters on maps referencing Germany, China, Italy, the United States of America, and various other countries, but many are written in katakana. Is there a reason for this?
6
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3answers
2k views

有り難う vs 有難う — Is this the same word?

Do both these words mean "thank you"? If both mean thank you why are they spelled differently? Is one more formal than the other?
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Which is more normal, "OK" or "オーケー"?

Which is more normal in Japanese, "OK", or "オーケー", assuming either of them is in common usage? I tried using the corpus on jisho.org, but the results were messed up by "OK" appearing in the English ...
6
votes
3answers
255 views

Is there a term for whether kanji or kana is used?

Are there any terms (preferably used in English, but Japanese is also ok) about whether a word is written in kanji or in kana?
1
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2answers
479 views

How can I write "tchi"

As in title, how can I write "tchi" in katakana as in the word "hotchikisu" (paper fastener)?
6
votes
1answer
475 views

Can't find this character in the dictionary [duplicate]

I have been looking for the meaning of this I can't seem to find its meaning. And I see it being used a lot. Is it even a kanji, or is it just an expression?
0
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1answer
116 views

I'm unable to identify the last character in this picture

I'm unable to identify the last character in this picture, OCR software identify only the first 2.
-1
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2answers
1k views

How do you write "Miranda" in Japanese? [closed]

I'm sure many people learning a language have written their name in that language. Before actively learning Japanese, I noticed that any translation website changed the spelling of my name. It went ...
2
votes
4answers
460 views

Should I write 此方 or こちら?

I wonder if it is too formal to use the kanji for such a common expression like this. However, I like to write most Japanese words with kanji since I write college documents. Additionally, what do ...
2
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2answers
3k 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.
3
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2answers
4k views

Why does some manga have dots above some of the words? [duplicate]

Potential spoilers for readers of Jojo, but in the top-left-hand corner of this picture there are dots above the word こいつ. Why do some manga have dots above some of the words? I've only noticed this ...
1
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2answers
7k views

Is there any difference between writing the katakana カ and the kanji 力? [duplicate]

The two characters I'm talking about here is the katakana "ka" (カ) and the kanji 力 as in [入力]{にゅうりょく}. Just by looking at the two characters in digital text form, they seem to be written in the same ...
8
votes
1answer
330 views

Why was つ originally used to mark consonant gemination? When was that?

I can't find the answer anywhere. It seems that in manyougana consonant gemination was not marked in any way. And before the 1946 reform the normal size つ was used instead of the current smaller one....
2
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1answer
297 views

Why does the name of ハチ公 【こう】 include Katakana instead of Hiragana?

It seems strange because the name ハチ公 【こう】 combines Katakana and Kanji in one word.
2
votes
1answer
175 views

Which alphabet should I use when combining a Japanese word with an English word?

I know Japanese words are written with kanji and hiragana, and katakana is for foreign words and exclamations. But I want to write "yanderenee", which is yandere + renee (my name). Which alphabet ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What does "オレ" in Pokemon Opening song mean?

The lyric says: オレはこいつと 旅に出る I wonder what オレ means. Is it a different way to write: "俺"?
8
votes
4answers
580 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
289 views

How to distinguish between different types of katakana words?

I'm a beginner with Japanese and have been practising katakana more recently and in doing so, I noticed that many—maybe most—times, the reason something is written in katakana is because it is derived ...
2
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2answers
348 views

What is this odd character?

It foiled 3 different online handwriting input websites. I tried looking it up via radicals to no avail. The rest of the characters in this font were quite easy to get. As per request, the context. ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Abbreviating sets of compounds with leading characters in common

I recently asked a question about on- and kun-yomi and in building the title guessed at how the two compounds involved could be contracted; landing on 「音・訓読み」. Is this indeed the correct way of ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What are the most obscure kanji?

To my understanding, there are standardised kanji that have either: No reliable information on how they are to be pronounced OR No reliable information on what they mean OR All of the above. Do ...
6
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1answer
944 views

皆さんはどんな字を書いていますか? / How do Japanese speakers write kana or kanji by hand?

日本語 この頃メタの方で「手書きの文字をチェックしてください」という質問は受け付けるべきかという話題がありました。個人的には受け付けてもよいと考えているのですが、何人もの学習者がわけもわからず同じような質問を繰り返すのでは生産性がない、という意見があり、これはその通りだと思いました。学習者は教科書などから字の書き方を学ぶと思いますが、初学者用の教科書体といえども、毛筆の運筆を残していたり、...
11
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
543 views

Is there a standard way to clearly differentiate similar handwritten (kana) characters?

In English, you often see people who write certain letters or numbers with an extra stroke to differentiate them from similar characters, for example people will write a z with a horizontal stroke to ...
5
votes
1answer
531 views

「星のカービィ」- Why ィ and not ー?

The Nintendo character Kirby's name in Japanese is 「星のカービィ」, pronounced "Hoshi no Kābī". For the カ, a ー is used for extending the vowel sound. For the ビ, though, a small イ is used. I thought the ...
12
votes
3answers
671 views

Why is this katakana not reversed?

Just saw this image about Nintendo on Kotaku: Clearly the company name, description, and location are written in traditional right-to-left orientation. Even かるた is right-to-left. So why is トランプ ...
13
votes
2answers
12k views

Dakuten used in non-standard ways (like with vowels)?

Sometimes in manga I encounter dakuten used in unexpected ways. For example, I've seen it used after あ. I wonder what effect it has on the pronunciation. Does it basically mean that the voice is ...
1
vote
2answers
16k views

How do I say "cat"? And do I use kanji, hiragana, katakana or rōmaji?

猫, ねこ, ネコ, neko Which of these means "cat"? Is it all of them? Which situation do I use each of these in?
2
votes
1answer
977 views

Japanese words with を in shiritori?

I've been playing some しりとり recently at http://www.shiritori.org/ and was wondering why no words with を show up. siritori.net suggests there are quite a few nouns starting with を: を をかし ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Comma between adjectives?

Is it okay to separate adjectives with a comma? Since my sentence has three adjectives, I added them just like how we would in English to separate a list containing three or more items (no comma if ...
-1
votes
1answer
358 views

Why does Japanese lack word wrapping? [closed]

Why does Japanese (more or less) lack word wrapping, with even words written in katakana broken up by new lines?
3
votes
1answer
165 views

覚せい剤 - why is it written with kana?

Why is 覚せい剤 a common variant writing of 覚醒剤? 醒 is a Joyo kanji and wouldn't pose any recognition problems. Example: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/覚せい剤取締法
6
votes
1answer
825 views

Are Japanese speakers likely to confuse "message" and "massage" in English?

I've occasionally noticed native speakers of Japanese using "massage" when they mean "message", but I can't recall native speakers of other languages mistaking the two. As far as I know, both "massage"...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there any way to input hentaigana into text documents?

Having found some books that use hentaigana (e.g. the 古今琉歌集) alongside standard hiragana and kanji, I've been trying to find a way to input hentaigana characters into text files. I've found proposed ...
7
votes
1answer
755 views

What do you need kanatype sensitivity for?

Question to any Japanese reader: When you look in SQL-Server and do SELECT * FROM sys.fn_helpcollations() WHERE (1=1) --AND description LIKE '%insensitive%' AND name LIKE '%japanese%' you get ...
15
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2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
388 views

How can one stop "去年【きょねん】教職【きょうしょく】" from looking like a weird 4 kanji compound?

In writing, sometimes you get the illusion of a 4-character compound: Xさんは去年教職を退【しりぞ】いた。 This bothers some non-natives. To correct the "problem", can I always just place a comma between the kanjis ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

Why would the Japanese transliteration from Greek Χριστος be spelled as ハリストス instead of キリストス?

Although it's not as common as キリスト, ハリストス is seen in the name of Japan's Orthodox Church. But why ハリストス if the pronounce of the Greek Χριστος is khristós (with a clear kri sound)? There is キリストス too, ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Spaces in children's books

Written Japanese ordinarily doesn't use any spaces to separate words. But Japanese children's books do. For example, the opening of Tomi Ungerer's The Three Robbers (すてきな 三にんぐみ) あらわれでたのは、 くろマントに、 くろい ...
4
votes
2answers
498 views

The Kanji for ありがとうございます

有難う御座います is one Kanji spelling. However, I thought, 'is ございます here an auxilliary verb, and thus are the Kanji incorrect?' Should the proper spelling be 有難うございます?
3
votes
2answers
334 views

Difference between 交替 and 交代

Is there any difference between 交替 and 交代 or are they completely interchangeable?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What phonetic shorthands (like 〼, 〆) are there in Japanese?

I recently learned that the symbol 〼, called 枡記号【ますきごう】, can be used as a phonetic shorthand for ます, as in 豆腐あり[〼]【ます】. In a similar vein, I am aware that 〆 is used as a shorthand for しめ in 〆切【しめきり】 = ...
5
votes
1answer
547 views

How common is the practice of writing わたし in kana and わたくし in kanji?

I've heard that some people only write わたし in kana and only use the Kanji 私 when the intended reading is わたくし. How common is this practice? Is it old-fashioned? If I used it myself as a foreigner, ...
5
votes
4answers
966 views

Are ミツバチ and イルカ more frequently written in katakana?

I was looking through a list of words that normally are written in kana, instead of their kanji. Two caught my attention because the list has them written in katakana, instead of hiragana. But, as ...
8
votes
1answer
522 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
173 views

If 結婚 is written as 結{けっ}婚{こん} rather than 結{け}っ婚{こん}, why do we write 持{も}って rather than 持{もっ}て?

My question is: If 結婚 is written as 結{けっ}婚{こん} rather than 結{け}っ婚{こん}, why do we write 持{も}って rather than 持{もっ}て?
0
votes
1answer
163 views

Classical form of 落{お}ちる

I read in a haiku written by Bashō/芭蕉 (source - see my addendum at the end of the post) : をちこちに 瀧{たき}の音{おと}聞く{きく} 落{おち}葉{ば}かな My translation : From far and near, hearing the sounds of the waterfall(...
2
votes
2answers
591 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, ...