Questions tagged [punctuation]

句読法. A set of symbols and marks such as the comma and period, typically used to indicate either syntactic structure or to indicate pauses in speech.

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Correct punctuation when specifying translations

When writing a list of railway stations in both Japanese and English, which kind of punctuation should be used to indicate a translation? I was reading this article and was wondering if the same rules ...
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Addressing someone without punctuation?

Before the introduction of the comma, how would the Japanese address one another in a sentence such as- in English: "I am going to the store, John." By starting a new line on the paper? ...
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What do 2 dashes ―― at the beginning of a sentence mean? [duplicate]

隊長:「――少年を人質に取った誘拐犯はこの先の旧発掘跡… 、通称『枯れた遺跡』に立て篭もっているとの情報が入った」 Commander:「We now know that the kidnappers are holding the boy hostage... up ahead in the old excavation site known as "The Withered ...
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Does でも mean "but" in this sentence?

「話すことができぬでも、頷くぐらいはできるだろう」 It's from a videogame, the story takes place in the past. It means "You can't talk, but you can nod at least!", am I right? I don't understand the way it's written. ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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What is the Japanese equivalent of English editorial brackets?

So in English, if an editor needed to add a comment or some clarification to a quote (in an article or something), they would use square brackets, so that the comment doesn't get mistaken as an actual ...
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2 votes
1 answer
407 views

Japanese quotation marks

I'm trying to understand the use of Japanese quotation marks, and I'm at a loss: in other languages, inverted commas shows (1) a direct quote («He said, "That's not enough"»), a non literal ...
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4 votes
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Questions about punctuation in a light novel

I have the first time of No game No life in Japanese. However, there are some things that puzzled me quite a bit about the punctuation. As you can see in the photo, I don't understand the reason why ...
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Dashes in "To the Little Ones" 『小さき者へ』

I'm reading the "To the Little Ones" story(『小さき者へ』) and, I found this mark ―― between sentences, does it have a specific meaning, or as I thought, it's just for more space? それは分らない事だが――...
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Punctuation troubles in fiction

Started reading Sword Art Online, and since it's my first time reading novels in Japanese, the first paragraph is already making me ask questions on Stack :P 職人クラスの酔狂な一団がひと月がかりで測量したところ、...
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8 votes
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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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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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Difference between using 読点 and て形 when using multiple adjectives

When linking adjectives, you can either use 読点(、) or て-form. So I could write the following sentence in two ways: くじゃくは、長い、美しい尾を扇のように広げました。 くじゃくは、長くて美しい尾を扇のように広げました。 The peacock expanded its long, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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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2 answers
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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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1 answer
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Usage of interrobang (?!) in Japanese

I was watching this video when I noticed that ?! was used in the top right corner of the screen. This interrobang is regarded as poor style in English. How about in Japanese? It appears to me that it'...
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Using commas when chaining verbs

When chaining verbs, especially long sentences during writing, is it common (and grammatically correct) to use commas? For example: 食堂に行って、焼うどんを食べて、帰ってくる Personally, I find it harder to read ...
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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 answer
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How to express “X (and parenthetically Y)”?

When writing in English, quite often I'll want to express a connection between two noun phrases as “X (or Y)” or “X (and Y)”, where the punctuation adds a notion of “Y is a little beside the point, ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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What are these vertical lines called in Japanese?

I was reading the newspaper and saw these vertical lines. I'm guessing it's saying that 川上尚志 is in 広州 or something along those lines. But my question is what are they called and why they are used ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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What does ▲ mean in a newspaper?

I was reading this article and noticed it had some ▲ symbols. 「われわれは欧州合衆国とでもいうべきものを成立させねばならない。その最初の一歩、欧州評議会創設の緊急事業を成功させるためにフランスとドイツは協働しなければならない」。はて、誰の発言か▲実はこれ、根っからの保守主義者でナショナリストだった英国のチャーチルの言葉である。...
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-1 votes
3 answers
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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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Is there a reason why the 濁点【だくてん】( ゙)are placed below the stroke at ぐ and で as opposed to the other hiragana characters?

Most of the 平仮名【ひらがな】 characters have the 濁点【だくてん】 above the stroke but there are two cases where it is placed below the stroke: がぎげござじずぜぞだぢづどばびぶべぼ ぐで Why?
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is a sentence ending with "か……。" a question or a questionative statement?

I came across the following line inside a Japanese book I'm reading. しかし、 アインにツヴァイか……。 My understanding of the line is different depending on whether it would be a question (because of the か),. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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In terms of comma placement, does the following rough translation match the Japanese?

In terms of comma placement, does the following rough English translation match the Japanese? 厄介よ、 あの国のマスコミは How bothersome, that country's mass media. I know that in terms of proper English, ...
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20 votes
1 answer
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What does it mean when multiple 々 marks follow a 、?

I was glancing at some old manuscripts from the Heian period (左経記 pg. 10) when I saw the following: I know that typically 々 means to repeat the previous kanji, but what does it mean when its ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Spaces and end of sentences in まんが

Up until now, I think have I never seen a space in the Japanese textbook I'm using (Genki). However, when I started trying to read this まんが, I realised that, sometimes, there are spaces. Since this ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What does te form of verbs mean in these two sentences?

犬は雪の中を走ってボールを取りに行く。 時間がありまして、映画を見ました。 Are the grammar in these two the same? If yes, why is there a comma in the second one and not in the first one?
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is wrapping punctuation to a new line ok?

I am adding support for Japanese to a PDF generation tool and I noticed that punctuation is sometimes wrapped to a new line. I don't know enough about the Japanese language to know if this is okay or ...
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1 vote
1 answer
564 views

Interrupted Dialogue

In English, an em-dash is often used where dialogue is interrupted: Get into the c— Is there an equivalent punctuation in Japanese?
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9 votes
1 answer
216 views

Are there means (formal rules or conventions) of use-mention distinction in Japanese writing?

With English, when writing and looking to mention a word (as a word vs wanting to use the word as its semantic referent), writers have at their disposal quotation marks (punctuational) and italicized ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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What does ー mean in this context?

(I'm sorry if it is a duplicate, I tried to search unsuccessfully) After 変わりつつある: 農業の現場で起きている担い手不足によって、日本人の食卓の景色も変わりつつあるー。 取材を通してそうした実感を抱きました。(source) I don't have the impression it generally ...
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0 answers
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Should I replace commas with と in Japanese?

I have seen many times sentences that connect many objects with と which in English would require comma. So, is it better to generally just replace comma with と whenever connecting many things together?...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Do Japanese use commas or "and"? [duplicate]

In English when we have sentences like I ate an apple, pear and orange we use a comma to separate the words in a list instead of constantly using "and". Does one use commas in Japanese in a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Why do some native Japanese speakers put a comma after a particle? [duplicate]

Example: あなたは、きっと日本の抹茶ティーは嫌いだね This is how I'm seeing the sentence: You'll, certainly hate Matcha tea in Japan. Or maybe I'm translating the sentence in the wrong way? Anyhow, could be the ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Possessive の not indicating what is possessed

Over a year ago, I wrote a text on Lang-8. I'm analyzing my texts. I wrote, very badly, this sentence: この本書は、Lang-8で一番日本語の本書を書きます。 I tried to say "this is my first text on Lang-8" 😂 Yeah, ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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Is it 行 or 行く? I am unsure of which one

I have two sentences: 時々、うみえ行くをが好きです。 and 母はよく週末に祖父と祖母のいえ行、そこでとまリます。 I want to see if both of them are correctly stated, and I believe that the second one might not be. In the first sentence, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Meaning of long horizontal bar in Japanese

――――― What does it mean when there's very long bar? I've encountered this many in novels etc. Also, can someone write the long bar correctly? For some reason there are spaces in my version (5 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What do ー, 「, and 」 mean? [duplicate]

I’m a bit new to Japanese and I’m a little confused about what they are used for.
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5 votes
1 answer
357 views

What's the difference between English & Japanese parenthesis?

I found this sentence while reading よだかの星: よだかは、じっと目をつぶって考えました。(一たい僕は、なぜこうみんなにいやがられるのだろう。) It seems pretty obvious that the parenthetical sentence is the Nightjar's internal monologue... but ...
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5 votes
1 answer
582 views

What is the meaning of the dot (.) in Japanese dictionaries?

What is the meaning of the dot (.) in Japanese dictionaries? http://tangorin.com/general/%E8%A1%A8 For example: [あらわ.]{arawa.}す{su}
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1 vote
4 answers
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Meaning of Apostrophe in Words Translated to English

What does an apostrophe (') mean in English translations of Japanese words? For example, an online grammar site says, "When you contract te oku to t'oku…." Although just a beginning-level student, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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What does the hyphen in this dictionary entry mean?

What does the hyphen in this dictionary entry mean? どりょく‐か 努力家 In official Japanese-language typesetting, which Unicode character should it be? I suspect it is not the minus sign character on ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Quotation Mark Stroke Order

How do Japanese people hand-write the Japanese Quotation Marks (「 」)? Is there a correct stroke order? I am asking specifically about those used in horizontal writing, although I wouldn't mind ...
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1 vote
1 answer
116 views

How to represent prefixes and suffixes in a L2 context

An Anki deck I've downloaded is representing a word as "o-miyage" and "おーみやげ". The deck isn't using any kanji - it's based on JFBP book 1, which doesn't teach any kanji. I've hidden the romaji, so I'm ...
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1 vote
3 answers
330 views

use of noun then comma and そして

I dont understand this sentence: Action servletは、リクエストのリクエストURLと対応するPATH、そしてACTIONクラスの完全修飾名を定義しているACTIONMAPPINGの集合によりなりたっています。 Does this mean: "the collection 'action'mapping, which defines the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
375 views

Using parentheses (=round brackets) with equals sign

First, I want to say that this is in no way to question the way somebody is writing. I'm just curious. I have noticed that some Japanese people here use parentheses and an equals sign to clarify some ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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What does 「/\」 mean in this sentence?

皆さん、こんにちは! Now, I've been reading 竹取物語 and have come across (another) set of symbols that I've yet to understand. Given the following sentence. かくて翁やう/\豐になり行く。 What does the sudden 「/\」 mean?
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7 votes
1 answer
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How many syllables does くの字点 affect?

It is my understanding that くの字点{じてん} (seen above) is the "double or multiple repeat marker" in vertical writing. Given that it can be used to repeat two or more syllables, how do you know how many ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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4 votes
5 answers
339 views

Is a sentence ending with 誰だ but without か a question?

I found the following sentence in tangorin.com, 台所をこんなに散らかしたのは誰だ。 And it is translated as Who's responsible for this mess in the kitchen? Is it really a question or just a statement? Do we ...
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