Questions tagged [rōmaji]

ローマ字. The various ways in which Japanese can be transliterated into the Latin script.

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23
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2answers
5k views

Why are police boxes labeled Koban (in roman letters) in Japan?

I understand that the word for police box is Koban or 交番 in kanji, but why is the signage always in roman letters - Koban. My guess would be to make it easier for foreigners to read, but wouldn't ...
20
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2answers
7k views

How to pronounce the English alphabet? (A, B, C, …)

I just had to tell a long booking number over the phone, and realized that some characters like V/B can be hard to convey. So, I want to learn exactly how each letter is currently taught in Japanese ...
19
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2answers
7k views

What is the more common pronunciation for the r­ōmaji letter Z in Japanese?

I was on the phone with NTT the other day and things were going well (or as good as they could), until I had to spell some email address for the customer rep, and fell upon the letter 'Z'. ...
19
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1answer
2k views

Why is English “ka” and “ca” sometimes rendered as キャ (kya) instead of カ (ka)?

I sometimes see that English ka and ca are rendered キャ (kya) instead of カ (ka). Why is this? Do English ka and ca really sound more like kya than ka, at least to Japanese listeners? (I know it doesn'...
14
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8answers
4k views

What are the advantages/disadvantages of writing in romaji instead of in kanji and kana?

Romaji is somewhat of a conversion from kanji and kana to the Roman alphabet. What are the disadvantages of learning only or mostly romaji aside from being unable to read/write in kanji? I don't ...
14
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3answers
4k views

Standard mathematical operations, expressed in Japanese

First-time poster on this channel, so please forgive me if I screw anything up... I'm currently writing a "Japanese Calculator" program as part of a personal project I'm working on which takes rōmaji ...
14
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5answers
7k views

What is the difference between tori vs. dori?

In Aikido, different dojos seem to latch on to using either dori or tori when describing grabbing attacks. For instance one dojo might say: Katate Dori Another would say: Katate Tori Each dojo ...
12
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2answers
478 views

Are numbers part of romaji? (i.e. 1, 2, 3 vs 一二三)

Romaji is when you use the Roman alphabet to write out Japanese. I.e. you use "abc" instead of "あいうえお". Taking that one step further, what do you call it when you use "123" instead of "一二三"? My first ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Are foreign personal names usually written in katakana rather than Romaji?

Are foreign personal names usually written in katakana, or is this dependent on the type or writing, and the target audience? For example, this Japanese Wikipedia entry on Steven Bradbury uses ...
11
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3answers
6k views

Does a small tsu double all consonants?

In several sources it's mentioned that a SMALL TSU doubles consonants. My problem is, some websites give almost identical examples with: っ/ッ + (S, T, C, K, G, B, P) But what about the others?: ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Why is D written as Đ in Japanese handwriting?

I've seen Japanese people write many letters/numbers "strangely". The most common one is D which is written with a stroke like this Đ Why is that? Are there any other letters that are written ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Legal characters for first names include: hiragana, katakana, jinmeiyo and joyo kanji. What about latin letters?

Is it legal for parents to give to their child a first name with latin letters (romaji, I guess), instead of using katakana, hiragana, or kanji? For example, if Japanese parents want to give their ...
9
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2answers
261 views

How to differentiate between んい and に in romaji?

Occasionally I want to look up a word on Jisho.org from a device where it is inconvenient to use a Japanese keyboard. The default is to interpret an input as romaji if possible, so that's usually not ...
9
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3answers
313 views

Was 術 (as in 柔術) ever pronounced jitsu?

柔術 is often rendered in English-speaking countries (and France, Germany, and Brazil) as "jiu-jitsu" or "ju-jitsu", even though the actual Hepburn romanization is "jūjutsu". Wiktionary's page on 柔術 ...
9
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1answer
40k views

Difference between yamero and yamete

I often hear this from animations and read it among users when making jokes on the internet, but I wonder exactly: what's the difference between yamero and yamete?
9
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1answer
318 views

When did LOC adopt modified Hepburn?

If I look in Google Ngrams, I see that the transliteration "honbu", meaning HQ, basically didn't exist until 1964. But it didn't surpass "hombu" until 1976. I believe Modified Hepburn was introduced ...
8
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3answers
10k views

Long O — when is it OU and when OO?

I am learning hiragana and I've encountered a minor problem. The thing is that my book did mention how to deal with a long "O": just by adding another "O" or "U". However it doesn't explain in which ...
7
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3answers
2k views

How does one transcribe the romaji “ō”?

I use The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, which describes pronunciation in romaji instead of kana. I never learned romaji in a classroom, and generally only use it when reading this dictionary. ...
7
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2answers
601 views

What romanization scheme is used by programmers?

I noticed that in this book on bioinformatics with Ruby (the programming language!) (Rubyではじめるバイオインフォマティクス―生物系のためのプログラミング入門), the authors sometimes used romanized Japanese in code examples. For ...
7
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2answers
145 views

How would one go about romanizing Aynu Itak?

I've been casually studying Itak on and off in between my usual schoolwork and obvious Japanese studies. However, I've been more and more bothered by a particular issue as I've gone on: how does one ...
7
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1answer
326 views

What does it mean to write wasei-eigo and gairaigo in Romaji?

Wasei-eigo and most Gairaigo (especially in a text or sentence as opposed to being by itself) is usually written in Katakana (イメージ, ジュース, スマート,パンツ,アベック). However, there are times that have seen some ...
6
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3answers
7k views

Why is the Hepburn system of romanization generally used over the Nihon-shiki system?

Generally when you see romanization of Japanese it is in the Hepburn system; however, I recently came across the Nihon-shiki system which seems to be preferable. Why is it that the Hepburn system ...
6
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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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

How to form the “chi” sound, and others?

I was looking at a chart of hiragana and trying to find the characters to form the name of a song Inochi no Namae. I started with i, then no, but there's no chi. I then started wondering where chu and ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Japanese language “compression ratio”

Somewhat cryptic title, but a simple question. I start with the (logical?) assumption that kanji makes writing Japanese shorter than using romaji. How shorter is it compared to English written in ...
6
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2answers
515 views

Is there any Japanese language reason why Google Maps hyphenates some names and not others?

Looking at Google Maps I noticed when translating to Japanese some names are hyphenated and others are not. It seems to be arbitrary but maybe there's some Japanese rule I'm unaware of The first ...
6
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2answers
492 views

How is determined whether a sound should be romanized into an L versus an R?

I know there isn't a particularly distinct difference between L and R in native Japanese, but very often proper nouns and other non-translated Japanese names/words work their way into English ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Romanization of じ and ジ with ji and zi

From some basic research I've found that when romanizing じ and ジ we can use "ji" or "zi." Apparently "ji" is used by Hepburn romanization which is the most popular for non-Japanese speakers but "zi" ...
5
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4answers
976 views

Is it possible to algorithmically convert Japanese text to Romaji?

I am a programmer and I recently wrote two browser extensions, one will translate English text to "pronunciation" replacing all words founf on a web page, and another will replace all Chinese ...
5
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4answers
3k views

What does this person mean by “doryo” in this context?

Two Japanese-fluent characters in an English novel I'm reading are talking about a specific heart problem one character concealed from medical exams. That character is requesting the second character ...
5
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2answers
317 views

Is rōmaji actually used in Japan?

I am a Japanese beginner and I see many instruction books containing rōmaji. As I understand, rōmaji helps English speakers to pronounce the words. But is rōmaji really used in Japan or by Japanese ...
5
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2answers
4k views

When romanizing a Japanese title, which words should be capitalized?

Specifically, when you are trying to romanize Kanji titles of movies, plays, written works, etc. for formal writing targeting non-Japanese speakers, what are some good guidelines? As seen in this ...
5
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0answers
82 views

Why do people romanize 新聞 as “Shimbun”? [duplicate]

Is there a reason why [新聞]{しんぶん} is often romanized as "Shimbun" instead of the "Shinbun" its supposed to be? I ask as I've found that even brands like 毎日新聞 do this; romanizing their name as "Mainichi ...
4
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3answers
6k views

Why are し/ち transliterated as 'shi'/'chi', and not 'si'/'ti'?

In Japanese あいうえお are pronounced 'a i u e o', かきくけこ are pronounced 'ka ki ku ke ko'. The spelling is simple and natural. However, when it comes to サ行, さしすせそ, its relevant roman spelling is 'sa shi su ...
4
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3answers
579 views

へうげもの - Hyouge Mono?

There's this manga that is called へうげもの. However, this name is romanized as Hyouge Mono. Although I know little Japanese, I think the kana there spell something like Heuge Mono. Why does this ...
4
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1answer
465 views

What type of romanization is “Hatchōbori”?

I found somewhere on the internet that the romanization of 八丁堀{はっちょうぼり} is written as "Hatchōbori". Given that scheme, how could you write "しゅっぱつ"? Given that scheme, how could you write "しゅぱつ"? ...
4
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2answers
398 views

Which romanization system should I use in my word game?

I have developed a word game quite similar to Scrabble, and I am currently considering adding a Japanese word list to it. Please note that I have no real knowledge of the language, apart from knowing ...
4
votes
1answer
576 views

What is the correct way to romanize ッジ?

According to Wikipedia, ッチ is rendered as tch, not cch (etchi not ecchi). Logically I would think that ッジ would then be dj but there's no example of it. What is the correct way? dj or jj? Is there any ...
3
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1answer
676 views

Kanjis to Romajis first letter [closed]

I'm fond of Unicode and what romanization attempts. My goal is to get a first latin char (for sorting purposes) of a non-latin character - so far I succeeded by transcribing Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, ...
3
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2answers
548 views

The use of ô versus ō in rōmaji

Perhaps this question is completely unimportant, but I do not know if it is. There is a very influential mathematical paper by Alexander Grothendieck often called his Tôhoku paper, because of the ...
3
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1answer
217 views

Why is a foreign person's middle initial written in romaji instead of katakana?

Foreigner's names are written in katakana, but I noticed that the middle initial is always written in romaji. I see this on business cards and in newspaper articles, when a middle initial is used.
3
votes
1answer
261 views

How Dakuten works with Romaji?

I was reading different hiragana charts and saw that "ち(chi)", applying dakuten it can be read as "dzi" or "ji". Other hiragana words in dakuten also have different ways of pronunciation depending ...
3
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1answer
206 views

Is ii or ī more common in rōmaji?

A question about rōmaji: Is it more common to use ī or ii? For loanwords, it seems to be common to use ī, e.g. コーヒー  kōhī アンチーク antīku For other words, using ii seems more common, e.g. 涼しい ...
3
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3answers
568 views

Is the stroke order native Japanese speakers use for romaji different to those of native English speakers?

Do native speakers of Japanese write romaji the same way native speakers of English would, or do they do it differently, possibly using the rules that they'd use for writing hiragana, katakana, and ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

Correct romanization for ベオウルフ (Beowulf) and the use of ō

I want to know the correct romanization for ベオウルフ. For me, it's Beōrufu, because the pronunciation of Be-o-wulf has a long vowel (oo/ou/ow/oh). However, some people discord for being a foreign name.
3
votes
1answer
248 views

Romanization of kanji compounds: when are spaces used?

I don't know if the answer depends on the system used. Information on this is welcome too, but mainly I'm interested in the Hepburn system. When romanizing a kanji compound, how do you decide if you ...
3
votes
1answer
510 views

“Yon” vs. “Shi” in school names

I've tried Voicetext.jp and Google's text to voice service to read this 四中の It reads something like Yon-chū no But Google suggested this romanization, which left me doubtful Shi-chū no So, ...
3
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1answer
275 views

The stylistic use of romaji for the particle “de”

Or other cases when a single word/particle is rendered in romaji within a sentence otherwise written in normal Japanese. This is something I first came across on cooking websites, for example: ...
3
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1answer
127 views

What does one call words or phrases that cannot be or rarely refered to with kanji

I have found that many words are only used in hiragana and because of this i can't seem to find a good way to learn them as i am studying words that use kanji due to the site i am using. Like-ごめんなさい, ...
3
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1answer
267 views

What does hoi mean?

I'm a General Music teacher. One of my 1st grade books has a song called, "Naka Naka Hoi." The (what I'm learning may be the romaji) words are: Naka Naka Hoi Soto Soto Hoi Naka Soto Soto Naka Naka ...