18 votes
Accepted

Why is Toyota typically written in Katakana? (トヨタ)

It's a matter of stylistic choice which is hard to explain logically. It's kind of like asking why many Western companies adopted lowercase logos these days, which apparently look "grammatically wrong"...
naruto's user avatar
  • 311k
16 votes
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Why is たばこ written in hiragana instead of katakana?

The simplest explanation is that たばこ is often written in hiragana because it was borrowed so long ago that it has nativized. (Sorry, in a rush -- details to be posted later.) Update There are a few ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
9 votes
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Why small version of katakana ヵ is used in a word 二ヵ国語

Main question: Why do they use sometimes small version of katakana ヵ 'ka' in a word? The small ヵ here actually derives from the kanji 個 or 箇, used as the generic counter for things. This was ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
9 votes
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戦前はどうやってしりとりをしていたのですか?

I did 尻取り games when I was a child before the war—more than 70 years ago—as every child did. 尻取り was one of the most popular and inexpensive games played among pre-war children, because ...
Yoichi Oishi's user avatar
  • 9,505
7 votes
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When did 濁点 and 半濁点 come into use?

I heard notation method of them were enacted in the period of Showa after WW2. This is a post card that was made before Showa era. はがき is written as はかき on it. However, actually it seems that they ...
nariuji's user avatar
  • 818
6 votes

How is writing with 旧字体 over 新字体, using lots of 表外漢字 and using 漢字 in place of かな in a word that is almost always written with かな perceived?

Some 表外漢字 like 狼 and 嘘 are perfectly safe in ordinary writing. Some are simply too difficult. It largely depends on the character. Personally I can read 鰐 but not 鰰/鱸. See also Why are the names of ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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かつおぶし but かつをぶし

What you're seeing isn't any kind of "dialect spelling" or "pronunciation spelling", but rather the historical spelling. Historical spellings are the kana spellings from before ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
6 votes
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What is the meaning of dots and dashes in kunyomi readings?

The upshot is that you should try to look at the explanatory notes of the dictionary you use and try not to get too attached to a particular notation. Knowing that kanji have a main reading, possibly ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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6 votes
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Is it ok if I leave kanji I don't know out?

The short answer is "yes you can." You can always write every Japanese sentence only in hiragana if you don't care how it would look like. But what's the reason for doing so? If you are a total ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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Meaning of ノッて来ん

It is a colloquial version of のってくる, where のる means to accept invitation, join (def #5 大辞泉 or def #7 プログレッシブ和英中辞典) and る is changed to ん. It means the speaker asks around for going out, and it is only ...
sundowner's user avatar
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5 votes
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Can any other characters besides は and わ be used interchangeably at the end of words?

No, the vast majority of word-end わ are not interchangeable with は. A few words contain は read as わ (wa) as part of the word. こんにちは ("hello"; read as こんにちわ) こんばんは ("good evening"; read as こんばんわ) では (...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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What's the meaning of 少フシテ?

It is a technically wrong, but then very popular sort of spelling for 少【すくな】うして (canonically 少【すく】なうして). After multi-syllable coalescence in the Late Middle Japanese period took away a considerable ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
4 votes

た ち つ て と -> だ ぢ づ で ど (ta chi tsu te to -> da dji dzu de do) - Why is it different from all the other kana that can get dakuten?

The (surprisingly) short answer is: In Japanese, the かな are not out of line. The romanizations that approximate these sounds as 'chi', 'tsu', 'dji', 'dzu', are the ones out of line, by virtue of the ...
psosuna's user avatar
  • 4,428
4 votes
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Translation of わき in this sentence

歩道のわきにタンポポがたくさんさいています。 I understand that: 歩道 - sidewalk の- possessive particle わき - ? に - location particle My problem is with the わき part, I did find the word 脇 (near, by), but my dictionary doesn't ...
karlalou's user avatar
  • 3,370
4 votes
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Why do not all かな get dakuten? And why only the は ひ ふ へ ほ へ kana get handakuten?

Dakuten change the consonant of a kana in a specific way - namely, they add voicing to a voiceless consonant. So さ /sa/ becomes ざ /za/, and so on. But what about sounds that are already voiced, such ...
Sjiveru's user avatar
  • 7,637
4 votes

Why is たばこ written in hiragana instead of katakana?

History of smoking is pretty long in Japan to say たばこ is a borrowed word, though it’s certainly foreign origin. According to Wikipedia, there’s two theories about the time of the tobacco coming to ...
Yoichi Oishi's user avatar
  • 9,505
4 votes

Why is Toyota typically written in Katakana? (トヨタ)

It is because the original inventor of Toyota was a man by the name of Kiichiro Toyoda with a D. Both the Katakana and Hiragana with the ten ten for the Da sound make for the name to have 10 strokes. ...
Jade Larson's user avatar
4 votes

What are the differences between じ and ぢ, and ず and づ?

With the writing reform almost most instances of the old ぢ・ヂ and づ・ヅ have been replaced with the homophonic じ・ジ and ず・ズ with the following exceptions: ぢ・ヂ and づ・ヅ are still used in words containing a ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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3 votes

Is なんとか なる さ meant to be written in Hiragana and not Katakana?

I disagree with the other answer. Writing ナントカ ナル サ is not familiar modern orthography, but it's not "completely wrong". In fact, there is a very famous poem written with native words in ...
Avery's user avatar
  • 2,767
3 votes
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(花よりもなほ) What does もなほ mean here?

The first phrase 花よりもなほ can be split into 3 words: 花-よりも-なほ. Its meaning is "more ... than flowers." なほ seems to be an old representation of the word that is written "なお" today (which is an adverb). ...
Faily Feely's user avatar
  • 5,378
3 votes
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Is there a some general rule when to write 物/もの in kanji or hiragana?

「モノ」「もの」「物」, There is a reason to use for each of them in many situation, but few people use them consciously. Therefore, there are many people who use them incorrectly. Some people use hiragana to ...
azimicat's user avatar
  • 329
3 votes

Question about Kana writing

In general, if you want to be sure of the correct kana spelling for a Japanese name, your best bet is to find out what kanji it's typically spelled with, and then find the matching readings for those ...
Foogod's user avatar
  • 2,074
3 votes

っ(sokuon) usage

This is why you shouldn't rely on romanization while learning Japanese phonology. Looking through the lens of romaji, っ and ん may certainly seem to do more or less the same thing: きっさ kissa, はっぱ happa,...
broccoli forest's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

when should one use 支払い or 支払

"支払" and "支払い" are almost same in the meaning and interchangeable with each other. When to use them is also a very controversial issue even for Japanese and me. From my understanding, "支払" is used ...
user20624's user avatar
  • 15.3k
2 votes

Question about Kana writing

Without context, "shinya" would be represented as しにゃ. However, AFAIK there is no name with such spelling so with 99% probability it is しんや. To avoid ambiguity, it is recommended to put an apostrophe ...
Igor Skochinsky's user avatar
2 votes

Why do not all かな get dakuten? And why only the は ひ ふ へ ほ へ kana get handakuten?

Why do not all かな get dakuten? And why only the は ひ ふ へ ほ へ kana get handakuten? There are sounds first, letters are made to denote them. [半濁点]{handakuten} was devised to denote [破裂音]{haretsuon} or ...
user20624's user avatar
  • 15.3k
2 votes

Why ī is the only romaji that can be spelled as a double ii

There are several kinds of romanizations, each with its own set of rules. Those rules were decided by whoever designed that romanization. So if you ask the reasons for a certain romanization... who ...
hisao m's user avatar
  • 3,587
2 votes
Accepted

Why is it that Neptune's name is written as ネプテューヌ and not ネプチュヌ?

Simply the stylistic choice to use a variant pronunciation. [tju], [tʃu], and [tu] are all allophones in English. Japanese typically uses [t͡ɕu] (close to [tʃu]) for Neptune because it's the closest ...
Brandon's user avatar
  • 2,361
2 votes

Do speakers that distinguish all four yotsugana in speech preserve the non-rendaku ぢ and づ in writing?

Many moons ago, I taught English to first-year college students at a school in Tochigi Prefecture. One student had come up from somewhere in Kyūshū, although I forget exactly where. His name was 小島【...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar

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