38 votes

Why does "fu" changes to "pu" while it's not started with "h"?

The //h// line in the kana are a bit odd. This is mostly due to history. Derivation Way back at the beginning of Japanese history -- and by that, I mean when we first start seeing text in the ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
17 votes

Why is "Wikipedia" written as ウィキペディア instead of ワィキペディア?

ウィ is the standard way of transcribing [wi] or [wɪ]. Similarly ウェ is used for [wɛ] (for example website → ウェブサイト) and ウォ for [wɒ] or [wɔ] (for example wombat → ウォンバット or walkman ウォークマン). Here ウ is ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
  • 48.2k
15 votes
Accepted

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

あ゛ used to be commonly used in manga to express an exclamation — "aagh!" or something like that. I feel it has become less common (if not rare) these days. え゛、い゛、お゛、の゛ and so on are sometimes ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
14 votes
Accepted

What constitutes a syllable?

The general method of counting in Japanese poetry is by a rhythmic unit known as the mora (morae or moras in plural). A mora is (essentially) the length of a single (full-sized) kana; so is a bit ...
henreetee's user avatar
  • 3,727
13 votes
Accepted

Is it acceptable to use kanji and hiragana in the same word if a kanji character is unknown?

There's a few different things going on in your question: A general question about whether you can write words in mixed kanji kana orthography An implicit question about when you can / cannot do so. ...
virmaior's user avatar
  • 8,216
11 votes
Accepted

What does かぎのあるヱ mean?

I think it means "the e with the hook". If you compare エ with ヱ, ヱ has a hook in the first horizontal.
Flaw's user avatar
  • 20k
11 votes
Accepted

What are these Okinawan kana-like characters?

In this webpage 沖縄の言葉で書かれた注意書きがわからなすぎる, there is the following picture: Comparing this one with the one in your post makes me think that maybe it is just your picture is missing some paint.
fefe's user avatar
  • 3,508
10 votes

Difference between the two "o" kana, and how to input them from romaji keyboard?

を is actually inputted as "wo", and should technically be pronounced as such as well, but that kana is almost completely unused except for the particle for verbs. And for a complicated reason, the ...
stack reader's user avatar
  • 5,691
10 votes
Accepted

what is the dakuten katakana character in the image?

It's グサ, a common onomatopoeia for a sound of "stab". It also describes how someone's harsh word sticks into your heart. It's listed on jisho.org in the form ぐさりと. It looks like ワ, too, but ワ does ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
9 votes
Accepted

Are those kanas "しい" ? (text found on a banner)

Yes, it is しい. There is a bit of a play-on-words happening here. [禿]{は}げ means "bald(ness)", but is being written in katakana on the top line (ハゲ[頭]{あたま}). The entire bottom row says ハゲ〜しい[熱戦]{ねっ・せん}...
istrasci's user avatar
  • 44.1k
9 votes

Why is the katakána ヲ taught to beginners?

ヲ and ヰ/ゐ/ヱ/ゑ are different both in terms of standard-ness and frequency. ヲ is a contemporary standard katakana taught in the first grade (and actually recognized by most kindergarteners before ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
8 votes
Accepted

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

Short summary: Heian-period Japanese acquired new sounds, including a syllable-final -t, a geminated tt, and other geminated consonants. The つ kana, originally tu, was a natural match to write the new ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Why does ちょうし translate to "choushi"?

ちょ is what we call a digraph; notice that the よ is small, not full-sized. If you wanted to write "chiyoshi," it would have to be ちようし, not ちょうし. I'm not going to list every digraph and their ...
Kurausukun's user avatar
  • 2,369
8 votes

Unknown kana in a late C19th address cartouche

Per l'électeur's response above, 北ミ: 北, kita and ミ, mi 三, mi
musha's user avatar
  • 525
8 votes
Accepted

Kanjied 出した vs kananed だした in -dasu/dashta pattern

The canonical rule is as follows: Use hiragana for a subsidiary verb following a te-form, e.g., (持って)いく, (読んで)みる, (作って)おく Use kanji for the second component of a compound verb, following a 連用形, e.g., ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
8 votes
Accepted

Is this heavily stylized text readible?

No, even native speakers cannot read this. As istrasci says, the blue part is more like タツノン. People can probably identify most katakana in the red part, but it's almost impossible to recognize フランキス ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
7 votes

Do Japanese people see ツ as a smiling face?

I know this is an old post, and I'm not Japanese, but I did some research and I found out this: Japanese don't look at the mouth to notice emotions, rather the eyes. Since the "eyes" here are ...
Vincent Bechmann's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

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
7 votes

Can't find this character in the dictionary

This is the hiragana そ. You may be confused because of the font.
shannaro's user avatar
  • 126
7 votes
Accepted

How to refer to kana verbally

We usually call individual hiragana by its pronunciation. If it can be confusing, we can clarify that we're talking about hiraganas by saying, for example, "ひらがなの「あ」". When we have to confirm that ...
Faily Feely's user avatar
  • 5,378
7 votes

What is the order of the full list of kana?

The dictionaries I have use the following order. (From the publishers 小学館, 三省堂 and 学研.) The usual lexicographic order by gojūon, mostly ignoring whether a kana has (han)dakuten or is a small kana. (...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
  • 48.2k
6 votes
Accepted

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

This is one of the reasons why stroke order can be important. When looking at handwritten characters, you can get a sense for what each one is even if it's relatively illegible by looking at the ...
ssb's user avatar
  • 18.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Old Japanese vowels in kana

Good question. The poster is referring to the reconstructed 8-vowel system for Old Japanese (上代特殊仮名遣) which is inferred from the presence of two ways of transcribing /e/ and two ways of transcribing /...
jogloran's user avatar
  • 6,811
6 votes

Why is there dakuten on the "ん" in this image? (ん゙)

My Research: So my reasearch has been a little bit unusual for this one, but I found the following from reddit's r/learnjapanese: Dakuten/handakuten on kana where they would normally not be found ...
ajsmart's user avatar
  • 7,099
6 votes

Why is "Wikipedia" written as ウィキペディア instead of ワィキペディア?

Rather than providing a pronunciation closer to the English word, it provides a description of the Japanese pronunciation. The Japanese W sound is essentially spoken by moving from a うto a second ...
James Edwards's user avatar

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