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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 ...
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20 votes
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Do Japanese people see ツ as a smiling face?

I read your question "Do Japanese people see [tsu] as a smiling face" and read over the question several times before I got it. And I'm not a native Japanese reader (or speaker). Just like your ت (...
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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 ...
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16 votes
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ニッポン? Why Kana?

I suppose this banner struck OP as "super bizarre" for either of the two reasons: Because you are a diligent Japanese learner who only learned how traditional textbooks say about when to use kanji or ...
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15 votes
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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 ...
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14 votes
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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 ...
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13 votes
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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. ...
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11 votes
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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.
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11 votes
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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.
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10 votes
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Why is ゟ considered obsolete?

The reason is very simple: universal education. ゟ is not a "kana" but an abbreviation (合略仮名) used in the 1800s. In other words, it is not an outdated letter like long s (ſ), but a scribal ...
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  • 2,637
10 votes
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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 ...
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9 votes
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What does it mean for the 'feel' of a sentence / text when it's written in all hiragana?

Extensive use of hiragana by intent will make yourself look immature, childish, unserious, drowsy, cute, innocent, or sometimes less intelligent, depending on the context. A good but exaggerated ...
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9 votes
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Specific differences to consider between any individual katakana and hiragana?

There are no character-level differences. Hiragana and katakana are, for all intents and purposes, the same, differing only in how they are used with regard to the broader idea of choice of system. ...
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9 votes
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How to hear the difference between て and で, た and だ, か and が, etc.?

Because Chinese doesn't have voiced consonants. In Chinese, voiced /b/d/g/ are just variants of their voiceless counterparts. So you can't hear the difference between voiced sounds and voiceless ...
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  • 2,885
9 votes

What do you need kanatype sensitivity for?

In general, if you're storing any Japanese text that needs to be sorted, you probably want to go with Kanatype insensitive. Why would you want it like this? Because it makes sorting more intuitive in ...
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  • 191
9 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 ...
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  • 5,601
9 votes
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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}...
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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 ...
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8 votes

Do Japanese people see ツ as a smiling face?

I never see it used this way in Japanese emoticons, and I just went ahead and checked every single entry for かおもじ in Google's Windows Japanese IME, and there wasn't a single example of one using it as ...
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8 votes
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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 ...
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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
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8 votes
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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 ...
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7 votes
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Kana causing translation difficulty: 「きれている」

In this context, きれる does not mean "to be cut", but rather attaches to the 連用形 (-i form) of a verb and means "to be able to completely [verb]". cf. the EDICT entry for 切れる: (suf,v1) (16) to be able ...
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7 votes

Understanding hiragana-only texts in videogames

In the famicom/NES era, kanji was not available, and many games used some spaces between phrases. Spaces are usually inserted before nouns and verbs, but not before particles. With the aid of spaces ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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