19

If I talk about the letters ゐ/ヰ and ゑ/ヱ, I would call them ワ行の「ゐ」 (pronounced as わぎょうのい) and ワ行の「ゑ」 (わぎょうのえ), or explain the letters in some way (昔の仮名の「ゐ」 and so on). I may or may not pronounce them as ウィ and ウェ, but I will probably try to avoid relying solely on pronunciation. The same also applies to を/ヲ. As David M. R. writes, 和文通話表 (the Japanese ...


14

Yes, it's common to write in that way. Writing いづみ instead of いずみ and 買ひ instead of 買い are a part of the Historical Kana Orthography (歴史的仮名遣). Writing katakana instead of hiragana is considered more formal in old days. See 歴史的仮名遣 and 片仮名 歴史的仮名遣とは ... 明治から第二次世界大戦終結直後までの公文書や学校教育において用いられたものであり、平安時代初期までの発音を反映した表記であると仮想されたものを基点としている。 The Historical Kana ...


14

Update: I originally said these characters were obliterated from the language. I was wrong about that, as shown in the accompanying picture. As you can see in the picture above, the character does pop up now and again. I've probably passed by this place in Shinjuku countless times, but never took notice of it until recently when this question had the issue ...


9

The English Wikipedia article on Kana suggests that there has never been a "wu" sound in Japanese. There are no kana for Ye, Yi or Wu, as corresponding syllables do not occur in Japanese natively[.] The Japanese Wikipedia article on the sound that would be "wu" confirms this. 日本語では「[w]」の子音と「[u]」の母音は共に/u/であるため、「う」の発音と同じになり、「う」と区別されない。 Because in ...


9

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 they didn't have video games or smartphones to kill time as today's children do. I and other children never paid attention to whether the ending letter of the ...


8

ゐゃ/ゐょ only appear in 合拗音 of archaic on'yomi system (ゐゅ isn't attested). Historically they were representing sounds like wya and wyo but they're very rare pronunciations in limited combinations ゐゃう (wyau), くゐゃう (kwyau), くゐゃく (kwyaku) and くゐょく (kwyoku) (maybe ゐょう (wyou) and ゐょく (wyoku) too, according to this paper). The biggest problem is those spellings were ...


8

Although as Dave M G already explained these characters do not have an independent pronunciation anymore, when spelling something through a telephone, they can be explained as "かぎのあるヱ" and "ゐどのヰ". (Source: Wikipedia ゑ and Wikipedia ゐ) You can also refer to them by their position in one of the ordering systems of the Japanese syllables. (ゑ is 第46位 in the ...


8

While the ゐ and ゑ characters were indeed eliminated from common use, there never was a WU character, at least not officially. The wikipedia page linked by Amanda mentions attempts to create a proper equivalent to the other わ行 letters just for the sake of completeness, but this letter (which looked like 于 in katakana but apparently had no hiragana equivalent) ...


8

Since there is no way to unambiguously pronounce these letters in modern Japanese, as Dave M G explains in his answer, I'd name them with: わうぃうぅうぇうぉ の うぃ/うぇ 「ヰタ・セクスアリス」[1] のヰ (いたせくすありす の い / うぃたせくすありす の うぃ) ニッカウヰスキー [2] のヰ (にっかうぃすきーの い/うぃ) ヱビスビール [3] のヱ (えびすびーる の え / いぇびすびーる の いぇ[4]) Incidentally, I would name "を" as "難しい方の「を」", or "わをんの「を」". And ...


7

As @ZhenLin said in the comments, there are three particles left unchanged in the reform of the usage of kana: は へ を. They are left unchanged because they are so widely used, and changing them would result in too much in the writing form. I quote from a book*(I don't know the book, so the contents are in fact from wiki): *現代かなづかいの精神・抜粋(国語シリーズ8/文部省著、統計出版・...


6

I will hazard a guess here. If va was written ヷ then the entire v- line would probably have to be written with the w- line for consistency. I think the problem is that except for wa, the members of the w- line are strange. There is no wu. wo is only used for one word and we, wi are not used, meaning people are not as familiar with them. People may have ...


5

ゐ, ヰ, ゑ, and ヱ are not used in modern Japanese; they have been obsolete for almost 70 years. Most people do not even know how to type these characters with a keyboard. If you're not interested in the historical spellings of Japanese, you can safely ignore them altogether. (And serious support for historical Japanese is bound to be a huge task.) Actually, ...


5

It's because を is not used in post-1946 orthography. All of the をs were changed to おs, for example, おかしい, おとこ. The only reason we use it today is because it was retained in the particle を, but it's not the correct spelling of any dictionary word. (ヲタク is slang.) My 新明解 lists four words that start with を, and they are all grammatical terms relating to the ...


4

As you can confirm in any decent dictionary, ましょう is mase + u. mase is the 未然形 of masu, while u is regular 助動詞. Now unless you are familiar with historical spelling (歴史的仮名遣い), you may be wondering what I am talking about. Put simply, the vowel combination /eu/ regularly becomes /yo:/ (: represents a long vowel). As a result, maseu (ませう) becomes masyo: (ましょう)....


4

Yes, you are. It is. Between Middle and Modern Japanese, there were several sound changes affecting verb forms with て and た. One of these is a change of *-rit- to -tt-. Notice how て and た just attach to the plain 連用形 for verbs with a 終止形 in す (eg 話して)? That used to be true for all verbs - やりて from やる, 学びて from 学ぶ, etc. This is another sound change question, ...


3

娘の子のつかふやうな is 娘の子の使うような (or 女の子が使うような) in modern Japanese. Yes it's 家中開けっ放し. This 喃 is probably read のう. なんかいのう ≒ 何かなあ. おもふ is the archaic equivalent of 思う. 這う was 這ふ in old Japanese, so it's not a typo. See: Historical kana orthography


2

According to standard orthography (post-reform) no words are ever written with を, except names and words whose writers exercise "artistic license". But I don't think in your case it's a misspelling, rather a conscious choice of adhering to pre-reform orthography. (かつお was かつを before the spelling reform.) Opposed to new nonsense uses, like ヲタク (or ワヰン), I ...


1

But when referring to the letters themselves, it would be ambiguous to pronounce them like that. So how are the letters ゑ and ゐ currently pronounced? "Whiskyのゐ" and "Ebisuビールのゑ". Concise and unambiguous.


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