38 votes
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= sign in a katakana name

It's a double hyphen, not an equals sign. One of its uses is when transliterating names that have a hyphen in them. This is to avoid confusion with the extended sound symbol (ー) in Japanese. For ...
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  • 8,223
22 votes
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What does it mean when multiple 々 marks follow a 、?

「々」is called「同{どう}の字{じ}点{てん}」it is used to repeat 1 previous character. 人人 = 人々 When there are multiple 同の字点 it means to repeat 'n' previous characters. 已及深更、深更後... = 已及深更、々々後... & 令召右大辨、...
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  • 7,251
15 votes
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Spaces in children's books

There's a quick way to know this. The place where a space can be inserted is roughly the same place where ね can be naturally inserted. あらわれでたのはね、 くろマントにね、くろいね、ぼうしのね、さんにんぐみ。 それはそれはね、こわーいね、...
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15 votes
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Is Japanese em dash equal to Latin em dash?

This kind of long dash is sometimes called 2倍ダッシュ, 倍角ダッシュ or ダブルダッシュ when there is a technical reason to distinguish. But untrained Japanese people call this simply as ダッシュ. Some punctuation marks ...
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  • 270k
14 votes
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What does 「/\」 mean in this sentence?

This is supposed to be an iteration mark. This type of iteration mark is usually only used in vertical writing (the traditional layout for Japanese writing). It looks like a big く but is twice as ...
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  • 47.4k
14 votes

What do ー, 「, and 」 mean?

The latter are quotation marks, equivalent to " " in English. For example, the sentence: Mr Tanaka said "Good morning". could be written as something like: たなかさんは「おはよう」といいました。 The former may ...
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  • 1,448
14 votes
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What do these symbols in manga mean?

This seems to be an encoding/typesetting issue and the "symbols" are indeed Greek letters Ψ, Π, π that seem to be displayed instead of !, ?, 〜. There is another typographical oddity that suggests ...
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  • 47.4k
10 votes

Is Japanese em dash equal to Latin em dash?

There is a unicode character for the two-em dash: It is possible to represent any unicode character in HTML Using character escapes in markup. For the two-em dash, it would be ⸺ You ...
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  • 255
10 votes

What is the Japanese equivalent of English editorial brackets?

There is no special symbol for this, but simple brackets () can be used in most cases. They are especially common in interview articles, where the editor has to fix or supplement what was actually ...
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  • 270k
9 votes
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When mixing Japanese and English, should I use Japanese parentheses?

In general, typographically speaking, Japanese kana and kanji look much better inside Japanese full-width (or 全角, double-byte) parentheses. Because English characters like 'j', 'y' can extend below ...
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  • 270k
9 votes

What is the meaning of the dot (.) in Japanese dictionaries?

This is the first dictionary I've seen use this particular notation, but it appears to be a delimiter between the part of the word composed by the kanji reading and the okurigana. See how for both ...
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  • 4,278
9 votes
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Are there means (formal rules or conventions) of use-mention distinction in Japanese writing?

「鉤【かぎ】括弧【かっこ】」 is probably what you're looking for. Example: 「は」は係助詞です。 These are used like quotes in English. There's also a doubled-up form that can be used if the text is already quoted. ...
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9 votes
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Is there a reason why the 濁点【だくてん】( ゙)are placed below the stroke at ぐ and で as opposed to the other hiragana characters?

The position of a dakuten is not as strict as you think. It has to be placed near the top right corner, but it may be moved or rotated according to the font designer's choice. Here are some examples ...
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8 votes

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

Seeing Ikeno-Ue I'll venture a guess and say that there is no reason why Google Maps hyphenates some place names and not others. Here ノ is the particle の and I would say that hyphenation of 池ノ上 ike ...
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7 votes
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Why does some manga have dots above some of the words?

This is the Japanese version of [underlining]{LLLLLLLLLLL}. It's a way of marking a word for emphasis. Update The Japanese name for this is variously 圏点{けんてん} (literally "enclosing mark"), 傍点{ぼうてん} ...
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7 votes
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What does ▲ mean in a newspaper?

段落(paragraph)の区切りです・・・ 毎日新聞のコラム「余禄」では、▲ 朝日新聞のコラム「天声人語」では、▼ を使って、 「ここで段落が変わる」ことを示しています。 (段落が変わるので本来は改行するところを、スペースが限られているため、代わりに記号で表している) 産経新聞のコラム「産経抄」は ▼ で、こんな感じです: また、このページによると、 読売新聞のコラム「編集手帳」では、◆ ...
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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 ...
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  • 47.4k
6 votes

Usage of spaces in Japanese?

There "should be" a space between family name (姓{せい} / 苗字{みょうじ}) and the name (名前{なまえ}) actually. This wiki page has no English version but just for your reference: 和字間隔{わじかんかく} I have read this ...
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  • 126
6 votes
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How many syllables does くの字点 affect?

It is a matter of memorization. You must already be familiar with the word or phrase to read it properly the first time. However, because other marks for single character repetition already exist, ...
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  • 7,251
6 votes
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Spaces and end of sentences in まんが

Translated from NAVERまとめ: With most manga publishers other than Shogakukan (which uses more standard punctuation markers), it is an implicit rule to use spaces instead of the reading and ...
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  • 7,072
6 votes
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Is a sentence ending with "か……。" a question or a questionative statement?

The correct term is rhetorical question, and yes, in this case it is a rhetorical question. Also there is no "why" in the Japanese sentence. Japanese people often use か like that, especially ...
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  • 1,970
6 votes

What are these vertical lines called in Japanese?

This is a double hyphen (=), rendered vertically because the text is written vertically. The mark is called a ダブルハイフン in Japanese. The double hyphen in Japanese is typically usually used to separate ...
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  • 3,632
6 votes
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Addressing someone without punctuation?

The answer is nothing. Japanese does not have a special form for vocative other than nominative (not many languages have), and before the introduction of punctuation, you can just guess it from the ...
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5 votes

Do you need a question mark to indicate a question in Japanese?

Nope, it's optional. The final particle か indicates that the sentence is a question, so that can be seen as the question mark of Japanese. In fact, adding a question mark when there's already a か can ...
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  • 7,885
5 votes

When mixing Japanese and English, should I use Japanese parentheses?

I think that since you are writing in English and provide the Japanese merely as reference, you should use parentheses that are designed for your Latin font. Since you're not relying on using a ...
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  • 47.4k
5 votes
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Middle Dot (中黒) in Non-Japanese Names

Also referred to as 中点{なかてん}, I prefer it over a space because it looks and feels better. Traditionally, Japanese was not written with spaces. So style-wise, I think it is more appropriate to use 中点 ...
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  • 1,570
5 votes
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What does the hyphen in this dictionary entry mean?

It's just a hyphen to split the word stem from the suffix 家. It's not written that way in normal text, but you do see it in dictionaries or word lists.
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