19 votes
Accepted

Why did の disappear from 山手, but in 御茶ノ水 it's in katakana?

According to Wikipedia, the correct name of “山手線” is “やまのてせん.” In the application form of business license submitted by The National Railway (then 日本国有鉄道) to the government before the start of ...
  • 9,465
12 votes
Accepted

Long O — when is it OU and when OO?

Really, all I can say is 'it depends on the word'. Generally on'yomi (Chinese-derived) readings use おう, while kun'yomi (native Japanese) readings use おお, but there may be exceptions. A note: if う is a ...
  • 9,707
11 votes
Accepted

Translate German name "Markus" to Japanese

Both マルクス and マーカス are common transcriptions of the name Markus or Marcus. Roughly speaking you can think of マルクス as a more German/Scandinavian-sounding transcription and マーカス as a more English-...
  • 47.4k
10 votes

Can both Hepburn and Kunreisiki romaji be used to write a person's name?

Your choice of Romanization will depend on your target audience. In my opinion, your absolute safest bet is to go with strict Hepburn style. If it's for Japanese people, feel free to use kunrei. This ...
  • 18.1k
10 votes

Why are し/ち transliterated as 'shi'/'chi', and not 'si'/'ti'?

Systems of romanisation which were originally intended to render Japanese in a way that makes it easier for foreigners to pronounce, like Hepburn, will use "shi" and "chi" because those are closer to ...
  • 5,697
10 votes
Accepted

How common is the practice of writing わたし in kana and わたくし in kanji?

Almost nobody cares if you write them in hiragana or kanji. Theoretically, the kanji 私 is only associated with わたくし, whose original meaning is "personal, private". But insisting so in this age only ...
10 votes
Accepted

Why is もっと pronounced "motto" but written "motsuto"?

This is a double consonant sound. It's denoted by the smaller size つ. So instead of the word being pronounced as Mo-tsu-to, it is pronounced Mot-to because of the っ. That is why you have two t's ...
9 votes
Accepted

How can one stop "去年【きょねん】教職【きょうしょく】" from looking like a weird 4 kanji compound?

As with almost anything, there are people who care and others who don't! But it is definitely a thing to consider if you are trying to write well. Degrees of severity There are two angles to this. One ...
  • 6,883
9 votes
Accepted

Is there an "I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!" example in Japanese?

There you go. (Body must be at least 30 characters.)
  • 61.4k
9 votes
Accepted

有り難う vs 有難う — Is this the same word?

Both are different spellings of ありがとう, neither is more formal, although all three spellings may be differentiated by frequency (see below). ありがとう "thank you" may be derived from ありがたい through sound ...
  • 47.4k
9 votes

我艦隊於黄海清艦撃沈之圖 how do you say this in Japanese?

If you look at the real scale image of 我艦隊於黄海清艦撃沈之圖, you can see a few small okurigana attached to kanji. Although it does not conform today's standard orthography, it makes the name unambiguously ...
9 votes
Accepted

Is おにょみ a valid spelling/pronunciation of 音読み?

おにょみ does not make sense except as deliberate 変換ミス (e.g. for comical effect). Handling such mistypes is a common IME feature for words with ん+ vowel combinations or ん+な行. As shown in the screenshot, ...
9 votes

Why is ゴミ箱 written in katakana usually?

According to the web (e.g. this), using katakana is a way of clarifying word borders. That is, ゴミ was used for ease of reading. The linked column and some other web pages mention that ゴミ looks more ...
  • 17k
8 votes

Long O — when is it OU and when OO?

As @Nothing at all notes, this depends on the word. On'yomi always use -OU for long O sound and kun'yomi almost always -OO.1 However, the real problem here is that you are being asked to reconstruct ...
  • 47.4k
8 votes

Etymology of ゴミ

Let me attempt to give an English explanation of @macraf 's description for you. This word gomi was used mainly by farmers and meant 木の葉 ("[fallen] tree leaves"), and gomi is still used in various ...
7 votes
Accepted

Are グラス and ガラス alternative spellings of the same word?

While people will likely understand you if you mix them up, it's better to use proper one: ガラス = glass (material) 吹きガラス (glass blowing) ガラスの皿 (glass plate) グラス = a glass (for drinking) タンブラーグラス (...
7 votes

Why are し/ち transliterated as 'shi'/'chi', and not 'si'/'ti'?

When talking about shi (and absence of si), to say "there is no si but shi in Japanese" is not really correct. The truth would rather be "there is no distinction between si and shi in Japanese". In ...
  • 2,388
7 votes

The Kanji for ありがとうございます

ありがとうございます is a greeting which was lexicalized long ago, and I don't think it's a good idea to analyze it like this and try to apply the modern style guideline. And while most of the recent style ...
  • 273k
7 votes

Why is もっと pronounced "motto" but written "motsuto"?

That character is not exactly the tsu-character! The second character of もっと is called sokuon, it's not the normal hiragana 'つ'. The difference is that the sokuon is smaller (other than that, they are ...
  • 1,433
7 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between 有る【ある】 and ある?

I believe here we have to think of the fact that ある is not necessarily 有る in kanji, but could be 在る and 或る as well (we can forget about the last one here). More on the differences here. The first one ...
  • 7,728
7 votes

Translate German name "Markus" to Japanese

This gets a bit pedantic on the terminology -- sorry for that. I just want to make sure we're clear on what we're talking about. :) The conversion of Markus to マルクス is technically called ...
7 votes
Accepted

Why does 全員 sound like zein but is written zenin (ぜんいん)?

That intermediate ん is still there. Really. When pronounced between two vowels, ん often causes nasality, without the speaker fully closing the airway -- so it doesn't sound like an English //n// or /...
6 votes

有り難う vs 有難う — Is this the same word?

Yes, they're both the same. It's just an alternate spelling, think color vs. colour. Not to my knowledge.
  • 759
6 votes

Are they the same: コショウ vs コショー

胡椒, こしょう, コショウ and コショー refer to the same thing, and they are pronounced the same. The "standard" or "textbook" spelling is 胡椒 or こしょう, but コショウ and コショー are also widely used in the field of cooking. ...
  • 273k
6 votes
Accepted

Why the specific spelling "一つひとつ"?

This is a matter of personal taste. If the author did this intentionally, I believe they were trying to emphasize the nuance of ひとつひとつ by covering various possible spellings. Similar examples include ...
  • 273k
6 votes
Accepted

Why "ついてきてください" and not "付いてきてください"

There are many instances where this happens in Japanese. For whatever reason, sometimes the Kanji is not used with a word. Here's a few examples: ありがとう (normal) 有り難う (kanji form) よろしくおねがいします (normal)...
  • 6,951
6 votes

我艦隊於黄海清艦撃沈之圖 how do you say this in Japanese?

我艦隊於黄海清艦撃沈之圖 seems to be in kanbun-style, i.e., it's written following the Chinese grammar. The grammar of kanbun is closer to that of English because Chinese is an SVO (subject-verb-object) language. ...
  • 273k
6 votes

Why is ゴミ箱 written in katakana usually?

The word ゴミ is indeed quite likely to be written in katakana. Come to think of it, though I don't have quantitative data, this word does have a short word form, high-frequency use, and no stable kanji ...
5 votes
Accepted

Is there a difference between ご飯 and 御飯?

I will break down your question: What is the difference between ご飯 and 御飯 ? The difference is purely orthographic. You will see this 御 (pronounced お or ご) used to make a word more "polite". The ...
  • 2,658

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible