36

Each family would use its own method and all I know for certain is how mine handled the matter. We used on-reading words, meaning kanji compounds, which small kids generally are not familiar with. We also "created" our own on-reading words in cases where the generic words were already on-reading ones. Our final weapon was to say the words in English (we ...


23

Just as many other languages have, Japanese has gone through a number of both major and minor phonetic changes. English is certainly no exception, either. Why do English-speakers continue to spell words like "knight" and "daughter" as such when they no longer pronounce those words the way they are spelt? Japanese has experienced the ...


19

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 operation in early Meiji era, it was indicated as “山ノ手線,” and remained so until / during the World War II. However, the National Railway (then 国鉄) started to use the ...


16

I'm fairly certain that this has to do with pitch in Japanese and accentuation in English. The natural pitch for デバグ【HLL】 is HLL, whereas デバッグ【LHLL】 would naturally be LHL (and バグ【HL】 is HL). To mimic accentuation by pitch (i.e. accented syllables get a high pitch after transliteration), the ッ is necessary to give the バ a (natural) high pitch. バグ already ...


12

Etymology. おお comes from an earlier おほ or おを, while おう can come from any of おう、あう、おふ、or あふ (and potentially えう、えふ、ゑう、ゑふ if it's now よう). This is due to sound change - originally all of these were distinct pronunciations, but they have since been reduced to a single sound ([o:]). Typically you can guess that [o:] in Chinese loanwords will be spelled with おう (...


12

If we want an authoritative source, we could look at the official terminology used by the Japanese government as set out by the Agency of Cultural Affairs (文化庁) (might be familiar name to some people as their page about 二重敬語 gets referenced here sometimes). They start by saying only to use kanji from 常用漢字表・付表 in the normal form of the character. They go on ...


11

Japanese 国語審議会 (National Language Council) recommends longer (with ー) forms since 1991. So foreign words in textbooks for elementary school students usually have trailing "ー". http://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/hakusho/nc/k19910628002/k19910628002.html 注3 英語の語末の‐er, ‐or, ‐arなどに当たるものは,原則としてア列の長音とし長音符号「ー」を用いて書き表す。ただし,慣用に応じて「ー」を省くことができる。 〔例〕 エレベーター ギター ...


11

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 verb ending, おう will not be pronounced おお but as お and う separately, as in 追う and 思う. A lot of what I've said also applies to えい and ええ.


11

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-sounding transcription. The English pronunciation of Marcus is [[ˈmɑːrkəs]]. The English //r// can be silent (e.g. [[ˈmɑːkəs]]) and often is transcribed as a ...


10

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 the correct pronunciation. Other systems, like Kunreisiki, will use "si" and "ti" instead. Which is used where is partly down to what the purpose is - Hepburn ...


10

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 is what Japanese people learn when they are kids, and many write their names that way. They learn Hepburn in English classes in junior high school. If it's ...


10

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 sounds very much like the "spelling police", because the most prevalent usage of わたくし is, after all, as first-person pronoun like its shortened form わたし. Plus, ...


10

There you go. (Body must be at least 30 characters.)


10

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 instead of just Mo-to. This is similar to かった in which the actual pronunciation is kat-ta instead of ka-tsu-ta. Another consonant sound is added before っ that is ...


9

I am going to say that this is more a matter of personal preference than anything. I hate to disappoint the (many) kanji-lovers on here but 「ふるさと」 in kana would be the most-often used way to write the word. 「故郷」 may be used just as often but it is read 「こきょう」 instead at least half the time. 「古里」 looks pretty corny and you will not see it as often as you ...


9

After reading the first couple of examples in the comments I Googled them and discovered the English Wiktionary actually has an appendix of exactly these terms: Appendix:Japanese words written in mixed kana But they must be quite rare or the appendix very incomplete, because it currently only includes three words (plus one Proper noun): サボる (saboru,...


9

おてもと does refer to chopsticks but it is not "another word for chopsticks." That is, you won't say おてもとを取ってください nor 新しいおてもとを買ってこようかな. According to the source article that Chocolate's Wikipedia article mentions, the word came from a reference to "お手もと箸" (chopsticks for your personal use) in contrast to "お取り箸", which refers to chopsticks for shared dishes that ...


9

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 is “trivial“, in that the consideration is mostly about legibility, flow, and aesthetics. The other is more consequential, where the “false compound” could ...


9

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 change; ありがたい is a compound of 有る and 難い. In forming compounds, the first verb conjugates to the ren'yōkei (= "masu-stem"). In compound verbs, like 有り得る or ...


9

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 read as 我【わ】が艦隊【かんたい】黄海【こうかい】に於【おい】て清艦【しんかん】を撃【う】ち沈【しず】(め/む)る之【の】圖【ず】, which basically agrees with that romaji (except it's shinkan, which seems to be a typo). 於 ...


9

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, another common example is おんあ(onna)→女.


7

As it turns out, I actually researched this phenomenon the other day while doing some reading up on 旧字体【きゅうじたい】. As it turns out, what you're referring to are 書換字【かきかえじ】. Essentially, with the promulgation of the 当用漢字【とうようかんじ】 in 1946, the Japanese government decided to try to encourage some additional, more informal simplifications to bring vocabulary ...


7

あんパン(bread roll filled with red bean paste)、 ピザまん(pizza flavored steamed bun)、 じゃがバター(baked/boiled potato topped with butter)、 みそラーメン(ramen with miso based soup)、 エロい(horny)、 ダサい(hickish), etc.


7

This has an entry in the 異字同訓漢字の使い分け例. My answer will basically just be a quick translation and notes on that entry. 【堅い】中身が詰まっていて強い。確かである。 堅い材木。堅い守り。手堅い商売。合格は堅い。口が堅い。堅苦しい。 【固い】結び付きが強い。揺るがない。 団結が固い。固い友情。固い決意。固く信じる。頭が固い。 【硬い】(⇔軟らかい)。外力に強い。こわばっている。 硬い石。硬い殻を割る。硬い表現。表情が硬い。選手が緊張で硬くなっている。 堅 is for stuff that's strong or certain. Stiff, as you say, ...


7

No, it isn't borrowed. The etymology of the word comes from モロコシ, which was introduced to Japan earlier from China. When maize was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese, it was noticed that it looked similar to sorghum (モロコシ, 蜀黍, 唐黍). The prefix とう was added to indicate it was the foreign good type instead of the (also foreign, but earlier) sorghium. モロコシ ...


7

Shogakukan does list the 難有 combination with a reading of ありがた in one place, in the title of a kabuki play: 難有御江戸景清. Poking around online suggests that this is read as ありがたやめぐみのかげきよ. The reversed kanji order would match Chinese syntax better than Japanese, making me wonder if this is simply a kanbun style of spelling. EDIT: Googling a bit more brought up ...


7

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 other words, there is only one such "voiceless sibilant" phoneme in Japanese, which is usually written as /s/, and さしすせそ are phonemically parsed as /sa si su se ...


7

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 guidelines do say hiragana should be used for auxiliary verbs, this is not a strict rule. Not many people strictly follow this in daily life. I can't say, for ...


7

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 identical, so your question is totally understandable). For this reason it is also called small-tsu (or chiisaitsu in Japanese). The sokuon is used to carry ...


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