34

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 ...


33

This question should be broken into two different questions: When and how did small-tsu come to represent consonant gemination. When and how did consonant gemination (as represented by small-tsu) come to be in Japanese. (For those who don't know the term: gemination simply means doubling of sounds, usually consonants. It's easy to get the sense ...


21

According to gogen-allguide, こんにちは originated from the 今日{こんにち}は ("today") in 今日{こんにち}はご機嫌{きげん}いかがですか? ("how are you today") and similar expressions.


19

I also think it's maybe a stylistic thing. In 大阪, there is an area called [森の宮]【もりのみや】. Around the area, I've seen it written any of the following ways: 森の宮 森ノ宮 森之宮 森宮 I've also noticed this for places that have a 「が」in them like 関ヶ原. Sometimes it can be が、ヶ、ケ、or not there at all. Not that this necessarily applies to 関ヶ原, but I've definitely seen the ...


19

There's even an exceptional word which mixes hiragana, katakana, and kanji, くノ一. Generally speaking, words are written with mixed writing systems when there are reasons to write different parts in different ways. (Sounds obvious, huh?) For example, in Tokyo Nagoya's example of あんパン, the first morpheme comes from Chinese 餡{あん}, and the second from ...


18

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 ...


18

とっても is a spoken variant of とても, just like すんごい is a spoken variant of すごい and あんまり is a spoken variant of あまり. If you're writing a paper or speaking in a formal setting, it's better to use とても.


17

I'm surprised that none of the answers so far have touched on the actual source of the distinction. The rule is: ください when it attaches to the te form of a verb, and 下さい otherwise. That's why 下さい is used in requesting an item, because it's not being used after the te form of a verb (それを下さい). The same goes for other verbs that attach to the te form... the ...


16

As in many other languages, Japanese has gone through a number of both major and minor pronunciation 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 same problem of ...


15

Some native feelings about the different spellings: かっこいい is neutral カッコイイ, カッコいい or anything with katakana looks like written by someone pretending to be young かっけえ is frequently heard from young people. When a high-school student writes this in school, it would be corrected to かっこいい 恰好いい looks sixty years old-fashioned.


14

Dave already answered that there is no difference in 迷う and 紕う in modern Japanese. Dictionaries agree on this. However, the original meanings of these two kanji are completely different, and the reason why まよう has these two kanji notations is related to the history of the Japanese word まよう itself, which is explained in Daijisen. Originally, the Japanese ...


13

ありがた迷惑 is not two separate words. It is one word, a compound noun. When you make a compound noun like this in Japanese, you only use the stem of the adjective. The stem of ありがたい is ありがた, so this gets added to 迷惑 and you end up with ありがた迷惑. Here are some similar examples of "adjective stem + noun" compound nouns, and the equivalent "adjective, noun" two-word ...


13

屋 and 家 both roughly mean "house", with 屋 tending more towards the meaning of building and 家 more towards home. The choice of which to use is entirely the owner's. や is the ambiguous way to write either and is pretty much a stylistic choice. Do keep in mind that in the olden days Japanese stores tended to be part home, part store, with the owners living in ...


12

I do not know any name for rewriting of kanji (because of a kanji reform) using a similar-looking kanji. I am not sure if 濠洲 was replaced by 豪州 because they look similar. I guess that the biggest factor that contributed to this rewriting was they can be read in the same way. Because 濠洲 is ateji, the most important property of the kanji 濠 must be its ...


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 ...


12

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 ...


11

Yes, it was one form. From here: 奈良時代には、「オ」は [o] 、「ヲ」は [wo] と発音されており明確な区別があった。借字(万葉仮名)では、オには意・憶・於・應(応)・隱(隠)・乙などの字が用いられる一方、「ヲ」には乎・呼・袁・遠・鳥・鳴・怨・越・少・小・尾・麻・男・緒・雄などが用いられていた Translation In the Nara period, オ was pronounced as "o" and ヲ was pronounced as "wo", and were clearly distinguished. [借字]{しゃくじ}(Manyogana) used 意・憶・於・應(応)・隱(隠)・乙, etc. for オ and 乎・呼・袁・遠・...


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 コンピューター ...


11

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 ...


11

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

とっても is just a strong form of とても according to 大辞泉, so both are correct. It has similar pronunciation (may be a bit different intonation) with 取っても, so may be it could confuse some. But usage of とっても can be found since 昭和30年(1955) (at least) from this song called 月がとっても青いから by 菅原 都々子 (すがわら つづこ) So, I believe you can use it most of the time but if the ...


10

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 (...


10

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 ...


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

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 ...


10

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 ...


10

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.


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