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22 votes

Is it 日本人 or にほんじん?

Both are correct. 日本人 is the word for 'Japanese (person)' written in kanji. にほんじん is exactly the same word but written in hiragana. Adults normally use the kanji version (日本人), but にほんじん appears in ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 318k
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 ...
Angelos's user avatar
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11 votes
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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-...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
  • 48.2k
11 votes

Is it 日本人 or にほんじん?

The Japanese language uses 3 different writing systems: kanji, which was originally borrowed from Chinese ideograms: they represent a “picture” of a word, related to the meaning of the word, but not ...
jytou's user avatar
  • 211
10 votes
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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 ...
Cameron S.'s user avatar
9 votes
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Is there an "I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!" example in Japanese?

There you go. (Body must be at least 30 characters.)
chocolate's user avatar
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9 votes
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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 ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
  • 48.2k
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 ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
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, ...
Igor Skochinsky's user avatar
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 ...
sundowner's user avatar
  • 37.4k
9 votes

When to use ンネ vs ッネ?

The character っ (the small つ) represents a blocking of the airflow that lasts for more or less the duration of one mora (or one beat) before a plosive or an affricate, or a prolonged hissing in a ...
aguijonazo's user avatar
  • 21.3k
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 ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
  • 48.2k
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 ...
knowledge_is_power's user avatar
8 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 ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What is the reading of "toy store"?

The casual term for "toy store" is おもちゃ屋【や】. I believe most children first learn this word around the age of three or four, before learning hiragana. 玩具店【がんぐてん】 is the business term for the ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 318k
7 votes
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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 ...
Tommy's user avatar
  • 7,926
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 ...
Pedro A's user avatar
  • 1,533
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 /...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
7 votes

Can 混む and 込む be used interchangeably to mean "to be crowded?"

Here's an excerpt from 明鏡国語辞典 第三版: こ・む【込む・混む】[動五] ❶【混】ある場所に人や物などが集まって、いっぱいになる。混雑する。「通勤通学で電車が混む」「車で道が混む」「客で行楽地が混む」 ❷【込】行動の予定などがぎっしり詰まっている。「日程[予定]が込んでいる」 ❸【込】勝負事などで負けが重なる。「負けが込む」 ❹【込】仕組みや細工が複雑に入り組む。「...
naruto's user avatar
  • 318k
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.
Ninj0r's user avatar
  • 789
6 votes

Ocha in Hiragana

Certain sounds in Japanese are spelled using two kana, kind of like various two-letter compounds used in English that are used to spell a single sound -- technically called "digraphs", things like "th"...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
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. ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 318k
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 ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 318k
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)...
ajsmart's user avatar
  • 7,099
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. ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 318k
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 ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
6 votes

Can 混む and 込む be used interchangeably to mean "to be crowded?"

Practically, if you mean crowded, the two are totally interchangeable. Note 込む as in 手が込んでいる (intricate often in a positive sense) cannot be replaced by 混む. That said, several web q&a (1, 2) ...
sundowner's user avatar
  • 37.4k
5 votes
Accepted

How to write long sound to emphasize words?

Yes, writing it as しいいいらない is okay, but is relatively uncommon. More common ways to write this are: しーらない! しーーーらない! し~らない! し~~~らない! しいぃぃらない! (with small ぃ) Needless to say, don't use these in ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 318k
5 votes

What's the difference between "家" (ya), "屋" (ya), and "や" (ya) as used in the names of shops/stores/restaurants?

-屋{や} is also used in some words describing character traits, e.g. 恥{は}ずかしがり屋{や} (bashful person) 寂{さび}しがり屋{や} (lonely person) 寒{さむ}がり屋{や} (someone who gets cold easily, cold-blooded) くすぐったがり屋{や} (...
Igor Skochinsky's user avatar

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