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Wi and We?

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Wi and We?

Postby Sacari » Wed 09.07.2005 5:35 pm

I just downloaded the Hiragana practice pages from http://mp3japan.flywebs.com.
These pages really confused me, because they had the characters "WI" and "WE", which I've never seen included in a hirigana chart, or even new these existed before.
My question is, is it neccesary to learn these characters?
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RE: Wi and We?

Postby Christian_ » Wed 09.07.2005 5:43 pm

I dont think there are I heard of some of the kana being standardized and there used to be extra characters and sounds like we wi and so on. But their no longer used or are absolete as far as I know. Some one with a little more knowledge may be able to answer that better than I can. Hope that helps. (some one check out my thread "Profile names and Signatures")
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RE: Wi and We?

Postby Gakusha » Wed 09.07.2005 9:44 pm

Were the 'wi' and 'we' kana different than any of the others? I've seen 'wi' and 'we' written as うぃ and うぇ, respectively. In katakana, they are written using the same pattern. However, I have yet to see either of these used in real writing.
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RE: Wi and We?

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 09.07.2005 9:53 pm

There used to be a we and wi in japanese, back when the iroha method of writing was still in use. My niece has a kana poster with them written on it, but I can't remember for the life of me what they look like. They are definately NOT used in anything resembling modern Japanese. =)

Gakusha,

You are correct, when written in katakana, those will make we and wi. There are a lot of weird pronunciations to be made by adding small characters to normal kana.
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RE: Wi and We?

Postby lampiaio » Wed 09.07.2005 10:55 pm

The characters wi (hiragana ゐ, katakana ヰ) and we (hiragana ゑ, katakana ヱ) were used until the World War II. They were used instead of い and え in some words, like the verb います (いる), which was written ゐます (ゐる).

Today, these kana have somewhat been brought back with ヰ゛and ヱ゛, completing the V+vowel kana:

VA ワ゛
VI ヰ゛
VU ヴ
VE ヱ゛
VO ヲ゛

even though the "ヴ + small kana" form is more common (and more people understand)

[edited to fix incompatible characters]
Last edited by lampiaio on Wed 09.07.2005 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Wi and We?

Postby theknife » Thu 09.08.2005 10:38 am

Hey, I'm the guy who made the flashcards. My intent was to do a complete set of flashcards, so I included these two characters. I always figured if a person wasn't interested in learning the extras, they didn't have to put them in the deck. But if you want to read stuff from before WWII, then you might find them useful.

Aslo, for anyone trying to go the mp3japan, the site is currently down. Try my backup at http://www.hickorytech.net/~nic111/
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RE: Wi and We?

Postby Sacari » Thu 09.08.2005 4:08 pm

theknife wrote:
Hey, I'm the guy who made the flashcards. My intent was to do a complete set of flashcards, so I included these two characters. I always figured if a person wasn't interested in learning the extras, they didn't have to put them in the deck. But if you want to read stuff from before WWII, then you might find them useful.


Hmm... yeah, I see your point. It just confused me that's all ;)
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