Regarding the use of 【】

Japanese, general discussion on the language
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Snowflake
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Regarding the use of 【】

Post by Snowflake » Fri 05.02.2008 8:08 pm

I'm relatively new to Japanese and especially to typing Japanese. I am on Windows XP and use IME (thus, I type in romaji and it comes out in Japanese). I'm not sure if part is of any significance, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to have it in there :).

Anyway, while reading these (and other) forums over the past few months, I've made note of the different punctuation marks used in English and Japanese. I did some digging/searching here at TJP and found this thread --> ( A Few IME Questions... ), which included fabulous info on how to make various punctuation marks and other special characters. It also showed how to make all those fun little dingbats (stars, circles, musical notes, etc.).

Periods and commas are fairly straight-forward. From what I can gather, it seems that question marks aren't necessarily mandatory in Japanese. However, one punctuation mark I still have questions about is 【 (and its sibling 】 ). I can't recall ever seeing them when reading English and have really only noticed them when reading about Japanese (in other words, when reading things written ABOUT Japanese, not when reading Japanese itself).

Here is my guess, based on how I've seen them used:
  • When explaining or translating a word or phrase from Japanese to English or vice versa, the heavy-duty parentheses are used to draw attention to the word or phrase in question because the English-style slim ones just don't show up as well.
Is there more to it than that? Is there some other special significance to the heavy-duty parentheses? Are these marks specifically Japanese?

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becki_kanou
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Re: Regarding the use of 【】

Post by becki_kanou » Fri 05.02.2008 8:42 pm

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you're not, by any chance, referring to these guys 「are」『you』?
:lol:
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例え胸の傷が痛んでも。

Snowflake
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Re: Regarding the use of 【】

Post by Snowflake » Fri 05.02.2008 8:56 pm

No. From the way I understand it, those are Japanese quotation marks, right? The single-line ones are the same as English double quotes, the double-line ones are the same as English single quotes. At least, that's the way I understand them. Thank you for your answer, though, Becki_kanou.

The characters to which I'm referring are the ones that look like heavy-duty parentheses. I'll see if I can find some in a post somewhere and link them.

**************************************************'

Took me a bit, but I found an example. Doesn't it figure that when I was actively looking for them, I couldn't find any :lol:.

Anyway, on the top of page 3 in this thread --> Practising via manga, richvh offered some suggested translations to the thread's creator. richvh's answer was this:
忍耐強い【にんたいづよい】(adj) persevering, very patient.
苦情【くじょう】(n) complaint, troubles, objection

ですか and 下さい don't fit the tone of the rest of it, and I think 我慢【がまん】 may be better than 忍耐強い (at least, it gets many more hits in the Eijiro dictionary at ALC); I'd change the dialogue to:
あんた!あたしの漫画はどこの?
我慢してくれ
遅い! (or maybe 遅すぎる!)
そんな…
Inside that answer are 3 sets of the heavy-duty marks. Those are the ones I'm not sure about. I'm noticing something about this particular example: the marks seem to be being used when making definitions. I'm not advanced enough yet to read any kanji, but I'm noticing that the marks are used to enclose hiragana right after a kanji. Here's my new guess: Are those marks indicating a sort of side-by-side furigana for the kanji?

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Harisenbon
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Re: Regarding the use of 【】

Post by Harisenbon » Fri 05.02.2008 9:26 pm

Like most types of parenthesis, I don't think there are any hard and fast rules for when to use [] compared to 【】, but you are correct in that they are often used to draw attention to unknown words, or words that have a special meaning within the context of the text.

I'm sure that searching for 【】 on google would give you some good examples of how they are used.
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jimbreen
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Re: Regarding the use of 【】

Post by jimbreen » Fri 05.02.2008 11:02 pm

Snowflake wrote:No. From the way I understand it, those are Japanese quotation marks, right?
No, they are heavy-duty square brackets. Quotation marks are 「...」 or 『...』.
Snowflake wrote:The characters to which I'm referring are the ones that look like heavy-duty parentheses. I'll see if I can find some in a post somewhere and link them.

.... richvh offered some suggested translations to the thread's creator. richvh's answer was this:
忍耐強い【にんたいづよい】(adj) persevering, very patient.
苦情【くじょう】(n) complaint, troubles, objection
Inside that answer are 3 sets of the heavy-duty marks. Those are the ones I'm not sure about. I'm noticing something about this particular example: the marks seem to be being used when making definitions. I'm not advanced enough yet to read any kanji, but I'm noticing that the marks are used to enclose hiragana right after a kanji. Here's my new guess: Are those marks indicating a sort of side-by-side furigana for the kanji?
Those quotes are pasted from WWWJDIC (which I wrote). The 【】 enclose the
reading or 読み方 of the kanji portion. It's not furigana, as that's specifically
kanji-by-kanji. I chose to use 【 and 】 because I wanted to highlight the
reading.

Jim

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Re: Regarding the use of 【】

Post by richvh » Fri 05.02.2008 11:16 pm

Actually, I usually cut and paste from JWPce (which, of course, uses your edict as its dictionary) rather than from WWWJDIC.
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jimbreen
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Re: Regarding the use of 【】

Post by jimbreen » Fri 05.02.2008 11:31 pm

richvh wrote:Actually, I usually cut and paste from JWPce (which, of course, uses your edict as its dictionary) rather than from WWWJDIC.
Aha. Yes, I forgetting the antecedents. The 【】 style actually began ca. 1992
with "xjdic" which was (and still is) my Unix X11 client. Stephen Chong used it
a year or so later in JWP, then Glen Rosenthal did the same with JWPce. It's
become a psuedo-standard for EDICT-using software.

Jim

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Re: Regarding the use of 【】

Post by Snowflake » Fri 05.02.2008 11:40 pm

Thank you, Harisenbon, Jim and Richvh! I *think* I get it now. As I mentioned above, I don't recall ever having seen them in English, so I just wanted to confirm whether they had some special significance in Japanese.

Thanks for helping me learn!

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