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Question about "kyo"

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Question about "kyo"

Postby acboyz2 » Sun 10.03.2010 10:31 pm

hey guys this is my first time posting a topic. I just joined yesterday. i have just finished learning hiragana and katakana using this website(which was awesome) and i decided to get an app called iStart Japanese for my iPhone. During one of the lessons I learned the word "kyo" which means today. The weird part was how they wrote it in Hiragana, they wrote it as : "きょう" This sounds like it would be " kyo-u" I know that you can comine ki and yo to make "kyo" which is just "きょ" Now I was just wondering why "today" is not spelled "きょ" if it is pronounced and spelled in romaji the say way, thanks for any help!
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Re: Question about "kyo"

Postby becki_kanou » Sun 10.03.2010 10:46 pm

きょう is indeed the correct way to write the word. The う indicates a long vowel which is held for slightly longer than きょ alone. The difference between long and short vowels is one of the most difficult aspect of Japanese pronunciation for English speakers, but it is very important to master.

With regards to romanization, there are several ways to romanize the long o sound: kyo, kyou, kyoo, or kyo with a line over the o (which I forget how to produce). Which is used depends on the person, but I prefer kyou myself. :D
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Re: Question about "kyo"

Postby furrykef » Sun 10.03.2010 11:08 pm

It's kyō. A long "o" in Japanese is almost always spelled "ou" in hiragana (though there are a few words that take "oo", such as "ookii" (big), "ooi" (many), "koori" (ice), "toori" (road), and "tooku" (distant)... actually those are the only "oo" words I really know of). Likewise, anytime you see "ou" in hiragana, you know it's ō, except when the "u" is a verb ending (like in the verb "omou") or if the "o" and "u" belong to different parts of a compound word (I don't think that's too common).
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Re: Question about "kyo"

Postby acboyz2 » Mon 10.04.2010 7:17 pm

Thank you so much guys! Great explanation, I got it now!
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