Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - ? about the use of the kana

? about the use of the kana

Have a Question about some Grammar point? Share it with the world!

? about the use of the kana

Postby kaze89 » Sun 11.13.2005 4:36 pm

hello, i'm still new to japanese and this forum and I'm not sure this is the right section for this question, but I didn't know where else to post.
I thought that Katakana where only used for foreign word and names or words that were embedded into japanese from another language is that right?
because i've noticed that in the manga "naruto" names like "sasuke" or "sakura" are written in katakana and I wonder why
User avatar
kaze89
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun 10.23.2005 2:29 pm
Native language: German
Gender: Female

RE: ? about the use of the kana

Postby Christian_ » Sun 11.13.2005 5:21 pm

Katakana is used for for foriegn words, but it is also used instead of hiragana because its well I guess more appealling its like us using CAPITAL LETTERS or Italicized Letters or Bold Letters, Maybe someone else can explain it to you a little better than I.
Goals:
1) Have decent proficiency in Japanese, enough to get around/talk/read/write.
2) Visit Japan for a week or so one summer.
Christian_
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Tue 06.21.2005 10:35 pm

RE: ? about the use of the kana

Postby Harisenbon » Sun 11.13.2005 8:16 pm

You hit the nail on the head.

Just as in English, we use bold and italics to empahsize words, in Japanese they put Hiragana words into Katakana and vice versa.

It can also be used to denote a way of speaking (such as in Manga).The speach of Robots and aliens oftentimes are written in all Katakana. Foreigners with weird accents also have katakana used for their pronunciations as well. (like the russian guy on debuya)
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: ? about the use of the kana

Postby Infidel » Mon 11.14.2005 12:08 am

Don't forget that the original purpose of katakana was for taking quick notes. So some things, especially in handwriting, will be in katakana just because it is faster to write.
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

RE: ? about the use of the kana

Postby mandolin » Mon 11.14.2005 3:25 am

I thought katakana existed before hiragana, so the original purpose was written communication in general.... wasn't it?
User avatar
mandolin
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon 06.20.2005 3:44 am

RE: ? about the use of the kana

Postby souna » Mon 11.14.2005 6:32 am

i like hiragana more . writing in katakana doesnt carry japanese spirit its just for foreign word
سونا
souna
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon 11.07.2005 6:30 am

RE: ? about the use of the kana

Postby kaze89 » Mon 11.14.2005 8:48 am

ah, thanks everyone ^^
I think I got it now
User avatar
kaze89
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun 10.23.2005 2:29 pm
Native language: German
Gender: Female

RE: ? about the use of the kana

Postby Kates » Mon 11.14.2005 9:47 am

kaze: I see a lot of this when I read manga, too--character names written in katakana, even though they are Japanese names. I think the author uses it to create a kind of 'distance' from the Japanese langauge. I guess I usually get the feeling the author is saying 'this story doesn't take place in Japan' or something)

Though sometimes they do, right? So my other idea is this: Katakana is used for readability. This is true for Naruto, that many of the readers are young children who may not be so proficient with kanji yet, so the author may chose to use katakana instead because it's easier to read--and s/he may chose katakana over hiragana, so that the names stick out better. (I mean, sentences full of only hiragana are a PAIN to read. >_< )

You'll also find that words other than names that are typically written in hiragana/kanji are written in katakana--and this is when the emphasis/itallics/underlining/bolding comes in. You might see a character say "ナニ?!" after a big surprise. One word I hardly EVER see written in hiragana or kanji is "bareru" (to be found out). It always looks like this: バレた. Weird, huh? ^^
Last edited by Kates on Mon 11.14.2005 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Kates
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Fri 08.12.2005 3:54 pm

RE: ? about the use of the kana

Postby kaze89 » Tue 11.15.2005 11:45 am

Okay, I get what you mean. Thanks a lot for the help.
This makes a lot more sense now
User avatar
kaze89
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun 10.23.2005 2:29 pm
Native language: German
Gender: Female


Return to Grammar Questions and Problems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests