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direction?

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direction?

Postby blackhaxxor » Tue 01.24.2006 7:00 pm

I'm not sure if this is in the right place, but it seemed more of a grammar thing i guess. Which direction is Japanese horizontally read?

EDIT -- I apologize, that was a really stupid question. right to left if anyone else doesn't konw.
Last edited by blackhaxxor on Tue 01.24.2006 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: direction?

Postby magma » Tue 01.24.2006 7:29 pm

Not a stupid question at all!

Originally, Japanese was written verically like Chinese, and read top-to-bottom, right-to-left.

Nowadays (due to Western influence? Maybe computer software limitations?), it's often written horiztonally and read left-to-right, top-to-bottom, just like European languages. Newspapers, manga, novels, and handwritten letters still tend to use the vertical form, though.

NOTE: There is a rare exceptional case you have to watch out for: sometimes horizontal Japanese DOES read right-to-left! This occurs when traditional vertical-writing is used on narrow sign that only allows one character per column, as in, ex. a traditional shop sign.
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RE: direction?

Postby AJBryant » Tue 01.24.2006 8:19 pm

Actually, it has nothing to do with "narrow signs".

Historically (i.e., Pre-1945) when written horizontally, Japanese was read right to left. It was the same way vertical was read (right to left in rows) so why should a single line of text be read BACKWARDS? :)

If you have any old books, you'll find captions and so on that are written horizontally read the reverse of the way they are read today. Old signs are just old signs that were typically made in the historical mode.

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RE: direction?

Postby blackhaxxor » Tue 01.24.2006 8:36 pm

so.... left to right should be used today?
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RE: direction?

Postby IkimashoZ » Tue 01.24.2006 9:28 pm

It's a mix now. I see right-to-left and top-to-bottom.
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RE: direction?

Postby AJBryant » Tue 01.24.2006 11:41 pm

left to right should be used today?


Unless you're deliberately recreating something pre-War, yes.


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