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Important points when writing in Japanese

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RE: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby keid_7 » Sat 11.17.2007 5:14 pm

Damn, I'm just testing my account now. Sorry (
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RE: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby under___attack » Tue 12.04.2007 10:55 pm

I don't really know any kanji so i guess I'm good

p.s "hen na gaijin" is "weird forigner" right?
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RE: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby EvanT » Wed 12.05.2007 7:13 am

Very interesting thread, indeed. But let's not forget that since the Japanese use 3 scripts to write, no rule is absolute.

A word normally written in kanji or hiragana might appear in katakana, just to draw attention to it (like italicizing it).

A word usually written in hiragana or katakana might be written in kanji, for instance to give the word an antiquey hue (e.g. writing たばこ as 煙草 or コーヒー as 珈琲) or just to break up a long string of kana (I've often encountered this with こと(事) and とき(時).

My teacher once also mentioned this example: An stray alley cat might be ねこ, a cutsey kitten might ネコ and a grandiose persian cat sitting on a velvet pillow might be 猫.
Last edited by EvanT on Wed 12.05.2007 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 12.05.2007 9:24 am

My teacher once also mentioned this example: An stray alley cat might be ねこ, a cutsey kitten might ネコ and a grandiose persian cat sitting on a velvet pillow might be 猫.


I doubt that would hold up an actual analysis of how the word is written in various places.
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RE: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby Wakannai » Wed 12.05.2007 10:00 am

"might be" just keep that part in mind.
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RE: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby phrekyos » Sun 02.03.2008 5:33 pm

I know this is two months old, but it's stickied so I'm hoping it's okay to post.

I started learning Japanese about 3 years ago in college, and I was taught in Japanese 102 to write things like:

〜する事が出来ます
〜する時

This, by a native speaker, in case you were wondering. I never really thought much about it, because it was in the book that way too (at least for toki and dekiru). For that matter, so was て下さい, although I stopped writing it in kanji because every other auxiliary verb was in hiragana.

I also kind of discovered some kanji like 貰う on my own, and use them regularly without complaint from any of my professors... but reading this discussion I wonder what they must think of me. Yikes.

I can sort of see the logic for not using some kanji that have ambiguous readings (kon'nichiwa, oru/iru) or where it might be difficult to choose the correct one, so I don't use those... I suppose if four different native speakers haven't said anything, my writing can't be that strange, right...? :o
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Re: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby bamboo4 » Fri 02.29.2008 2:29 pm

.
I still like to use the kanji for
 こと : 事
いる : 居る
ある : 有る

Am I wrong? :(


No, you are not wrong, but it is getting more and more archaic to use kanji in these instances and more or less standard to use hiragana. In Japanese schools, too, they encourage students to use hiragana renditions in these cases.
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Re: RE: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby doinkies » Mon 03.03.2008 8:19 pm

paul_b wrote:
AJBryant wrote:
I don't know why, but みんなさん/minna-san is one of my buttons...

I think the reason it bugs me is that it (and probably romanji) is one of those things that people learning Japanese have been "teaching" each other. I get the feeling that if you don't nip it in the bud there'll be another generation growing up to use it. :-/


Another pet peeve I've been seeing a lot recently on other forums:

ごめなさい/gomenasai instead of ごめんなさい/gomen nasai.

Arghhhh...it's two words, people... :x
あなたが好きだと言ったこの街並みが
今日も暮れてゆきます
広い空と遠くの山々 二人で歩いた街
夕日がきれいな街
-森高千里 「渡良瀬橋」
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Re: RE: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby Wakannai » Wed 03.05.2008 1:06 pm

doinkies wrote:
paul_b wrote:
AJBryant wrote:
I don't know why, but みんなさん/minna-san is one of my buttons...

I think the reason it bugs me is that it (and probably romanji) is one of those things that people learning Japanese have been "teaching" each other. I get the feeling that if you don't nip it in the bud there'll be another generation growing up to use it. :-/


Another pet peeve I've been seeing a lot recently on other forums:

ごめなさい/gomenasai instead of ごめんなさい/gomen nasai.

Arghhhh...it's two words, people... :x


In the people's defense. They probably did type it gomennasai. The problem is that nn = ん so they need to type n' or nnn for gomennnasai.

In other words, it's more of a typo than misuse of a word, like minna san.
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Re: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby bamboo4 » Wed 03.12.2008 1:58 pm

いやあ驚きましたね、まったく。このthreadの主題は「important points when writing in Japanese (日本語で書くときの重要点)」ということで、それについてここまでで100件以上の投稿があって、そのすべてが英語です。日本語で如何に文章を書くかという問題について100件以上の投稿がすべて英語でなされて、それを読んでいる人も別に何とも思わないというのも、面白いと思いますが、それ以上に興味深く読んだのは、arrogance についての論争です。このように書けば日本語の書き方としてはそれはarrogant だというのではなくて、日本語の書き方についての英語のコメントの書き方がarrogant であるか否かというのですからいささか呆れます。日本語の書き方についてここまで英語による議論を読んだのは初めてで、大いに楽しませて頂きました。

I would assume that the above passage still remains within the confine of "politeness" as discussed in this thread.
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Re: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby Tenorikuma » Fri 04.25.2008 12:27 am

bamboo4 wrote:.
I still like to use the kanji for
 こと : 事
いる : 居る
ある : 有る

Am I wrong? :(


No, you are not wrong, but it is getting more and more archaic to use kanji in these instances and more or less standard to use hiragana. In Japanese schools, too, they encourage students to use hiragana renditions in these cases.


Usually it's only in quite formal circumstances that someone will use the kanji for these words. I do get work emails where as much kanji as possible is used.

For bonus points, you can always write いる as ゐる. :)
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Re: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby furrykef » Tue 07.15.2008 2:10 am

Here's one of my pet peeves: people don't write ellipses correctly. All the time, on this forum and elsewhere, I see people write ellipses like this:

こんにちは。。。

I dunno how natives write in chat rooms and such, but I've yet to encounter a native writing an ellipsis that way. The correct way is something more like this:

こんにちは・・・・。

(The 。 at the end is optional. Also, use a comma instead or just omit it if it's not the end of the sentence.)

This is a rather minor point, of course, but it's annoying to see the same mistake being made all the time. It also does rely on a false assumption (the idea that, because 。 is used like a period to end a sentence, 。 must be exactly equivalent to the English period).

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Re: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby Garappachi » Tue 07.15.2008 9:10 am

Good point. That in proper Japanese is ”……”(「…」を2回). But keyboads have no "…"keys. I used to "・" instead.
Maybe cell phones don't have even "・"keys.

edit:"…"does not look collectly. Strange...
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Re: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby richvh » Tue 07.15.2008 10:01 am

Garappachi wrote:Good point. That in proper Japanese is ”……”(「…」を2回). But keyboads have no "…"keys. I used to "・" instead.
Maybe cell phones don't have even "・"keys.

edit:"…"does not look collectly. Strange...


It doesn't look "right" (not "correctly" and certainly not "collectly", even "correct" seems a bit off) because the same character code is used in English word processors for a three dot ellipsis, and most fonts will portray it as an English ellipsis. (I'm not sure what the default font for this board is, or if it is worth changing it to MS Gothic/Mincho so … displays properly... there might be other side effects to doing so.) I have to jump through some hoops sometimes to get … to display in a Japanese font in Word, for instance. (In the Windows IME, 。。。, ・・・, てん or even the catch-all きごう can be henkaned to …)

I've noticed that in Japanese novels, a double ellipsis (or multiple of two, for longer pauses) is standard, but in manga there may be one, or many. I use a single ellipsis in ゆきの物語, but that isn't the only formatting convention I break.
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Re: Important points when writing in Japanese

Postby furrykef » Tue 07.15.2008 7:21 pm

Microsoft's IME will produce … if you type 。。。 and hit the space bar and choose it from the list. I do use it when it will appear correctly, but on web forums and such, it will usually appear at the bottom instead of the middle, as it does on this site, unless the font is set to a Japanese font. Strictly speaking, we're supposed to use the … character in English too (in which case of course it should appear at the bottom), but, outside of professionally typeset text, nobody bothers and instead they just type three periods. I think my use of ・・・・ is somewhat analogous.

Unfortunately, sometimes if I type it in full-width, the dots are also printed full-width, which is very ugly, so you have to switch to half-width katakana. But, since I'm not using a Japanese keyboard, I have to use the mouse to switch to half-width katakana. I suppose I should add an entry to the IME dictionary, but I'm not sure how I should add an entry for punctuation instead of a word (particularly what to put in the "part of speech" field). I guess it works well enough if I fudge it and call it a 顔文字 for now... it keeps trying to parse it as 。 followed by 。。。 rather than as a single unit, though, so I have to select all four dots and then hit the space bar.

Conclusion: typesetting and IMEs are annoying. ^^;

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