No spaces?

Japanese, general discussion on the language
BuddhaGeo
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu 11.08.2007 1:55 pm

No spaces?

Post by BuddhaGeo » Sun 12.09.2007 10:05 am

This might sound like a weird question but I have noticed that on Wikipedia there are no spaces in between words.
Is it how Japanese always gets written? If yes, then isn't it hard to understand when a specific word comes to an end and another starts?
Last edited by BuddhaGeo on Sun 12.09.2007 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Native language: English
Gender: Male
Location: Indiana
Contact:

RE: No spaces?

Post by AJBryant » Sun 12.09.2007 10:18 am

Yes, that's how it's done, and no, it's not really that difficult once you have a decent vocabulary.


Tony

BuddhaGeo
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu 11.08.2007 1:55 pm

RE: No spaces?

Post by BuddhaGeo » Sun 12.09.2007 10:31 am

And would it be considered immature to write with spaces? Or is it ok for a beginner?

User avatar
Yudan Taiteki
Posts: 5609
Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
Native language: English

RE: No spaces?

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Sun 12.09.2007 10:41 am

Yes and yes.

Youshouldbeabletoreadthiseventhoughithasnospaces.

You get used to it after a while.
-Chris Kern

BuddhaGeo
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu 11.08.2007 1:55 pm

RE: No spaces?

Post by BuddhaGeo » Sun 12.09.2007 10:48 am

Okthanksverymuchforreplyingsofast.

User avatar
kayuu
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon 06.11.2007 5:38 pm
Native language: 英語
Gender: Female
Location: ロンドン、イギリス
Contact:

RE: No spaces?

Post by kayuu » Sun 12.09.2007 12:28 pm

It's easier than it sounds because Japanese uses three alphabets and particles - when you identify certain kanji compounds or particles etc. you tend to notice where one word ends and another begins.

That's why they failed to Romanise Japanese, it was too hard to distinguish between words without Kanji. I've found that with Kanji, it's easy to both recognise words in a sentence and distinguish them from similar words. That's why I hate reading something written entirely in hiragana.

"In the Meiji era, some Japanese scholars advocated abolishing the Japanese writing system entirely and using rōmaji in its stead. ... Several Japanese texts were published entirely in rōmaji during this period, but it failed to catch on, perhaps because of the large number of homophones in Japanese, which are pronounced similarly but written in different characters"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Japanese

User avatar
Tspoonami
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue 08.22.2006 1:28 pm

RE: No spaces?

Post by Tspoonami » Sun 12.09.2007 1:42 pm

kayuu wrote:
It's easier than it sounds because Japanese uses three alphabets and particles
This wording is ambiguous. Kayuu means something more along the lines of 'Japanese uses particles and three different scripts.'

(Just in case that had confused the OP...)

Now I'm wondering if my wording is equally vague.
Last edited by Tspoonami on Sun 12.09.2007 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sometimes I think that I'm afraid of thinking, and that scares me.

BuddhaGeo
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu 11.08.2007 1:55 pm

RE: No spaces?

Post by BuddhaGeo » Sun 12.09.2007 1:51 pm

Nope, you were indefinitely fine at handling elaboration on this subject.

hungryhotei
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed 04.12.2006 5:06 am
Native language: English
Location: Germany

RE: No spaces?

Post by hungryhotei » Sun 12.09.2007 1:58 pm

Tspoonami wrote:
kayuu wrote:
It's easier than it sounds because Japanese uses three alphabets and particles
This wording is ambiguous. Kayuu means something more along the lines of 'Japanese uses particles and three different scripts.'
IWonderIfThatCreatesAnEffectSimilarToStartingEachWordWithACapitalLetter?

Since I know what that says now it's hard to judge whether it makes it easier to read or not.
Last edited by hungryhotei on Sun 12.09.2007 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
天気がいいから、散歩しましょう。

User avatar
kayuu
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon 06.11.2007 5:38 pm
Native language: 英語
Gender: Female
Location: ロンドン、イギリス
Contact:

RE: No spaces?

Post by kayuu » Sun 12.09.2007 3:02 pm

Explaining things unambiguously never was my strong point, but tspoonami's wording did make more sense ;)

As for starting words with a capital letter, pretty much. You can easily tell where one word ends and another begins because the capitals aren't featured anywhere else in the sentence.

Most words in Japanese are followed by a hiragana particle/inflection denoting their purpose in a sentence. You can pick the particles/inflections out because they are written in a different script to most of the rest of the sentence (provided that the sentence isn't written only in hiragana) and therefore quite easily determine where each word begins and ends most of the time. Thus, it has the same effect as starting each word with a capital letter.

^^ I hope that wasn't so ambiguous ;)

User avatar
Chris Hart
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed 07.05.2006 3:36 pm
Location: 未確認飛行物体

RE: No spaces?

Post by Chris Hart » Sun 12.09.2007 3:42 pm

hungryhotei wrote:
Tspoonami wrote:
kayuu wrote:
It's easier than it sounds because Japanese uses three alphabets and particles
This wording is ambiguous. Kayuu means something more along the lines of 'Japanese uses particles and three different scripts.'
IWonderIfThatCreatesAnEffectSimilarToStartingEachWordWithACapitalLetter?

Since I know what that says now it's hard to judge whether it makes it easier to read or not.
ThatWorksInEnglishExceptWhenYouUseATLAWithWordsAfterItAndASingleLetterWordBeforeIt.
-.. .   -.- -.-. ---.. ..- ..-. ...-


hungryhotei
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed 04.12.2006 5:06 am
Native language: English
Location: Germany

RE: No spaces?

Post by hungryhotei » Sun 12.09.2007 3:55 pm

I spent a minute there trying to work out what ATLA could possibly mean. :D
天気がいいから、散歩しましょう。

richvh
Posts: 6480
Joined: Thu 09.29.2005 10:35 pm
Contact:

RE: No spaces?

Post by richvh » Sun 12.09.2007 5:54 pm

What About AWMTTL (Acronyms With More Than Three Letters)?
Richard VanHouten
ゆきの物語

User avatar
Chris Hart
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed 07.05.2006 3:36 pm
Location: 未確認飛行物体

RE: No spaces?

Post by Chris Hart » Sun 12.09.2007 5:55 pm

hungryhotei wrote:
I spent a minute there trying to work out what ATLA could possibly mean. :D
The trick is to pay attention to the whole sentence. It describes itself.
It applies equally to those, Mr. Vanhouten.
Last edited by Chris Hart on Sun 12.09.2007 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-.. .   -.- -.-. ---.. ..- ..-. ...-


User avatar
chikara
Posts: 3577
Joined: Tue 07.11.2006 10:48 pm
Native language: English (Australian)
Gender: Male
Location: Australia (SA)
Contact:

RE: No spaces?

Post by chikara » Sun 12.09.2007 7:08 pm

richvh wrote:
What About AWMTTL (Acronyms With More Than Three Letters)?
A subset of those is called AWFL's (Acronyms With Four Letters)

Please refer to my post of 14-09-2006 in this thread :)
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there

Post Reply