Anyway, while reading these (and other) forums over the past few months, I've made note of the different punctuation marks used in English and Japanese. I did some digging/searching here at TJP and found this thread --> ( A Few IME Questions... ), which included fabulous info on how to make various punctuation marks and other special characters. It also showed how to make all those fun little dingbats (stars, circles, musical notes, etc.).
Periods and commas are fairly straight-forward. From what I can gather, it seems that question marks aren't necessarily mandatory in Japanese. However, one punctuation mark I still have questions about is 【 (and its sibling 】 ). I can't recall ever seeing them when reading English and have really only noticed them when reading about Japanese (in other words, when reading things written ABOUT Japanese, not when reading Japanese itself).
Here is my guess, based on how I've seen them used:
- When explaining or translating a word or phrase from Japanese to English or vice versa, the heavy-duty parentheses are used to draw attention to the word or phrase in question because the English-style slim ones just don't show up as well.