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furigana

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furigana

Postby katafei » Wed 08.26.2009 3:03 am

Morning everybody,

when reading a book, all of a sudden I was wondering who decides which kanji needs furigana?
I'm guessing the editor?
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Re: furigana

Postby furrykef » Wed 08.26.2009 3:24 am

Must be. It definitely sounds like an editorial job... most publishing houses have a style guide that they follow -- a common U.S. example is the Chicago Manual of Style, for example -- that gives details on all sorts of nitpicky things like which spelling to use when more than one spelling is valid (for example, "adviser" or "advisor"?). Generally, a writer does his best to conform to the style guide, and then the editors (and copyeditors, if there are any) check to make sure and change anything that doesn't conform. The same process is probably used for furigana, although I have no idea if the writers themselves are expected to provide furigana. That might depend on the publisher and the file format used (.doc obviously accommodates furigana better than .txt, for instance).

By the way, in the case of newspapers, all kanji outside of the Jōyō set are legally required to have furigana (presumably including non-Jōyō readings of Jōyō kanji). They're free to use more furigana than that, though.

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Re: furigana

Postby keatonatron » Wed 08.26.2009 6:17 am

I would think for serious novels it's completely up to the author. Adding furigana (even if it's for the standard reading) can change the feel of a text and make words stick out--which may not be intended.

I'm sure there are cases where the editor will suggest that a kanji have furigana (if it is non-joyo, for example), but I think the author would (should?) have final say in if it is used or not.

If it is a non-creative work (nonfiction, for example), the editor or a set of predetermined rules might have complete control.




I don't know if any of us have any real-world experience with publishing literary works in Japan (in Japanese), so you'll probably just get a lot of guessing and no concrete answers. :lol:
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Re: furigana

Postby katafei » Wed 08.26.2009 6:38 am

Lot's of guessing is fine :lol:
There are always some interesting facts coming forward. So thanks for your guesses ^^ !!
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Re: furigana

Postby tōkai devotee » Wed 08.26.2009 7:36 am

I'm guessing that it may have something to do with the age of the target audience. I mean, if a novel were aimed at say Junior High School students, then perhaps difficult kanji for their level may have furigana. I read a book a couple of years ago which was like that. It was very helpful for me for the furigana to be there. I didn't have to look up the kanji all the time.

I don't really know. I'm just guessing too! :D
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Re: furigana

Postby Mike Cash » Wed 08.26.2009 4:30 pm

It is sometimes inconsistent. Several times I have been reading a Japanese book, noticed furigana, and thought to myself, "Wait a minute.....they didn't include furigana on that the first time, a few pages ago." Flipping back a few pages confirmed my suspicions.
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Re: furigana

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 08.26.2009 5:42 pm

furrykef wrote:By the way, in the case of newspapers, all kanji outside of the Jōyō set are legally required to have furigana (presumably including non-Jōyō readings of Jōyō kanji). They're free to use more furigana than that, though.


This is not true. The newspapers have chosen to conform 99.5% to the Jouyou list (they have a list of something like 12 kanji that they use in addition, and they sometimes break their own rules even beyond that occasionally), but the Jouyou list has no legal force. It barely even has any non-legal force -- the previous version (the Touyou Kanji list) contained language in the preface that essentially encouraged people to limit their kanji usage to the list and indicated that the purpose was to set a standard kanji list. All of this language was removed in the Jouyou List (due to hard-line right-wingers in the government) and the Jouyou List itself does not define its purpose clearly, much less have any legal force.
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Re: furigana

Postby furrykef » Wed 08.26.2009 9:10 pm

Hmm. I guess it's a common myth, then, since I've heard it several times.

By the way, I've seen furigana in truly puzzling places. For instance, there are H manga that have furigana on words that even I know. Even though, by definition, these are manga for adults...

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Re: furigana

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 08.26.2009 10:36 pm

It's a somewhat common myth, as are the related ones that the Jouyou List includes all kanji used in modern Japanese or that any kanji outside the Jouyou list will be given furigana in any publication.

In my experience, furigana use is often rather random. I wonder whether there are even in-house specific style guides (I've never heard of them) or whether it's totally just up to the whim of the writer or editor.
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Re: furigana

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 08.29.2009 7:25 am

furrykef wrote:Hmm. I guess it's a common myth, then, since I've heard it several times.


I believe there is freedom of the press in Japan. Next time somebody tells you there is a legal requirement for furigana in certain circumstances ask them to cite the relevant law for you.
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Re: furigana

Postby furrykef » Sat 08.29.2009 9:20 am

I don't see how that'd be a "freedom of the press" issue, considering that I can't imagine how such a requirement would obstruct the free flow of information. An issue of freedom, perhaps, but not specifically "freedom of the press" as I understand the phrase.

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Re: furigana

Postby Mike Cash » Sun 08.30.2009 1:51 am

furrykef wrote:I don't see how that'd be a "freedom of the press" issue, considering that I can't imagine how such a requirement would obstruct the free flow of information. An issue of freedom, perhaps, but not specifically "freedom of the press" as I understand the phrase.

- Kef


Not worth arguing about, so let's just leave that aside.

At any rate, next time you hear there is a legal requirement please ask the person to cite the relevant law.

I don't doubt that there may some voluntary arrangement to comply with some sort of standards, but I strongly doubt there is legislation which dictates the use of furigana.
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Re: furigana

Postby NileCat » Sun 08.30.2009 2:12 pm

I think the following articles would help you to grasp the general idea.
(These are all in Japanese, sorry!)

http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa ... 1026431055
http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa ... 1423369869

About the newspapers, the following is the policy of Asahi Shinbun.
http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/ruby_furigan ... b5a6aa.JPG

In terms of legislation, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology just says:
振り仮名の活用等について社会一般の配慮が望まれる。

http://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/hakusho/nc ... 08001.html
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Re: furigana

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 08.30.2009 3:17 pm

NileCat wrote:About the newspapers, the following is the policy of Asahi Shinbun.
http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/ruby_furigan ... b5a6aa.JPG


For people who can't read that, what it basically says is that they have a list of 2011 kanji (which includes the 1945 Jouyou) which they don't use furigana on, but that sometimes for names they will use furigana even if the kanji (and readings) are on the list. There's also something in the middle about putting furigana on some non-Kyouiku kanji (the 1006 elementary school list) but it's hard to tell how much they're actually doing this; the word 掲載 in that very paragraph consists of 2 non-Kyouiku kanji with no furigana. If the newspapers started putting furigana over all non-Kyouiku kanji I think that would be a big benefit.
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