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The name of Japan

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The name of Japan

Postby Kei » Thu 04.07.2005 11:23 pm

I've read that Japan is Nihon

But I've also seen Nippon.

Does anyone know what's the difference and when to use each name?
はじめまして ^_^;
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RE: The name of Japan

Postby Matsumoto_hideto » Thu 04.07.2005 11:27 pm

Kei wrote:
I've read that Japan is Nihon

But I've also seen Nippon.

Does anyone know what's the difference and when to use each name?


1) there is no difference

2) its different because of the way the hiragana together. Ever try to put 2 Characters together and the Beggining letter of the junction is different?

kinda like that


weird tranlations happen


not supprising coming from a language that contains to case number or gender to its words........<~~~~linguist joke........wonder if anyone else gets it.....B)
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RE: The name of Japan

Postby dreamingxashley » Thu 04.07.2005 11:32 pm

Ive always wondered how you get Japan out of Nihon. I can sorta see the h being mispronounced as p, but n is a little way off from sounding like j...
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RE: The name of Japan

Postby Mukade » Thu 04.07.2005 11:32 pm

No big difference; they are just two different ways of reading the same characters.

The "Nihon" reading is the standard, most commonly used reading right now.

"Nippon" tends to invoke a more traditional, even nationalistic sense, and so is used in pretty isolated instances. It still gets used enough these days that you'll hear it from time to time.
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RE: The name of Japan

Postby Mukade » Thu 04.07.2005 11:40 pm

dreamingxashley wrote:
Ive always wondered how you get Japan out of Nihon. I can sorta see the h being mispronounced as p, but n is a little way off from sounding like j...


The story goes that when Marco Polo visited China, they told him about an island to the east known as "xir-pon" (or something close), which, in the Chinese of the day, was the Chinese reading of the two characters 日and 本.

Marco Polo transcribed that Chinese into Latin as "Japon," which over the years became "Japan."

It's funny to think that the word has now come full-circle, and that the Japanese will often use the katakana version ジャパン in the same sense that (back in the States) we would say "All-America..."

For example:
ジャパンネット銀行
or
株式会社ジャパン
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RE: The name of Japan

Postby dreamingxashley » Fri 04.08.2005 12:06 am

aha! I thought maybe it was something like that, though it didnt involve Marco Polo and China.. hehe
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RE: The name of Japan

Postby hihlordjp » Fri 04.08.2005 1:59 am

During WWII, にっぽん (Nippon) was favored for its better acoustic quality. It's a lot easier to shout out "Nippon" compared to "Nihon".
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RE: The name of Japan

Postby Mukade » Fri 04.08.2005 9:10 am

hihlordjp wrote:
During WWII, にっぽん (Nippon) was favored for its better acoustic quality. It's a lot easier to shout out "Nippon" compared to "Nihon".


Well, that, and the fact that the "Nippon" reading had a 1000+ year history, which helped fuel the nationalistic fervor that powered the wartime political bureau...
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