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Spaces

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Spaces

Postby Riley » Mon 01.31.2005 11:23 am

Hi Clay

I had this question in mind for some time and I hope you or maybe some of the users here could help.
The problem is that in most articles I've read in Japanese the words had no space between each other.
Let's take the "watashi wa" for example-It's written with a space between the watashi and the wa, right? but when I read it in a few articles it was written together: watashiwa
Since I knew these are two different words (or so I think) I read them as watashi+wa.
But when I have words that I don't know and I haven't seen before, how do I tell the difference between them? how do i know if it's one long word or two maybe three different?

Thanks in advance
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RE: Breaks

Postby clay » Mon 01.31.2005 11:41 am

Interestingly enough, someone just asked the same question in another forum :).

Here is the answer I tried to give there:
In English we make good use spacing. ifnotitwouldbehardtoread. But this is easier: IfNotItWouldBeHardToRead. It is kind of like that with Japanese. Kanji contain core meaning and hiragana is used to finish the pronunciation of words or for particles. So when you hit a kanji, you know you are encountering a new word/meaning.

Reading hiragana without spaces is very difficult, but reading with kanji makes it easier. That is one reason studying kanji even early on is important, I think.

I hope this makes sense. Somehow I think I may be confusing you more!

I might add, you will find characters, like particles (は、が、を。。。) or endings (じゃない、です、。。。) that you will pick out as independant words that separate other words.
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RE: Spaces

Postby Riley » Mon 01.31.2005 12:04 pm

Ohh dear guess I didn't see it...I get what you're saying ,so it's gonna take a lot of time before I can read :( ohh well thanks a lot again
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RE: Spaces

Postby jinksys » Tue 02.01.2005 4:39 am

it seems kanji are very important, I noticed that online translators often choke on certain hiragana words, but correctly translate kanji of the same word.
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RE: Spaces

Postby jiro » Tue 02.01.2005 8:16 pm

jinksys wrote:
it seems kanji are very important, I noticed that online translators often choke on certain hiragana words, but correctly translate kanji of the same word.
ya i noticed that too. those things dont really help much... unless you dont know what a certain kanji means i guess...
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RE: Spaces

Postby Spaztick » Tue 02.01.2005 8:28 pm

A really good translator/dictionary is here:

poets.notredame.ac.jp/cgi-bin/jedi

That has most kanji, a lot of katakana (mostly English) and even expressions. There is a really good translator here, but this one only lets you translate 30 times a month:

http://www.g-boc.com/e/cyber/translation/main.html
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