About アニメ?マンガの日本語

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About the Japanese notation

1)3 types of Japanese notation

We designed the “Japanese in Anime and Manga” website with all kinds of learners in mind, from beginners through to advanced students. In order to enable every kind of learner to enjoy using the site we chose to employ 3 kinds of notation when giving Japanese expressions and example sentences: (i)kanji mixed with kana, (ii)kana-only (hiragana and katakana) and (iii)romaji.

2)Kana notation

When using kana-only notation the kanji that express a word’s meaning are lost, so if we were to adopt exactly the same punctuation style as in the mix of kanji/kana, it might be difficult to read. With this in mind, for the kana-only notation we chose to use a wakachigaki style (separating words with spaces). The basic rules of this wakachigaki style originate from those used in the Japanese language textbook “Minna no Nihongo” (3A Corporation).

3)Romaji notation

For the romaji notation, we again made reference to the Japanese language textbook “Minna no Nihongo” for the following “Basic Romaji Chart”, which we have used as our foundation.

Basic Romaji Chart
a i u e o
ka ki ku ke ko
sa shi su se so
ta chi tsu te to
na ni nu ne no
ha hi fu he ho
ma mi mu me mo
ya yu yo
ra ri ru re ro
n wo
ga gi gu ge go
za ji zu ze zo
da ji zu de do
ba bi bu be bo
pa pi pu pe po
kya きゃ キャ kyu きゅ キュ kyo きょ キョ
sya しゃ シャ shu しゅ シュ sho しょ ショ
cha ちゃ チャ chu ちゅ チュ cho ちょ チョ
nya にゃ ニャ nyu にゅ ニュ nyo にょ ニョ
hya ひゃ ヒャ hyu ひゅ ヒュ hyo ひょ ヒョ
mya みゃ ミャ myu みゅ ミュ myo みょ ミョ
rya りゃ リャ ryu りゅ リュ ryo りょ リョ
gya ぎゃ ギャ gyu ぎゅ ギュ gyo ぎょ ギョ
ja じゃ ジャ ju じゅ ジュ jo じょ ジョ
bya びゃ ビャ byu びゅ ビュ byo びょ ビョ
pya ぴゃ ピャ pyu ぴゅ ピュ pyo ぴょ ピョ

In addition, for sounds unique to Japanese we established the rules below, paying special consideration to the ease of reading the romaji.

Particles are written thus:「は」=「wa」、「へ」=「e」、「を」=「o」.
Ex.:がっこうへいく→gakkou e iku
A hatsuon (‘ん’ kana) in front of the consonant「m、b、p」is written as an「m」.
If the consonant「n」comes after a hatsuon (‘ん’ kana) then a「?」is inserted.
If a vowel comes after a hatsuon (‘ん’ kana) then a「?」is inserted.
After a sokuon (a smallっ), the beat of the following consonant is repeated.
A sokuon (a smallっ) at the end of a word is not displayed in the romaji.
Long vowels follow the same basic rules as in their hiragana notation. Long vowels in the ‘お’ row are written using「u」.
Long vowels displayed using「ー」in katakana are shown by doubling the vowels when writing in romaji.
Where long vowels shown in hiragana notation using the symbols「ー」or「~」, this is also written by doubling the vowels in the romaji.
Ex.:ばーさん→baasan わかんない~→wakan?naii
Unlike in English, the first letter of the sentence is not capitalized in the romaji, although a capital letter is used in the case of proper nouns.
Ex.:はるちゃん→Haru chan
The「~」in「~さん」is written as「-」.
Ex.:~くん→- kun
「、」is displayed as「,」and「。」is written as「.」.
Ex.:よーし、行くぞー。→yooshi, ikuzoo.

The basic rules for the romaji wakachigaki (separation of words using spaces) follow those used in the kana version, with the addition of the following:

A space is added before and after a particle.
Ex.:わたしは ケーキが すきです。→watashi wa keeki ga sukidesu.
A space is not used before a sentence-ending particle.
A space is added before the「する」in「するverbs」.
Ex.:ゲットする→getto suru
A space is used in cases of「person’s name +さん」.
Ex.:Yoshiko san
The「~」used in「~さん」becomes a「-」in the romaji, with a half-width space before and after the「-」symbol.

4)Typing input in the Kanji Game

The Basic Romaji Chart above forms the basis of the romaji typing input used in the game. In order to cater for different keyboard settings, a slight variation in Japanese romaji input styles etc., we have allowed for several variables when recognising correct answers. However, this is by no means exhaustive, so please make reference to the chart when typing. As the kanji works with single units of vocabulary (including idiomatic phrases) wakachigaki spaces such as those outlined above are not used.


5)Onomatopoeia in ’Expressions by scene’

In the ‘Expressions by scene’ section, giongo (onomatopoeic words that depict a sound) and gitaigo (words that mimic an action) used in the manga and the onomatopoeia quiz are only displayed using kana (no kanji/kana mix or romaji). A corresponding English version of each word is shown.

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