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In this page, any first-person pronoun refers to the following people: 729MendicantTide


Some of you may be wondering why I am writing this as a page. I write this for the convenience of those where plain Japanese text doesn't help. If you are still not convinced, many phrases and elements in this game got smacked up on the localization from Japanese to English.

This page uses frequent IPA characters.

Phonology

In Japanese, two consonants cannot appear consecutively. Either a vowel, or a consonant and a vowel, is present, with the exception of n, which can appear next to a consonant.


Japanese is not a tonal language.

Vowels

  • The Japanese language has 5 vowels. Each of them can be approximated by their Spanish pronounciation.
  • O and U can also be lenghtened.

Consonants

  • Japanese has the following consonants: K, G, S, SH, Z, J, T, CH, TS, D, N, H, F, B, P, M, Y, R, and W.
    • K, SH, J, CH, N, H, B, P, M, and R can lead "ya", "yu", and "yo".
    • Unless it is a leading consonant in a word, "G" is pronounced like "NG."
    • SH, J, and CH can only lead I.
      • CH is pronounced like the "ch" in English "chair," not the "ch" in German "nacht."
      • J is pronounced like the English J, not the English Y like in other European languages.
    • TS can only lead U.
    • S ans Z cannot lead I, and T and D cannot lead I or U.
    • H is pronounced like H unless it leads I or Y~, where it is pronounced like the "H" in "hue." H also cannot lead U.
    • F can only lead U, and is pronounced somwhere between H and F.
    • Y can only lead A, U, or O.
    • R is pronounced somwhere between R and L.
    • W can only lead A or O. When leading O, it is pronounced like O.

Orthography

Every so often, you can see that some Japanese texts have that fancy HT template, while others don't. This is because two of Japanese's orthographies are more or less an alphabet, but they are syllabary-based rather than phonetic-based, like the Latin alphabet. They are, however, used for different purposes. The first (hiragana) is used for native Japanese words, while the second (katakana) is used for loanwords in the Japanese language, as well as to substitute certain characters, i.e. hard-to-read kanji, or even to indicate a weird manner of speaking (i.e. a robot or foreign accent).

The third of Japanese's orthographies is entirely pictograms that are derived from Chinese characters (I have stated that there are thousands of characters). This is where the primary use of the HT template comes in. It serves to give a reading that is easy to read by those who know the other two character sets.

Aside from that, many of these characters (known as kanji) are often read in the same way. For that reason, Japanese contains a lot of homophones.

Diacritics

  • Adding two apostrophie-like marks on the top-right corners of letters voices the consonant (e.g. K becomes G, S becomes Z, etc.)
    • This can only be added to K (turning it to G), S (turning it to Z), SH (turning it to J), T (turning it to D), CH (turning it to J), TS (turning it to Z), and H (turning it to B with this diacritic).
      • F becomes B or P depending on its diacritic.
      • Voiced CHI and voiced TSU are not used frequently.
  • Adding a Japanese period mark (。) in the same spot turns H to P, and can only be added to H.

Special characters

  • As mentioned before, adding a small "Ya," "Yu," or "Yo" to Ki, Shi, Chi, Ni, Hi, Bi, Pi, Mi, and Ri can palatalize them to A, U, and O, respectively.
  • A stretch mark (ー) lenghtens vowels, but this is used either for loanwords or comic or cute effect.
    • Alternatively, for the last few, the wave dash (〜) can be used.
  • A small Tsu ( or ) represents:
    • Gemination of the preceding consonant.
    • The glottal stop when used at the end of a word (typically interjections).

Hiragana

~ k s t n h m y r w N
a

i
u

e
o

Katakana

Both Hiragana and Katakana are pronounced the exact same way.

~ k s t n h m y r w N
a
i
u
e
o

Romanization

I have (and will continue using) the Hebon-shiki romanization (Hepburn in English). These additional elements are to be witnessed when reading romanizations:

  • A line above the vowel indicates a lenghtened vowel, just like the English Phonetic Alphabet.
  • Geminated consonants are represented with doubled consonants.

Basic Vocabulary Info

Vocabulary Degree of Formality

There is one thing that one should know in the Japanese language. It has a slew of words that all mean one common thing. However, the different terms are a direct indicator on the degree of formality that one is speaking of.

As an example, let's look at one basic word: "please."

From less formal to more formal, the different ways to say please in Japanese are:

  • 頼む (lit. "I request")
  • お願い (Less formal variant of the fourth)
  • 下さい (Standard form)
  • お願いします ("Please" in the sense of "please do this for me")
  • お願いいたします (More formal than the past.)

Also, "thank you:"

  • 感謝(する) (lit. "I am grateful" or "I appreciate it")
  • どうも
  • ありがとう
  • どうもありがとう
  • ありがとうございます
  • どうもありがとうございます

There are more examples than the listed, and it would take quite a while to fit them all into this page.

List of frequently used words on this wiki

These words recur mostly in page elements.

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