Wiktionary:About Japanese

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Accessories-text-editor.svg This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.

This policy explains considerations for Japanese entries that are not covered by WT:ELE and other general policies.



A very simple example

This is a simple entry for the word 言葉 (kotoba, “word”), and shows the most fundamental elements of an article:



# a [[word]]

Lemma entries

Following are the guidelines for entries for the lemma form of Japanese terms. For terms commonly written with kanji, e.g. (hito), (kuchi), and most other 常用漢字(jōyō kanji), the kanji form is considered the lemma. For terms without kanji forms, e.g. つるつる(tsurutsuru), and for terms whose kanji form is rarely used, e.g. ちょっと(chotto), the most common form is considered the lemma. When the situation is unclear, editors are advised to use their best judgment on a case by case basis.

For non-lemma entries (e.g. for the hiragana and romaji forms of terms conventionally written in kanji and for conjugated forms), see #Non-lemma forms for the more abbreviated form to use instead.

Headings before the definitions

For entries with kanji, {{ja-kanjitab}} shows the component kanji in a table floated at the right margin. {{ja-kanjitab}} immediately follows the ==Japanese== language heading, e.g.:

Kanji in this term


For details, see: Wiktionary:About Japanese/Etymology

Japanese is rich in homophones and homographs, so there will often be multiple numbered “Etymology” headers:

===Etymology 1===
Compound of {{compound|lang=ja|sort=にごん|二|tr1=ni|t1=two|言|tr2=gon|t2=speech}}.


# [[duplicity]], [[double]] [[dealing]], double [[tongue]]

===Etymology 2===
Compound of {{compound|lang=ja|sort=ふたこと|二|tr1=futa|t1=two|言|tr2=koto|t2=word}}.


# two [[word]]s
# [[repetition]]


For the ===Pronunciation=== section, {{IPA|lang=ja|/.../}} is available, but usually not essential for Japanese entries.

The article core

The part of speech or other descriptor

See #Parts of speech for the list of standard “parts of speech” for English Wiktionary's Japanese entries.

Headword (inflection) line

The part of speech inflection line should be formatted with one of the following:


Definitions should be restricted to simple translation glosses, where practical. To show example usage and quotations, the standard format from WT:ELE is used:

  1. definition
    example usage
    hiragana version (only if the example usage contains kanji other than the word for this page)
    romaji version in italics
    English translation
    another example usage (only if this example indicates something useful about the word that the first does not).
    hiragana version
    romaji version in italics
    English translation
    • Year, Author, Source title, Publisher, pages #–#,
      hiragana version
      romaji version in italics
      English translation
    • Year, Author, Source title, Publisher (publication date of later edition), page #,
      hiragana version
      romaji version in italics
      English translation
  2. definition 2
    example usage
    hiragana version
    romaji version in italics
    English translation
    • Year, Author, Source title, Publisher (publication date of later edition), page #,
      hiragana version
      romaji version in italics
      English translation

Headings after the definitions

Alternative forms

  • alternative form 1 (linked)
  • alternative form 2 (linked)

Construction [mostly for verbs]

  1. example construction using 誰, 何, どこ, いつ, etc., showing use of particles (the particles should be bolded). With appropriate kanji.
    example construction with English sentence elements (someone) and spaces between the element and token constructions. With no kanji.
    translation of example construction with appropriate descriptions of the verb form (e.g., passive or intransitive) being used at the beginning, and notes at the end in italics (if the notes are more than a few words, put it on the next line with a double-colon [::])
    • example sentence using the construction (with appropriate hiragana, romanization, and translation)
  2. から誘われる
    [someone] kara [something] ni sasowareru
    (passive) to be invited by someone to do something.
    Note: I'm pretending that I have an important note here. One that is long enough to justify a whole line.
    • 幸子さんは宏さんからデートに誘われた。
      Sachiko-san wa Hiroshi-san kara dēto ni sasowareta.
      Sachiko was invited by Hiroshi on a date.

Conjugation (for verbs), Inflection (adjectives and quasi-adjectives)

(Note: 活用 translates to conjugation in English when applied to verbs, and inflection when applied to adjectives and nouns.) Conjugation templates have been created for verbs (ichidan, godan, and suru), and inflection templates for adjectives and adjectival nouns.

The following templates for modern Japanese are complete:

  1. Generic templates which can be used inside all other templates as well as for irregular patterns such as ある.
  2. Specific templates based on the generic templates
    1. Ichidan Conjugation {{ja-ichi}} {{ja-ichi|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}, where stem is anything before the る
    2. Godan Conjugation
      • ending with -う {{ja-go-u}} {{ja-go-u|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}
      • ending with -く {{ja-go-ku}} {{ja-go-ku|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}
      • ending with -ぐ {{ja-go-gu}} {{ja-go-gu|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}
      • ending with -す {{ja-go-su}} {{ja-go-su|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}
      • ending with -つ {{ja-go-tsu}} {{ja-go-tsu|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}
      • ending with -ぬ {{ja-go-nu}} {{ja-go-nu|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}
      • ending with -ぶ {{ja-go-bu}} {{ja-go-bu|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}
      • ending with -む {{ja-go-mu}} {{ja-go-mu|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}
      • ending with -る {{ja-go-ru}} {{ja-go-ru|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}
    3. Irregular Conjugation
      • する and verbs ending with -する {{ja-suru}} {{ja-suru|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}, where stem is anything before the する
      • 来る and compounds such as やって来る {{ja-kuru}} {{ja-kuru|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}, where stem is anything before the 来る
      • Honorifics いらっしゃる, おっしゃる, なさる {{ja-honorific}} {{ja-honorific|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}, where stem is anything before the る
      • ending with -ずる {{ja-zuru}} {{ja-go-ru|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}
    4. Adjectives (-i declension) {{ja-i}} {{ja-i|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}, where stem is anything before the い
    5. Adjectival nouns (-na declension) {{ja-na}} {{ja-na|kanji stem|hiragana stem|romaji stem}}, where stem is anything before the な

For classical Japanese, we will need additional templates for:

  1. Verb conjugation (classical) {{ja-cl-verbconj}} {{ja-cl-verbconj}}
  2. Adjective declension (classical) {{ja-cl-adjdecl}} {{ja-cl-adjdecl}}
  3. Quasi-adjective declension (classical) {{ja-cl-qaddecl}} {{ja-cl-qadjdecl}}
  4. Yodan Conjugation {{ja-yo-?}} {{ja-yo-?}}, will need to be one for each ending
  5. Kami-ichidan Conjugation {{ja-kamiichi}} {{ja-kamiichi}}
  6. Kami-nidan Conjugation {{ja-kamini}} {{ja-kamini}}, will need to be one for each ending
  7. Shimo-ichidan Conjugation {{ja-shimoichi}} {{ja-shimoichi}}
  8. Shimo-nidan Conjugation {{ja-shimoni}} {{ja-shimoni}}, will need to be one for each ending
  9. Irregular Verb Conjugations
    • Irregular S {{ja-ir-s}} {{ja-ir-s}}
    • Irregular K {{ja-ir-k}} {{ja-ir-k}}
    • Irregular R {{ja-ir-r}} {{ja-ir-r}}
    • Irregular N {{ja-ir-n}} {{ja-ir-n}}
  10. Ku Conjugation {{ja-ku}} {{ja-ku|stem}}
  11. Shiku Conjugation {{ja-shiku}} {{ja-shiku|stem}}
  12. Nari Conjugation {{ja-nari}} {{ja-nari|stem}}
  13. Tari Conjugation {{ja-tari}} {{ja-tari|stem}}

Usage notes

  • Here you might want to have more detailed information about the usage or connotations of a word, so as not to clutter up the section above. Since Japanese differs significantly from English, many words will require significant explication about how the sense of a word differs from its simple English translation.
  • Perhaps the word is only used in association with something else or only in extremely formal circumstances.
  • This is information that the wiktionary can provide that is not currently offered by existing dictionaries in any significant way.


  • a synonym (linked)


  • an antonym (linked)

Derived terms

  • a derived term (linked)

Related terms

  • a term related to this one linguisticly, not necessarily derived from it. Derived terms are related terms so if you have both, you may wish to combine them under Related terms.


  • Some idiomatic expression using this word.
    English translation

See also

  • word of interest somehow pertaining to this one
  • another word of interest

Considerations about Japanese language entries

Wiktionary may be used by students who are not proficient in Japanese and may be unfamiliar with or unable to type the kanji, hiragana, or katakana versions of Japanese terms. The criteria for inclusion of Japanese entries includes romaji and hiragana entries. A romaji entry satisfies the criteria for inclusion if any of its hiragana, katakana, or kanji transliterations satisfy the standard criteria. Likewise, a hiragana or katakana transliteration of a kanji entry satisfies the criteria for inclusion if that kanji entry satisfies the standard criteria.

Non-lemma forms

Hiragana entries

Hiragana entries with corresponding kanji entries should be formatted like this:

===(part of speech)===
(pos template, with form "h", without the kanji= parameter if there are multiple definitions)
# {{ja-def|kanji form 1}} short definition 1
# {{ja-def|kanji form 2}} short definition 2
(other parts of speech, in English alphabetical order)

If the hiragana is a pronunciaton of a kanji which is used in compounds, add a Kanji reading section like this: (this comes first, before parts of speech)

===Kanji reading===
'''hiragana form''' (''romaji form'')
====On-reading of:====
*{{ja-def|kanji 1 with this on-reading}}
*{{ja-def|kanji 2 with this on-reading}}

====Kun-reading of:====
*{{ja-def|kanji with this kun-reading}}

E.g. excerpted from :

===Kanji reading===
'''き''' (''ki'')
====On-reading of:====
# {{ja-def|貴}} [[noble]], [[precious]]
# {{ja-def|機}} [[machine]], [[moment]], [[chance]]
====Kun-reading of:====
# {{ja-def|黄}} [[yellow]]
# {{ja-def|木}} [[tree]]
# {{ja-def|気}} [[air]], [[spirit]]

Kanji reading


On-reading of:

  1. : noble, precious
  2. : machine, moment, chance

Kun-reading of:

  1. : yellow


(romaji ki)

  1. : tree
  2. : air, spirit

Hiragana entries will thus act as the canonical entry for pronunciation and homophones.

Romaji entries

See /Transliteration for the romanization method

Romaji entries serve as soft redirects to hiragana and/or katakana entries, and have no definitions, parts of speech headings, or other information. Such information belongs in kanji and kana entries. Hiragana and katakana entries may serve for disambiguation, while romaji entries do not. The only category romaji entries belong to is "Category:Japanese romanizations" (see Template:ja-romaji). Romaji entries should be formatted as follows:

A hiragana-only example: "tsuku"



A katakana-only example: "rūto"



A hiragana and katakana example: "ringo"



Kanji entries

Entries for a single Kanji character are formatted as follows:

{{kanji |
[[on reading 1]] (''romaji''), [[on reading 2]] (''romaji'') |
[[kun reading]] (''romaji''),
[[whole word kun reading]] ([[kanji]], ''romaji'')
| rs=radical/stroke index}}

The template also categorizes the Kanji in Category:Japanese kanji which is sorted by radical/stroke as noted below.


{{kanji |
[[しゃ]] (''sha''), [[しょ]] (''sho'') |
[[かつ]] ([[且つ]], ''katsu'')
| rs=一04且}}


しゃ (sha), しょ (sho)

かつ (且つ, katsu)

Parts of speech

Western explanations of Japanese grammar are so varied that none are definitive and no well-known Western methods are consistent with classical Japanese. Thus, the parts of speech should adhere to the common Japanese way of teaching grammar in modern 国語 (kokugo) texts, the method with the widest agreement among Japanese scholars. To support such classification, templates for each part of speech will link to an explanatory page with alternatives as to how to classify that part of speech.

Part of speech and conjugation type are to be maintained separately. So, rather than referring to godan verbs, an entry will refer to transitive verbs or intransitive verbs that follow the godan conjugation.

Nouns (名詞)

  • Noun - use L3 or L4 header Noun and {{ja-noun|k|hira=(hiragana)|rom=(romaji)}}
e.g. for 頭, use: {{ja-noun|k|hira=あたま|rom=atama}}
...which produces: 頭 (hiragana あたま, romaji atama)
  • Note that pronouns (代名詞) should be considered a subclass of nouns, and not a separate part of speech.
  • The count= parameter can be used to identify the counter used with this noun.

Verbs (動詞)

Use L3 or L4 header Verb and {{ja-verb|k|type=(type)|hira=(hiragana)|rom=(romaji)}}

  • Intransitive verb (自動詞)
e.g. 変わる kawaru, meaning “change” as in something changing
  • Transitive verb (他動詞)
e.g. 変える kaeru, meaning “change” as in changing something

To indicate transitivity, use the tr= parameter:

笑う (intransitive, godan conjugation, hiragana わらう, romaji warau)

Verb conjugation patterns

also known as Type I Conjugation, Consonant-Stem Conjugation
e.g. 読む yomu
  • Ichidan conjugation (一段活用)
also known as Type II Conjugation, Vowel-Stem Conjugation (includes Kami-Ichidan and Shimo-Ichidan Conjugation)
e.g. 見る miru, 出る deru

For classical Japanese (文語), the following should also be included:

e.g. 逢ふ apu
e.g. 見る miru
e.g. 落つ otu
蹴る keru
e.g. 出づ idu
e.g. 来る kuru
e.g. する suru, 勉強する benkyōsuru
帰ぬ inu, 死ぬ shinu
なり nari, あり ari, 侍り haberi

Adjectives (形容詞)

also known as i-adjective, true adjective, verbal adjective, descriptive verb
e.g. 美しい utsukushii

For classical Japanese (文語), the following should also be included:

  • Ku Declension (ク活用)
  • Shiku Declension (シク活用)

Use L3 or L4 header Adjective and {{ja-adj|k|decl=i|hira=(hiragana)|rom=(romaji)}}.

Adjectival nouns (形容動詞)

also known as na-adjective, quasi-adjective, nominal, descriptive noun, copular adjective
e.g. 静か shizuka

For classical Japanese (文語), the following should also be included:

  • Nari Declension (ナリ活用)
  • Tari Declension (タリ活用)

Use L3 or L4 header Adjectival noun and {{ja-adj|k|decl=na|hira=(hiragana)|rom=(romaji)}}. For lemma entries, it is helpful to include L4 or L5 header Declension and {{ja-na|(kanji)|(hiragana)|(romaji)}}.

Adverbs (副詞)

e.g. あまり amari, きっと kitto

Use L3 or L4 header Adverb and {{ja-pos|k|adverb|hira=(hiragana)|rom=(romaji)}}.

Conjunctions (接続詞)

e.g. けれども keredomo, から kara, のに no ni

Use L3 or L4 header Conjunction and {{ja-pos|k|conjunction|hira=(hiragana)|rom=(romaji)}}.

Interjections (感動詞)

e.g. ほら hora, あら ara, はい hai, いいえ iie

Use L3 or L4 header Interjection and {{ja-pos|k|interjection|hira=(hiragana)|rom=(romaji)}}.

Particles (助詞)

  • Case particle (格助詞)
  • Sentence-final particle (終助詞)
  • Indirect particle (間投助詞)
  • Adverbial particle (副助詞)
  • Binding particle (係助詞)
  • Conjunctive particle (接続助詞)

Use L3 or L4 header Particle and {{ja-pos|h|particle|rom=(romaji)}}.

Auxiliaries (助動詞)

also known as auxiliary verb
  • Indicate the type of conjugation (e.g. like godan, i-adjective, etc.)

Use L3 or L4 header Suffix and {{ja-pos|k|suffix|hira=(hiragana)|rom=(romaji)}}.

Adnominals (連体詞)

also known as prenominal adjective, pre-noun adjective

e.g. この kono, その sono, あの ano, どの dono, いわゆる iwayuru

Use L3 or L4 header Adnominal and {{ja-pos|(k or h)|adnominal|hira=(hiragana)|rom=(romaji)|hhira=(historical hiragana, if applicable)}}. This is a closed-class part of speech with a relatively limited number of terms. Not everything that comes before a noun is an adnominal.

Counter words (助数詞)

Use L3 or L4 header Counter and {{ja-pos|k|counter|hira=(hiragana)|rom=-(romaji)}}.

Do not use a hyphen with kanji, katakana, or hiragana, but do use one with romaji.

Prefixes (接頭辞)

Use L3 or L4 header Prefix {{ja-pos|k|prefix|hira=(hiragana)|rom=(romaji)-}}. Do not use a hyphen with kanji, katakana, or hiragana, but do use one with romaji.

Suffixes (接尾辞)

Use L3 or L4 header Suffix and {{ja-pos|k|suffix|hira=(hiragana)|rom=-(romaji)}}. Do not use a hyphen with kanji, katakana, or hiragana, but do use one with romaji.


See Wiktionary:About Japanese/Transliteration

Verb forms of nouns

Many nouns in Japanese have a verb form that is created by simply appending する (suru). Because this type of verb is so closely associated with the noun stem, its entry is considered the plain form minus する. There is a special headword template for those verbs: {{ja-verb-suru}}. See 監督.

Note however that some verbs ending in する behave differently, such as 愛する and other verbs with one kanji plus する. See 愛する.

Hiragana entries

Because entries for short hiragana tokens (e.g., しょ, sho) can correspond to so many kanji, it makes sense to have a level 3 section at the bottom called "Hiragana", with level 4 sections for on'yomi readings and kun'yomi readings. It might be prudent to include subtle differences in pronunciation (as exists between hashi "bridge" and hashi "chopstick"), but it is unclear how to indicate such differences using the wiki software.


Any Japanese entry that is part of any larger terms that meet the criteria for inclusion should have a level 4 section with a bulleted list of links to the larger terms. That level 4 section should be called "Compounds" in kanji entries and "Derived terms" in non-kanji entries. The bulleted items that begin with the entry should come first.

A level 4 section called "Names" should contain any common names constructed from the kanji, even if such names duplicate a compound word.

Kana, Romaji, English translation

To accommodate the diverse needs and fluency levels of readers, each Japanese phrase or term should be expressed in four forms: a formal Japanese version, a kana version, a romaji version, and an English language translation. The additional verbosity is necessary to produce a general-purpose resource.

Adjectival nouns or Quasi-adjectives

The main entry for the part of speech sometimes called quasi-adjective and sometimes called adjectival noun (形容動詞 in Japanese) should be in the form without the な (na), on the same page as the noun form if there is one:

=== Adjectival noun ===

E.g. 平安 (heian) has a level 3 section like this:

=== Adjectival noun ===

平安 (hiragana へいあん, romaji heian)

This should be followed by the definition(s), and then the declension table using template {{ja-na}}. Note that na type adjectives have declensions, so the header should be Declension, not Conjugation.


List of relevant categories

  • Category:Japanese language
    The root category in the Wiktionary category tree for Japanese terms. All other Japanese-related categories are ultimately within this category. Most Japanese entries should be categorized in one or more of the more specific categories below. Individual words should only be in this top level category if they are about the Japanese language (e.g. the entry for hiragana).

Words are categorized properly in the Part of Speech and Script form categories automatically by the POS templates (ja-noun, ja-verb, ja-adj, and ja-pos).


All categories should be sorted by hiragana except Category:Japanese kanji and Category:Japanese romanizations. If the page title is not completely in hiragana, then put the hiragana version of the term as the sort key like this [[Category:mycategory|sortkey]].

A note about hiragana sort keys: In most Japanese dictionaries, だいがく, for example, would be listed amongst た words and not separated into its own だ section. However, by default Wiktionary does the latter. To fix this, we would give だいがく the sort key of たいがく. たいがく (退学) is a word too though, so we would not want だいがく to show up before it on the list. To assure it shows up afterwards, we stick ' at the end to give it a slightly greater alphabetical order value. For words starting with ぱ or any hiragana with the little circle mark, we stick two 's at the end ('').

Romaji pages usually do not need a sort key, but if for some reason it begins with a capital letter, add a sort key with the lowercase version.

Kanji sortkeys are formatted like so: radical + number of strokes beyond radical (two digits) + the kanji itself. The sort key for 上 would be 一02上

Additional help

Help from the community

Sometimes, we know there is a problem, but don't know what to do to correct the problem. If you should find a Japanese entry with a problem that you do not know how to correct, there are several ways to approach the situation.

  1. Mark the page with {{attention|ja}}. This template adds the entry to Category:Japanese words needing attention, where another user can then find and correct the problem. It helps if you include comments on the entry's talk page explaining what the problem is or why you think the page needs attention.
  2. Raise the issue on Wiktionary talk:About Japanese. Note that this approach is primarily for issues of style, formatting, categorization, and not for specifics of content.
  3. Mark the page with {{rfc}}. This is a more general cleanup tag that allows the user to include reasons or concerns as an argument in the template. Be sure to also add an entry to WT:RFC concerning the word so that other editors will be made aware of the problem.

Translations into Japanese

These are basic translation examples. The sc parameter is optional (the default sc value for {{ja}} is "Jpan").

* Japanese: {{t|ja|環境|tr=kankyō}}


* Japanese: {{t|ja|環境|tr=かんきょう, kankyō}}


* Japanese: {{t|ja|環境|tr=[[かんきょう]], kankyō}}

Words written in a mixture of kanji and hiragana or entirely in kanji may be transliterated first in hiragana then rōmaji, separated by a comma, mutltiple readings are to be transliterated as hiragana1, rōmaji1, hiragana2, rōmaji2, etc. E.g.:

* Japanese: {{t|ja|故郷|tr=ふるさと, furusato, こきょう, kokyō|sc=Jpan}}

Hiragana reading can optionally be wikified to show homophones and especially when writing a word in hiragana is common. For wikification of hiragana readings only square brackets (e.g. [[かんきょう]]) are allowed, no other templates inside {{t}} template.

{{t|ja|綺麗|tr=[[きれい]], kirei}}

Or (きれい is not only a hiragana transliteration of 綺麗 or 奇麗 but an alternative spelling of the word - written in hiragana only):

{{t|ja|綺麗|tr=きれい, kirei}}, {{t|ja|きれい|tr=kirei}}

Katakana entries only need rōmaji transliteration:

* Japanese: {{t|ja|スポーツ|tr=supōtsu|sc=Jpan}}

Words, which can be spelled in hiragana, katakana and kanji could provide all variant spellings or hiragana spelling could be wikified inside the kanji translation:

* Japanese: {{t|ja|熊|tr=[[くま]], kuma|sc=Jpan}}, {{t|ja|クマ|tr=kuma|sc=Jpan}}


* Japanese: {{t|ja|熊|tr=くま, kuma|sc=Jpan}}, {{t|ja|くま|tr=kuma|sc=Jpan}}, {{t|ja|クマ|tr=kuma|sc=Jpan}}

Derived forms can link to lemma forms using alt parameter, e.g. the translation for tired links to the lemma form 疲れる (to get tired):

{{t|ja|疲れる|alt=疲れた|tr=つかれた, tsukareta}}

Other Japanese aids

See also