Wiktionary talk:About Japanese/Archive 1

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This is an archive of topics from Wiktionary talk:About Japanese that, as of April 25, 2006, had no posts since February 16, 2006. Those topics were archived into this page in this edit.

Kanji as a "Part of speech"[edit]

Kanji is currently listed in the part of speech section. This should be clarified because, obviously, kanji is not a part of speech. However, when an article is on an individual character, "kanji" does belong in the equivalent section. This is not clear for many people since the term "kanji" has a somewhat blurry meaning. Maybe a heading including the term "character" might be better. In any case, we should explain why this non-part-of-speech belongs in some ways in the list with actual parts of speech. — Hippietrail 01:25, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Kanji compound links[edit]

Where should we put links to the individual kanji in a compound word? In the See Also section? For example, in 勉強, should the links for 勉 and 強 be in the definition itself or in another section (or on the page at all?) Millie 23:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Do you mean something like 終端速度. I don't like this style, but I do think we should link to the individual kanji somewhere on the page. Gerard Foley 02:03, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps the etymology section might be a good place. Eclecticology 04:58, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Like this?:



Millie 09:40, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I also think the etymology section is a good place. How about something like:


Combination of (fire) and (mountain), lit. Fire mountain

Gerard Foley 18:19, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

This looks like a good way to start. There are still some interesting questions that underlay this. The same etymology would also apply to Chinese in many cases. Would it make sense in these cases to give etymology a level 2 heading that precedes the entry for any specific language?
What's interesting about your last example is that it can explain both 火山 and . I think the important thing in this is to remain open to the many different possibilities without painting ourselves into any corners. Eclecticology 19:16, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't think it's wise to include a single etymology for one word that spans across multiple languages. It works fine for 火山, but try using 愛人 (zh:spouse; ko:boyfriend/girlfriend; ja:mistress) and you get yourself into trouble. Not to mention, very few contributors are going to know all CJK languages in order to properly determine where to put the word. --Aaronsama 18:02, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Aaronsama --Gerard Foley 20:13, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I have usually been employing the style like 終端速度, but I can make concession in this. I'll put those information about structure of a word into the etymology section from now on.
Aaronsama, when it comes to the first half of your opinion, you might get something wrong. I think it has been assumed from the very beginning that an entry will have three etymology sections if it has three language headings. --Tohru 11:20, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Kanji in this word box, from the German Wiktionary. I like this!

Kanji in this word

Gerard Foley 05:33, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Kanji readings[edit]

What should be done with kanji readings, many are not words, so should not be in the main namespace, but they are useful. Gerard Foley 02:08, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Let's not be too strict about the word, "word". "Lexeme" might be a more appropriate term. Because we deal with so many languages it has been necessary to be adaptable as these issues come up. That has been so from the beginning. Eclecticology 05:01, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Don't we have an index namespace for thinks like this? Gerard Foley 18:20, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

So far there is only an "Index" pseudonamespace. There has been a request to have that converted into a real namespace, but nothing has happened. Whatever may happen on that front the "Indexes" are in need of massive reorganization. This is also the case with much of our meta-material where it is common for contributors to begin projects that they get bored with and abandon. Eclecticology 19:55, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, but what about putting kanji readings into the Index namespace (pseudo or not). The main entry can REDIRECT to the index if it is not a word, or a link to the index can go in to the entry if it is a word. Gerard Foley 22:14, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Here is an experimental page Index:も. Gerard Foley 22:20, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
This is some good thinking. Perhaps Reading:も would be a more appropriate term. Technically, Index:も should include any word that begins with も. Additionally, Reading:モ and Reading:mo could both redirect to Reading:も. --Aaronsama 18:12, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

The namespace should be Index, how about Index:Kanji readings も, just worded a bit better! モ and mo should redirect. Gerard Foley 20:18, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I assent to the idea that kanji readings should somehow be added. How about just including them in the main namespace? They won't ruin other information if they are only put in the appropriate section. There are already multitudes of entries for pieces of words, like alphabets, affixes, or kanjis, and it is not a big leap to include kanji readings there as another kind of important lexical information. I edited くつ for the illustration. --Tohru 18:13, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

It probably is best to leave then in the main namespace like Tohru said. Gerard Foley 22:19, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Even supposing that we are on the right track, the layout of the kanji reading section is still in draft, though while I gave my best shot to it. I'd appreciate more comments and review. --Tohru 15:45, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
I was just looking at Wiktionary:Japanese index and find that it has not been maintained recently. I would suggest moving it to Index:Japanese where it could be the top level index page for Japanese material. Eclecticology 20:29, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Classical Japanese[edit]

Should classical Japanese words be included in Japanese entries, or should we consider it a separate language for Wiktionary purposes? I've never seen a dictionary that intermingled modern and classical Japanese before. --Aaronsama 18:16, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Since we separate Old English from English I'd say the same would follow for Japanese but I'd respect the opinions of experts on the subject. — Hippietrail 19:04, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Classical Japanese should be included. I agree with Hippietrail's comments. --Gerard Foley 20:21, 8 December 2005 (UTC)


I have made templates for Japanese entries; however I noticed other people do not use them. I would have asked about this before, but I was new to the Wiki projects and did not know of the Beer parlor. Looking at this page, I noticed the last question was left on the 15 Jan 2005, with no response. I figured no one was interested in Japanese here and I did not want to wait for an answer I though I would never get. What are people’s opinions on the templates? --Gerard Foley 20:27, 8 December 2005 (UTC)


Some people have expressed a dislike for the heading Furigana. Who wants to keep furigana and who wants to change it to something else? What can it be changed to? Gerard Foley 20:30, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I share the concerns about this delicate proposition with the opponents of the heading.
While furigana is seemingly used as synonym of hiragana script in the context of Japanese education for English speakers, I Japanese native speaker can't help feeling odd with the usage, by the same reason that Eclecticology and Hippietrail voiced respectively. Probably, educated Japanese people unfamiliar with the situation about Japanese textbooks/dictionaries in English would mistakenly regard it as just wrong, at first impression. Though generally speaking convenience for English speakers should be esteemed here in the English Wiktionary, there seems to be an anomalistic ambiguity at furigana, and I think we can reasonably adopt some exceptional treatment for it.
Unfortunately there seems to be no specific Japanese word representing the hiragana form of a word. In my opinion the generic term hiragana would be safe and suitable, though not so impressive, as already suggested by others.
In addition, this discussion has relevance to the above one about kanji reading, which is actually about how to deal with furiganas. All in all I prefer the recipe like くつ again, disambiguating the hiragana definition list from the furigana list, and including both small indices in the main namespace. --Tohru 10:34, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
I like the idea of splitting up Hiragana and Kanji reading, which is the two senses of how we've been using Furigana. Is it useful to anyone to split up on and kun readings though? You can always click on the kanji to find out if it is on or kun but if people like to know at a glance which it is, we can keep it. Millie 11:54, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a point. Some people will feel the temptation to classify the readings, and others won't. And, we can always make use of a phased approach. How do you think about a policy allowing both formats, under which one can start a kanji reading section without distinction between on-readings and kun-readings, then the other can sort them out later? The resulting outcome would be ok for both types of people in this case. --Tohru 15:38, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

A few comments[edit]

It is encouraging to see this discussion about Japanese taking place. I do not speak Japanese myself, but I am very interested in the challenge of integrating Japanese into our very special and unusual multilingual context. It is perfectly understandable that the material included by the level 2 heading "Japanese" may in some respects be organized differently from what would be done for an English word. I believe that what is on WT:ELE should be respected, but only to the extent that it is reasonable to do so.

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong but it appears to me that the difference between hiragana and furigana is similar to the difference between numeral and number in English. In both cases the first relates to how something is written, and the second relates to how that same thing is used. If that premise is wrong, then it follows that anything more that I say on the subject is wrong. :-)

Any Japanese word can be written in hiragana, but doing that would look strange to the average Japanese person. In theory any such word could also be written in katakana or romaji, and still be understood, but that would look even more strange. If one tried to do the same thing in strict kanji he may require the use of old chinese characters that no Japanese would understand. The blend of four scripts into a real Japanese text can be baffling to foreigners. The task is somewhat like analyzing how a pagoda is built using no nails without bringing that pagoda crashing to the ground.

Hiragana is uniquely Japanese; that is to say, no other language uses it. (Am I correct in thinking that even Ainu should be preferably written in katakana?) Having a script that can only be used for one language is a big advantage for us. It has the effect that every word can be referenced to that form without the risk that it be misunderstood as belonging to some other language.

While hiragana can be used to link all Japanese forms, romaji links all languages. This is very much what I had in mind with the "ja3" and a few related templates. The template is wikied for all three scripts, and can be copied identically onto all three pages. The issue of "on" and "kun" readings may simply mean that several of these templates will need to appear on a single page.

It is understandable to want to have the principal entry for a word on the page that has the most common form. In many cases there is an easy answer to which is most common, but there could be many others where this isn't the case. Making that determination could even be considered contrary to NPOV. We have already had reverts where the issue was whether some foreign word must be written in katakana. Life will be more peaceful here if we can avoid that kind of dispute which cannot be won without a loss of face by someone.

The kanji box borrowed from the German Wiktionary looks nice. I am hesitant about using templates within template, but I still wonder whether it would be usefull in the kanji part of my ja3 template.

I see a long list of templates to represent the conjugation of Japanese verbs. Do we really need that many templates? Templates are tools which will not appear on the article page as seen by a reader; they are easier to use when there are very few of them. Having fewer may mean writing a little more for each entry, but that seems less serious than puzzling about the right template to use. It's an issue of user friendliness.

To repeat myself, I think that this recent work with the Japanese material is very good. Let's keep it up. Eclecticology 20:11, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Italics with Japanese[edit]

This was at Talk:あの

I have to say I'm really against using italics with Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic. They're just not suited to it. At least not without a font specifically designed for italics. — Hippietrail 17:48, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I have to agree, it looks bad. Gerard Foley 22:52, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Good point. From now on I'll stop using them. Millie 12:56, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Obsolete kanjis and the readings[edit]

Recently, how to handle obsolete kanjis and uncommon readings of common kanjis in a reading section has been an issue, and I like the basic idea of ====Uncommon On-reading of:====, seen in entries such as いち and しち. Taking a step further I'd like to propose the reconfiguration of the 4th-level headers, like the following:

====Kanjis with the on-reading====
====Kanjis with the kun-reading====
====Obsolete kanjis with the on-reading====
====Obsolete kanjis with the kun-reading====

How about them? (I'm not sure if the preposition "with" is apt or not though...) And I think there can be templates that appear like ===={{ja-onread}}====, and ===={{ja-obs-onread}}==== for the little long strings.

Plus, we can mark a common kanji listed under the uncommon reading with a symbol like *, and put the annotation at the lowest part of the reading section.

・・・ Or at the last analysis, the 2nd level header ==Japanese== is primarily for modern Japanese, hence I think it's ok to create a hiragana entry without those uncommon kanjis and readings, ignoring the "what links here" stuff for a time :) --Tohru 09:50, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, it does seem like too much info that's not really useful. Is it better to err on the side of too much or not enough information? I would like to get more people's input before I continue. Millie 12:25, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Stroke order diagrams[edit]

Has anyone seen Chinese stroke order:Protocoles. They look very good. Gerard Foley 21:43, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Those are nice. Chinese stroke order has a bunch of already made ones we could import. Millie

I'm guessing (because nobody has mentioned it, and the handful of native-speakers I've asked care little about stroke order) that differences in stroke order between the languages don't matter. E.g. for 玉, 馬 (and usually anywhere there's a central line contained completely within a bunch of horizontal lines), my Japanese references go: top horizontal, central line, remaining horizontals and my chinese references go: all but last horizontal, central line, last horizontal.--Frentos 23:22, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Sortkeys and subcats for single-character entries[edit]

A lot of people are concentrating on the formatting of the entries and the semantic classifications, which is certainly necessary, but what about the categorization of the characters themselves? Please see Wiktionary talk:Entries on Chinese characters#Sortkeys and subcats for single-character entries (it's the best page I could find for discussing issues relevant to the use of Chinese characters by all four languages: CJKV) and comment on how exactly we should be categorizing the single-character entries. - dcljr 08:32, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Synonyms vs. See Also?[edit]

What's a good format for synonym entries in Japanese? Just put an unadorned 'See Also' entry as per Wiktionary:About_Japanese, or something more like the generic layout for synonyms that indicates the linked word is a synonym? Example: Japanese 馬子 -> 馬方. (Off topic: If 馬子 rings a bell, Millie, many thanks for tidying up the dog's breakfast that was my first Wiktionary entry!) --Frentos 22:55, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I like using the more specific Synonym instead of See Also. Actually, I think this About page needs a bit of an update. It shouldn't, as I found out when I first started, be taken as gospel. Millie 23:41, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
No problem about using "synonym". "See also" can also apply to links that are not necesarily synonyms. As for the update go a head and start; the area is still evolving. Eclecticology 02:24, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Just a quick note. All headings are in 'Sentence case' and are plural no matter how many items they contain. This it is always "Synonyms" and always "See also". — Hippietrail 21:44, 5 February 2006 (UTC)


I would like to see this page reflect the current practices of editors of Japanese words so I tried by hand at updating. Please review the changes and advise on corrections. Millie 16:53, 11 February 2006 (UTC)


The current version states: "To fix this [sorting problem], 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 ('')." Isn't this unnecessarily complicated? Seems to me, だ would be sorted after た, and ぱ after ば after は, by default, because of Unicode order. In other words, if two entries have the same sortkey, they're sorted "alphabetically" (in Unicode order) based on original page title, right? - dcljr 00:38, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

If it does sort alphabetically by page title, then since the page title is kanji, it would put whichever starting kanji has the lowest alphabetical value, which isn't related to the hiragana spelling. Though I guess it's not necessary for words in the Hiragana category. That is, if it does sort by original page title and not whichever was entered into the category first. Do you know for sure it does? Millie 14:26, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't know for sure, but since the categories are a dynamically updated thing, I can't imagine it depends on the order in which pages are added to the category. As for the sorting-by-kanji issue, you're right, of course; I hadn't thought about that. - dcljr 20:21, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Kanji Compounds[edit]

On individual Kanji pages, there's frequently a "Compounds" section. Is it normal there to include only Kanji-only entries, or also compounds made using hiragana as well? For an example, see the compounds of , 春休み being the one I wonder about. Thanks! Cruinne 14:56, 15 February 2006 (UTC)