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Thread: How is it different?

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    Question How is it different?

    Or rather, why is it different?

    I bought this CD of my fave Band's Japanese album. The lyric booklet is in Japanese (and partly English since the song has English parts). I can read a little Japanese. And I noticed that there were some parts which could be spelled in Kanji yet it's in Hiragana. And on some parts some of the English words are Japanized when some aren't (i.e. message and メセージ).

    So, how or why is it different? Or is it just the same no matter how they are spelled?
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    Default Re: How is it different?

    Meaning-wise, they are pretty much the same. The difference lies in aesthetics, legibility, and implication.


    Kanji are usually preferred because they serve as great word dividers that make sentences easier to read:
    compare 晩ご飯はもう食べた。 and ばんごはんはもうたべた。
    Sentences written completely in hiragana take longer for me to read.


    However, sometimes hiragana is a better choice than kanji:
    いま日光市に行きます。(I'm going to Nikko-shi now.)
    but if you choose to write いま in kanji--今日光市に行きます。some people may misinterpret 今日 as one word (kyou).
    To avoid confusion or just to make things easier to read, kanji is not always preferred.


    Also, in terms of aesthetics, kanji and hiragana give off different feelings to their readers.
    Something written in excess kanji can come off as serious, difficult, scholarly, or ancient.
    On the other hand, the more hiragana, the more light-hearted or relaxed the writing will look.
    Compare ああ、君はどこへ消えたんだろ? and 嗚呼、君は何処へ消えたんだろ?
    The former looks like something you see everyday, whereas the latter looks like something from a poem or an old book.


    Of course, katakana is convenient when it comes to emphasis:
    Compare あなた、誰? (Who are you?) and あなた、ダレ? (WHO are you?)


    As for foreign words, most of the time I don't hear a difference in their pronunciation whether they are written in their native script or in katakana, although TECHNICALLY, message and メッセージ should not have the same pronunciation...=\


    There are other possibilities and reasons for choosing one script over another, but I'm lazy~

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