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Thread: What's the difference between 君 and きみ/キミ ?

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    Default What's the difference between 君 and きみ/キミ ?

    Hi everybody,

    as the title already says, I'm wondering sometimes words are written in kanji and sometimes in kana. I'm often confronted with this situation in japanese games (visual-novels,etc.).

    Now my question is, where is the difference between e.g. 君 and きみ/キミ ?
    Is it more formal when it's written in kanji?

    Same goes for names, while some call (written) the other person by the "kanji", the other call (written) the person by "katakana"

    I hope somebody can give me the answer...
    Last edited by Tyraxx; 04-05-2012 at 06:49 AM.
    Guys, yes it is "ha" (は), but in this case it is pronounced "wa" (は). Though it's written the same it's pronounce different.
    So don't just write "ha" in the romaji.
    "Anata ha..."?, don't screw with me, what are you guys doing, using an "direct kana to romaji convertor"?
    Man, this always makes me so furious.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What's the difference between 君 and きみ/キミ ?

    For names is understandable, it all depends how a name is to be written. some names are written entirely in Katakana where as some might be wirtten in hiragana and katakana, this does apply to kanji written names aswell. Note that all names of a foreign origin are spelt in katakana. (Katakana is used for writing foreign words and names... also animals i do belive are spelt in katakana though they do have kanji for some/most).
    Also it can vary on how words are used, kanji can have several meanings but its normally more convineant for kanji to be used, but words written using kana can make the useage differant.
    Really its probberly best to wait for a more usefull reply as im still a student in early stages of learning and i am terrible of explaining stuff.

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    Default Re: What's the difference between 君 and きみ/キミ ?

    In terms of 君/きみ/キミ, writing in Kanji or hiragana are mostly equivalent... kanji would be more formal, of course. Written in katakana キミ has the same meaning, but it's written that way to put emphasis on the word, like putting something in all caps or bold in English. I think you might see it consistently in katakana from a character that's speaking more roughly, but that's just a guess on my part (For some reason I'm thinking of a tough guy going 「おぉい、 キミ!」, but I've seen キミ in katakana used for less rude situations as well)

    As for names, you shouldn't see the same person's name written alternatively in katakana and kanji. (Unless it's for emphasis, like I mentioned above) as Darkcobra mentioned, foreign names are written in katakana, but a Japanese parent might also choose to spell their child's name with just hiragana or katakana instead of kanji. But that's exactly what it is - a spelling difference. Just like someone might say that two girls named Ashley and Ashleigh have the same name, though spelled differently, it would be inappropriate to (knowingly) spell Ashleigh's name "Ashley" (I hope that comparison makes sense...) It's not uncommon for a Japanese person to include what characters make up his/her name in an introduction.

    Hope that clears some stuff up instead of making it worse!

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    Default Re: What's the difference between 君 and きみ/キミ ?

    I'm totally aware of emphasis and foreign in katakana.

    and this where my next question comes.
    Since it's not really common to emphasis words in English (or at least not as much s in Japanese), I don't really know, when you emphasize a word and when not.

    To the name thingy, it was that the person has a kanji name, but friends were calling the person by katakana.

    And what about 私 and  わたし, I often see this, and it's also that ONE person use sometimes tha kanji and sometimes the kana.
    And the more formal-rule can't work in this case, since it's referring to oneself.
    Last edited by Tyraxx; 04-06-2012 at 10:38 AM.
    Guys, yes it is "ha" (は), but in this case it is pronounced "wa" (は). Though it's written the same it's pronounce different.
    So don't just write "ha" in the romaji.
    "Anata ha..."?, don't screw with me, what are you guys doing, using an "direct kana to romaji convertor"?
    Man, this always makes me so furious.

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    Default Re: What's the difference between 君 and きみ/キミ ?

    If the character is calling their friend's name in Katakana consistently, I'd say it's probably just a stylistic thing. Sometimes characters using hiragana instead of kanji for words like 私 might be to show a level of immaturity, but I'd say in most cases it's not that deep. There's a lot of cases where it's perfectly acceptable to use kanji or hiragana. Though another situation that comes to mind is if a character is stuttering, (「わ、わたし。。。」) or some other case that might need to be represented phonetically, they might use hiragana. If there's a specific case you're wondering about, you may just include it in your post, because there's a million and one reasons (or no reason at all) the writer may have written it either way.

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    Default Re: What's the difference between 君 and きみ/キミ ?

    Maybe the developers of the game you are playing or novels you are reading are simply emphasizing something like a name or something important. I don't think there are major differences in the meaning of any particular words just because it is written in kanji. I can have something written in kanji and convert (or more like breaking it down) into katakana and it would mean the same thing.


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    Default Re: What's the difference between 君 and きみ/キミ ?

    I'm really sorry to revive this thread, but I now have one example where this phenomen appears:
    It's くん and 君 & さま and 様.
    What's the difference? Is the kanji even more formal, even though this suffix is also a formality?

    Another one is 有難う which I recently encountered, since I only know it like this ありがとう, what is the difference?
    Last edited by Tyraxx; 05-13-2012 at 02:01 PM.
    Guys, yes it is "ha" (は), but in this case it is pronounced "wa" (は). Though it's written the same it's pronounce different.
    So don't just write "ha" in the romaji.
    "Anata ha..."?, don't screw with me, what are you guys doing, using an "direct kana to romaji convertor"?
    Man, this always makes me so furious.

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    Default Re: What's the difference between 君 and きみ/キミ ?

    Like people have said before, the kanji is just more formal.
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