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Thread: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

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    Default When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    Does anyone know what the point of writing words in Katakana is when the words themselves are commonly written as Hiragana? I see it all the time, with the most common example I think would be kimi (君・キミ).

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    I'm pretty sure it's meant to emphasize certain words.

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haze~ View Post
    I'm pretty sure it's meant to emphasize certain words.
    What kind of emphasis though?

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    Quote Originally Posted by FireFox2000000 View Post
    What kind of emphasis though?
    Well, I'm not really sure what you mean by "what kind", but I've looked into it, and found something that may explain it more thoroughly:

    Katakana are also used for emphasis, especially on signs, advertisements, and hoardings (i.e., billboards). For example, it is common to see ココ koko ("here"), ゴミ gomi ("trash"), or メガネ megane ("glasses"). Words the writer wishes to emphasize in a sentence are also sometimes written in katakana, mirroring the European usage of italics.[4]

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    the main use of katakana is for foreign words, for emphases they are used in things like the boxes of meds.
    in everyday speech there are many reasons: simply being cool, emphasize/shout something, or because of a specific situation
    the last one is where "キミ probably belongs
    there examples like: オネエ、オトコ、オンナ、オレ、アタシ which refer to one's gender ID when it is either clearly a transgendered person, or when someone simply crossdresses
    when someone specifically uses katakana for a small phrase, when there are kanji-hiragana for it, the it might mean they say it in accent, to look cool.
    in anime you see it mostly in names, because they don't want to affiliate real people with characters, they use strange sir names and given names written in katakana.
    Last edited by 星らぶ; 01-08-2015 at 04:15 PM.

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    I usually use the cooler looking characters when making arts or stickers depending on my purpose, either its Kanji, Katakana, Hiragana, as long as the lines fit my art I go with it.

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    I've heard that katakana is used similarly to Italics to add emphasis. Although I've also seen it depend on the character speaking, mainly those from books and visual novels. Kids and childish characters will often use katakana in their pronouns ( オレ, アタシ, キミ, アンタ ). Whereas more mature characters will use the kanji obviously.

    I always get thrown off when I see 貴方 "anata" as kanji in regular writing though. Not sure why.

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    Quote Originally Posted by RyuTama View Post
    I always get thrown off when I see 貴方 "anata" as kanji in regular writing though. Not sure why.
    anata in common everyday speech is written with hiragana.
    how old are the books (I mean publication year) you have seen it in kanji?
    mind that every few years some kanji are stopped being used in school and some others are included, so there are cases that one generation uses for example kanji for "kawaii" 可愛いand todays kids use hiraganaかわいい (or katakana)
    Last edited by 星らぶ; 01-18-2015 at 12:05 PM.

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    Quote Originally Posted by 星らぶ View Post
    anata in common everyday speech is written with hiragana.
    how old are the books (I mean publication year) you have seen it in kanji?
    mind that every few years some kanji are stopped being used in school and some others are included, so there are cases that one generation uses for example kanji for "kawaii" 可愛いand todays kids use hiraganaかわいい (or katakana)
    Yeah, that's exactly why seeing "anata" in kanji is so weird for me. I most often see it in certain song lyrics, and sometimes in visual novels, generally when a character is super proper and old-fashioned.

    It always takes a few seconds to register in my brain when I see it rofl.

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    Quote Originally Posted by RyuTama View Post
    Yeah, that's exactly why seeing "anata" in kanji is so weird for me. I most often see it in certain song lyrics, and sometimes in visual novels, generally when a character is super proper and old-fashioned.

    It always takes a few seconds to register in my brain when I see it rofl.
    makes sense then.
    songs are strange anyway they use words and kanji that are not normally used.
    As for extreme politeness and old fashioned character then sure

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    Default

    Historically katakana is used by man and hiragana is used by woman... but now, katakana usually used for foreign word... in example "the world" will be written "ザ ワールド"

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    Quote Originally Posted by vapid View Post
    Historically katakana is used by man and hiragana is used by woman...
    This makes it sound way more generalized and gender-oriented than what I first read about it. O_o From what I remember, yes, monks used katakana, but only to facilitate the reading of their scriptures, not in a way of actual standalone writing. Men as a whole didn't use it, only monks reading difficult scriptures heavy with Chinese characters. As for hiragana, yes, it was developed by women in the court, but it's not like it remained exclusive to them for long, since it gained popularity with poets and whonot.

    I could have some facts wrong, I admittedly haven't read too much on the history of the language. But seeing it just generalized as 'only men used katakana and women hiragana' just doesn't seem all that right...

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    Did not want to necro on old thread, but felt I should add this in case somebody actually still read this thread. (based on what I know. if anybody knows better, please correct me if I am wrong)

    Other than being used for foreign words/phoenetic approximations, katakana is also used for replacing obsoleted kanji, which are either difficult to write or seldom used (or both).
    There is a government body in Japan (not sure which, under education?) that administrates which kanjis are obsoleted, and these terms are written in katakana from then on.

    one example of obsoleted kanji:
    煉瓦 (brick) is now written as レンガ even though this term is not 'foreign'.

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    Quote Originally Posted by 鏡花水月 View Post
    Did not want to necro on old thread, but felt I should add this in case somebody actually still read this thread. (based on what I know. if anybody knows better, please correct me if I am wrong)

    Other than being used for foreign words/phoenetic approximations, katakana is also used for replacing obsoleted kanji, which are either difficult to write or seldom used (or both).
    There is a government body in Japan (not sure which, under education?) that administrates which kanjis are obsoleted, and these terms are written in katakana from then on.

    one example of obsoleted kanji:
    煉瓦 (brick) is now written as レンガ even though this term is not 'foreign'.
    You are correct about that government body, they also decide every few years to simplify some words and add kanji to others. Which leads to different generations of people knowing different kanji.
    one example is the work 可愛い (kawaii) many older people use it with the kanji combination, but the newest generations uses the word with hiragana or kanatana alone.

    while some words turned into katakana for a reason (there is another word with the same pronunciation etc) others go into just hiragana.
    so katakana is not a defacto policy, but it does exist of course.

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    @星らぶ さん

    Thanks for the additional info. I did not know much beyond the kanji to katakana cases. It is good to at least know that any terms can get changed to any form, so that I will not be surprised.

    Do you by any chance know if there is any online service or tools/resources from this government body to publish the latest 'standards'? E.g. if I want to know if a term I am using (including the writing form) is obsoleted, and if so what is the new form etc. I wonder how the people who writes a lot, like newspaper article authors, keeps their article up to the current standards when it keeps changing. (if they had to do it manually, poor guys...)

    (_ _)

    P/S. I use "可愛い" as well... it may mean that what I learnt is outdated... (-_-

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    @鏡花水月
    sadly the info came straight from my Japanese teacher and I don't know any links, they probably announce it somewhere, mostly for schools. As for newspapers hmm they are kind of different I believe, they probably use kanji even for very well known changes (for example country names are mostly written in katakana, but if there is a kanji for it a newspaper will use it lol)

    the thing is that it doesn't really matter how you write something because the Japanese will know the form anyway.
    some help can be http://jisho.org the online dictionary, it usually have commentary "usually written in kana" or if a word is outdated etc.
    I also write 可愛い or 格好良い even though both are written in kana. For example is someone who is 50 years old today writes with kanji a word that current generation writes with hiragana, the 50 year old is not going to change their way just because :P

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    I think they're just acting cool.

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    Default Re: When words normally written in Hiragana are written in Katakana?

    I've heard that katakana is used similarly to Italics to add emphasis.

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