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Thread: What is Your Romaji Style?

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    Default What is Your Romaji Style?

    Looking through the forums, I deemed this probably the most appropriate place to make such a thread.
    Anyhow, I'm curious what other people's romaji styles are.

    As my fellow transliterators would know, there's really no "right" way.
    That being said, I've been trying to perfect mine for many years, and think that I am finally coming close to a system that I will use consistently and am fairly content with.
    I'll go over mine, but what is yours?


    Conversion Preferences

    は -> wa (particle)
    へ -> e (particle)
    を -> wo (particle)
    ん -> n (When followed by a "b" or "p" consonant. I know that some people like to style this with an "m".)
    づ -> dzu
    ぢ -> dji
    I know that the last two of those are more unusual these days. Still, the sound does exist today in some dialects, and are also prevalent in some Chinese dialects as well.



    Use of Capitals for Katakana

    I only use capitals to represent katakana when
    a) it is a foreign word (from the view of Japanese), or
    b) when the entire Japanese sentence is written in katakana to represent some kind of emotion or vocal distortion.

    When representing a foreign word, however, the way in which the word is handled depends on how it, and potentially other foreign words, are being sung within the song.
    For example : サテライト = SATELAITO vs SATELLITE
    In the example of SATELAITO, each vocal grouping is being distinguished, as in Japanese.
    In the example of SATELLITE, the word is being sung as though in its natural tongue.

    You will notice that I have also amended the Japanese "r" sound to an "l" sound for the romaji (SATERAITO vs SATELAITO). It's only appropriate, I believe.
    I will also alter a katakana "b" to a "v" when intended in the cases where the vocal difference between the two is unclear. If it is distinctly a "b" sound being sung, however, I may refrain from doing this.



    The Use of Apostrophes


    I notice that many people like to use an apostrophe to show an abbreviation of a word within romaji, such as 探してる being converted to "sagashite'ru". This is of course the same as the way in which we abbreviate words such as "can't".
    I understand why some people might use this, but I personally believe that this usage is wasted in romaji. The reason for this is simple...

    Romaji doesn't exist for us, who can read kanji and kana. If we need to create a distinction between sounds, we have furigana for that.
    Romaji exists for those with little to no knowledge of the Japanese language, to make their reading of it easier.

    In light of the decision to focus on that aspect, I use apostrophes in several cases.

    a) As many others as do, to show where a sound is broken so to avoid confusion on the pronunciation, when it can be easily mistaken for another word (しねん = shinen / しんえん = shin'en).
    b) When an "n" is proceeded by a "g" consonant. It may be obvious to us who know the language that there are no "ng" sounds in Japanese, but others may not realise this.
    c) When connecting verbs to certain auxiliary verbs, such as いる. For example, 探している becomes sagashite'iru. In the past I would style this as "sagashite iru", but it just didn't look right. Simply connecting the two parts didn't seem a valid option either, as -てい- may be mistaken as "tei" rather than "te-i". Granted, at times this can be the case, but usually there is a clear vocalised distinction between the two parts. Romaji lyrics are all about matching the tone of the singer, so that the person following may easily replicate that.
    d) Similar to the above instance, I may use the same method to distinguish between vowels in single words comprised of two verbs. For example, 舞い踊る becomes mai'odoru.

    Any other times that I may use an apostrophe will follow similar circumstances to the aforementioned examples.
    I realise that it probably seems strange, but again, this is operating on the idea that the person reading the romaji has a weak grasp on Japanese. I know that I personally know people who fit such a description.



    Other

    There are a few other rules I follow as well, such as さま, さん, and ちゃん, etc. are only broken up in the case of names. For example, 田中さん is "Tanaka-san", but お嬢様 is "Ojousama".

    Then there's the decision of spacing between particles, auxiliaries, etc., but that could take all day to get into.
    To be honest, even I am undecided as to how to space some of these at times.
    Is なの better as "nano" or "na no"? のに as "noni" or "no ni"? Then, what do you do with なのに? "Nanoni", "na no ni", "nano ni", or "na noni"?
    None of them look right to me... and this is probably why in the end, we're better off using furigana, anyway.


    So, what are your personal preferences, and how do you believe romaji should be handled?
    Did you pick up your romanisation style somewhere, or alter it to suit your own mental process?

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    Default Re: What is Your Romaji Style?

    Sorry for the short reply, I am on my phone and might come back later for a more in depth reply.

    は => wa
    へ => e
    を => o
    づ => dzu
    ぢ => ji (but I do like your dji style and might adopt it though ぢ is exceedingly rare)
    ん => n’

    My philosophy is a combination of wanting people not familiar with Japanese to be able to sing along correctly (thus wa, e, and o) and wanting to let people familiar with Japanese to decipher the correct kana/kanji (dzu and now your dji).

    I use capitals like in English. Starts of sentences, proper nouns and names, and emphasis. Sometimes I will capitalize whole words to show that it is a non-Japanese word.

    I only use apostrophes for the kana/mora ん. So

    そんな=> son’na

    Honestly, spacing I use what looks best to me. I tend to separate particles from other words but will group them together

    それには=> sore niwa

    But keep them as part of the word for some words like その/sono or いつか/ itsuka. I write auxiliaries as part of the word:

    話している=> hanashiteiru

    I also prefer to write out long vowels. So a name like 良芽 or word like 遠くI prefer to write as Ryouga or tooku/tohku as opposed to Ryōga or tōku. I make an exception for 東京 as I am sure people comment if I spelt that as toukyou rather than Tōkyō or Tokyo.
    Last edited by Lost247365; 12-25-2018 at 01:01 PM.
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    Default Re: What is Your Romaji Style?

    I must admit I'm quite vocal about romaji styles even though I've been getting sloppy these days:


    Conversion Preferences

    は -> wa (particle)
    へ -> e (particle)
    を -> wo (particle) - Some of my first romanisations came from anison, so when I could actually hear 'wo' in songs, I had no reason to write 'o' instead. In addition, I'll never forget the shock when I found out a certain character's name was written かをり...
    ん -> n
    づ -> dzu - Perhaps it's because I'm more used to and faster at reading romaji than kanji and kana, it's for my own benefit that I separate them so I can type the right one.
    ぢ -> dji - Likewise.
    し -> shi (even though I literally typed si there)

    しょ -> sho (even though I literally typed syo there)
    つ -> tsu ( " " tu " )



    These days Nihon-Shiki might slip in to romanisations because it's much faster typing out Japanese without extra characters ahahaha. I used to hate NS so much as well.



    Use of Capitals for Katakana

    I find the effort pressing caps lock or shift far outweighs the benefits of capitals for katakana (doesn't mean I haven't done it a couple times before- I reckon it's my most inconsistent point on this list). It's not like the end user reader would be able to understand why it's in capitals to appreciate it. If you want Japanese language quirks you should be looking at the kanji in the first place.

    For romanising loanwords, it's again inconsistent. I usually leave them in the Japanese pronunciation give by the kana.



    The Use of Apostrophes

    I only use apostrophes for splitting ん and vowel sounds. Everything else is ignored.
    -ている, -てしまう is -te iru and -te shimau. I think it was Raichu on this site that suggested I do that.
    In the same way contractions such as -てる and -ちゃう has no space as -teru and -chau respectively.
    I also do じゃない as ja nai to emphasise particles.


    Other


    Particles are always by themselves. Even when they're with other particles:
    には - ni wa
    なのに - na no ni
    I reckon I do this for my own benefit of being able to spot particles faster.


    I don't really romanise anything with honorific though I would probably hyphenate them all, Tanaka-san and Ojou-sama held to the same standard.
    Last edited by Fuukanou; 12-25-2018 at 01:50 PM.
    [Notice: the preceding post was written by someone with a poor grasp of the Japanese language. If you could correct me when I make mistakes, it'd be much appreciated.]

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    Default Re: What is Your Romaji Style?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost247365 View Post
    ...
    I also begin my lines with capitals, unless there are clear sentence distinctions between paragraphs. You will occasionally find lyrics where entire sentences are written, down to the full stop.

    Honestly, meshing a lot of the particles together looks too messy to my eyes, though some are necessary to do so.
    "Sono", like you mentioned, is a great example. So is "itsuka" any most other words ending in "ka", for that matter. "Dareka" and "nanika" I will always write together than separated.

    I also prefer to write out entire long vowels (ou, oo) rather than using macrons.
    It's especially preferable when it comes to lyrics, because these individual sounds can be emphasised by the singer within the song at times.
    I am consistent with this rule, however, and continue to write familiar names in this style. So, Tokyo is "Toukyou" and Kyoto is "Kyouto".



    Quote Originally Posted by Fuukanou View Post
    ...
    Likewise, I also use "shi", "chi", "tsu", "sho", etc. over the Nihon-shiki variations.
    I also find myself accidentally slipping them into my romanisations these days, because it's just so much quicker to type that way in Japanese. ^_^;

    "I find the effort pressing caps lock or shift far outweighs the benefits of capitals for katakana"
    Pffft. That's so lazy, but it's not like I can't relate. XD
    You are right. The reader won't necessarily realise its intended purpose, but I think if they read enough lyric pages, then they would probably catch on to some inclination.

    "-ている, -てしまう is -te iru and -te shimau."
    This used to be my way as well, and it's always been something to conflict me. To the point that I may even change my mind again in future, probably.
    The words just look so broken writing them in that way. I probably shouldn't mind as much, seeing as they're coming from from a "te" form, but... ugh. It's one of those situations where it's hard to equate because it's a clear distinction in differences between our two languages in regards to how we handle our words and sentences.

    I think I prefer those types of auxiliaries to be connected to the verb in question, but I also understand separating the two due to how long they can get. At the same time, English has a lot of transitive verbs that appear equally as long, so maybe it's fine? Damn, this hurts my head.
    But, yeah. Contractions should always been joined to the previous.

    I don't think romanisation will ever be perfect. At least Japanese romanisation and Chinese pinyin are easier to swallow than South Korean romanisation. I could rant about that one all day.
    Last edited by Hikarin; 12-26-2018 at 08:32 AM.

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    Default Re: What is Your Romaji Style?

    Conversion Preferences

    This is all what I do now, what I did way in the past was probably a little inconsistent.

    は => wa
    へ => e
    を => wo
    づ => zu (I'm sooorry I just really hate how 'dzu' looks)
    ぢ => *stares at it for five years wondering if she's ever run into it during transliterations* ...I... don't... know? (I suppose 'ji' would make the most sense in my case considering my 'zu' situation, but since when do I make sense?)
    ん => n

    Use of Capitals for Katakana

    These days I capitalize when there's katakana (when it makes something look ridiculous it does make me question my decision), though I think way back in the past there may have been times when I didn't or maybe I just put the English equivalent word?

    Due to the fact that I often had help from people regarding spacing while transliterating I have a huge consistency issue and can't really say I do much of anything a certain way other than what I mentioned above at this point = w=. I appreciate the people that put up with my dumb butt.
    Last edited by Sakura Koneko; 12-27-2018 at 10:42 PM.

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