A smol n00b asks some Qs n shares (bad and good) news

Ever have those days where you feel like you’ve taken a nose dive and literally can’t remember anything? I’ve been standing up and acting out those HECKIN mnemonics just to get it wrong a couple hours later. It’s stuff I kno in my SOUL too ugh. Please commiserate with me. :baka:

On a sunnier note, this week alone I have recognized out in the wild the kanji "水”,”出”, ”犬” ”引” and the vocab words “入れる”, ”下さい”,”大きさ”,”大人しい” which is all very exciting for me.

I accidentally remembered a bunch of questions to ask while I’m here so sorry ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • When writing, do people often sub キ for き? I keep getting thrown off when the whole text is in hiragana and kanji except for き. I have to read the line 8x just to figure out if I’m missing it or there rly is no foreign word

  • Does it ever get easier to read without spaces between words? That’s been my biggest struggle so far (besides, ya kno, not speaking any Japanese). I can’t tell whats with what so when I try to speak out loud to practice pronunciation, I end up sounding like a robot :robot:

  • I’m also struggling with telling つ and っ apart. I swear to heck that sometimes they’re the same size /or/ linked with a kanji that’s not helpful in the context clues arena. Is っ (little っ) more common?

TL;DR: “WAHHHHH :sob:” “YEEEEEEE :grin:” “pls help me I am trash”


everyone is lazy and when you whip out that ancient tool called the pen to write, you write ugly. what you’re experiencing is just a by-product of this.

The more you understand Japanese (grammar, vocab, colloquialisms, etc), the easier it is to parse. Also, context makes things a lot clearer too.

Everyone is cursed to always get these two confused. There is no help.
it’ll be a bit easier, once again, with better grasp of vocab, etc.


Also, き is often handwritten in four strokes, instead of three, with the bottom curvy part ending up a small curve to the left, like so (plus some other handwriting difference examples):


They did a study on competent readers and found that adding spaces between words in Japanese didn’t have a measurable affect on reading speed (removing spaces in english reduces reading speed by ~40% IIRC). So yeah, with enough practice you’ll get the hang of it :+1:
Also, dunno how much listening practice you do, but that will have a huge affect on your prosody (pronounciation at the sentence level).

The key to っ is that it’s usually really predictable based on the surrounding characters. I’m not sure exactly what rules I use, but the following are a few of rules of thumb for native Japanese words:

  1. っ can’t start a word (but watch out for transcriptions of colloqial speech)

  2. っ can’t end a word/be followed by a kanji (the only exception I can think of is once again transcriptions of colloqial speech).

  3. っ can’t be followed by a kana that has dakuten (e.g. じ or ぎ and not し or き).

  4. I’m a bit hesitant to write this one, as it’s woefully incomplete, but: つ can’t be followed by certain kana, unless it’s starting the word (e.g. し or き but not り or か).

As always, the only rule in languages are that there are exceptions, but those four should hopefully work most of the time. Just be careful with 4)…




Should that be a small っ? :stuck_out_tongue: But yeah, among other things, な- or ま-line kana can’t follow a っ - you need to use ん instead.

If it’s not the handwriting version like @Saida mentioned, could you give us an image example of this? I’m not entirely sure what you mean.


No, I think that was intended to be a normal つ, basically saying you can’t have something like ざつし, it has to be ざっし. Except it doesn’t always work. You could have both じっと and 実と (じつと). (Of course, kanji removes the problem for this example)

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I think that line is saying you can have ざつし, but not, say, まつり. Or はつか. Unless I misunderstand what the “for example” means when it’s following “can’t”. Because さつき is also perfectly valid.

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Ah, I wasn’t commenting on the validity of the rule, just on what (I think) they meant.

Edit: actually I did comment on the validity of the rule.


Did you read the bit in brackets? :stuck_out_tongue:

Point taken, so I’ve crossed out the bit about kanji. I think it still holds true for the vast majority of cases though…(and once again, I say colloqial speech are an exception).

I think I prevaricated enough on that rule.

Ah come on, they’re only meant to be rules of thumb and I took great pains to point out they don’t always hold true. If they mean OP can deal with most cases faster than they did before, then it’s a win in my book. Why you all gotta be so pedantic :cry:


Déformation professionnelle.

(There’s apparently no English equivalent for that expression??! It means “a quirk acquired from work habits”)


‘Occupational hazard’, perhaps? Though that also includes serious dangers due to work like the risk of merchandise falling on a worker’s head in a warehouse. It’s not exactly the same though, because a ‘hazard’ refers to something that might happen, whereas une déformation has already occurred.


In the strictest sense it does, but in the casual sense, yeah, it does mean quirks adapted from work habits.

Mostly I want to avoid rules of thumb that don’t hold true more often than they do, like the old English rule “I before E except after C”. Or “you should never end a sentence with a preposition”. That rules don’t always hold true is the Golden Rule of Japanese - All Rules Have Exceptions, Including This One. :slightly_smiling_face:


Useless as my statement is going to be… I dare say that’s the Golden Rule of Rules.

I like to think of it as an “occupational curse,” really. Line edits and fact checking are part of me now. :smiley:

The closest English idiom I can actually think of is “force of habit.”


Oh, right! It’s definitely the same thing as force of habit (with the added nuance that the habit comes from work, but that doesn’t matter too much).

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It’s mostly the handwriting thing.
I’ve realized tho sometimes when I think it’s キ, it’s actually き but the font makes the bottom swoop (when the font uses the kana that isn’t connected) so small and subtle I have to zoom in 1 million to find it. I don’t kno why it throws me off so horribly; they’re two of the more similar looking hiragana/katakana and they make the same heckin’ sound but man does it trip me up.

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Imma have to read it several more times to see if it’ll be helpful at all. mama’s just a lil confused atm lmbo

Extra points for using pedantic tho. It’s currently my fav “insult” lol


Let’s just make an equivalent. I suggest using the term “Professional Deformation”. Either way I’ve now added that to my personal lexicon :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Ooo! Just thought of another question :female_detective:
How in the heck do you use "テメー” and also what does it mean???
I searched Jisho which just confused me more bc it can mean both “you” and “I/me” and that its derogatory. It also says “male language” – does it mean it’s the masculine form/used to address men, or that it’s only used by men?
Why is it always written in Katakana???

how I feel rn

You don’t. :stuck_out_tongue: not unless you wanna fight someone

I’ve never heard it used as “I” so idk about that, but using テメー as “you” is a big insult (ie. derogatory).

“Male term or language” means it’s used primarily by men.

Some words are just usually written in katakana. There’s probably a reason, but I don’t know what it is.