The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

産婦のまたに両手をあてた > とりかえる



I really tried but I have no idea what the important bit means. It’s kinda ambiguous…?

Could you please tell me what this says? My nihongo is not jouzu

I highlighted the important part for you. It means とりかえる.

If you want to know why it means とりかえる, it says it’s a drawing of two hands reaching toward the nether region of a woman giving birth, expressing the idea of delivering babies boy then girl.

It’s kind of weird, but that’s why I just highlighted とりかえる for you since you just wanted to know what it meant.


Would you happen to know why Chinese people needed a character for giving birth to a boy and subsequently to a girl?

Hey this makes me wonder, what kanji did they use for と and や before kana existed?? I know 之 is の

It’s not that they “needed a character for that” it’s that that concept was used for the idea of とりかえる. Sure, there are other ways you could express とりかえる, but that’s what they went with.

之 is の in the sense that 之 means what の in Japanese means but in Chinese, not that の came from it. The kanji shape that gave birth to の is 乃.

と came from 止 and や came from 也.

Before kana they used phonetic kanji for everything and those were morphed into the hiragana shapes.

Katakana, as the name implies, are pieces of the kanji they come from.


When did they give up on writing Chinese words only and start using the kanji phonetically? I honestly can’t ever find a good answer for this no matter how hard I try. 漢文 was a thing but then it wasn’t?

Also, AFAIK, the hiragana we have is just some of the hiragana. The rest is now called hentaigana, and that selection happened after WW2. But that doesn’t make sense - Maachan’s Diary, a manga from 1946, already has the kana we know today. Did they change it that fast?
Also, I wanted to know when the hiragana we have now become so round and uniform. On that same manga it already looked like today, so this can’t be post-war, right? I can see how the hiragana evolved from the cursive kanji, but not how it got so round and uniform, that seems like an arbitrary decision.

I think you’ve graduated from “quick or short” language questions.


Edit: Oop, didn’t notice you’d started a new thread. Taking this there.

Why does one have ル and the other one has ー? They sound THE SAME in English except for the S at the end

(Fun fact, there is no way in hell I’m calling myself something that ends in kosu, that sounds like kuso)

マルコス also exists.

Not to Japanese people, which is probably the only thing that matters, right?

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I think I’ve heard that. Still, I thought there would be a reason for the tool to default to one. Thought it had something to do with Japanese or phonetics or… something, there must have been a reason. Maybe マルコス doesn’t come from English or something.
Furthermore, マーコ is a girl name. So I thought maybe that just wasn’t a valid option even tho it should be the default or something.
or maybe I’m just thinking things that make no sense

I don’t know what tool you’re using, but it probably doesn’t have any deep theory behind it. I imagine it’s just finding common matches.

When it comes to names, you can do whatever you feel most accurately represents your name. There isn’t going to be a wrong way to do it, like when writing a particular loanword. Why certain loanwords ended up spelled one way or the other surely has some theory related to it, with the time and history coming into play, but with names… just make it sound as close as you can.

I’m not sure what you mean by this. You’re still trying to represent Marco with katakana right? So unless Marco is girl name, I don’t see what you mean.


Japanese friend on discord said マーコ is a girl nickname so not a valid option

It’s ridiculous to say that a particular name can’t be rendered a certain way because Japanese people use it a different way.

My friend is named Ben. One meaning of べん in Japanese is “feces.” That shouldn’t stop him from using ベン in Japanese.


I used to think it would be awesome to give myself a Japanese name that sounded similar to mine. I chose 真 (まこと). But he told me doing something like this is secretly frowned upon by Japanese people.
So I’m trying to pick a katakana name.

forgot to change the pfp before confessing that

My name is David, and I hate how much Japanese messes with the name into something unrecognizable (something like デービド?). I haven’t had to give myself a name in Japanese yet, but if the situation ever arises I’ve been seriously considering going by スージ instead because that’s my screen name. (Or better yet 数字 because I teach math)


as far as I understand


I can understand 数字 (I’m pretty sure that’s not even a name anyway), but not even スージ?

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If you’re just interacting with people online, anything goes. Call yourself まこと or スージ or whatever.

My Japanese teacher on itaki is じゅんじゅん, which is obviously not her real name.

Chinese people often pick an English name for interacting with English speakers.

The issue is if you actually go to Japan and interact with people face to face. Not using a name based on your actual name in some respect will probably cause confusion.


…I don’t know. I’ve been told it’s frowned upon.

If you want to keep David, you could go back to an earlier pronunciation. It was Dawi(consonant that doesn’t exist anymore) originally. So you could go with ダヰー