What's new

TYJ Punctuation in Japanese

This article is in the series Teach Yourself Japanese

4.6. Punctuation

The Japanese period and comma are different in shape from English equivalents. The Japanese period is a small circle, and the Japanese comma is a short line written from upper left to lower right.

Pitch:L H H H H L L
Romanization:O ha yô , A ki ra .
Meaning:Good morning, Akira.

Japanese periods and commas are placed near the baseline in a horizontal way, while they are vertically placed at the right side. The sentence above is written vertically as follows. Notice that the positions of the period and the comma are different.

Japanese has the question mark (?) and the exclamation point (!) which are the same as English, but you don't have to use question marks even for questions. If a sentence is a question, which has a grammatical question marker, you can use a period instead of a question mark. I will explain it in a later chapter.

Pitch:L H H H
Romanization:Ho n tô ?

Pitch:L H L
Romanization:Su go i !
Next article in the series 'Teach Yourself Japanese': Small numbers in Japanese
Previous article in the series 'Teach Yourself Japanese': Katakana shapes
About author
My name is TAKASUGI Shinji. TAKASUGI is my family name, and Shinji is my given name; a family name is placed before a given name in Japan, as in other Asian nations. My family name is capitalized to avoid misunderstanding.

I have been living in Yokohama since I was born. Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan, which is just 30 kilometers away from the biggest city Tôkyô. It takes 30 minutes to go by train from home to Shibuya, which is the hottest town now in Tôkyô.

I work as a display engineer.

One of my hobbies is creating things with computers; creating programs, computer graphics and web pages is the thing I spent a lot of time doing. I am also interested in a wide range of sciences, and linguistics is my favorite. I like English and I like using it, but my focus is mainly on Japanese, which is my native language. I'm proud of knowing the language, and the difference between English and Japanese has been fascinating me. I have been thinking whether I can introduce it to people outside of Japan. My attempt of introducing Japanese with some Java applets has had more than 1 million visitors.


There are no comments to display.

Article information

Article read time
1 min read
Last update

More in Language

More from Takasugi

Top Bottom