A Guide to Romanizing Japanese

    The intricacies of romanized Japanese, or rōmaji (ローマ), often aren’t covered in depth when learning the language. In this article, I’ll be providing a comprehensive overview of how to romanize Japanese.


    Part 0: Identifying and Writing Japanese

    If you’re not familiar with Japanese, the first step is learning how to tell that what you’re looking at is in fact Japanese text, and not some other language. Can you tell which of the following sentences is in Japanese?

    1. 《你的名字。》是日本动画导演新海诚编剧与执导、于2016年8月26日在日本首映的动画电影。
    2. 『君の名は。』は、新海誠が監督・脚本を務めた2016年の日本のアニメーション映画。
    3. 『너의 이름은.』은 2016년 공개된 신카이 마코토 감독의 일본 애니메이션 로맨스 판타지 드라마 영화이다.

    The correct answer is sentence number 2. (Sentence number 1 is in Chinese, and sentence number 3 is in Korean.) If you want to try some other examples, check out this article.


    Japanese is written using three scripts: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Hiragana and katakana are both types of kana, meaning that they each have a symbol representing each syllable in the Japanese language, kind of like how alphabets have a letter for each sound in a language. Because of this, there are 46 kana in common use.

    Hiragana

    あいうえお

    Hiragana ((ひら)()()) were originally a cursive form of writing used by women, which is why they tend to have more loops and curves than katakana or kanji. They’re generally used for native Japanese words, such as わくわく wakuwaku (exciting) and こっそり kossori (sneakily), and for grammatical particles and endings, such as the particles は wa, を o, and に ni and the verb endings ない nai, ます masu, and られる rareru.

    Katakana

    アイウエオ

    Katakana ((かた)()()) came about as an abbreviated form of writing used by Buddhist monks, which is why they tend to look like pieces or fragments of Chinese characters. They’re generally used for non-Chinese loanwords, such as ミルク miruku (milk) or オレンジ orenji (orange).

    Kanji

    安以宇衣於

    Kanji ((かん)()) are the thousands of Chinese characters that have been used in writing Japanese since they were borrowed from China in the 5th century AD. They’re generally used for most nouns, verbs, and adjectives that are native Japanese words, such as (はな) hana (flower), ()べる taberu (eat), or (あか)akai (red), or derived from Chinese, such as (ちゅう)(しょく) chū­shoku (lunch), (べん)(きょう) ben­kyō (study), or (かん)(たん) kan­tan (simple).

    You might have noticed that the same character 食 is pronounced ta in ()べる taberu, but shoku in (ちゅう)(しょく) chū­shoku. This is because kanji can have multiple readings, depending on the context. This is kind of similar to how “read” is pronounced like “reed” /riːd/ in the present tense (“I like to read.”), but is pronounced like “red” /rɛd/ in the past tense (“I read a book yesterday.”)

    The small kana on top of the kanji here are called furigana, and show exactly how to pronounce a particular kanji. You’ll often see them in learning materials and in media intended for children. The kana べる in ()べる and the kana い in (あか) are called okurigana, and give you more context about how the word should be read, as well as how verbs and adjectives are conjugated.


    In the example sentence from the previous section, all three of these writing systems were used. I’ve added furigana and marked kanji in blue, hiragana in red, and katakana in yellow.

    (きみ)()。』新海(しんかい)(まこと)監督(かんとく)脚本(きゃくほん)(つと)めた2016(ねん)()(ほん)アニメーション(えい)()
    “Kimi no Na wa.” wa, Shinkai Makoto ga kantoku/kyakuhon o tsutometa 2016-nen no Nihon no animēshon eiga.
    (Your Name is a 2016 Japanese animated film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai.)

    You can see here how all three scripts are mixed within a single sentence.


    Part 1: Romanizing Japanese

    What is romanization?

    Let’s start with what romanization means. Romanization is the process of converting text from a non-Latin script into the Latin (or Roman) alphabet. Some related terms you might also have heard of are:

    • transliteration, which is the process of converting text between writing systems;
    • transcription, which is the process of converting speech into text, possibly in a different writing system;
    • and translation, which is the process of converting the meaning of some text or speech into another language.

    As an example, the Arabic word مرحبا can be transliterated as “mrhba”, transcribed as “marhaba”, and translated as “hello”. The transliteration closely reflects the Arabic script, while the transcription more closely reflects how an English speaker might write what they heard an Arabic speaker say.

    Most romanization systems try to balance preserving the patterns and structures of the original language with providing a useful and readable text for those who don’t know the language. Depending on who the target audience is, a given romanization system might be a pure transliteration, a pure transcription, or mix of both.

    Multiple correct ways

    There are multiple systems of romanization in common use for Japanese. The main romanization systems are the following:

    • Hepburn romanization is the one you’ll see used in most English-language reference works such as encyclopedias and dictionaries. It tries to represent how Japanese is actually spoken. It’s most easily recognized due to its use of macrons to indicate long vowels, such as ā, ī, ū, ē, and ō. This is what is also often used in Japan for the names of bus stops or train stations and the like.
      • Modified Hepburn romanization is the current system in common use. Traditional Hepburn romanization has some minor differences.
      • Most people, including fans of anime, manga, and J-pop, tend to use variants of this system that avoid using macrons by either ignoring them or spelling them out as two vowels.
    • Kunrei-shiki and Nihon-shiki romanization tend to be used by Japanese speakers themselves, such as when typing Japanese on a QWERTY keyboard, and tend to be closer to how Japanese is written in kana rather than how it’s pronounced.
    • Most computer input methods will actually accept several different romanization systems, which is called wāpuro (word processor) romanization.

    Depending on what audience you’re targeting, the different systems I’ll be focusing on modified Hepburn romanization in this article, but I’ll note where the other systems disagree.

    The basics

    The following tables list the modified Hepburn romanizations for each kana, with the hiragana form on the left and the katakana form on the right of the first line, and the modified Hepburn romanization for that kana on the second line.

    The first table below contains all of the basic kana, and is called the gojūon (()(じゅう)(おん)), or “fifty sounds”, because it has a column for each of the 10 consonants and a row for each of the 5 vowels. The other tables lists kana with a dakuten or handakuten, small kana, and related symbols in modern use.

     kstnhmyrw
    aあ ア
    a
    か カ
    ka
    さ サ
    sa
    た タ
    ta
    な ナ
    na
    は ハ
    ha[1]
    ま マ
    ma
    や ヤ
    ya
    ら ラ
    ra
    わ ワ
    wa
    iい イ
    i
    き キ
    ki
    し シ
    shi
    ち チ
    chi
    に ニ
    ni
    ひ ヒ
    hi
    み ミ
    mi
    り リ
    ri
    ゐ ヰ
    i
    uう ウ
    u
    く ク
    ku
    す ス
    su
    つ ツ
    tsu
    ぬ ヌ
    nu
    ふ フ
    fu
    む ム
    mu
    ゆ ユ
    yu
    る ル
    ru
    ん ン
    n[3]
    eえ エ
    e
    け ケ
    ke
    せ セ
    se
    て テ
    te
    ね ネ
    ne
    へ ヘ
    he[2]
    め メ
    me
    れ レ
    re
    ゑ ヱ
    e
    oお オ
    o
    こ コ
    ko
    そ ソ
    so
    と ト
    to
    の ノ
    no
    ほ ホ
    ho
    も モ
    mo
    よ ヨ
    yo
    ろ ロ
    ro
    を ヲ
    o

    Dakuten and handakuten (voicing)

     gzdbpv
    aが ガ
    ga
    ざ ザ
    za
    だ ダ
    da
    ば バ
    ba
    ぱ パ
    pa
    iぎ ギ
    gi
    じ ジ
    ji
    ぢ ヂ
    ji
    び ビ
    bi
    ぴ ピ
    pi
    uぐ グ
    gu
    ず ズ
    zu
    づ ヅ
    zu
    ぶ ブ
    bu
    ぷ プ
    pu
    ゔ ヴ
    vu
    eげ ゲ
    ge
    ぜ ゼ
    ze
    で デ
    de
    べ ベ
    be
    ぺ ペ
    pe
    oご ゴ
    go
    ぞ ゾ
    zo
    ど ド
    do
    ぼ ボ
    bo
    ぽ ポ
    po

    Cells in orange are romanized differently in other romanization systems.
    Cells in green are obsolete in modern Japanese. You might still see them in names and proper nouns.

    Sutegana (small kana)

    atyw
    ぁ ァ
    a[7]
    ゃ ャ
    ya[6]
    ゎ ヮ
    wa[6]
    ぃ ィ
    i[7]
    ぅ ゥ
    u[7]
    っ ッ
    [4]
    ゅ ュ
    yu[6]
    ぇ ェ
    e[7]
    ぉ ォ
    o[7]
    ょ ョ
    yo[6]

    Other


    [5]
    ゝ ヽ
    [8]
    ゞ ヾ
    [9]

    [1]ha is written wa when used as the topic particle.
    [2]he is written e when used as the destination particle.
    [3] n is written as n’ before vowels and y.
    [4] Sokuon (geminate consonant): Double the following consonant. Note that sh becomes ssh, ch becomes tch, and ts becomes tts.
    [5] Chōonpu (long-vowel mark): Lengthen the preceding vowel by writing it with a macron (ā, ī, ū, ē, and ō).
    [6] Yōon (contracted sound): Replace the preceding vowel with this suffix (e.g., きゃ kya). Do not include the y following sh, ch, or j (e.g., しゃ sha).
    [7] Small vowel kana: Depending on the previous kana, replace the preceding vowel with this vowel (e.g., ティ ti), replace the preceding i with a y (e.g., イェ ye), replace the preceding u with a w (e.g., ウィ wi), or lengthen the preceding vowel (e.g. ジィ ).
    [8] Odoriji (iteration mark): Duplicate the previous kana.
    [9] Odoriji (iteration mark): Duplicate the previous kana with a dakuten.

    • Exercise 1: Romanize the word リンゴ (apple).
      • Answer: ringo
    • Exercise 2: Romanize the word (あお)(ぞら) (blue sky).
      • Answer: aozora
    • Exercise 3: Romanize the word (しち)(がつ) (July).
      • Answer: shichigatsu

    Long vowels

    Long vowels or chōon ((ちょう)(おん)) can be written as two vowels in a row, such as かあ, or as a vowel followed by the long-vowel mark or chōonpu ((ちょう)(おん)()), such as カー. When romanized, these are generally written with a macron over the lengthened vowel in modified Hepburn, with the exception of i + i, which is written as two separate letters. This means that いい would be romanized as ii, but ピース would be romanized as pīsu. Although e + i is often pronounced as a long e, it is also written as two separate letters, and not as ē.

    VowelsHepburnVowelsHepburn
    a + aāa + –ā
    i + iiii + –ī
    u + uūu + –ū
    e + eēe + –ē
    e + iei
    o + oōo + –ō

    When the two vowels are from different morphemes (meaningful parts of a word), such as in (おも)omou (think), ()kuu (eat [masculine]), 灰色(はいいろ) hai­iro (gray), or (みずうみ) mizu­umi (lake), they are not considered long vowels and should not be written with a macron. Long vowels in loanwords not written with a chōonpu, such as バレエ baree (ballet) or ソウル Souru (soul; Seoul). Note that the volitional forms of verbs do end with a long vowel, such as ()こう ikō (let’s go) or ()おう kuō (let’s eat [masculine]).

    In traditional Hepburn, a + a is written aa and e + e is written ee. In Kunrei-shiki and Nihon-shiki, all long vowels are written as the vowel with a circumflex, instead of with a macron (â, î, û, ê, and ô) or as two separate letters. In wāpuro romanization, long vowels are written as the constituent kana, and the chōonpu is written as a hyphen. You may also see long o sounds written as oh, or the macrons omitted entirely.

    • Exercise 4: Romanize the surname (おお)().
      • Answer: Ōta, Ôta (Non-standard: Ota, Oota, Ohta)
    • Exercise 5: Romanize the word ヒーロー (hero).
      • Answer: hīrō, hîrô (Non-standard: hiro, hiiroo, hi-ro-)
    • Exercise 6: Romanize the word ()(いろ) (yellow).
      • Answer: kiiro

    Kana with multiple romanizations

    The Kunrei-shiki and/or Nihon-shiki romanization differ for some kana, generally being closer to the gojūon rather than to the actual pronunciation:

    KanaHepburnKunrei-shikiNihon-shikiWāpuro
    shisisisi, shi
    chitititi, chi
    tsutututu, tsu
    fuhuhuhu, fu
    oowowo
    jizizizi, ji
    zuzuzuzu
    jizididi
    zuzududu
    iiwiwi
    eewewe

    Historically, the four kana じ, ず, ぢ, and づ, collectively known as yotsugana (()()()), were all pronounced differently. However, in Standard Japanese, they have become just two sounds: ji and zu. Some non-standard romanization systems will romanize ぢ as dji and づ as dzu.

    • Exercise 6: Romanize the word (ちい)さい (small).
      • Answer: chiisai (Hepburn), tîsai (Kunrei-shiki/Nihon-shiki)
    • Exercise 7: Romanize the word (しち)(がつ) (July).
      • Answer: shichigatsu (Hepburn), sitigatu (Kunrei-shiki/Nihon-shiki)
    • Exercise 8: Romanize the word (つづ)く (continue).
      • Answer: tsuzuku (Hepburn), tuzuku (Kunrei-shiki), tuduku (Nihon-shiki)
    • Exercise 9: Romanize the word (ちぢ)む (shrink).
      • Answer: chijimu (Hepburn), tizimu (Kunrei-shiki), tidimu (Nihon-shiki)

    Small kana (sutegana)

    The small kana, known in Japanese as sutegana (()()()), serve various purposes. On a computer, these can be entered by typing an l or an x before the romanization of the corresponding regular-sized kana.

    Sokuon

    The small tsu (っ) or the sokuon ((そく)(おん)) represents a geminate, or long consonant. It generally occurs before the consonants k, s/sh, t/ch/ts, or p. In most romanization systems, it is written by doubling the following consonant. As such, most computer input methods will allow you to enter a small tsu by duplicating the following consonant in addition to xtu, ltu, xtsu, or ltsu.

    In Hepburn, note that ch becomes tch (not cch). In Kunrei-shiki and Nihon-shiki, this isn’t an exception, since tchi would simply be written tti. When typing on a keyboard, most systems will accept cch or tt, but not tch, so you’ll often see cch even though it’s non-standard.

    Rarely, you might encounter it at the end of a word or sentence—some people romanize it as an apostrophe, but there is no standard way to romanize it in that case.

    • Exercise 10: Romanize the word こっち (here).
      • Answer: kotchi (Hepburn), kotti (Kunrei-shiki/Nihon-shiki)
    • Exercise 11: Romanize the word ()(しろ) (pure white).
      • Answer: masshiro (Hepburn), massiro (Kunrei-shiki/Nihon-shiki)
    Yōon

    The small ya, yu, and yo (ゃ、ゅ、ょ), collectively known as yōon ((よう)(おん)), represent a “contracted sound”. In practice, this means that the preceding consonant is palatalized (pronounced with an extra y sound). This generally can occur with the kana ki, shi, chi, ni, hi, mi, ri, gi, ji, bi, or pi. In Hepburn, note that the y is not included following sh, ch, or j (e.g., しゃ sha, not shya). In Kunrei-shiki and Nihon-shiki, these aren’t exceptions, since sha, cha, and ja would simply be written sya, tya, and zya/dya. Some non-standard romanization systems will romanize じゃ, じょ, じゅ, ちゃ, ちょ, and ちゅ as jya, jyo, jyu, cya, cyo, and cyu respectively. All of these will work with most computer input methods.

    The small wa means that the preceding consonant is labialized (pronounced with an extra w sound). This generally only occurs with ku and gu. Historically, this used to be pronounced kwa or gwa, but these sounds became ka and ga in Modern Japanese.

    • Exercise 12: Romanize the word (りゅう)(せい) (meteor)
      • Answer: ryūsei (Hepburn), ryûsei (Kunrei-shiki/Nihon-shiki)
    • Exercise 13: Romanize the word (まっ)(ちゃ) (green tea).
      • Answer: matcha (Hepburn), mattya (Kunrei-shiki/Nihon-shiki)
    Small vowel kana

    In Modern Japanese, the small a, i, u, e, and o (ぁ、ぃ、ぅ、ぇ、ぉ) are generally used to represent foreign sounds in loanwords. As such, there’s no standard for how to write them in most romanization systems, and some native Japanese speakers aren’t even able to pronounce them properly.

    The following four rules should cover just about all cases:

    1. If the consonant of the preceding kana and the vowel of this kana would form a syllable not otherwise present in Japanese, pronounce it as that consonant with this vowel.
      • シェア shea (share)
      • ティー (tea)
      • トゥルー turū (true)
      • デュアル dyuaru (dual)
      • フォント fonto (font)
      • フュージョン fyūjon (fusion)
      • ヴァンパイア vanpaia (vampire)
      • レジェンド rejendo (legend)
    2. If the preceding kana ends with an u sound, pronounce it as that consonant with a w sound and this vowel.
      • ウィキペディア Wikipedia (Wikipedia)
      • ウェブ webu (Web)
      • ウォン won (Korean won)
      • ウゥルカーヌス Wurukānus (Latin Vulcānus)
      • クィア kwia (queer)
      • クォーツ kwōtsu (quartz)
    3. If the preceding kana ends with an i sound, pronounce it as that consonant with a y sound and this vowel.
      • イェス yesu (yes; Jesus)
      • イェール Yēru (Yale)
      • ミェンミェン Myen Myen (Min Min, from Mandarin 麵 / 面 miàn)
      • プイィ puyi (French Pouilly)
    4. If the vowel of the preceding kana is the same as this vowel, lengthen the vowel as if it was a chōonpu (―).
      • カービィ Kābī (Kirby)
      • アサルトリリィ Asaruto Rirī (Assault Lily)
      • ファジィ fajī (fuzzy)
      • ドラァグ dorāgu (drag)

    Like with the yōon, some of these can be typed using fewer keystrokes than typing each character separately. On my keyboard, “kwa” and “qa” will produce くぁ, “tyi” and “cyi” will produce ちぃ, “thi” will produce てぃ, “twu” will produce とぅ, and “dhu” will produce でゅ, for example.

    • Exercise 14: Romanize the brand name ディズニー (Disney)
      • Answer: Dizunī (Note that “di” would mean ヂ in the Nihon-shiki system.)
    • Exercise 15: Romanize the word ヴュー (view)
      • Answer: vyū
    • Exercise 16: Romanize the word ウォッチ (watch)
      • Answer: wotchi
    • Exercise 17: Romanize the name キュゥべえ (Kyubey)
      • Answer: Kyūbē
    Small ke

    The small ke (ヶ) isn’t read as ke—it’s actually read as ka as a counter in phrases such as (さん)()(げつ) san­ka­ge­tsu (three months) and as ga in place names such as (いち)()() I­chi­ga­ya. It’s sometimes also written as a small ka (ヵ). This can be typed directly by entering lke, xke, lka, or xka, but may also show up even if the word is entered spelled with ka.

    • Exercise 18: Romanize the place name ()()(さき)
    • Exercise 19: Romanize the place name (あお)()()(はら)

    The n kana

    In modified Hepburn, Kunrei-shiki, and Nihon-shiki, the n kana (ん) is written as n before consonants and at the end of a word, and as n’ before vowels and y. This allows words such as (あん)() an’i (simple) and (あに) a­ni (older brother) or (こん)(やく) kon’yaku (engagement) and こんにゃく kon­nya­ku (konjac) to be clearly distinguished. On a keyboard, it can be typed as a single n before consonants and as nn before vowels and y. You may also see the apostrophe omitted entirely.

    In traditional Hepburn, it is written as m before b, m, and p, and as n- before vowels and y. This is because the n kana is pronounced as an [m] sound before labial consonants such as b, m, and p. You’ll occasionally see place names and personal names written this way, such as (しん)(ばし) Shinbashi as Shimbashi or ()(でん)()(ちょう) Kodenmachō as Kodemmachō.

    • Exercise 20: Romanize the word (ふん)()() (atmosphere)
      • Answer: fun’iki
    • Exercise 21: Romanize the name エンマ
      • Answer: Enma, Emma

    Dakuten and handakuten

    Normally, the dakuten (voicing mark) and handakuten (half-voicing mark) are only used with the kana in the k, s, t, and h columns, turning them into g, z, d, and b (dakuten) or p (handakuten). It’s also used on ウ u to turn it into ヴ vu, mostly in loanwords.

    Rarely, you might see the w-column kana with dakuten to represent ヷ va, ヸ vi, ヹ ve, and ヺ vo, but you’ll almost always just see these written as ヴァ va, ヴィ vi, ヴェ ve, and ヴォ vo.

    In manga, blogs, or tweets, you might also see the other kana with dakuten, such as あ゙ or ん゙. This is used to try and convey a growling, excited, or muffled tone of voice. There’s no standard way to romanize this, but you can enter it on a keyboard by typing the base kana and then typing dakuten, handakuten, or ten and converting it into the desired mark.

    Obsolete kana and historical orthography

    Everything I’ve mentioned so far has only covered Modern Standard Japanese. I won’t dive too deep into the historical kana orthography, but I’ll explain some more about the obsolete characters I mentioned above.

    The kana wi (ゐ), we (ゑ), and wo (を) used to be pronounced differently from i (い), e (え), and o (お), but came to be pronounced the same over the centuries. After a spelling reform, they were removed from general use, apart from を being used as the direct object particle. Nowadays, you’ll otherwise only see them in names, such as ヱビス Ebisu (Yebisu Beer), ニッカウヰスキー Nikka Uisukī (Nikka Whisky) or ヱヴァンゲリヲン(しん)(げき)(じょう)(ばん) E­van­ge­ri­on Shin Ge­ki­jō­ban (Rebuild of Evangelion). To type these on a keyboard, enter wi, we, or wo.

    The iteration marks or odoriji ((おど)()) indicate that the previous character is repeated. You’re most likely to have seen 々, the iteration mark for kanji, in words such as 日々 hibi (days) or 少々 shōshō (just a minute). These also exist for hiragana (ゝ) and katakana (ヽ). Unlike the one for kanji, you have to explicitly indicate voicing by adding a dakuten (ゞ、ヾ). You’ll mostly see these in names such as いすゞ Isuzu. You can enter these on a keyboard by typing おなじ onaji (same) and selecting the appropriate mark.

    • Exercise 22: Romanize the phrase ()をつけて (be careful; take care)
      • Answer: ki o tsukete
    • Exercise 23: Romanize the name さゝき
      • Answer: Sasaki

    Loanwords

    Some romanization styles prefer to write loanwords as they would be written in the original language, such as anime and manga titles. Some examples include フルーツバスケット Furūtsu Basuketto (Fruits Basket), (さん)(がつ)のライオン Sangatsu no Raion (3-gatsu no Lion), or モブサイコ100(ひゃく) Mobu Saiko Hyaku (Mob Psycho 100). Occasionally, you might need additional context to determine the intended meaning.

    Capitalization

    Most romanization systems will capitalize proper nouns, such as the names of people and places. Note that some words which are capitalized in English, such as the days of the week or the months of the year, are not capitalized in many other languages, and are often not capitalized when romanizing Japanese. Otherwise, follow standard capitalization rules (at the start of a sentence, titles of works, etc.)

    Spaces and hyphens

    Japanese is typically not written with spaces between words. Because of how the hiragana used for particles and okurigana tend to break up the kanji words or phrases within a sentence, there’s no need for spaces to break up words. You’ll generally see spaces, typically after particles and verbs, only when Japanese is written entirely in kana. This is most common in media intended for young children and in older video games, where text is often written exclusively in the Latin alphabet or in kana due to the limited memory not being able to hold the thousands of kanji that would otherwise be necessary.

    When romanizing Japanese, spaces are typically inserted between words and hyphens are used to separate suffixes. There aren’t any hard and fast rules for when exactly these should be used, but you’ll generally see spaces before and after particles like は wa or の no as well as between distinct nouns, verbs, and adjectives. You’ll mostly see hyphens to separate suffixes such as ~() -shi or ~さん -san.

    • Exercise 26: Romanize the name ()(なか)さん
      • Answer: Tanaka-san
    • Exercise 27: Romanize the title (はがね)(れん)(きん)(じゅつ)() (Fullmetal Alchemist)
      • Answer: Hagane no Renkinjutsushi

    Punctuation

    Commas (、), periods (。), exclamation marks (!), question marks (?), parentheses (()), and colons (:) are typically just converted to their English equivalents when romanizing text. Sometimes, if the original Japanese was written without punctuation at the end of sentences, you may need to add them to indicate where sentences start and end.

    Single quotation marks (「」), double quotation marks (『』), and lenticular brackets (【】) are typed as square brackets. Like in British English but unlike in American English, single quotation marks are generally used for quotes, and double quotation marks are used for quotes inside them. They’re typically replaced with the contextually equivalent English quotation marks.

    The interpunct (・) is typed as a forward slash, and the double hyphen (゠) is typed as an equal sign. These can be converted to spaces or hyphens as appropriate.

    The ellipsis can be written as three dots (…), six dots (……), two dots (‥), or some other number of dots, and can be typed as santen, niten, multiple interpuncts, or multiple periods. You probably would want to replace most instances of a non-standard number of dots with three dots to match English usage.

    The wave dash (~) is typed as a tilde. Sometimes it’s used in place of から kara in ranges, such as 5()~6() go-ji kara roku-ji [made] (from 5 to 6 o’clock). Other times, it’s used in place of a chōonpu (―). The best way to include it in a romanization will depend on how it’s being used.

    The double dash (――) is typed as two hyphens or by typing dasshu. Because it takes up the space of two characters, it can be distinguished from the similar-looking chōonpu (ー) or the kanji for the number one (一). It can be romanized as an em dash or an en dash, depending on preference.

    For completeness, the yen sign (¥) is typed as a backslash. Most other symbols can be entered by typing their name, such as the music note (♪), which can be typed as onpu, and the postal mark (〒), which can be typed as yuubin.

    Additional exercises

    Romanizing the following sentences and phrases is left as an exercise for the reader.

    1. (ため)してみてください
    2. (じょ)(おう)はお(しろ)(なか)()んでいます。
    3. (やま)()さんちに()こうよ!
    4. あさごはんをべられなかったんだって……
    5. そうっすか?
    6. ほうおうおうぜ!
    7. ソシソンショコラを()べてね~♪()
    8. 少女(しょうじょ)()(げき)レヴュースタァライト」のファンです!
    9. ()()スゥープスを()いたことある?
    10. (いち)(ばん)()きな「原神(げんしん)」キャラはヨォーヨです。
    11. スペインの国王(こくおう)のフルネームは、フェリペ・フアン・パブロ・アルフォンソ・デ・トードス・ロス・サントス・デ・ボルボン・イ・グレシア。
    12. ゔわ゙あ゙ぁぁぁぁぁぁぁぁぁっ

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