Where are the spaces!? なに!?

サッポロラアメン食べたい。 できれば家族そろて北海道へ…  [O_O gasp!]
trsln:I’d like to eat Sapporo ramen. If I could, I’d go with my family to Hokkaido.

Holy guacamole. Where are the spaces!?? Actually I’m not that surprised.  Since I started learning Japanese writing it didn’t truly occur to me as to when should I put a space between words.  I just did it as if I was writing in English. WRONG.  There are no spaces in Japanese writing like there is in English, duh!  Well I did a little research.  Guess what site I went to.  You guessed it! GoogleGod.com. Seriously don’t go to GoogleGod there is no such thing.  Anyway I searched for the mystery of no spacing in Japanese sentences and Wikipedia was of course the first one to pop up.  I went there and I read about it but I didn’t want to just stop there.  I can’t just depend on that site since you know….schools say its not that reliable lol.  Anyway I learned a lot on Wikipedia and they said:

A space ( ) is any empty (non-written) zone between written sections. In Japanese, the space is referred to by the transliterated English name スペース (supēsu). An Ideographic Space is the same width as a CJK character.

In English, spaces are used for interword separation as well as separation between punctuation and words. In normal Japanese writing, no spaces are left between words, except if the writing is exclusively in hiragana or katakana (or with little or no kanji), in which case spaces may be required to avoid confusion.

In Japanese, a single space is often left before the first character in a new paragraph, especially when writing on genkō yōshi, and a space is left after non-Japanese punctuation marks (such as exclamation points and question marks). A space may be left between the family and given names as well.

A fullwidth space may be used where a colon or comma would be used in English: 大和銀行 大阪支店 (Yamato Bank, Osaka Branch).

Traditional Style Japanese Writing

Yeah, yeah all that talk about more Kanji will make it less confusing, blah blah. (This coming from a person who still hasn’t learned past 1, 2, 3’s of Kanji). Well of course it makes sense.  Why would you need all that excessive spacing when a Kanji character indicates a new word for you?  That’s right you don’t need the spaces like English. On Yahoo Answers I came across this lovely answer from thecheapest902 (interesting name) a Japanese man from Tokyo (so of course he’ll know his stuff, and he’s a TOP contributor. Um this sounds like I’m stalking the man, but I’m not lol).  The Question was pretty much in a nutshell why are there soooo many got dang characters and when do you use them and where are the spaces!?? LOL well not that harsh but yea that said in a nutshell. thecheapest902 answered:

>when and why are the different alphabets used?There is no “rule” as to when hiragana, katakana or kanji are used. You have to memorize one by one. In general, katakana is used for foreign words or technical term like computer terms.>how come there is no spacing in japanese writing?

Please don’t think about “Why?” or “how come?”. That’s Japanese language.

>how are you supposed to know when a word ends and when another one begins?

We have particles like が,は,に,を and so on to connect words. So you can see that these are dividing words.


a native Japanese
Man this guy knows what he’s talking about.  The source tells it all.  And from my research he is right.  “We conclude that in reading Hiragana interword spacing serves as an effective segmentation cue. In contrast, spacing information in mixed Kanji–Hiragana text is redundant, since the visually salient Kanji characters serve as effective segmentation cues by themselves.” –ScienceDirect
So I went to another site lol.  Wikipedia I’m breaking up with you!! (or not, I still got Google-san) Well the mystery is solved (or was it ever a mystery?) I no longer have to wonder why there is no spaces.  As soon as I get better with Hiragana and Katakana (as well as finally learning my Kanji) I would already know how to distinguish new words without those horrid spaces English speakers use.  They are such Barbarians with their spaces and such..grrrrrr. Well, guess I should end this entry. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu (spacing grrrr) よろしくおねがいします(no space, yay). Later!

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