User:Kepstin/Transliteration Standard Japanese

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Revision as of 19:50, 14 August 2011 by Kepstin (talk | contribs)

The recommended romanization method to use on MusicBrainz is a modified version of Revised Hepburn. Particular details of this style include:

  • When , , or are used as particles, they should be rendered as e, wa, and o respectively.
  • Syllabic is always written as n. In ambiguous cases, an apostrophe is used: “…んあ” is “…n'a”
  • Long vowels should be spelled out using the kana spelling: aa, ii, uu, ei, ee, ou, oo as appropriate.
    • Except for certain well-known words, particularly proper names. For example, Tokyo; Osaka.
  • A Sokuon (Small Tsu, ) should be indicated by doubling the following consonant: っし is sshi, っち is cchi, っつ is ttsu.
  • じょ and じゅ are jo and ju respectively.
  • If a small vowel ぁぃぅぇぉ is used alone, it should be treated the same as one of あいうえお: あぁ 恋しくて would be Aa koishikute.
  • A at the end of a word or sentence may be turned into an exclamation point if appropriate, or simply ignored.

Occasionally, a Japanese title will contains foreign words transliterated into Katakana. If the original language can be determined, it is preferred to use the original text rather than transliterating the Katakana directly. Keep in mind that the original text may not be English! An example is プラチナ, which comes from the Spanish Platina.


This does not apply in all cases. Some former loan-words are used more-or-less as native words (gairaigo or wasei-eigo), which are usually written in Katakana but do not correspond directly with the original words. Examples include パン - from Portugese pão (bread), スーパー - super(market), etc. Many, but not all, of the terms on Wikipedia's list of gairaigo and wasei-eigo terms qualify. These should be transliterated in the same way as native Japanese words, except that a hyphen - may be used instead of doubling vowels.

Some additional notes about transliterations:

  • Word splitting in Japanese transliterations is not an exact science, particularly in the cases of compound words or verbs with auxiliary helpers. Particles should usually be separate words.
  • Honorifics should be attached to a preceding name with a dash, and be written in lowercase: Sakura-chan, Yamada-san.