Wiktionary:About Japanese
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Wiktionary:About Japanese
link={{{imglink}}} This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.
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This policy explains considerations for Japanese entries that are not covered by WT:ELE and other general policies.


A very simple example

This is a simple entry for the word (jiten, "dictionary"), and shows the most fundamental elements of an article:



# a [[dictionary]]

Lemma entries

Following are the guidelines for entries for the lemma form of Japanese terms: (vote)

  • As a general rule, the most common spelling is considered the lemma.
  • Rare or archaic (wago) terms may use the kana spelling as the lemma, to avoid cramming kanji entries with too many readings. (This does not apply to proper nouns, specialized terms, etc.)
  • When the situation is unclear, editors are advised to use their best judgment on a case by case basis.

For non-lemma entries (e.g. for alternative spellings, r?maji, and conjugated forms), see #Non-lemma forms for the more abbreviated form to use instead.

Headings before the definitions

For entries with kanji, {{ja-kanjitab}} shows the component kanji in a table floated at the right margin. {{ja-kanjitab}} immediately follows the ==Japanese== language heading, e.g.:



For details, see: Wiktionary:About Japanese/Etymology.

Japanese is rich in homophones and homographs, so there will often be multiple numbered "Etymology" headers:

===Etymology 1===
Compound of {{compound|ja|sort=|?|tr1=ni|t1=two|?|tr2=gon|t2=speech}}.


# [[duplicity]], [[double]] [[dealing]], double [[tongue]]

===Etymology 2===
Compound of {{compound|ja|sort=?|?|tr1=futa|t1=two|?|tr2=koto|t2=word}}.


# two [[word]]s
# [[repetition]]


For the ===Pronunciation=== section, use {{ja-pron}}.

The article core

The part of speech or other descriptor

See #Parts of speech for the list of standard "parts of speech" for English Wiktionary's Japanese entries.

Headword (inflection) line

The part of speech inflection line should be formatted with one of the following:


For details, see: Wiktionary:Entry layout.

Headings after the definitions

For details, see: Wiktionary:Entry layout.

Conjugation (for verbs), Inflection (-i and -na adjectives)

  • Note: translates to conjugation in English when applied to verbs, and inflection when applied to adjectives and nouns.

Conjugation templates have been created for verbs (ichidan, godan, and suru), and inflection templates for adjectives.

The following templates for modern Japanese are complete:

  1. Generic templates which can be used inside all other templates as well as for irregular patterns such as .
  2. Specific templates based on the generic templates
    1. Ichidan Conjugation {{ja-ichi}}
    2. Godan Conjugation
    3. Irregular Conjugation
    4. Adjectives (-i inflection) {{ja-i}}
    5. Adjectives (-na inflection) {{ja-na}}

For classical Japanese, we will need additional templates for:

  1. Verb and adjective conjugation (classical) {{ja-conj-bungo}}

Considerations about Japanese language entries

Wiktionary may be used by students who are not proficient in Japanese and may be unfamiliar with or unable to type the kanji, hiragana, or katakana versions of Japanese terms. The criteria for inclusion of Japanese entries includes romaji and hiragana entries. A romaji entry satisfies the criteria for inclusion if any of its hiragana, katakana, or kanji transliterations satisfy the standard criteria. Likewise, a hiragana or katakana transliteration of a kanji entry satisfies the criteria for inclusion if that kanji entry satisfies the standard criteria.

Non-lemma forms

Hiragana entries

Hiragana entries with corresponding kanji entries should be formatted like this:


===(part of speech)===
(POS template)

# {{ja-def|kanji form 1}} short definition 1
# {{ja-def|kanji form 2}} short definition 2

(other parts of speech, in English alphabetical order)

If the hiragana is a pronunciation of a kanji which is only used in compounds, add an ===Affix=== part-of-speech section like this:


# add senses

Hiragana entries will thus act as the canonical entry for pronunciation and homophones.

Romaji entries

See /Transliteration for the romanization method

Romaji entries serve as soft redirects to hiragana and/or katakana entries, and have no definitions, parts of speech headings, or other information. Such information belongs in kanji and kana entries. Hiragana and katakana entries may serve for disambiguation, while romaji entries do not. The only category romaji entries belong to is "Category:Japanese romanizations" (see Template:ja-romaji). Romaji entries should be formatted as follows:

A hiragana-only example: "tsuku"



# {{ja-romanization of|}}

A katakana-only example: "r?to"



# {{ja-romanization of|}}

A hiragana and katakana example: "ringo"



# {{ja-romanization of|}}
# {{ja-romanization of|}}

Kanji entries

Entries for a single Kanji character are formatted as follows:

{{ja-kanji forms|?|?}}

# [[meaning 1]]
# [[meaning 2]]

|kun=-, -?, -

Note: Among other things, the ja-kanji template categorizes the Kanji in Category:Japanese kanji which is sorted by radical/stroke (rs). (see template:ja-kanji forms, template:ja-kanji and template:ja-readings for other details.

Parts of speech

Western explanations of Japanese grammar are so varied that none are definitive and no well-known Western methods are consistent with classical Japanese. Thus, the parts of speech should adhere to the common Japanese way of teaching grammar in modern (kokugo) texts, the method with the widest agreement among Japanese scholars. To support such classification, templates for each part of speech will link to an explanatory page with alternatives as to how to classify that part of speech.

Part of speech and conjugation type are to be maintained separately. So, rather than referring to godan verbs, an entry will refer to transitive verbs or intransitive verbs that follow the godan conjugation.

Nouns ()

  • Noun - use L3 or L4 header Noun and {{ja-noun|(kana)}}
e.g. for ?, use: {{ja-noun|}}
...which produces: ? (hiragana , romaji atama)
  • Note that pronouns () should be considered a subclass of nouns, and not a separate part of speech.
  • The count= parameter can be used to identify the counter used with this noun.

Verbs ()

Use L3 or L4 header Verb and {{ja-verb|type=(type)|(kana)}}

  • Intransitive verb ()
e.g. (kawaru), meaning "change" as in something changing
  • Transitive verb ()
e.g. (kaeru), meaning "change" as in changing something

To indicate transitivity, use the tr= parameter:

(intransitive, godan conjugation, hiragana , romaji warau)

Verb conjugation patterns

  • Godan conjugation (?)
also known as Type I Conjugation, Consonant-Stem Conjugation
e.g. (yomu)
  • Ichidan conjugation (?)
also known as Type II Conjugation, Vowel-Stem Conjugation (includes Kami-Ichidan and Shimo-Ichidan Conjugation)
e.g. (miru), (deru)
  • Irregular conjugation
    1. Kuru Conjugation ()
    also known as KA-hen Conjugation, Type III Conjugation, Irregular Conjugation
    1. Suru conjugation ()
    also known as SA-hen conjugation, Type III Conjugation, Irregular Conjugation
    e.g. (suru), ? (benky?suru)
    1. Irregular honorific conjugation
    e.g. (irassharu), (nasaru)

For classical Japanese (), the following should also be included:

  • Yodan conjugation (?)
e.g. (apu)
  • Kami-Ichidan conjugation ()
e.g. (miru)
  • Kami-Nidan conjugation ()
e.g. (otu)
  • Shimo-Ichidan conjugation ()
  • Shimo-Nidan conjugation ()
e.g. (idu)
  • Irregular K conjugation ()
e.g. (kuru)
  • Irregular S conjugation ()
e.g. (suru), ? (benky?suru)
  • Irregular N conjugation ()
(inu), (shinu)
  • Irregular R conjugation ()
(nari), (ari), (haberi)

Adjectives ()

also known as i-adjectives, true adjectives, verbal adjectives, descriptive verbs
e.g. (utsukushii)

For classical Japanese (), the following should also be included:

  • Ku Inflection ()
  • Shiku Inflection (?)

Use L3 or L4 header Adjective and {{ja-adj|infl=i|(kana)}}.

Adjectives (?)

also known as na-adjectives, quasi-adjectives, nominals, descriptive nouns, copular adjectives
e.g. (shizuka)

For classical Japanese (), the following should also be included:

  • Nari Inflection (?)
  • Tari Inflection (?)

Use L3 or L4 header Adjective and {{ja-adj|infl=na|(kana)}}. For lemma entries, it is helpful to include L4 or L5 header Inflection and {{ja-na|(kana)}}.

Adverbs ()

e.g. (amari), (kitto)

Use L3 or L4 header Adverb and {{ja-pos|adverb|(kana)}}.

Conjunctions ()

e.g. ? keredomo, kara, no ni

Use L3 or L4 header Conjunction and {{ja-pos|conjunction|(kana)}}.

Interjections ()

e.g. (hora), (ara), (hai), (iie)

Use L3 or L4 header Interjection and {{ja-pos|interjection|(kana)}}.

Particles ()

  • Case particle ()
  • Sentence-final particle ()
  • Indirect particle (?)
  • Adverbial particle ()
  • Binding particle ()
  • Conjunctive particle (?)

Use L3 or L4 header Particle and {{ja-pos|particle|(kana)}}.

Auxiliaries ()

also known as auxiliary verb
  • Indicate the type of conjugation (e.g. like godan, i-adjective, etc.)

Use L3 or L4 header Suffix and {{ja-pos|suffix|(kana)}}.

Adnominals ()

also known as prenominal adjectives, pre-noun adjectives

e.g. (kono), (sono), (ano), (dono), ? (iwayuru)

Use L3 or L4 header Adnominal and {{ja-pos|adnominal|(kana)}}. This is a closed-class part of speech with a relatively limited number of terms. Not everything that comes before a noun is an adnominal.

Counter words ()

  • e.g., ?

Use L3 or L4 header Counter and {{ja-pos|counter|(kana)}}.

Do not use a hyphen with kanji, katakana, or hiragana, but do use one with romaji.

Prefixes ()

Use L3 or L4 header Prefix {{ja-pos|prefix|(kana)}}. Do not use a hyphen with kanji, katakana, or hiragana, but do use one with romaji.

Suffixes ()

Use L3 or L4 header Suffix and {{ja-pos|suffix|(kana)}}. Do not use a hyphen with kanji, katakana, or hiragana, but do use one with romaji.


See Wiktionary:About Japanese/Transliteration.

Verb forms of nouns

Many nouns in Japanese have a verb form that is created by simply appending (suru). Because this type of verb is so closely associated with the noun stem, its entry is considered the plain form minus . There is a special headword template for those verbs: {{ja-verb-suru}}. See .

Note however that some verbs ending in behave differently, such as and other verbs with one kanji plus . See .

Hiragana entries

Because entries for short hiragana tokens (e.g., , sho) can correspond to so many kanji, it makes sense to have a level 3 section at the bottom called "Hiragana", with level 4 sections for on'yomi readings and kun'yomi readings. It might be prudent to include subtle differences in pronunciation (as exists between hashi "bridge" and hashi "chopstick"), but it is unclear how to indicate such differences using the wiki software.


Any Japanese entry that is part of any larger terms that meet the criteria for inclusion should have a level 4 section with a bulleted list of links to the larger terms. That level 4 section should be called "Compounds" in kanji entries and "Derived terms" in non-kanji entries. The bulleted items that begin with the entry should come first.

A level 4 section called "Names" should contain any common names constructed from the kanji, even if such names duplicate a compound word.

Kana, Romaji, English translation

To accommodate the diverse needs and fluency levels of readers, each Japanese phrase or term should be expressed in four forms: a formal Japanese version, a kana version, a romaji version, and an English language translation. The additional verbosity is necessary to produce a general-purpose resource.

-na Adjectives

The main entry for the part of speech sometimes called quasi-adjective and sometimes called adjectival noun (? in Japanese) should be in the form without the ? (na), on the same page as the noun form if there is one:

=== Adjective ===

E.g. (heian) has a level 3 section like this:

=== Adjective ===

(hiragana ?, romaji heian)

This should be followed by the definition(s), and then the inflection table using template {{ja-na}}. Note that na type adjectives have inflections, so the header should be Inflection, not Conjugation.


List of relevant categories

  • Category:Japanese language
    The root category in the Wiktionary category tree for Japanese terms. All other Japanese-related categories are ultimately within this category. Most Japanese entries should be categorized in one or more of the more specific categories below. Individual words should only be in this top level category if they are about the Japanese language (e.g. the entry for hiragana).

Words are categorized properly in the Part of Speech and Script form categories automatically by the POS templates (ja-noun, ja-verb, ja-adj, and ja-pos).


All categories should be sorted by hiragana except Category:Japanese kanji and Category:Japanese romanizations. If the page title is not completely in hiragana, then put the hiragana version of the term as the sort key like this [[Category:mycategory|sortkey]].

A note about hiragana sort keys: In most Japanese dictionaries, ?, for example, would be listed amongst ? words and not separated into its own ? section. However, by default Wiktionary does the latter. To fix this, we would give ? the sort key of ?. ? () is a word too though, so we would not want ? to show up before it on the list. To assure it shows up afterwards, we stick ' at the end to give it a slightly greater alphabetical order value. For words starting with ? or any hiragana with the little circle mark, we stick two 's at the end ('').

Romaji pages usually do not need a sort key, but if for some reason it begins with a capital letter, add a sort key with the lowercase version.

Kanji sortkeys are formatted like so: radical + number of strokes beyond radical (two digits) + the kanji itself. The sort key for ? would be ?02?

Additional help

Help from the community

Sometimes, we know there is a problem, but don't know what to do to correct the problem. If you should find a Japanese entry with a problem that you do not know how to correct, there are several ways to approach the situation.

  1. Mark the page with {{attention|ja}}. This template adds the entry to Category:Japanese terms needing attention, where another user can then find and correct the problem. It helps if you include comments on the entry's talk page explaining what the problem is or why you think the page needs attention.
  2. Raise the issue on Wiktionary talk:About Japanese. Note that this approach is primarily for issues of style, formatting, categorization, and not for specifics of content.
  3. Mark the page with {{rfc}}. This is a more general cleanup tag that allows the user to include reasons or concerns as an argument in the template. Be sure to also add an entry to WT:RFC concerning the word so that other editors will be made aware of the problem.

Translations into Japanese

These are basic translation examples. As a general practice, only link to the lemma form of any given term. For instance, for the Japanese translation of the English term cypress, link to the kanji spelling ?, using {{t|ja|?|tr=hinoki}}. Any further details about alternative spellings should be included in that entry, and not in the translation tables.

* Japanese: {{t|ja||tr=kanky?}}

You may find examples of older deprecated formatting, where the tr= transliteration parameter may have included kana. These might look like:

* Japanese: {{t|ja||tr=, kanky?}}


* Japanese: {{t|ja||tr=[[]], kanky?}}

Do not copy this format. If you encounter existing content that includes kana in the tr= parameter, current best practice is to remove the kana and leave only the r?maji.

If a term has multiple possible readings, list each reading in r?maji, separating with commas. For example, ("home town") may be read as either furusato or as koky?. When adding this to a translation table, use the following format:

* Japanese: {{t|ja||tr=furusato, koky?}}

In general, list the readings in order from most to least common.

If a word is only, or most commonly, written in kana, link to the kana spelling and add the r?maji transliteration:

* Japanese: {{t|ja|?|tr=sup?tsu}}

For verb conjugations and other derived forms, link to the lemma forms and use the alt= parameter to indicate the form to display. For example, the Japanese translation for tired links to the lemma form (tsukareru, "to tire, to get tired"), while displaying the conjugated form (tsukareta, "tired"):

* Japanese: {{t|ja||alt=|tr=tsukareta}}

Other Japanese aids

See also

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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