|sci.lang.japan FAQ / 1. Writing / 1.3. Other questions on writing / 1.3.4. What are the systems of romanization of Japanese?|
The Nippo jisho (日葡辞書) or "Vocabvlario da lingoa de Iapam" was a dictionary from Japanese into Portuguese published in 1603. The po (葡) kanji here is the character representing Portugal (see 3.4. Why is America called bei?). Three or four copies of the original dictionary still exist.
The following table shows the romanization of Japanese used in the Nippo jisho.
JSL is the romanization system used in the textbook series "Japanese: the Spoken Language" by Eleanor Harz Jorden. It is based on the format of Kunrei-shiki romanization, with the difference that long vowels are written using doubled vowels, such as "oo" or "uu", rather than macrons or circumflexes, and the addition of information on pitch accent (see 7.5. What is Japanese pitch accent?) using acute, grave and circumflex marks. JSL romanization is intended for language teaching and study.
99 shiki (99式), created by The Society for the Romanization of the Japanese Alphabet (Shadan Houjin Nihon Roomaji Kai (社団法人日本ローマ字会) is a form of romanization developed from the view of romaji as a means of transliteration rather than as a strict orthography. As such it allows romanization of variant kana forms which do not currently have a romanized form. It uses neither circumflexes nor macrons.
In practice the most widely used romanization in Japan is an unnamed variant of Hepburn romanization sometimes described as "easy-to-read" romanization. In this form of romanization, long vowels and syllabic ns (ん) are simply not indicated at all. This type of romanization is used in train stations to indicate station names, and it is the form of romanization which gives us Tokyo and Kyoto for the Japanese cities.
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