"kawaii"

Aihara
Asked 1 year ago

i still remember someone told me that we dont spell a japanese native word using katakana like sushi. but i found this one web site and it spell kawaii in katakana . i thought kawaii is a japanese native word . 

As your understanding, kawaii is a Japanese word originally, but actually we can write this word in three ways these days: 可愛い, かわいい, and カワイイ. Why? I guess it's because we can use different nuance. For example, 可愛い seems formal, while かわいい looks cute and easy to read. カワイイ is familiar to young people and seems more like an international word.

Aki
Commented 1 year ago

okay. thanks Aki ^^

Aihara
Commented 1 year ago

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1 Answer

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Hiya, just my own take on it. Kawaii is normally seen written using hiragana. However owing to things like autocorrect/autoselect on mobile phones/computers (or if the writer is writing properly) you will see the kanji version as well quite frequently.

However one note about katakana usage in general is it's a bit like writing IN ALL BLOCK CAPS IN ENGLISH where you're really placing the emphasis on something. So if someone is using it to write "kawaii" they're all but shouting it at you, something to that effect.

There's other curiosities about kanakana use such as (wild) animals' names are almost always written in katakana (クマ、ペンギン、アザラシ, etc.). Also the more you learn Japanese the more you'll notice patterns regarding usage.

 

 

番長
Answered 1 year ago