What are the words in Japanese writing

スキャン+サンドイッチ「Scanwiches」らしいです。サンドイッチ断面淡々アップする、という謎ブログですw、躍動感あふれる写真なかなか素敵です。




Above is some Japanese test, that I've taken from Idea*Idea a cool Japanese lifehacker like site.

If you're new to Japanese, or Eastern Languages you may have trouble seeing the words. What are the Japanese words - there don't seem to be any spaces. Without learning some basic Japanese and at least hiragana and katakana it's going to be hard to parse Japanese words from Japanese text.


スキャン + サンドイッチ で「Scanwiches」らしい です。



Overall Japanese sentences work a lot like English - they end with a fullstop. Though the Japanese fullstop tends to be a little bigger.

First Japanese word:
スキャン

This word is written using katakana. It's often used write foreign words or used for emphasis - like WRITING IN CAPS in English. An English rendering of the above would be sukyan. This is an English loan word, can you guess the meaning?

It's 'scan', like to use a scanner.

Second Japanese word:
サンドイッチ

This also katakana and it's another load word - rendered in English it's sandoicchi. Perhaps you can guess it's means 'sandwich'.

Third Japanese word:


This is more commonly referred to as a particle (in English like 'a', 'an' and 'the'). It's written in hiragana which is normal for particles. It's rendered in English as de. It commonly indicates an action occurring somewhere or a action occurring by some method. It's much easier to understand it's usage by looking at lots of examples.

Japanese people often have trouble knowing when to use 'a' and when to use 'the', even if they're quite advanced at English. Imagine trying to explain the difference. It's similar with the Japanese particles - they're exact functions are hard to explain because their use is quite subtle.

I've bolded all the particles in the small paragraph at the top. This roughly breaks the sentence up into it's words.

Forth Word, not Japanese
「Scanwiches」

This word is written in English - or romaji. It's a brand new word scanwiches. The article is talking about cutting up sandwiches and then scanning them into the computer using a scanner to get a picture. These pictures are then scanwiches.

Fifth Japanese word:
らしい

Hiragana again, so it's a Japanese word, rendered in English it's written 'rashii'. In this context means apparently.

Sixth Japanese word
です

A very important Japanese word (hiragana of course) it is somewhat like 'is, am' and is found at the end of sentences. It's rendered in English as 'desu'.

So putting it all together:

[scan] + [sandwich] [action-by-which-something-occurs] [scanwichs] [apparently] [is/are]

Making it English friendly:


By adding scanning and sandwiches apparently we get "scanwiches".
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