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Is konnichiwa misspelled?

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Why is konnichiwa spelled こんにちは and not こんにちわ? Well, it is a bit of a long story, I fill in all the details in this slideshow. This presentation appears in the Memrise course 'Learn Basic Japanese' that you can find at the link below:

http://www.memrise.com/course/80119/learn-basic-japanese/

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Is konnichiwa misspelled?

  1. 1. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com In the next level, you will learn the word for hello, konnichiwa. こんにちは konnichiwa
  2. 2. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com But you might notice that konnichwa is 'misspelled' こんにちは konnichiwa
  3. 3. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com That's because this expression is actually a shortening of a longer phrase. 今日は ご機嫌 いかがですか? Konnichiwa gokigen ikagadesuka? lit. (as for the topic of) today, how is your mood?
  4. 4. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com In this longer phrase, the は particle is being used. 今日は ご機嫌 いかがですか? Konnichiwa gokigen ikagadesuka? lit. (as for the topic of) today, how is your mood?
  5. 5. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com This は particle is called the 'topic marking particle', and as you might've guessed, it marks the 'topic' of the sentence. 今日は ご機嫌 いかがですか? Konnichiwa gokigen ikagadesuka? lit. (as for the topic of) today, how is your mood?
  6. 6. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com When the は particle is being used in this way, it is pronounced 'wa'. 今日は ご機嫌 いかがですか? Konnichiwa gokigen ikagadesuka? lit. (as for the topic of) today, how is your mood?
  7. 7. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com You can think of it this way, when it is with other kana it is laughing 'ha' and having fun ... はな Ha! Ha! You are so funny na!
  8. 8. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com But by itself (as a particle), it is lonely. あなた は つまらない。 anata wa tumaranai. You are boring. WAt happened to everybody? I just want to be loved.
  9. 9. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com Something similar happens with へ (he) and を (wo). They lose their first sounds /h/ and /w/, so they are pronounced へ (e) and を (o). へ e Eee! Sometimes I like to be alone, okay? を o O! No! I'm all by lonesome!
  10. 10. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com So in order to type the 'wa particle' you need to type ha into the IME. konnichiha → こんにちは
  11. 11. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com Basically, long story short, sounds for characters have shifted over time. The は particle retained its original pronunciation. は Don't mess with a classic!
  12. 12. © Copyright 2015 JLPTBootCamp.com If you are interested in learning about the wonders of the は particle, I made a handy video for you. Click below to check it out.

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