7.07.2009

Japanese spelling of sensei and dojo

Sometimes I meet people who do karate or other Japanese-based martial arts, and they'll call their teacher "sensei" and the place where they practice "dojo," and that's all the Japanese they know. But have they ever wondered what those words look like in Japanese?

So I decided to post those words here in the Japanese Kanji and Hiragana, just in case people want to see what they look like.

Sensei
kanji: 先生
hiragana: せんせい


Dojo
kanji: 道場
hiragana: どうじょう

Note: the English transliteration and reading of "sensei" is correct, but the pronunciation and transliteration for "dojo" isn't. It should really be pronounced with long o's, like "dohjoh", which means the spelling of the English representation should be different as well. Usually the long "o" is represented with "ou" or an "o" with a horizontal line over it. So some dictionaries portray it as "doujou" or "dōjō".

3 comments:

Neoglitch said...

Learn Hiragana says: Hey, very interesting information! Yeah, most people just know it as 'dojo' but don't realize that it is pronounced with a long vowel on both 'o's.

Thanks for sharing, I will read other posts now :D

mj said...

I'm guilty of the short vowels myself when I use the word in English, probably because it feels strange to elongate them.

Unknown said...

Interesting! Could you tell hiragana for 道場? Kyudo.