Two Ways of Reading for 日本

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Sep 18, 2011 10:18
Today, I'll try to translate a Japanese column.

"日本" has two ways of reading, nippon and nihon.
There are any formal rules how to read the word.

The country's name was provided 日本 more than 1300 years ago, and it was called "Nippon" in Nare era.Later, in Muromachi era, it was read also "Nihon" and there have been two ways of reading.

When we cheer for Japanese teams, "Nippon" is more powerful and people can keep in time together easily.While the sound of "Nihon" makes people feel gentleness.It is natural to read these traditional words, 日本間,日本画, 日本髪; nihonma, nihonga, nihongami.

Among some company which have the letters 日本 in their names, they write down "NIPPON" in roman letters though they pronounce usually "Nihon."The word 日本橋 is called "Nihonnbashi" in Tokyo but "Nipponbashi" in Osaka.

Both way of reading are familiar with people. Let's cherish each sounds and use different sounds for different tasks.