英語のヒント vol. VIII: 日本人がよくやるミス 3 - 大文字のミス!

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Aug 11, 2013 12:09 英語のヒント hint ミス mistakes capital 大文字
Hey hey,

Today, we will talk about one of the most frequently misused and mistaken parts of the English language by Japanese speakers - capital letters (大文字)! Japanese people make mistakes because, well, the rules for capital letters are quite random and 'arbitrary' (日本語で「独断」かな?). Japanese is easier in this sense because there are no capital letters.

Another reason that doesn't help is that there is a trend by native English speakers to not use any capital letters at all! So, if you see a Facebook status update, a tweet, or text message from an English speaker, it might look something like: "u meeting me and john there? what time should i go?" This has several mistakes. It's OK if you KNOW that you are making mistakes, but for language learners, you shouldn't follow this example.

In a later lesson, I will explain different capitalization rules in a simple manner. For now, I want talk about the 3 most frequent mistakes I see.

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1. Stylized Names/Titles - (x: LINE, NARUTO, JUMP, ONE PIECE, AEON, etc.)

Alright, so in English, it is OK to write store names, titles, etc. in all capital letters to create impact and get attention. Capital letters attract eyes more than lower-case letters (小文字より). They are also easier for many people to read (I think all Japanese students learn capital letters before lower-case).

HOWEVER, when you write English (an essay, on Lang-8, etc.), writing these things in all capitals is wrong! So:

x: LINE
o: Line

x: NARUTO
o: Naruto

x: AEON
o: Aeon

In the case of titles/names with two words, both first letters are capitalized:

x: ONE PIECE
o: One Piece

x: One piece
o: One Piece

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2. Japanese Words (x: Miso Soup, Sushi, Karaoke, etc.)

Japanese words are treated like every other word in the English language. So, if it is as the start of the sentence, it is OK to use a capital letter, but if it is not, then you don't use one. Think of them as regular English language words. Sometimes, we will write foreign words in italics (イタリック) or in quotation marks, but we don't add capital letters.

x: I eat Sushi.
o: I eat sushi.

x: Japanese people like Karaoke.
o: Japanese people like karaoke.

x: miso soup is delicious.
o: Miso soup is delicious. (because it's at the start of a sentence)

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3. Every Word in a Title (x: One piece, Heavy rotation, Youme town, etc.)

So every letter in a title is not capitalized but every (well, most) WORD is capitalized (first letter only). This is so we can understand it is part of the title. We don't capitalized very small words in titles, though ('a,' 'of', 'on' etc.).

x: One piece
o: One Piece

x: Heavy rotation
o: Heavy Rotation

x: Carly rae jepsen's 'Call me maybe'
o: Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe'

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QUIZ TIME!

Here's a small quiz. If you'd like, please answer. Write 'o' or 'x' (e.g. A) x, B) o, etc.) in the comments. There might be a trick question, so be careful! ^^

A) I like Sashimi.
B) I will go to AEON.
C) In Japan, we eat lots of 'nabe.'
D) I frequently read One piece.
E) Did you hear Justin Bieber's song "As Long As You Love Me?"
F) Many foreigners do not like Natto.
G) tofu is made of beans.
H) GINTAMA is a hilarious manga.
I) Tsunamis are sometimes a problem in Japan.
J) Do you like AKB48?


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EDIT: QUIZ ANSWERS:
A) x
B) x
C) o
D) x
E) o
F) x
G) x
H) x
I) o
J) o

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