What is Glomaji (Global Romaji)?

Alphabetic Japanese (Glomaji) Essay Introduction

It is a concept developed by Hiragana Times. Glomaji is the form of romaji used when inputting Japanese into a PC with Roman characters; aimed at students of Japanese it is also a way to communicate in Japanese with people from around the globe.

Features of Glomaji:

  1. Glomaji is a way of expressing Japanese with the alphabet and can be useful not only for those wanting to read the language, but also for learning how to input Japanese characters into a PC using the Roman alphabet. It allows users to communicate not only with native Japanese, but also with Japanese learners all over the world.
  2. It utilizes only the English alphabet and a little more than 100 phonetic syllables. You can read and write it without any knowledge of hiragana, katakana and kanji. Furthermore, unlike English, Glomaji is pronounced exactly as it is written.
  3. Katakana words adopted from English words can be written according to Japanese pronunciation.

“Glomaji” Text Notes:

wa/ha, e/he, o/wo and zu/du
Though the written Japanese characters for “ha” and “he” are pronounced also as “wa” and “e” respectively, and “wo” and “du” are pronounced as “o” and “zu,” they are written as you would when inputting Japanese text into a PC: “ha,” “he,” “wo” and “du.”

Onnna (woman), kinnyuu (finance), bennkyou (study), Nihonn (Japan)
In order to get the “ん” (n) character, you need to add another letter“n.”

“– ” after a letter
Represents a long vowel sound. It does not break up a sentence as in English.

Pronounced as “pa-ti-;” when inputting with a PC you must add the letter “h.”

When one “u” is followed by another “u” they are pronounced with a lengthened vowel sound, e.g. “tsu-kinn.”

“you” and “to”
Please note that when reading Glomaji, you pronounce the above spellings differently than if you were reading it as English text. “You” (use) is pronounced as “yo u” (the “u” is pronounced as a separate vowel rather than blending with the “yo.” “To” is pronounced the same as the “to” from the Japanese word “tomodachi” (friend).

The pronunciation of the Japanese “ou” combination is similar to the pronunciation of “oa” in float, NOT like the “ou” in “would.” In Japanese, vowels are pronounced separately, as in “ko u bann.”

ko-hi- (coffee)
Type “ko-hi-” in order to get “コーヒー”(coffee)

Yoyogi’uehara and kabushiki’gaisha
Conjunctions of proper nouns are separated with an apostrophe, which is not typed when you type it into PV.


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