From Academic Kids

Template:Japanese writing JSL is a romanization system for transcribing the Japanese language into the Roman alphabet. It was devised by Eleanor Jorden for (and named after) her 1987 book Japanese: The Spoken Language.

JSL is designed for teaching Japanese, and so follows the Japanese kana spelling fairly closely. It differs from Hepburn in that it uses doubled vowels, rather than macrons, to represent long /o/ and /u/. Tokyo (Tōkyō) and Osaka (Ōsaka), for instance, would be written Tookyoo and Oosaka in JSL. Also, JSL represents ん, the syllabic n, with an "n" with a macron over it, to avoid the practice that other systems use of sometimes writing n and sometimes n' depending on the presence of a following vowel or "y."

JSL is very closely tied to Japanese pronunciation, and gives one consistent symbol for each Japanese phoneme (with the exception of the glottal stop between double consonants.) This means that it does depart from Japanese orthography somewhat, as おう is romanized as oo when it indicates a long /o/, but as ou when it indicates two distinct vowel sounds, such as in omou for 思う (おもう.) It also distinguishes between g, which is used where all speakers make a /g/ sound similar to that of English, and ḡ, which is used where many speakers continue to make the /g/ sound, but many others produce a sound that is similar the English /ng/ that occurs in "singer." The particles は and へ are romanized wa and e, in accordance with their pronunciation. However, like Kunrei-shiki and Nihon-shiki, JSL does not distinguish between allophones in Japanese which are different phonemes in English.

JSL has a system of indicating the pitch of each mora. An acute () vowel denotes the first high-pitch mora, a grave (`) marks the last high-pitch mora, and a circumflex (^) marks the only high-pitch mora in a word. In this system 日本 "Japan" would be written as nihn and 二本 "two bottles" as nhon. (This is why doubled vowels must be used instead of macrons.)

JSL is not popular outside of teaching settings because it does not give a good indication to English speakers of how the word is pronounced in Japanese.

See also

Template:Japanese romanizationde:JSL fr:JSL


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