〜ヶ月 or 〜か月

s28928

Member
English-US
I was wondering if any one could tell me the which is written more 〜ヶ月 or 〜か月. Such as in the sentence: ふねでニヶ月かかる。 (←Just a random example.)

Would you also please be able to tell me which is more formal and which is more colloquial. Through my studies in Spanish, I have witnessed that the colloquial form of some languages have developed the use of more English grammatical patterns and vocabulary. In Japanese, although I am not nearly as familiar with it, I have noticed (apart form the use of many English words, such as ケーキ) the absence of kanji. For example, maybe it is because I am at a beginning level, but I was told that one should not use 有る for ある.

Anyways, would someone please tell me which of those two forms is the correct kanji (both in formal and informal writing)?

Many thanks.

ありがとうございます。
 
  • karlalou

    Banned
    母国語:日本語
    You are saying something interesting. :)

    Well, as for 〜ヶ月 or 〜か月, you don't really need to worry about them. I find 〜か月 is friendlier to everyone including children, like I'm rediscovering the nice feeling of it while I feel 〜ヶ月 is just so ordinary and dry and businesslike.

    Yes, Japanese adopts Western words by applying katakana to them mimicking the sound, but the Japanese grammar and the English grammar are too different. I can't imagine for Japanese to adopt any grammar pattern from other languages..

    Right. ある is considered as standard over 有る. I see that the standard makers are seeking for the right amount of kanji letters in Japanese writings. :)
     
    Last edited:

    810senior

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Either of them makes no difference, but I personally prefer using ヶ.

    For example, maybe it is because I am at a beginning level, but I was told that one should not use 有る for ある.
    有る is a Kanji-included form of ある but it sounds to me obscure and archaic. We commonly use ある in everyday's life, in business writing as well.
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Here are data from the Chunagon Corpus.
    ヶ月: 7,032 hits
    か月: 3,739 hits *
    カ月: 5,520 hits
    ヵ月: 2,431 hits

    Historically, ヶ developed as a shorthand for 箇, a proper Chinese word. It works as a disambiguater for a phrase such as 一月, which can be either January (the first month) or a period of one month. As 第 makes 第一月 the first month of a given period, so 箇 makes 一箇月 one-month period. 箇 was once widely used in Japanese but it's fallen out of use.

    Most style manuals (including those by the government for the government) endorse the star-marked か月. It ranks, however, the third most frequent representation, only surpassing the substandard ヵ月. Unless you are working with an editorship that requires style standards on what they publish, you are most likely to write ヶ月 and no one takes issues with it. Perhaps that is what is meant by "colloquial" in a written text.

    Even though manuals that endorse か月 do not propose to alter representations for proper names with ヶ (such as 六ヶ所 and 八ヶ岳), proper names that use ヶ as an old genitive marker (not as the quantifier) often undergo rewriting. Examples include 霞が関 (formerly 霞ヶ関) and 那須野が原 (formerly 那須野ヶ原). Even for them, the change is limited to official street addresses. A variety of script representations can be employed for underground stations and hotels named after the place names.
     

    s28928

    Member
    English-US
    Thank you all very much for all of the answers! I really appreciate it. I understand now :)

    Also, Thank you @Flaminius for the detailed history that you gave. I love learning about the origins of certain aspects of language!
     
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