あなた or 貴方

jackswitch

Member
Australian English
Hi all,

I'm a bit confused by the fact that I often find certain Japanese words written as both kana and kanji at different times.

An example is 'anata' — written as both あなた and 貴方.
Another is 'ureshii' — both うれしい and 嬉しい.

Are there specific contexts that determine which one to use? Does the choice of kanji over kana ever change the connotation of the word or tone?

Jack
 
  • lammn

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Cantonese
    Hello Jack,

    あなた is certainly more frequently used than 貴方.

    As for うれしい/嬉しい, I once heard that it should be written in hiragana.
    Chinese people tend to write it in kanji (i.e. wrong style) because they are more familiar with kanji...
    Googling it, however, 嬉しい has 99,400,000 hits while うれしい has only 52,200,000 hits. So I am a bit confused.
    Personally speaking I will write it as うれしい to avoid giving people the impression that I am writing Chinese style Japanese.

    I'm not sure how the choice over kanji and hiragana will change the tone or connotation.
    Hope that someone else can answer your questions.
     

    Ocham

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    There is no specific standard which determins which to use. You've got simply to get used to our practice by reading as much written Japanese as possible. For example, high registered words are generally wirtten in Kanji and easy words in kana, but even the words on the same level can be written in either way. 私 is generally written in kanji, while あなた is written in kana. If you write あなた in kanji 貴方, you might be considered to be pedantic. So you must be more careful when you write easy words than
    when you write high registered words. I personally prefer to write うれしい
    in kana.

    Example:
    I'm glad to hear from you.
    あなたから手紙をいただいてうれしいです...quite natural
    貴方から手紙を頂いて嬉しいです...........too many kanji's
     
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