Home Podcasts A Wonderful Mess: About the Japanese Writing System w. Dr. Wes Robertson | Japan Station 80

A Wonderful Mess: About the Japanese Writing System w. Dr. Wes Robertson | Japan Station 80

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On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Dr. Wes Robertson stops by to talk about the wonderful mess that is the Japanese writing system.

About Dr. Wes Robertson

Wesley C. Robertson is Lecturer in International Studies at Macquarie University, Australia. His research focuses on variation and language play inherent in writing, with a focus on Japanese. He completed his PhD in Applied Japanese Linguistics at Monash University in 2016.

Topics Discussed

  • How it was that Dr. Wes Robertson became interested in the Japanese writing system
  • The quirks and inconsistencies of the Japanese writing system
  • Some of the potential reasons why katakana is sometimes used to write the speech of foreigners in manga and other forms of Japanese media
  • The phenomenon of marking the speech of foreigners with katakana
  • The practice of writing some Japanese last names in katakana rather than kanji
  • Whether it is common to use the Japanese writing system to try to phonetically recreate foreign accents
  • How Dr. Robertson got in touch with manga artists for his research
  • Whether Japanese readers actually interpret something differently depending on what writing system (kanji, hiragana, katakana) is used
  • The fascinating nature of the Japanese writing system
  • About sociolinguistics
  • About the¬†Lingua Brutalica¬†podcast
  • About the peculiar script usage of the Japanese metal band Gotsu Totsu Kotsu
  • And much more!

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Support on Patreon

If you enjoy Japan Station and want to ensure that we’re able to produce more episodes, then please consider becoming a patron on Patreon.com. For a minimum pledge of $1 a month you’ll get early access to all JapanKyo podcasts, bonus content, and more. And for $3 a month, you’ll get access to Japanese Plus Alpha, a podcast produced by me (Tony Vega) that focuses on the Japanese language and all of its fascinating quirks. Also, all pledges get a shout-out on the show and my undying gratitude. Thank you in advance!

Links, Videos, Etc.

To purchase a copy of Scripting Japan, please consider using the Amazon affiliate link below.

You can follow Dr. Wes Robertson on Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out the¬†Lingua Brutallica¬†podcast!

Here is the latest JapanKyo Docs video.

Check out the JapanKyo Docs YouTube channel!

Use the link below to check out the latest episode of the Ichimon Japan podcast.

If you would like to support the show by picking up some merchandise, make sure to visit KimitoDesigns.com.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (Ś§ßśĪüśął„ā≥„É≥„Éą„É≠„Éľ„É©„Éľ) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi) To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Featured image: Courtesy of Chelsea Szendi Schieder

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Full Show Notes

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