Recently I’ve been asked around the spelling of Konnichiwa in Hiragana. Is it こんにちは or こんにちわ? Which is correct and why?
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The answer is こんにちは through は (Hiragana HA) at the end rather of わ (Hiragana WA) although the expression is pronounced “KonnichiWA.”
Why? Because the WA in this specific phrase is a particle (Topic Marker). Yes, it is the exact same WA that you would view in a sentence like this:
すしはおいしいです。Sushi WA oishii desu. (As for sushi, it’s delicious. = Sushi is delicious.)
Why Use Particle は WA?
“Wait. Why carry out we should usage the pwrite-up WA in this phrase?” Good question! This phrase, in truth, is an infinish sentence and こんにちは Konnichiwa is only the start component of it.
Let me describe step by action.
Words こんにち Konnichi is an old Japanese word meaning “today” so it is same as きょう Kyoo in modern-day Japanese. Hence, こんにちは Konnichi WA by itself literally implies “as for today” and it was the topic of the original phrase.
Traditionally, to greet each various other, civilization supplied to say things like listed below after Konnichi WA.
こんにちは よいおてんきですね。Konnichi WA yoi otenki desu ne. (As for today, it is a beautiful day, isn’t it?)
こんにちは ごくろうさまです。Konnichi WA gokuroosama desu.(As for today, thank you for your difficult work)
こんにちは ごきげんいかがですか。Konnichi WA gokigenikaga desu ka?(As for this particular day, exactly how are you?)
Over time, civilization stopped saying the entire phrases (Sad, I know) and only the beginning component こんにちは has remained as a greeting in modern-day Japan.
Same goes through Konbanwa こんばんは, by the way. こんばん implies tonight or this evening, so こんばんは literally means “As for this evening.” Aobtain, it is the start component of a phrase like:
こんばんは よいつきよですね。Konban WA yoi tsukiyo desu ne?(As for this evening, it is a lovely moonlit night, isn’t it?)
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Even Native Speakers Get Confused
Now you understand if you have to compose Konnichiwa こんにちは or こんにちわ. It has to be the previous becauseこんにち is the topic of the original phrases and also thus, hregarding be noted through the particle は WA.
However, you might see also Japanese aboriginal speakers regularly spell it こんにちわ or こんばんわ. It is bereason world became even more accustomed to creating as they pronounce quite than paying attention to its definition or beginning.
It might be comparable to the mistakes that English speakers make such as spelling “there” for “their” or “night” for “knight.”
Language constantly changes. People would shorten an extensive word or drop particular sounds that are tough to pronounce. In the future, everyone might begin spelling Konnichiwa こんにちわ. You never recognize.
I hope it won’t be the situation for a lengthy time considering that I so cherish the history and graceful aspects of our language which is disshowing up conveniently in modern-day Japan.
Hope this write-up assisted you to clear the confusion you had actually between こんにちは or こんにちわ.