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B.2.3 Japanese

Modern Japanese is written in a mixture of hiragana, katakana, kanji, and sometimes romaji. Hiragana and katakana are both syllabaries unique to Japan, kanji is a modified form of hànzi, and romaji uses the Latin alphabet. With some work, Aspell should be able to check the non-kanji part of Japanese text. However, based on my limited understanding of Japanese hiragana is often used at the end of kanji. Thus if Aspell was to simply separate out the hiragana from kanji it would end up with a lot of word endings which are not proper words and will thus be flagged as misspellings. However, this can be fairly easily rectified as text is tokenized into words before it is converted into Aspell’s internal encoding. In fact, some Japanese text is written in entirely in one script. For example books for children and foreigners are sometimes written entirely in hiragana. Thus, Aspell, in its current state, could prove at least somewhat useful for spell checking Japanese.

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