1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. じ and ぢ ?


じ and ぢ ?

こんにちわ ! So じ and ぢ are both in Romaji, Ji. When do I write じand when should I writeぢ ? Like for example, would ''Romaji'' in Hiragana be ''ろまじ'' or ''ろまぢ'' and would ''Jikan'' (time) be じかん or ぢかん? Thank you for your help!


September 25, 2017



Most of the time ji sound means じ, zu sound is ず。Think of ぢ or づ words as exceptions.

・ちぢむ chi ji mu ( 縮む:to shrink)

・つづく tsu zu ku (続く:to continue)

Doubling the sound "chi" or "tsu" is not easy to say, so they became "chi ji mu" and " tsu zu ku".

・そこぢから [そこ soko+ちから chikara = そこぢから soko jikara] (底力 : potential] power)

・はなぢ [はな hana+ち chi = はなぢ hana ji] (鼻血 : nosebleed)

・まぢか [ま ma+ちか chika = まぢか ma jika] (間近 : close, something is very near)

・こづつみ [こ ko+つつみ tsutsumi = こづつみ kozutsumi] (小包み : small package)

・みかづき [みか mika+つき tsuki = みかづき mikazuki] (三日月 : crescent moon)

The original words before they are combined with other words were either "ち chi" or "つ tsu". By adding two small dots ( ˝ ), they turn into "ぢ ji" and "づ zu".


Wow, Thank you so much! This really helps so much! :)


I remember reading an article about how they're virtually the same. Apparently way back when in Japan, they were pronounced a little differently. But now that's not the case, and it just comes down to experience, I guess.


Look at this post for a better understanding.


時間 would be used with じ. The only reason that ち with diacritics would be used is if it was historical spelling. Anytime you want to type ji, use じ。Hope this helps!


Both sound similar, but じ is the one used most of the time. ぢ is rarely ever used, so I'd say if you're ever not sure, going with じ is your safest bet. :)


The "zi" sound that would have been written as ぢ has become now pronounced as "ji" so it would usually be written phonetically as じ. The spellings of Kanji "readings" are sometimes updated to reflect modern pronounciation. Something English would benefit from if you think about it. :-)

Stray observation: this sound change manifests in the difference in "Kanji" and "Hanzi" the Japanese and Chinese Mandarin names for 漢字 as the word Kanji was originally borrowed from China, along with the writing system.


You would almost always use じ. There is a phonological phenomenon in japanese called rendaku where the readings of kanji that come later in a word are often changed to their diacritical equivalent. I can only think of 鼻血 (はなぢ) and as mentioned elsewhere it sounds just like じ these days.


"Romaji" is four moras in length. Therefore, since both those spellings consist of only three moras, neither of them have any possibility of being correct.

  • ローマ = Rome (Roman)
  • 字 (じ) = letter(s), character(s)

"Rōmaji" in kana = ローマじ. The vowel of the first katakana (ロ, "ro") being lengthened by the long vowel symbol (ー) that follows it, making two mora ロー "rō" (rather than one mora ロ "ro").

ローマ字 "rōmaji" (= 4 moras: "ro-o-ma-ji"). ^^

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.