Romanization - Hepburn System


So somehow you've stumbled across my website but you have no idea what the heck 'romanization' means. No worries, I'll explain it to you. For the linguists and Japanese language enthusiasts among you, I'll also talk a little bit about the Hepburn System of romanization, which is pretty much what I use throughout this site.

What I mean by romanization is that I've taken the Japanese characters (kana and kanji) and written them out in Roman letters (Romaji). Hopefully this will enable some of you who cannot read Japanese to sing along with a few songs and/or wow your friends at karaoke. Before I learned Japanese I never could have learned the lyrics to my favorite songs without sites like this, so I'm just trying to pass some of those good vibes along.

I'll go into detail about the particular Romaji system I use for those of you who know a bit more about the subject. I've always favored and used the Hepburn system because it closely approximates how the word is pronounced in Japanese. The other systems, Nihonshiki and Kunreishiki, are both based on Japanese phonology, and are often confusing for people just learning the language. I'll provide a few examples:

かな - Hepburn - Kunreisiki - Nihonsiki
ローマ字 - romaji - romazi - romazi
富士山 - Fujisan - Huzisan - Huzisan
お茶 - ocha - otya - otya
知事 - chiji - tizi - tizi
縮む - chijimu - tizimu - tidimu

Actually, I use a modified version of the Hepburn system commonly known as the waapuro system. All that means is that when a word is spelled with the characters 'o u' or 'u u,' I write it 'ou' and 'uu' respectively instead of 'o' and 'u.'

Anyway, I hope I've answered some of the basic questions you might have had about romanization. The lyrics I've posted here are part of an ongoing project I've had for the past 9 years or so. I'm sure my Romaji has evolved over time so don't be too upset if you see inconsistencies. I hope that you find this website useful, but more importantly I hope that you come to love some of the groups featured here!! Thanks for visiting!

- Leslie H

Explanation of romanization and the Hepburn System found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepburn,


stephanie said...

hey great site!! :D

do you know where i can get the meaning of the songs too?

haha i am learning jap now. but still a amateur. haha!

passerby said...

came across your lovely site while looking for suneohair's lyrics.
thanks alot for your efforts in providing the romanization for all those lyrics. keep up the good work!

julcha said...

thanks a lot! really! ;) this is a good work, and really helpful.

bimbapixie said...

WoW! ^^

Great! Thanks for rendering "Thee Michelle Gun Elephant" lyrics available!