Ha vs Wa

Saido M Saido M (0) on 25/10/13

I've a question on hiragana. "Hello", konnichiwa in #hiragana is こんにちは; why does the last character end in ha (は) and not wa(わ)?



This question often comes up in Japan as well. There are some theories. People say the word "konnichiha" is originally from the phrases "Konnichi ha gokigen ikaga desu ka? (How are you today?)" or "Konnichi ha tenki ga iidesu ne. (The weather is good today, isn't it?)". "konnichi" means "today" and "konnichi/ha" means "today is". That "ha" is a postpositional particle. We pronounce the particle "wa" but we write it "ha".

この質問は日本でもよく話題になります。いくつか説があるのですが、「こんにちは」という挨拶はもともと「今日(こんにち)はご機嫌いかがですか?」 あるいは 「今日(こんにち)は天気がいいですね。」というフレーズから由来するものだそうです。


Dictionaries clearly claim that "konnichiwa" is wrong, so it should be "konnichiha" officially. However, "konnichiwa" is allowed socially. "konbanha (Good evening) -literally "tonight is" is almost the same.


I personally never write "wa", rather, I think it always should be "ha". lol




Let's answer your doubt.

about this particle 「は」you can read as HA or WA,  both are correct. But only in these words, you need to say as WA  「こんにちは」「こんばんは]. Even when you use it as a particle    「彼は日本人です。」

(Kare wa nihonjin desu.) (He's Japanese)

In the other's words always must read as [ HA ] as 「はるみ」(晴美, gohan ( ご飯)Cooked rice. 


は can be written in romaji as 'ha' and 'wa' since both pronunciations exist. I guess writing 'konnichiwa' makes it easier to read how it should be pronounced.

We write は and not わ because grammatically, は is the subject marker.



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