HA instead of WA in Hiragana

glaclauzel May 12, 2016, 3:01 pm
I noticed that many Japanese word ending with the syllable "WA" as "KonnichiWA, KonbanWA" and others were transcribed in Hiragana with the syllable "HA" instead of "WA" that is not the case when the syllable "WA" is at the beginning of the word as Watashi.
Being a beginner I'm curious to have an explanation.
Thanks for your help
HA instead of WA in Hiragana
Samuel--88 May 13, 2016, 10:32 pm
The hiragana 「は」 is pronounced as "wa" when it's used as the particle which translates roughly as "As for (the preceding word/phrase)", but is otherwise pronounced as "ha".  To indicate that this is the hiragana being used, when using roumaji, it's still spelled as "ha" even when it's pronounced as "wa".

Those two expressions are shortened forms of an originally longer greeting, for instance, something like "The weather today is good, isn't it?" or  こんにちは、てんきがいいですね。 in hiragana.
HA instead of WA in Hiragana
glaclauzel May 20, 2016, 2:57 am
Thank you Samuel for this explanation.
HA instead of WA in Hiragana
Crystal-Rocket-Japanese-Tutor May 27, 2016, 12:16 pm
Hi there!
 
There is a very long explanation for this, but cutting a long story short, the reason why the は particle is used as wa stems from Classical Japanese where は was pronounced as "wa". During this time, the letter わ was not yet invented.

These days, as Samuelさん explained earlier, it acts as a useful identifier of whether the particle "wa" is being used or the hiragana "wa".

Keep up the good work and がんばって ください!
Crystal
HA instead of WA in Hiragana

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