Pokun wrote:Other things that makes kana not 100% phonetic are that the same character sometimes can have different sounds depending on where it's found. For example ん changes in front of certain consonants (in the same way as in Swedish and probably other languages).
But at least the Japanese nasal coda /N/
, written as ん or ン, is 100 percent phonemic
. This means one can reliably predict the realization of ん from the following phoneme: a nasal in the same place as the following consonant, or a postnasalization (similar to the hook) before a continuant, much as with Ę (tailed E) in Polish
. In both English and Japanese, /h/ does the same thing: [h] in most positions but [ç] (palatal fricative) before /i/. Contrast the /h/ sound in ハ or "hard" with that in ヒ or "he".
Though kana represents the nasal coda phonemically, this isn't the case for stress placement. But I admit that stress placement in Japanese isn't quite as overloaded as Mandarin would be if written in Pinyin without tone diacritics.
Now back to the topic: I imagine that a transliteration patch would be more helpful in kanji-heavy games than in games using all kana. That's why the short-lived translation patch for RPG Maker
for Super Famicom turned two characters into "MA" and "KER".