Why are there no spaces in Japanese? When do you use them?

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If you are a Japanese student, you may have noticed that he does not use spaces between words in most sentences. In some texts you can see spaces between some words or phrases, leaving you a little confused. In this article, we will understand why the Japanese do not use space in their language and when they do.

Why doesn't Japanese use spaces?

The fact that Japanese is a language made up of syllables, and has 3 different writing systems, makes spaces unnecessary. In addition, particles, verbal endings and expressions make it easy to understand sentences and separate words without the need for spaces. Japanese sentences always have a pattern, this helps in the separation of words.

Another factor that contributes to the lack of space in the Japanese language is that several kanji and words are quite short. If you used spaces to separate words, it would be very strange to read something like this: 私はケビンです。Since it is very easy to read and separate the words from these phrases 私はケビンです。They also note that the Japanese keyboard space is larger than other languages .


The biggest difficulty of the lack of spaces in Japanese is the particle (wa) that can rarely end up being the beginning of a word and leave you totally confused. The lack of spaces is another reason to understand the importance of Kanji in the Japanese language. Anyway, spaces in Japanese are unnecessary because the separation of words is already quite obvious. Of course, for those who are learning, it can be confusing.

Por que não existem espaços no japonês? Quando utiliza-los?

When does Japanese use spaces?

The Japanese language only uses spaces when it is the end of a sentence separated by a comma or period. Spaces are sometimes used to separate clauses, especially when punctuation is left out.

The space is also used in texts that are made for children or written only with hiragana, or katakana. Sometimes, you can find rare spaces in sleeves, novels and some textbooks. You can also find spaces in karaoke or movie subtitles, only, in this case, it is due to pauses. There may be a space between the first name and the family name.


Curiosities about space

  • It is not necessary to give a space after a comma, parentheses, square brackets or punctuation. On the Japanese keyboard, these characters are already written with a space;
  • The word space in Japanese came from English スペース (supēsu). Do not confuse with the word for outer space, which in Japanese is 宇宙 (uchuu);
  • Some foreign students usually put a space after the particle to help not confuse words with particles;
  • Instead of space, in some cases, a black dot () in the center called nakaguro (中黒) to separate one complicated word from another. This point has several uses such as separating lists, titles, names, etc;

So you don't have to worry about space in the Japanese language. With time and practice, you will be able to understand and separate words easily. What do you think of this subject? Does the lack of space make Japanese more difficult for you? We look forward to your feedback in the comments and your possible sharing.