2 Replies ・ Started by jiminsalmonarm at 2019-12-27 15:53:33 UTC ・ Last reply by jiminsalmonarm at 2019-12-29 06:42:26 UTC

Help with identifying Japanese character from photo image

Greetings to all, I have the good fortune to have received a beautiful drawing as a gift. The Japanese text was explained as "I Love You" with the object of adoration being female. There is obviously much more that is implied in this text. As a complete beginner in Japanese, I have spent 3 days searching for a translation. The best I have found so far is

あは貴女を 愛しています.

But the first character あ doesn't look like the character in the drawing. Can anyone offer a suggestion? Here a link to the image
Many Thanks - JIm

Sopenson at 2019-12-27 23:18:41 UTC

Greetings! I'm new here and japanese beginner as well but from what I can see, I guess it's 私 - watashi, which shortly speaking stands for the subject pronoun "me, I" but in a very polite way. We can see that this person (the author of the gift and the drawings) used their very own, adapted handwriting style - in example, the letter「て」looks more like "s" - it's all because of their perosnal style.
The more it makes sense, when we translate it: 私は貴女を愛しています. Then we have the subject of the sentence (私), the object (貴女), the verb already conjuged (愛しています) and all the necessary particles (は、を).
So as you already guessed, it does really mean "I love you" though we can feel it more like "My beloved, I'm in love with You", you know, more poeticly and politely.
I hope it helps!

jiminsalmonarm at 2019-12-29 06:42:26 UTC

Thank you so much! I overlooked that character as it appeared too "angular" to match. But as you observed, the artist smoothed out the angles in て - so if she also smoothed the angles in 私 this would fit well. This is a big help - thank you again. What a wonderful forum to share information. As an aside, I am also transcribing older (1800's) English /Canadian handwriting. This is very challenging as the script is much different than modern handwriting. Luckily there are charts available for comparison. Do you know if there are any charts available for handwriting styles in Japanese. This variation in personal style is very beautiful and expressive. - Regards Jim

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