Teacher: By inputting characters in the Roman alphabet, convert the text into hiragana “おんな.” (Sennsei: Pasokonn ni arufabetto de nyuuryoku shi, hiragana no “おんな” ni hennkann shite kudasai.) Student: It’s so easy. Is this really an N3 question? (Seito: Totemo kantann desu. Honntoni N3 no monndai desu ka.) Teacher: This is an N3 monndai, not N2. (Sennsei：Kore ha N2 deha naku, N3 no monndai desu.) Student: “Oh! Nice, nice Amicable women.” (Seito: “Oh! Nice, nice Amicable women.”) Student: Woah! I can’t get it to spell “おんな.” How come? (Seito：Are? “おんな” ni naranai. Doushite?) Teacher: For “おんな,” you have to input 3 “Ns” in a row as in “nice, nice nice.” (Sennsei: “おんな” ha naisu, naisu, naisu to “n” wo sann kai tsudukete nyuuryoku shinaito dame desu.) Student: I see. Now it has become a compliant “おんな.” (Seito: Honnto da. Konndo ha sunao ni “おんな” ni natta.) Teacher: “おんな” looks easy, but it’s actually troublesome. Understand? (Sennsei: “おんな” ha yasashiku mieru kedo, yakkai nann desu. Wakatta?) Manga Explanation： Scene 1. In a Japanese language class. “N3 の もんだい” is written on the white board. N3 is the third grade of the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test). So, the student thinks this is easy for an N3 question. もんだい does not only mean question, but also trouble. Scene 2. The teacher emphasizes that this is an N3 mondai, not N2. She is implying that the problem involves the number of Ns used in the Roman alphabet to input “おんな” in hiragana. However, the student interprets her meaning to be that this is an N3 grade question. Scene 3. In principle, you have to input two “Ns” to produce a hiragana「ん」, while one “n” is generally used in phonetic transliterations written in the Roman alphabet. So, in the case of onna, a PC would convert o nn a into おんあ. Scene 4. The hiragana “おんな” is implicitly associated with a real woman. The conversation between the student and teacher reflects this.
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