of Japanese romanization
that emphasises Western pronunciation
rather than consistency or corresponding exactly to the Japanese scripts
. Hepburn romanization
is the most common for casual uses of Japanese
, such as individual words in novel
s (like James Clavell
), Japanese-English dictionaries
, or anime subtitle
Hepburn really isn't a very good system for actually studying Japanese because it makes the language look irregular and confusing where it isn't. The advantage of Hepburn, however, is that Westerners can pronounce the romanized words easily. Take the romanization of a sentence in Hepburn versus the equivalent in JSL:
Kyõ ame ga furu deshõ. (Hepburn)
Kyoo ame ga huru desyoo. (JSL)
It will probably rain today.
The Hepburn version conveys the actual pronunciation easily, whereas the JSL version is impossible to pronounce correctly for the uninitiated. Note that those ~'s over the vowels are supposed to be straight lines. Also, an important thing to remember is that Japanese vowels are essentially prounounced as they are in Spanish (this is purely coincidence).