I see some people using 「...」 to quote a Japanese expression within English text such as:

「...」 vs. 「...」
What is the difference between 「...」 and 「...」?
Can someone explain the meaning of 「...」?

But those are Japanese quotation marks. They should be used for quoting an expression (Japanese, English, or any other) within Japanese text. When in English text, you should use either the single quotation '...' if you are British or alike, or double quotation "..." if you are American or alike, no matter what the quoted language. Don't you think so?

I myself use the backquote formatting ... without any other quotation marks for the examples, (and single quotation for glosses, which is the standard way in linguistics), and I see some other people doing the same.

I think it would be better if we had a consensus on this matter. How should we quote inline examples? Should we use quotation marks, or backquotes?

2 Answers 2


I disagree with this for the following reasons.

  1. Using 「」 even when quoting within English text is preferable because there is no risk of confusing English quotes, "", with dakuten.

  2. Also, I just don't think there does need to be a consensus on formatting. People should write what they feel is most clear for expressing their question.

  3. Different browsers display things differently, including fonts and colours, so what seems like the best choice for you may not be the best choice for others. Unliaterally editing other people's posts to suit what you think is the best formatting may be making it worse for the original poster.

Bottom line: if you want to not use 「」, or whatever formatting works for you in your questions or answers, great, that's your choice. But I don't think it should be imposed on others.

At the very least, please do not edit any of my posts in this way - mainly for reason #1.

  • Okay. I will not do that kind of editing.
    – user458
    Oct 31, 2011 at 22:33

Personally I agree with you that it looks strange to use Japanese quotation marks in English just because the quoted text is in Japanese. However, I do not see the reason why we need a consensus. I think that you are splitting hairs.

Added: It seems that my post caused some confusion. Personally I do not like the use of monospace font for quotations, either. I usually use “…” if it matters. But again, I do not think that we need a consensus.

I read the comments on question 3647, and I am at a loss.

Sorry to repeat myself, but you are really splitting hairs.

From your comment on question 3647:

The fact that 「」 is not an English quotation mark is what TsuyoshiIto also acknowledges, and as he says, it is not something you need consensus on; it is a fact.

You have misinterpreted my post. I did not say anything about what other people should use as quotation marks in mixed-language text, except for some of my personal feelings. I do not care what other people use. My point is that we do not need a consensus on what kind of quotation marks we should use because that is not important.

  • I see. Double quotation seems to be the best idea.
    – user458
    Oct 31, 2011 at 22:34

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