漢字: Chinese characters as used in Japanese writing as opposed to the two kana syllabaries and romaji Latin letters.

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Should I start with Hiragana, Katakana or Kanji? [on hold]

I want to start learning to read Japanese (I already know romaji) and I was wondering which writing system would be better to start with. Or should I start all at the same time?
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773 views

What is “Sino-Japanese word order”?

In the answer to the thread What's the difference between 腹切{はらき}り and 切腹{せっぷく}? in the 1st paragraph, 2nd line, the author mentions "Sino-Japanese pronunciation and word order". I assume that ...
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141 views

Why does 甲斐 use these particular kanji?

Inspired by a recent question about the proper way to write 生きがい, I wanted to ask a long-standing question. According to Kotobank, 甲斐 has the following definitions (my poor translations follow): かい ...
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1answer
135 views

Can I insert hiragana in words I only know partially how to write?

This is a problem I encountered today and I had no idea how to decide what was the best course of action, and I only got the advice of a classmate (You're doing it WRONG) to confirm. As I am still ...
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170 views

Kanji for におい - when do you use 匂い and when do you use 臭い?

Could someone help me understand when which kanji is used? For example I have seen 臭い on a packet of cat sand. I can't remember where I've seen the other but I found the following example sentence on ...
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107 views

What's the first character in the phrase 「?度乾燥しなさい」?

A couple days ago I came across the following Japanese phrase: ?度乾燥しなさい "?" represents a character I was unable to recognize. Attempts at drawing it on Google Android handwriting input yielded ...
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92 views

What is the English equivalent of ストーリー総監修?

I'm confused as to the meaning of this cinematic term found in the credit of a movie. ストーリー総監修? Story Total Supervising Editor?? I'm not sure what this means. Is there any English equivalent to this ...
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140 views

Significance of 「温」 in 「温故知新」

This question came to my mind while playing 漢字読めるカナ for Android to pass time. 温故知新 is a 4-character idiom from the 論語, Confucian Analects, meaning to learn from the past. It is a Chinese phrase* and ...
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179 views

Etymological connection between 門 and 円?

I'm curious if there's any historical link between the kanji for "gate", 門{かど}, and the kanji for "circle" or "yen", 円{えん}. If 門 is gate, 円 looks like a closed gate. Am I being whimsical and seeing ...
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141 views

Why “greengrocer” kanjis are 八百屋 (やおや)?

I've seen the last one (屋) many times before meaning something along the lines of "establishment where you can buy things or services". However, the rest of the word confuses me. Doesn't the word 八百 ...
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86 views

Learning radicals? [closed]

How useful is it to learn radicals? I just started learning kanji and while I don't find too difficul so far (I only learned a dozen), I doubt things will go this easily with a couple thousands more ...
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99 views

Q: Should a new Japanese learner stop reviewing Chinese Hanzi? [closed]

After 3+ years of Chinese study, I have about 2600 Hanzi characters under my belt. I've had a good time learning, but now I've realized that Chinese doesn't quite light my fire anymore. I'm defecting ...
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170 views

Are there a kanji for マル and バツ (O and X, right and wrong)

AFAIK words マル and バツ are commonly used as short answers (right and wrong, 正しい・正しくない). Are there any kanji for these words?
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236 views

名 versus 名前: Why is this seemingly redundant Jukugo used?

For example I came across a Jukugo like this: 名 (name) + 前 (before) = 名前 (name) What is the point in having this Jukugo when you apparently can just use 名. Can someone explain this to me?
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115 views

Something that can be written with kanji but not with kana?

I was reading through some text today and found this (emphasis mine): While it is possible to use the phonetic Hiragana and Katakana scripts to represent almost any Japanese word, it is usually ...
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78 views

Japanese writings in Brazil [closed]

I've seen these writings in the ground of Brazil. I've already tried to translate it with my friend but there are some complex kanji that we don't know. I'm very curious to know what they say, can ...
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133 views

Compound words with 漢字 and カタカナ? (例えば:新メニュー)

Today, a magazine about restaurants in my area arrived in my mailbox. It proudly proclaimed : 10月の新メニュー! I am quite curious as to the following points: How is this pronounced ? I would have ...
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127 views

Why does this text use both 下さい and ください in the same context?

After a trip to Japan, I got a slip stapled to my passport, the first bullet point of which reads: 活字体で記入して下さい。黒色又は青色のペンで記入してください。 "Please type or print clearly. Write by using black or blue ...
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99 views

Can we use Kanji for 「すみれ」 (violet color)?

Can we use Kanji for「すみれ」? I want to describe violet color. I've tried 「菫色」to look here, but no luck..
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「慎重すぎる」 and 「慎重に過ぎる」 - is there a difference?

In the short story I'm reading now (「ドライブ・マイ・カー」 by Haruki Murakami) there are two very similar phrases to express what I would translate as "too cautious": 「慎重すぎる」 and 「慎重に過ぎる」: ...
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Can we use Kanji for 「もらう」?

Can we use Kanji for 「もらう」(to receive)? If so, is it recommended?
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125 views

What is the term for a word which can be written with one kanji or two kanji but where the meaning is the same?

I'm asking mostly about verbs like 陥る / 落ち入る though I'd also be interested in nouns and adjectives. I'm not really looking for synonyms, more words where the meaning and pronunciation are the same ...
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Is there any difference in meaning between 陥る and 落ち入る?

These two words appear to mean the same thing and the entry on Google dictionary gives the definition as the same for both. Are there any cases where you would use one instead of the other?
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170 views

Is there an “official” font or other writing standard that should be used when teaching kanji?

I'm working on an Android app that will help people learn Japanese kanji using a flash-card style study system. As part of this app, I need to show kanji on the screen both in plain-text form, and ...
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135 views

Is using 笑 to mean “lol” feminine or gender-neutral?

On Facebook, you see 笑 getting used a decent amount to mean "lol". To my American eyes, using something that literally means "smile" - and even looks semi-subconsciously kind of like an advanced ...
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99 views

What does “irregular” mean in a sense of a missing okurigana letter? (上【あ】がる・上【あが】る, 明【あか】るい・明【あかる】い)

Some online dictionaries list the shorter writing as "irregular". What does this mean exactly? Were those words used like that long ago? Is it an abbreviation with writing? Or a slang? Note that I'm ...
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112 views

What is the difference between 会社 and かいしゃ? [duplicate]

I'm a beginner in Japanese language. I'm confused as to where I should use kanji or hiragana. For example, "Company" is written as 会社 in kanji かいしゃ in hiragana What is the difference between ...
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71 views

Origin of on-yomi + じる verbs? [duplicate]

I have noticed there are some verbs which consist of the on reading of a kanji followed by じる: 信じる 感じる 通じる It's obviously unusual for a (non-する) verb to use on-yomi like this. My questions: Are ...
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109 views

Is a kanji list read in 訓読み or 音読み?

I have been wondering this for a while now, but hesitated to ask. I have been studying jouyou kanji for several years, yet I do not know if there is a general way of how to read a list of kanji out ...
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155 views

Difference between Japanese words for illusion with 幻

I was reading about the kanji 幻, which I take to mean illusion or vision(not 見 vision), and looked at words with it. I saw the words: [幻滅]{げんめつ}-disilusion 幻想{げんそう}-illusion 幻覚{げんかく}-hallucination ...
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Was the Japanese reading “raito” for moon, ever been used before Death Note came to existence?

The only time I have ever seen this reading for moon was with the Japanese pronunciation of the Death Note character, Light, who's first name is written with the word moon. I want to know if the ...
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135 views

Furigana or just Kanji [closed]

I am trying to learn Japanese with Rosetta Stone for a vacation in Japan. Is it important to learn all the Kanji or are there always Furigana? Thanks
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363 views

What is the correct syntax for large numbers in kanji?

Say I was trying to write the number 3,476,521,893,421 in kanji. How would I go about this? My guess was 三万四千七百六十五億二千百八十九万三千四百二十一 but it looks really wrong to me because it feels too Western to be ...
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117 views

Recognizing a Kanji?

One of my friends is translating some stuff, and he told me he needs "A second opinion for this one since he's having troubles to identify the first one". I know the second one is だ, but I really ...
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204 views

Are 髙 and 高 interchangeable?

At my old job, I knew someone by the name of Takahashi (last name). Sometimes I'd see their name spelled 高橋 and sometimes 髙橋. Why was 高 sometimes used and why was 髙 sometimes used? Thanks!
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301 views

Why is the kanji for luck the same as to carry?

Why is the kanji for うん(運) the same as the kanji for 運ぶ? Did the kanji just somehow end up being the same, or were the two meanings related somehow? All I can think of is some kind of "carrying luck", ...
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For body: 身体 or 体

体{からだ} and 身体{からだ} seem to be used interchangeably, is there a nuance difference between them?
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217 views

Can kanji compounds be formed arbitrarily?

I will take 客 as an example: Can 客 form a compound with 席, 娟, and all the other thousands of Japanese 漢字? If I put 席客, but not 客席, will the meaning be different? Or will it just have no meaning? Or ...
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What is the radical of 全? 人 or 入?

I don't have any kanji reference books so I have to rely on kanji sites for kanji information. A lot of websites list 入 (いる) as the radical for 全: Jisho beta (as well as other sites which use the ...
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1answer
120 views

Etymology of 武蔵

What is the etymology of the old province and Japanese name 武蔵? Wikipedia claims that it is non-Yamato vocabulary from an Ainu language. Even if this is true, why were these characters ...
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195 views

What does this word mean?

I got this from a Japanese bar owner, she said it means "bamboo", but I used Google translate and can't find a similar word that looks like that. Also, is it possible to type out this word?
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Use of ㈰, ㈪, ㈫ in enumerations

Today, in some official document I received, an enumeration (of items to address) had each line prepended with ㈰, ㈪, ㈫ etc. From context, it is reasonably easy to guess that this might be an ...
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How to know whether カ is kanji or katakana [duplicate]

I'm starting learning and I have problems distinguishing between katakana and kanji カ - they look similar. How should I distinguish them?
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200 views

How are 買 and 売 related?

It has always struck me as strange that 買 "buy" and 売 "sell", which are antonyms, have the same on-reading バイ. A few questions: Is there some logic (possibly stemming from the Chinese use of these ...
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273 views

How are the different pronunciations of kanji used, such as onyomi and kunyomi?

Even when I think I've memorized how to read a particular kanji, 人 (ひと) for example, and try to read other words I find that it's also pronounced じん...and I'm sure it probably has many other readings. ...
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479 views

Few hard to recognize handwritten characters in miniature umbrella

There are a few characters handwritten in a miniature umbrella acquired in Hakone mountain in the mid 60’s that I don't understand. Could you please help me with those characters? I’ve transliterated ...
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241 views

recognize kanji

completely stuck on this kanji. recognized lower part, but not the top. よろしくお願いします!
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103 views

Proper Grass Radical Stroke Order

I was told today that the grass radical, e.g. the top of 花 has a gap in the middle of it, and googling it suggests that it is sometime written like this. Is that strictly in Chinese, is it sloppy, or ...
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150 views

Recognizing these kanji: a counter with a circle at the top; and “【?】に” (looks like 大 at the bottom)

I'm puzzling over these kanji... And this. Is it 数, right? Then, it might be translated as "several meters"?
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510 views

Alternate spelling for ありがたい, or typo?

I looked up ありがたい in my dictionaries within OSX (looking at this question), and one of the 国語 dictionaries (can't tell which) has the entry listed like this: ありがた・い 【有り難い・難有い】 You'll notice that ...