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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
1answer
78 views

Is Taito (たいと) (kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes) legit and ever used?

Taito is mentioned as the kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes in Wikipedia. Taito is composed of two kanji ("cloud" (雲) and "dragon" (龍) repeated three times each ...
16
votes
3answers
810 views

Kanji for native Japanese concepts: Kun'yomi spanning multiple morphemes

There are a few words, which are written with Kanji imported from China, but where the intended native Japanese meaning would prefer a different choice of Kanji. My favourite examples are 雷 vs. 神鳴り ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Are there any old loanwords from Korean, especially any not written in katakana?

Given the close proximity and long history of interaction of various kinds within East Asia, the great influence of Chinese in both Japanese and Korean, and the similar structures of Japanese and ...
0
votes
0answers
79 views

Did ある and いる once have kanji?

I'm surprised I haven't been able to turn up anything, but I'm sure you'll notify me if there's a dupe I missed. Did the verbs ある and いる ever have kanji? I recognise that it won't be in use today.
2
votes
2answers
228 views

When is the onyomi of 田 used?

My Kanji textbook mentions 田 to have the kunyomi た and the onyomi デン. デン is not mentioned in brackets so I conclude it is a very common reading. But I hardly find any words that use デン. In an example ...
2
votes
2answers
148 views

かな ending in a sentence where the speaker is not uncertain of something

I've been going through a Japanese script of the popular anime "Fairy Tail" and trying to make sense of the translations in the English subtitles to become familiar with the language. I came across a ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

Why wasn't 欒 simplified to 栾, when 戀 was simplified to 恋?

A few pre-simplification kanji (旧字体) that had the 䜌 "radical" in them were simplified such that they instead used the simpler 亦 "radical" in its place, as with 戀 to 恋, and 變 to 変. However, 欒 (as in ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Categorizing kanji variants - is there a “proper” form?

Here are kanji variants: 海 (as an image: ) 海 In case it does not display correctly for you, the first kanji is unicode U+FA45. Is 海 considered a variant of the much more common 海? Or, are 海 and 海 ...
4
votes
1answer
139 views

ムダ足だった == useless leg?

When I look up the phrase 無駄足だった, I see it translated as "It was a Wild goose chase." I found this bizarre, since it seems like it would mean "It was a useless foot/leg." is this some sort of figure ...
4
votes
1answer
318 views

What is this kanji?眞+頁

So I came across a kanji I can't seem to find in any online dictionary. It's basically the following two characters stuck together 眞頁 (I'm reading a physical book, so can't copy paste it), and is ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Stroke order explanation for 凸 and 凹

The correct stroke order of 凹 is apparently: Is there any reason for this order? Why, for example, would one not write the vertical | stroke to the bottom right directly after the 3rd stroke, ...
11
votes
2answers
575 views

Are there general rules on when to use kanji vs. kana?

This post is inspired by Tokyo Nagoya's comment in 出来できる vs ~えます form for “can”, “able to” asking why everyone was writing 出来る in kanji in their responses. As I mentioned in my reply to his comment, ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

What is the meaning of 根づいていた?

In the opening to the popular anime Fairy tale, they say 魔法は 普通に売り買いされ 人々の生活に根づいていた。Which is translated in the subtitles as "Magic is traded like common goods. It has become a part of daily life, And ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Native speakers (basically) don't study radicals. So, how could they be useful for learning kanji? [closed]

In a recent post titled "Kanji identification?" the accepted answer stated that the "parts" for 「烙」 are "fire", "folding chair" and "mouth". Japanese native speakers don't understand what that means. ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

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

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?
6
votes
3answers
256 views

In which terms, if any, is へつ used as an On-reading of the character 閉?

Just now in the chat room we came across a reading of the kanji 閉 that seems to be either rare or erroneous. In the English Wiktionary's entry for 閉 there is the following "Readings section": On: ...
4
votes
2answers
804 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
142 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
702 views

How should I write “ikigai” in shodō?

I'd like to use ikigai ("something one lives for; purpose in life; raison d'être") for a calligraphy (shodō) work. According to Tangorin there are three possible ways to write this: 生き甲斐 生きがい ...
5
votes
1answer
195 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

What are the differences/characteristics between katakana, kanji and hiragana?

I know that romaji is the conversion from those to the roman alphabet, but what are the differences or characteristics between katakana, kanji, and hiragana? Are they used on a different context? Is ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

What are the advantages/disadvantages of writing in romaji instead of in kanji and kana?

Romaji is somewhat of a conversion from kanji and kana to the Roman alphabet. What are the disadvantages of learning only or mostly romaji aside from being unable to read/write in kanji? I don't ...
5
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
145 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Understanding the kanji 相 as “government minister”…?

One of the on'yomi readings of 相 is しょう. If I'm doing my legwork right, when it's read this way, it has an indication of government involvement, in words like (and here, I'm relying on my ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

What's with this “On reading”/“Kun reading” thing? Is it important to learn both as a beginner?

I was reading this article on Japanese numerals and I first encountered the whole On reading/Kun reading thing, with an additional column on "Preferred reading," which was almost always the On ...
13
votes
2answers
680 views

What rules are there regarding the role a radical plays in a kanji (such as telling us about the kanji's reading or meaning)?

Are there certain rules for knowing what role a radical plays in a kanji? I've heard sometimes a radical tells us about how to read the kanji, and sometimes it tells us the meaning of the kanji. But ...
1
vote
1answer
87 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
110 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
243 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?
3
votes
1answer
173 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?
9
votes
7answers
3k views

Why are there 3 ways of writing in Japanese?

Why are there kanji, hiragana and katakana? Is there a logical reason behind this or just tradition?
1
vote
2answers
179 views

What's the meaning and the reading of 通行人?

I have the following translation I need to do for my introductory Japanese class. 最近、交通事故が多いので、左に曲がる時は、自転車や、通行人に気をつけなければなりませんよ。 So far I have the following. Recently there have been a lot of ...
1
vote
1answer
120 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
220 views

What does 着 mean in 「六時着」 and in 「六着」?

One of the kanji we recently learned in class was 着. We learned it could be used for to wear [着]{き}る, to arrive [着]{つ}く, and as either a "classifier for arrival" or a "counter for jacket". In our ...
0
votes
1answer
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
136 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
131 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
100 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..
4
votes
1answer
125 views

「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」: ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Can we use Kanji for 「もらう」?

Can we use Kanji for 「もらう」(to receive)? If so, is it recommended?
2
votes
1answer
126 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

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?
3
votes
1answer
184 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
103 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 ...