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

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8
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1answer
212 views

What is the connection between shrimp and old age?

Shrimp(えび) is written several different ways in Japanese. For example, there are the words commonly used in Chinese: 蝦 and 鰕. There is also a compound specific to Japan, 海老, and a kokuji, 蛯. Both of ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it acceptable in Japanese to write kanji characters in the Chinese style?

In Japanese, is it acceptable to write kanji letters in the Chinese style? For example, is it acceptable to write 田 with the 3rd and 4th strokes swapped, or 着 with the 6th and 7th strokes combined?
7
votes
2answers
885 views

Can kanji-heavy Japanese be easily translated into Chinese?

How much is changed or lost in translating (say) an old Japanese text that's mainly written in kanji into hanzi? How does it compare to translating into a completely foreign language like English? I'm ...
7
votes
2answers
845 views

When to use 聴く vs 聞く vs 訊く?

When should one use 聴く instead of 聞く? Is there a precise rule for which one to use in which situation? I have a feeling that 聞 is used more when the source of the sound is a person or other living ...
5
votes
3answers
505 views

Are non-base-10 numbers ever written in kanji?

This morning I was thinking about the joke "There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't". Considering if this would translate well to Japanese, I ...
3
votes
2answers
323 views

The 阝-radical (or 部首?) in 部 and 陪

In 部, the right side radical is called the large village radical. For 陪, the left side radical is called the small village radical. Why are their names different on different sides even though both ...
5
votes
1answer
332 views

Method for deciding whether to use katakana or kanji version of the word?

I often see words in sentences written in カタカナ or 漢字 that could be swapped for a common word of the other form. I am aware that there are lots of カタカナ words that do have a 漢字 form, but where the 漢字 ...
2
votes
0answers
121 views

Is there a difference between 名国 and 国? [duplicate]

I'm attempting a translation of a video game manual, and it keeps using compounds like 名国 and 名街. This is not a game where you're able to name the places/characters, and the sentences where the words ...
2
votes
1answer
188 views

What does お察しいたします mean?

The context (manga) is that a family's son is about to die; I think the speaker is trying to express condolences. However, the dictionary meaning seems to be "I make a guess", and I don't think that ...
24
votes
6answers
1k views

Why are some lyrics' words written in kanji whose usual reading is not how it is sung?

Some song lyrics in the official lyric book that accompanies the CD is sung as another word. Usually, the way it is sung is given as a furigana on the kanji: Written: 君が希望に変わってゆく          ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How many kanji do Japanese people know? [closed]

I am curious how many kanji a normal Japanese person is able to read. Since the Joyo kanji are learned by middle school, I assume that as a person goes through high school and university many more ...
18
votes
4answers
561 views

Words made from strokes of a kanji like 女 toくノ一

According to Wikipedia, one theory for the etymology of くノ一 (female ninja) is that it's made up of the strokes of the kanji 女 (woman). Other theories include that it means nine and one, talking about ...
3
votes
1answer
795 views

What is the difference between 上{あ}げる and 挙{あ}げる?

I searched examples for the verb "ageru - raise" and I found it written with two different kanji: 挙げる 上げる Mostly their meaning is "raise". I found them with the following examples: 棚に箱を上げる。Put a ...
13
votes
1answer
903 views

What is the role of 空書 (writing kanji in the air) in modern Japanese?

What is the role of 空書{くうしょ} in modern Japanese? 空書 is tracing characters in the air with your finger (or on a flat surface), a phenomenon which apparently develops only in users of Chinese ...
5
votes
1answer
685 views

Is “豪斯多拉利” an ateji way to write “Australia”?

Several years ago I invested some time and energy digging up more ways to write "Australia" in Japanese than I ever expected would exist: オーストラリア is the usual spelling these days 濠太剌利 is a rare old ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Are kanji characters made up of radicals only or could they contain strokes that are not radicals?

Inspired by this question of rounded or circular strokes in kanji, I got an idea to prove that there is no circular strokes in kanji by examining all kanji radicals, which is a lot less that examining ...
1
vote
1answer
300 views

the reading of this kanji combination 炊煙 and meaning of 人家

I have encountered another sentence while translating some text of Japanese history The sentence is: 人家の竈(かまど)から炊煙が立ち上っていないことに気づいて租税を免除します。 jinka no kamado kara 炊煙 ga tachiagatteinai koto ni ...
1
vote
1answer
234 views

pronunciation and meaning of the word 干支崩年

I have this sentence from a text which mentions the death of two emperors, but I cannot find the meaning and pronunciation of 干支崩年 in it. The sentence is: ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

the kanji 細 which means details

I have a question that might be very trivial I have encountered this kanji sai 細 I wish to know can I use it this way. 話の細-the details of the story
4
votes
2answers
394 views

Kanji reading: 一人KY、実?中

This morning I took this picture, finding the 一人KY poster amusing: QUESTION: What is the kanji before 中 ? In Gjiten I can't find it by combining the radicals of 止 and 残, nor by number of strokes ...
4
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2answers
348 views

The surname 粂 【くめ】

The kokuji 粂 【くめ】 exists, defined only as a name. The character is clearly an amalgam of 久 and 米 used in a man'yogana-like manner, but: Why did this particular surname get a designated character? ...
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1answer
556 views

Kana to kanji mapping for a rōmaji keyboard [closed]

I've been tasked with implementing a rōmaji keyboard in a medical device. As I understand the problem, the user is to be permitted to enter katakana, hiragana, and/or kanji via the rōmaji keyboard. ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

The reading of 砂利

砂利 I am fairly sure is normally read as じゃり but I saw that an alternate reading of ざり exists. Is the ざり reading at all used in the modern language? Why じゃ・ざ and not しゃ・さ?
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2answers
1k views

Japanese don't learn kanji meaning only readings? Does it make sense for a kanji to have a key meaning to identify it?

As I understand it works like this. By the time Japanese kids enter first grade they have more or less decent vocabulary of words they know. So when kanjis are taught I can't even imagine how to tell ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

「七つの海商社」“7 Seas Trading Co.” as formal name for a company

wanted to ask a question re:company names in 日本語. Would「七つの海商社」work as a name for a company? Or does this combo of kana+kanji not work in formal business names? Greatly appreciate any help. Thank ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

The meaning\reading of 急停止集団巣鴨?

Context: The title of This video by Megwin. The title of the video is: トゲ抜き老人が腰抜かす!?急停止集団巣鴨に現る The second part is confusing me. Too many kanji in a row for me. I understand it's probably a ...
6
votes
2answers
222 views

Reading 塞 and 省: When on and kun readings go together

I looked up 塞 in my 漢和辞典, and I found four readings: 音:サイ、ソク 訓:とりで、ふさ・ぐ What I noticed is that サイ is used when the kanji means とりで, and ソク is used when the kanji means ふさぐ: 「とりで」の意味: ...
3
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1answer
174 views

What is the correct kanji for the verb to sweat 汗をかく

What is the character used for the verb to sweat? 汗をかく
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2answers
698 views

Recent creation or adoption of hanzi characters into Japanese kanji

According to Wikipedia, kanji was introduced and imported from chinese hanzi long time ago before Japanese language even had a writing system. From there, Japanese kanji has transformed and evolved ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is 「昨夜」 pronounced as 「ゆうべ」 {yuube} and 「今日」 as 「きょう」 {kyou}?

「ゆう」 is neither the kun'yomi nor on'yomi of 「昨」 and 「べ」 is not a pronunciation of 「夜」 either. The same can be said about the pronunciation 「きょう」 for 「今日」. So how come the pronunciations of the two ...
5
votes
1answer
397 views

Is 子年 read as ねずみどし or ねどし? What about 卯年 and 亥年?

My dictionary says that 子年 can be read as both ねずみどし and ねどし, but when typing it in my computer, my IME only seems to convert ねずみどし to kanji. The same goes for 卯年 (うどし and うさぎどし) and 亥年 (いどし and ...
5
votes
1answer
448 views

Is 胡 missplaced in the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary? [closed]

I recently tried to look up the kanji 胡 in the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, which uses the SKIP method to look up each kanji, and I couldn't find it. It seemed to me a relatively ...
4
votes
5answers
230 views

Rust: 錆 vs 銹 vs 鏽 vs 鏥

In doing some looking around today I found four characters that all mean rust and are all read さび. Is there any distinction that can be made between these characters? 錆 銹 鏽 鏥
1
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0answers
225 views

What are some words with kanji/readings/meanings that don't match? [closed]

Maybe a hard to understand question, but for example, I love the word 百日紅 (さるすべり) because it's the name of a red flower and uses some very poetic kanji (one hundred days of red) but opts instead for a ...
4
votes
1answer
376 views

Does Japanese have morphemes that span two kanji?

I read once (in this comment by Victor Mair on Language Log) that Chinese has single morphemes that span two hanzi. The example given was the Chinese word pútáo 葡萄. At the time, I assumed it applied ...
4
votes
3answers
709 views

Is there a reliable translation of the kangxi radicals?

Inspired by the Wikipedia page on Kangxi radicals I decided to study the meaning and writing of radicals before I tackle the much more numerous kanji. But in working my way through the list, I started ...
4
votes
2answers
589 views

Reading 捻る: when is it ねじる or ひねる?

How can I tell whether 捻る is read as ひねる (P. ・ N.C.) or ねじる (P. ・ N.C.)? I assume the answer is "based on which verb is appropriate", so I've been trying to learn the difference between them. Based ...
3
votes
2answers
196 views

微温い versus 温い versus ぬくい versus ぬるい

According to WWWJDIC, ぬるい and ぬくい are both written 温い. Anthy and the iOS Japanese input systems agree. However a native speaker and the input of an electronic dictionary (広辞苑)say that 温い is read ...
6
votes
1answer
529 views

For the word じき meaning “soon”, what is the difference between the kanjis 直 and 時期?

As discussed in this question, one meaning for じき is "soon, momentarily". Looking it up in my (English/Japanese) dictionary, I found both the kanjis 時期 and 直 for it. I looked them up further ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

「のれん代」(Goodwill) and 「のれん」 of 居酒屋

Is there any relation between 「のれん代」(Goodwill) and 「のれん」 of 居酒屋? And how about those kanji, are they using same kanji for both? If there are the same kanji, I would like to know their etymology, ...
7
votes
1answer
131 views

Usage of 腱 vs 筋

What is the difference between the following characters: 腱 vs 筋 (すじ) Both translate to tendon (as in the connective tissue between muscles and bones)
6
votes
1answer
323 views

Distinguishing 沙 from 砂

I looked up both 沙 and 砂 in my 学研{がっけん} 漢和辞典{かんわじてん} today. It appears that they share the same list of readings (サ、シャ、すな、いさご). I also see that some words can be written with either kanji. Here are ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Why is 空【くう】, and not 無【む】, used to define “void”, “emptiness” in a buddhist context? What are their nuances?

Feel free to participate to the meta-discussion on whether this type of question (relying on buddhist terms) should be allowed on JLU. A while back, looking at a reproduction of some famous zen ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between “河” and “川”?

I saw the first (河) used for "Hippopotamus", literally mimicking the Greek name (River Horse) but I expected to see 川 in its place... Also, apparently you can use "河川" to mean river*s* (plural)? But ...
1
vote
2answers
297 views

How is 鎗 different from 槍 and 鑓?

Edit: This question has been reworded as much as possible from the original to try to make it a question about Japanese. Also, adding the IME単漢字辞書 fixed the IME problem (thanks to Tsuyoshi Ito for ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

Question on mnemonic device for characters such as 恋, 変, and 湾

I am currently studying kanji by using a number of sites, some of which provide mnemonics to aid in learning. While not a specific radical per se (I think), the top portions of the following ...
8
votes
1answer
205 views

question about kanji sports names 蹴球, 籠球, 庭球, and 野球

A few questions about these words. The words [蹴球]{しゅうきゅう}, [籠球]{ろうきゅう}, and [庭球]{ていきゅう} mean football, basketball, and tennis, respectively. But I have only seen them in a dictionary, and in practice ...
8
votes
1answer
369 views

Why is there a 分 in 自分?

I didn't find anywhere why is the minute's kanji there in 自分? Is it because a meaning of 分 is "part". Please clarify.
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Are the 4-byte UTF-8 Kanji rare enough that I can ignore them?

I'm writing a programming algorithm which converts code points of Kanji characters to their respective UTF-8 octets. My problem is, if I don't include 4-octet characters, and only deal with 3-octet ...
9
votes
2answers
237 views

Understanding of the character 叉

I see the character 叉 in a lot of words that do not seem to have anything in common: [夜叉]{やしゃ} [三叉路]{さんさろ} [叉焼]{チャーシュー} [音叉]{おんさ} Is there any commonality here? What does 叉 ...