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

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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. ...
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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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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: ...
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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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134 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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2answers
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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 ...
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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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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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1answer
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
138 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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1answer
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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140 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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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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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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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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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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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?
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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 ...
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1answer
114 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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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 ...
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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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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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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Japanese kanji with different meanings in Chinese

湯 in Japanese refers to "hot water." In Chinese, it means "soup." How common are kanji with different meanings in Chinese? Also, why do differences occur in the first place? Were the meanings in both ...
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Which kanji has the greatest number of strokes?

I was just curious what the most complex kanji—in terms of number of strokes—is, whether or not it's actually used often.
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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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1answer
203 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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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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What is the meaning of this kanji 摑?

Could someone let me know the meaning of the kanji 摑 that is the first character in this phrase? It's in a dialog from a movie scenario. It doesn't seem to be a 常用漢字 as far as I can tell.