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seen Jan 18 '13 at 0:56

Jan
18
comment Usage of Traditional style characters vs Simplified Chinese characters adopted in Kanji
Here's a very good example of what I mean. 「きょうはくじょうがかいしゃにきた」could be 「今日は苦情が会社に来た」or「脅迫状が会社に来た」。Taken from this Q&A detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1040561770
Jan
18
comment Usage of Traditional style characters vs Simplified Chinese characters adopted in Kanji
Thanks @snailplane your link reminds me: Kanji is necessary because it also indicates the structure of the sentence. (A simple example is that it's hard to tell if は is "ha" or "wa" if the sentence is written entirely in Hiragana, but easy if Kanji is used). In speech, the structure of the sentence is indicated by pauses and inflection. So though Kanji is (obviously) not necessary in speech, it does not follow that it is not necessary in writing.
Jan
18
comment Usage of Traditional style characters vs Simplified Chinese characters adopted in Kanji
@ZhenLin no... you don't have body language in writing do you?
Jan
17
comment Usage of Traditional style characters vs Simplified Chinese characters adopted in Kanji
Context. The Japanese are masters of saying something without actually saying it. You don't even need to include the subject in a valid sentence in Japanese. Growing up with this, you become very good at picking up meaning from minimal information. On the flip side, you also become content with not always understanding everything and start saying you understand when you actually don't...
Jan
17
comment Why is watermelon written in Hiragana, whereas melon is written in katakana?
@Dono yes, it is important to remember that words do not evolve nor are constructed the same way in all languages. The fact that 西瓜 (watermelon) happened to have the kanji for melon in it is just a coincidence. Hypothetically it could have been called "striped fruit" and not have the kanji for melon in it at all.
Jan
17
comment Why is watermelon written in Hiragana, whereas melon is written in katakana?
@snailplane if you are using a machine you can't or don't want to install an IME on, you can always use an online one google.co.jp/search?q=online+japanese+ime
Jan
17
comment Why is watermelon written in Hiragana, whereas melon is written in katakana?
Yes, sorry it was a loose use of the word "word". I'll make it more clear.
Jan
17
comment Why is watermelon written in Hiragana, whereas melon is written in katakana?
Retrosaur @snailplane if you're on a machine on which you can't or don't want to install an IME, you can use an online one. google.co.jp/search?q=online+japanese+ime
Jan
17
comment Why is watermelon written in Hiragana, whereas melon is written in katakana?
Nescio & Tim interestingly enough, the English word melon can be traced to the Greek word "melon" which means apple.
Jan
17
comment Why is watermelon written in Hiragana, whereas melon is written in katakana?
@Retrosaur no, the Japanese word for melon is not メロン. You were right to begin with: the Japanese word for melon can be found in the Japanese word for watermelon. You can read this in my answer below, but here are the key translations. Melon=瓜(うり). Watermelon=西瓜(すいか). Muskmelon=メロン. Hope that helps.