As Chinese was my first language, when learning how to read Japanese, I would sometimes get stuck on a sequence of kana, but then understand completely when the relevant kanji was substituted in its place. Similarly, when I write stuff, I tend to use kanji whenever possible to make clear the meaning of the words.

Is this normal for people from a Chinese background? Or is it just me trying to leverage my knowledge of Chinese as much as possible, regardless of whether it actually helps?

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it isn't really about the Japanese language – ssb Feb 11 '14 at 11:06
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    I think the basic answer to his question is that Chinese-by-language users of Japanese tend to use kanji differently and more than Japanese native speakers looking at it as a foreigner. But I don't have studies to back that up – virmaior Feb 11 '14 at 12:34

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