I've been playing around with using Kanji as a quick way to convey a company's goals and/or ideals. As I understand it, Zen 全 means "whole/complete", Kō 効 means "efficiency/result" and Kotae 答え means "answer/solution". Does 全効答 have a meaning of "total effectiveness" / "all right now" or does it simply become gibberish? Is the symbolism retained in the full statement of "Zen kō Kotae"? Any insight would be appreciated.

  • If you're using 音読み for 全効, you may try also using 音読み for 答 which is とう. However, other than being a compounded term you may have coined yourself, it may not be understood by most people this way, if you read it as ぜんこうとう for example.
    – psosuna
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 23:11
  • 10
    Imagine you didn't speak English and didn't know any of the rules for how words were put together, but you wanted to put a word together using some Latin roots and then stick an English word on the end, so you grabbed a dictionary and found some bits that look good, then you asked "Would plefectanswer mean 'total efficiency' to English speakers?"
    – user1478
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 0:30
  • 1
    Just to be the off-topic guy, it's 'kotae', not 'katae'.
    – BJCUAI
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


The short answer is "it is gibberish". It's not a Japanese word Japanese people recognize. It indeed looks like plefectanswer, as snailboat pointed out in the comment section. See also: Can kanji compounds be formed arbitrarily?

But each kanji is easy and has at least some positive meaning. So if you separate each kanji with a nakaguro and write the phrase like:


...then it could be understood as the list of three concepts, like "Completeness, Effectiveness, and Answer". (I'm not saying it's a nice slogan, I'm only saying the meaning is at least understandable)

  • 1
    Also worth noting that these types of lists can eventually turn into something more like ‘words’ too if they become popular enough (like 報{ほう}・連{れん}・相{そう} ⇨ 報連相{ほうれんそう}). But that’s obviously a process which takes considerable time and adoption. Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 19:45
  • @DariusJahandarie, 報連相【ほうれんそう】 is helped along by the existence of 菠薐草【ほうれんそう】. (And, apparently, it's old enough that Microsoft has included 報連相 in the list of autocomplete candidates for ほうれんそう.) Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 22:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .