Questions tagged [kanji]

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

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17
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8answers
13k views

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?
17
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1answer
2k views

When are 止める, 停める and 留める read as とめる, やめる or とどめる?

When are 止める, 停める and 留める read as とめる or とどめる (and in the case of 止める, やめる)? I think 止めてください could be read as both やめてください and とめてください, which I think could maybe be translated as "cut it out" and "...
21
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1answer
2k views

Why did Asahi Shinbun write "子{こ}ども" instead of "子供{こども}" in this headline?

I just happened across an Asahi Shinbun article with a headline that reads: 日本{にほん}の子{こ}どもの幸福度{こうふくど}は6位{い} 豊{ゆた}かさの一方{いっぽう}、深刻{しんこく}な貧困{ひんこん} (-) Compacting articles as much as possible is a ...
12
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8answers
4k views

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 ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Use of 厨 on the Internet

If you visit ニコニコ動画 or any Japanese message boards often you are bound to see comments like ニコ厨 or 東方厨. Does anyone have good idea how did this originate and what do they mean?
14
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1answer
3k views

Usage of Encircled Kanji

There appear to be some kanji and other characters such as ①, ②, ③, Ⓐ, ㊄, ㊗, ㊛, ㊑, and many more, which are enclosed in circles. These characters are listed in unicode and there are quite a lot of ...
20
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2answers
4k views

Does every kanji come from a Chinese character? If so, where can I find the origins of a kanji?

I know that kanji are borrowed from Chinese characters but are all of them borrowed? As a Chinese native speaker, I am wondering the origins of modern kanjis. Most of them are exactly same as the ...
11
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1answer
3k views

Difference Between 僕たち and 僕ら?

Both 僕たち and 僕ら mean we. But is there any difference between them? I.e. one of them is more formal than the other, or any grammatical nuances? Edit: How is this a duplicate? The question linked by ...
11
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1answer
1k views

How often do single dots stick to the top of kanji?

In Chinese, characters with a single dot on top stay separated from the rest of the character. (Eg. Chinese 宝) In kanji, this is frequently not the case - virtually all 宀 characters I see have dots ...
10
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4answers
4k 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?
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2answers
2k views

What are the most obscure kanji?

To my understanding, there are standardised kanji that have either: No reliable information on how they are to be pronounced OR No reliable information on what they mean OR All of the above. Do ...
18
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3answers
9k views

About writing numbers using Japanese numerals vs using Arabic numerals

I noticed that even though Japanese language has kanji characters for numbers (e.g. 十、百、千、万 etc), there are many places where Arabic numerals are used instead, for example, prices for shop items are ...
18
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1answer
1k views

What does さようなら (左様なら) have to do with "left"?

What is the relationship between 左様なら and 左? I assume there's some idiomatic meaning for "left" but how does it fit?
13
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2answers
4k views

Which kanji to use for saying ありがとうございます in emails?

When sending emails, I've noticed that Japanese colleagues use all sorts of kanji/kana combinations for the simple phrases ありがとうございました and よろしくおねがいいたします. For example: ありがとうございました 有難うございました 有難う御座いました ...
10
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2answers
11k views

Is the kanji/kokuji "taito" (たいと) with 84 strokes legitimate and ever used?

Taito is mentioned as the kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes in Wikipedia. Taito is composed of two kanji ("cloud" (雲) and "dragon" (龍) repeated ...
7
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2answers
852 views

How to classify the non-standard reading of "お土産{みやげ}"?

Is お土産{みやげ} an 当{あ}て字{じ}、 熟字訓{じゅくじくん}、 or something else? For 「お土産」 to be 当て字, the「み」reading must be part of the 音{おん}、訓{くん} readings or a 名乗り{なのり} reading for the「土」kanji. This is not the case. For ...
6
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1answer
230 views

Partial ひらがな sentences (why ことし, きのう, きょう, あす?)

I was watching a news broadcast on YouTube and when it moved over to the weather report, I noticed that 「今日の天気」was actually written as 「きょうの天気」. Also 「明日の天気」was also written as 「あすの天気」. It wasn't just ...
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3answers
1k views

Meaning of font variation in the case of the character 賭

Some Kanji characters are written slightly differently in the Mincho/Gothic typefaces or handwriting. Ones that come to mind are 令、心, and these have been discussed before [1]. This font-dependent ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Why is the Japanese government considering adding kanji such as "cancer" to the jinmeiyō kanji?

The wikipedia article on jinmeiyō kanji states: Before September 27, 2004, there were 2232 government-designated jinmeiyō kanji used in personal and geographical names, with plans to increase ...
5
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1answer
1k views

What is the rule in assigning kanji to a new word?

For example, Hydrogen was found by Henry Cavendish. Mr. Cavendish was not a Japanese and I'm pretty sure he won't bother inventing the name for Hydrogen in all the languages in the world, especially ...
4
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1answer
1k views

"Full" names of metals

When written as a standalone kanji, the following metals have longer, "full" names (based on their colour): [金]{こがね} → こがね [銀]{しろがね} → しろがね [銅]{あかがね} → あかがね [鉄]{くろがね} → くろがね In my ...
2
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1answer
343 views

How to read 連体形 + 上

Taking an example from a page naruto linked in another thread: 外国人が日本語を習得する上で難しい点がたくさんあります。 My inclination is to read this as うえ since it's followed by で, however I've got a nagging feeling it ...
0
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1answer
360 views

Is there a defined cause for the recent rise in the popularity of gairaigo?

I was looking on the web for Japanese graphic design and found some pre-WWII material. Then I saw some more recent advertisement material. Comparing the two eras, I notice a difference that was beyond ...
25
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1answer
3k views

Why is 私 a sixth grade kanji?

Can anybody explain why 私 is a sixth grade kanji? I find it funny that such a common word appears on the list so late.
12
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3answers
4k views

Is it possible to tell whether a word is kanji or hiragana without reading it?

Is it possible to tell whether a word would be written in kanji or if it would be written in hiragana without actually reading it, like it is reasonably easy to tell if a word is likely to be written ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Why is "many gods" (八十神) exactly eighty?

Looking under terms that include かみ/神, I was interested to find "八十神" defined as "many gods; many deities". Jisho.org lists it as an "archaism", though. I see the term appear in this Japanese ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Use of 旧字体 in Japanese names

Currently, the kanji used in registering names in Japan are restricted to those from the 常用漢字 and the 人名用漢字 lists. Since this is the case, why do some names include kanji not on the list like 澤 (for ...
6
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
633 views

Confusion regarding writing a word in Kanji and Katakana

In the One Piece manga, it's quite common to see the names of character's attacks written in both Kanji and Katakana. Take as examples: Gekko Moriah's Doppelman [影法師]{ドッペルマン} Dopperuman, literally ...
3
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2answers
432 views

Can I use my Chinese name and if so, how do I say it?

My Chinese name in Kanji is 王元劭 (Wang Yuan Shao). I've heard there are many different readings I can use for each kanji, am I allowed to use whichever reading I like? Also, apparently the character 劭 ...
21
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8answers
4k views

Is there an objective source of the origins of kanji?

Is there an authoritative source that explains where the different kanji come from and what the radicals mean? I think it's hard to tell from most of the textbooks/other sources whether a shown kanji'...
15
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4answers
106k views

How many Kanji characters are there?

I have been searching around, but all the sources give completely different answers ranging from 2,000 to 50,000. So my question is how many Kanji characters that have ever existed since the dawn of ...
23
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2answers
32k views

Words/characters for fast food meal sizes: 並, 大, 特

When dining at Yoshinoya I never know how to ask for the size meal I want. Their sizes are 並, 大, and 特. I only know that "大" means big, but it also has two readings so I have no idea whether to ask ...
21
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2answers
2k 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 ...
31
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3answers
182k views

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 ...
10
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3answers
1k views

How to read single stand-alone language-name kanji?

So we all know that most (all?) countries' names can be written in kanji as well as kana. And occasionally kanji from these names are used to represent the language of those countries. For example, we ...
28
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2answers
5k views

Difference between 丸い and 円い

Both come up with the same reading and definition in Jisho.org (round/circular), and both are listed as common words. Is there any preference between the two or should I simply learn both as ...
18
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3answers
1k views

How do Japanese understand "non-standard" words without looking at kanji?

This question seems so "obvious" that there might be a duplicate but could not find any. Anyway, while I try to think how to better rephrase the title, let me explain briefly what I mean. I'll give ...
12
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1answer
634 views

How is 名 pronounced in computer terms?

For usernames, etc., you usually see like ユーザ名 or something similar. Or like on my Skype, it says Skype名. How is the 名 pronounced in these situations? I've never been able to conclusively find this ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Origin of 信じる, 感じる, etc?

Wikipedia claims that Japanese verbs are a closed class and that loanwords from Chinese always use する. 信じる, 感じる seems to be an exception. Why aren't they 信をする and 感をする? Maybe because one kanji is too ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What's with all the possible kanji for とる?

Skimming through the options my IME presents for とる, I'm seeing a whole lot of choices, including the following: 取る 撮る 録る 執る 摂る 捕る 獲る 穫る 採る 盗る While I've seen 取る ("to take") and 撮る ("to record") ...
21
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3answers
8k 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 ...
17
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2answers
3k views

How close was the Japanese writing system from becoming abolished after World War II?

I remember hearing that the Japanese government planned on abolishing the use of Chinese characters entirely after World War II. I also remember hearing that there was a movement by the American ...
16
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2answers
4k views

For body: 身体 or 体

体{からだ} and 身体{からだ} (or even 躰{からだ}) seem to be used interchangeably, is there a nuance difference between them?
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3answers
1k views

The role of hiragana when there is a relevant kanji?

If I don't know the kanji of a thing but I know the hiragana of it, can I just write the hiragana if I have to write it down? Is it a free choice? Or some rules or social formalities?
8
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3answers
2k views

What's the difference among [停]{と}める、[止]{と}める、and [留]{と}める?

How are they different in meaning and usage? I also would like to see samples of how each can be used in a sentence.
7
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1answer
3k views

Multiple common kanji for a word: which to use?

I have been using jisho.org and aedict (android) to look at the definition, kanji and reading of words. Sometimes though, they list words that have multiple kanji in use and they are all indicated as "...
19
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2answers
8k views

Which is the "official" kanji for さい, 歳 or 才?

Well if I'm not wrong, usually when a word has multiple kanjis one of them is selected as the "main" or more commonly used one. But is it true that 才 and 歳 are both the "main" kanji for さい?
17
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2answers
5k views

What is the difference in nuance and usage of the two kanji forms for なおす (naosu), 直す and 治す?

Stolen directly from Grigory M's question in the definition phase: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/7526?phase=definition
15
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2answers
2k views

Splitting Kanji and okurigana at the end of the line

A question was asked on the Linguistics Stack Exchange about the oriental languages. The title was the following: How are line breaks handled in ideographic scripts? The answer made me think, and I ...