18 votes
Accepted

Is it more common to write "wakarimasu" with or without kanji?

Here are the hit counts from BCCWJ. All entries (1971-2008): わかった: 6492 分かった: 1739 解った: 130 わかります: 2834 分かります: 1065 解ります: 109 おはよう: 1300 お早う: 84 ありがとう: 7090 有難う: 420 有り難う: 102 Recent entries (2000-)...
  • 274k
16 votes
Accepted

Difference between 見る and 観る?

The verb 「みる」("look"/"see"/"watch") is one case of a word which can be written with one commonly-used general-purpose kanji, and sometimes with other rarer, more specific kanji. The general-purpose ...
15 votes

Should I use 竜 or 龍?

Putting aside the etymology (I did not know which is older), both 竜 and 龍 are very common today, and are actively used by many people. I don't think one is "essentially more beautiful" than the other. ...
  • 274k
13 votes
Accepted

How obscure is the use of 令 in 令和?

All the previous nengo are from Chinese Classical Chinese texts - this should set a precedence that, if you aren't familiar with the Chinese Classics, you wouldn't (fully) understand the choice of ...
  • 8,877
11 votes

How obscure is the use of 令 in 令和?

As a matter of fact, I did not even recall the meaning of "command/order" when I first saw 令和. 令 struck me as "just another nice-sounding kanji". Although 玲 and 怜 may be more popular, 令 is not rare ...
  • 274k
10 votes
Accepted

What's the difference between 上手い, 美味い, 旨い, and 巧い?

These can be divided into two large categories. 上手い ≒ 巧い ≒ good at something, skillful 彼女は料理がうまい。 She is good at cooking. 美味い ≒ 旨い ≒ delicious, yummy この料理はうまい。 This dish is delicious. The ...
  • 274k
10 votes
Accepted

What would be the most apt word in kanji, for "Animal world"?

人間界 is very commonly used for this purpose, and I recommend you accept this term unless you really have a good reason. 人間界 just means "the world where humans exist", and everyone understands that ...
  • 274k
10 votes
Accepted

Is there a word for “using a wrong kanji”?

You can simply use [誤字]{ご・じ} to mean the wrong letter. I believe it's applicable to both kanji and kana. If you ever take the [漢検]{かん・けん}, starting in level 4 there is a section called [誤字訂正]{ご・じ・てい・...
  • 42.7k
10 votes

Is it more common to write "wakarimasu" with or without kanji?

Indeed, わかる is mostly written in kana. Corpus data gives the following proportions: わかる 58280 71% 分かる 17700 22% 解る 2964 4% 判る 2580 3% A priori there seems to be no ...
  • 47.4k
10 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between 始め 初め and 始まり?

始【はじ】め and 初【はじ】め These are both the stem or noun forms (technically, the 連用形【れんようけい】) of verb はじめる ("to begin something, to start something", transitive / 他動詞【たどうし】). In terms of usage, the ...
10 votes

What's the difference between 鍵 and 鑰?

In short, the difference between 鍵 and 鑰 is that you can safely forget the second one unless you prepare for the top level of kanji recognition test. 鍵 (on-reading: ケン) is the normal way to spell かぎ ...
  • 2,164
8 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between 飲む and 呑む?

Maybe you know that to say "to take a pill" in Japanese you would say 丸薬をのむ. (I did not put the kanji of のむ intentionally). 飲む is used to say to drink. I mean, to absorb a liquid through your mouth ...
  • 6,953
8 votes
Accepted

Multiple common kanji for a word: which to use?

Better use kana instead of some weird or wrong kanji if you're not certain In natural languages, the meaning of words are often extended, changed and modified to fit the speakers needs. Just look up ...
  • 4,421
8 votes

Should I use 竜 or 龍?

It seems to me the answers given so far could be improved and I also find them to be a bit too much opinion-based. Nobody really gave any insight about the etymology and origins of those characters. ...
  • 7,728
8 votes

Difference between 粗い and 荒い

Both happen to be translated as "rough", but I think their antonyms will help: 粗い is an antonym for 細かい/なめらか/fine-grained/detailed/smooth/etc. 粗い計算, 粗い見積もり, 粗いサンドペーパー, 粗く挽いたコーヒー豆 荒い is an antonym ...
  • 274k
8 votes
Accepted

Difference between 嵌まる and 填まる

At the kanji level, 嵌 is not in the joyo kanji list, and it primarily means "inlay" or "pit(fall)". 填 is a variation of a joyo kanji 塡, but the reading of は-まる is not listed in the joyo kanji list. It ...
  • 274k
8 votes
Accepted

Why is the name of the whisky "TOKI" written as 季?

... what might be the reasoning for naming the whisky "season(s)" and then "translating" it to the Kanji "time(s)" 時{とき}? The word "time" can refer to many ...
7 votes
Accepted

Are 髙 and 高 interchangeable?

The short answer is that 髙, or 「はしごたか」, is an alternate form of 高, and as such some people might use it. It does not represent a new/old character relationship (新字体・旧字体), however 髙 could have been a ...
  • 18.1k
7 votes
Accepted

Variations in the "same" kanji, how do you know which one to use?

What is this kind of variation called? Like is there a name for it? In English they are called "variant (character)", in Japanese 異体字 itaiji. There are different types of variants, often though ...
  • 47.4k
7 votes
Accepted

How do I find the right meaning of homonyms 同音異義語 via audio?

By accent. See: Is there any difference when pronouncing 橋 and 箸? はし【HL】(箸)、はし【LH】(端)、かき【HL】(牡蠣)、かき【LH】(柿) By context. すいせいですか、きんせいですか? → 水星ですか、金星ですか? すいせいですか、ゆせいですか? → 水性ですか、油性ですか? すいせいですか、りくせいですか? ...
  • 274k
6 votes
Accepted

Using 音読み to write foreign names

For Western names, practically speaking, Katatana is best. If you're a citizen of a country where Kanji is used on official documents like your passport, say... China or Korea, then it is common to ...
  • 7,271
6 votes

What's the difference between 上手い, 美味い, 旨い, and 巧い?

Naruto's answer covers it well, but it might be helpful to think of these words in terms of their analogues in other uses. For example, 上手い can obviously be connected to 上手{じょうず}, the basic word for ...
  • 18.1k
6 votes
Accepted

How are 憧れる and 憬れる different?

There's no semantic difference, only stylistic one, as long as being used to write the word あこがれる. 憧 is the primary choice because this is the original kanji designated for the word. 憬 didn't have ...
6 votes

悟る vs 気づく vs 分かる Satoru vs Kizuku vs Wakaru

悟る is much more nuanced and much less common than 気づく/分かる, but it still can be used safely in day-to-day conversations of ordinary people. Outside religious/philosophical contexts, 悟る is basically ...
  • 274k
6 votes
Accepted

How to express "Stone Master" as a compliment

The kanji 主 means "master (of a slave)", "master (of a pet)", "owner", "governor", etc., but it does not mean he is an expert of something. If you simply want to say "grand master (of martial art)", ...
  • 274k
6 votes
Accepted

What do all the different たすける's mean?

助ける is the most common way to write たすける using kanji. It means to save someone from danger, the same as expressed in the word 救助する. It's the only kanji with たすける as a joyo reading. 扶ける means to lend ...
  • 2,749
6 votes
Accepted

What is the difference in usage between 闘う and 戦う?

According to The Kodansha Kanji Usage Guide dictionary: 戦う has these meanings: wage war, fight contest, contend, play a match [game] And 闘う is: (struggle with) fight (against), contend with, ...

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