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76

Kanji aren't necessary to write Japanese Your rationale is correct; Japanese is a living, spoken language; people are able to understand each other by sound only, therefore a writing system based on sound has to be sufficient. Some commentators have mentioned that Japanese speakers often allude to kanji when talking. That's true enough (and it probably ...


44

There are a number of common suffixes you can use to try to guess. Here is an incomplete list of common suffixes which are a pretty safe bet: Female ko 子 mi 美 ka 花・華 e 江・恵 na 奈・菜 no 乃 ri 里 Male rō 郎 ta 太 suke 介・助・祐 o 男・夫・雄・生 ya 哉・也 kichi 吉 hiko 彦 nobu 信 Also, "girly" kanji—like 愛 "love", 幸 "happiness", 華 "flower", 美 "beauty" etc.—or hiragana will ...


43

It says 聞いてるし. is 略字 (the handwritten simplified/abbreviated kanji) of 聞. Other kanji with 門, such as 問、間、開、閉 etc., can also be simplified the same way: Other examples of 略字: For more about 略字, see: Ryakuji on Wikipedia


40

Is there an etymological connection between 輪{リン} as in 車輪{しゃりん} and "ring" in English? Or is this a false cognate? There are a few things we have to look at to answer this. Derivation of different Japanese readings As we can see in the Jisho.org entry, rin is an on'yomi for the kanji 輪. On'yomi are the "sound readings", the literal meaning of the ...


39

That is because the radical 「月」 originally comes from two different kanji -- 「月」 ("moon") and 「肉」 ("flesh"). The two were originally treated as two completely different radicals but they are now often taught/treated to be the same radical, which is the big source of confusion today (even among us Japanese). When you find the radical 「月」 in different kanji,...


36

Yes, you are correct that 中 (ちゅう) in this case means "in the middle of ~ ". For your sentence, the simple translation "downloading" is probably the most natural. It is fairly common to combine a noun with the suffix 中(ちゅう) to express the idea of the "currently in the process of (NOUN)". A few examples of NOUN + 中: 保留{ほりゅう} ...


35

There are a few words in Japanese where the Kanji reading does not match up with the given 音読{おんよ}み or 訓読{くんよ}み readings. These are 熟字訓{じゅくじくん} particularly if the reading is more important and derived from the meaning of the word and not from a combination of the Kanji that make up the word. Oftentimes, these are used for what are known as 大和言葉{やまとことば}, or "...


31

The reason is the negativity associated with the plural suffix 「供」, which tends to be used in a derogatory way as in 「[野郎供]{やろうども}」, 「[雑魚供]{ざこども}」, etc. "Mouths to feed" is what 「子供」 could sound/look like and unfortunately that is what the word used to often imply because Japan has not always been a wealthy nation like it is now. In schools (Japanese ...


28

In general, don't overinterpret repeated components. It's inconsistent and largely a hit-and-miss exercise. Sometimes they just mean "lots of" the single repeated component, or some extended meaning from that. For example, in addition to 「木」->「林」->「森」, there is 「火」(fire) ->「炎」(blaze) 「屮」(sprouting plant, not used as an individual character) ->「艸」(full ...


24

Any word read in on'yomi in Japanese and using the Sinic hanja reading in Korean is probably ultimately attributable to Middle Chinese, unless evidence can be found of an independent coinage somewhere on the Japanese archipelago or the Korean peninsula. Terms like the ones below are likely borrowings from Middle or later Korean, rather than Chinese. We can ...


24

This is the handwritten simplified version of , similar to simplified Chinese . Note however that the simplified Chinese form of the radical has a break, and the "divider" is a single dot-like stroke in the left corner: Meanwhile, the 門 radical is often abbreviated in Japanese handwriting to a 略字{りゃくじ} (ryakuji, "abbreviated character") form. The ...


24

This is because you don't have to write it in kanji even after you have become an adult. On BCCWJ, there are 65,182 examples of 私は, while the number of the examples of わたしは is 11,372. This means many adults choose to write わたし in hiragana even after learning its kanji. (I think formal documents tend to contain the kanji 私 more often.) By contrast, an ...


23

The very answer to your question is why I like Japanese so much. As you noticed a same word can be written with different kanji: that is not limited to verbs. If kanji changes meaning changes too (that is especially true concerning verbs, nouns are more subject to stylistic preferences: eg. かっこいい(casual form)・恰好良い(old form)・格好いい(normal form)). In order to ...


23

日本語 日本語が理解できると思いますので日本語で回答します。 一般に、また、私も、「じんせい」と聞いて「仁星」を思い浮かべることはできません。私は全く「仁星」という言葉を見たことも聞いたこともなく、自信をもって日本語には無いと思っています。 若者が「仁星」と理解した理由を想像しますと、唯一の可能性は、「しゅう」という言葉が「じんせい」とともに聞こえてきたからだと思います。 私には、その物語を知らないので「仁星」を想起できませんが、もし私が、「じんせい」と「しゅう」を同時に聞いたなら、「じんせいのしゅう」という言葉は日本語にはないので、「人生の終**」か何かの言葉ではないかと考えるでしょう。 私には、あなたと似たような経験がありますのでお話しします。 私が大学生のとき、スイスからの留学生がいました。...


23

This is definitely a bit harder for native English speakers to pick up on at first, but sometimes homophones in Japanese are distinguishable by the pitch accent. So some of them aren't an issue at all. But of course some words do sound exactly the same. So how do you tell those apart? Easy: context. Kanji aren't "necessary" to distinguish between homophones;...


23

人 represents two hands pressed together. It appears in many kaomoji. In this context it represents praying hands (合掌), a traditional Buddhism/Shinto praying gesture. It can also mean more casual "please".


22

It's [熟字訓]{じゅくじくん}. Excerpt from Wiktionary: A Japanese word whose kanji spelling conveys the meaning based on the individual characters, but the reading is not directly related to the spellling. For example, 大 (“big”, usually read ō in kun'yomi compounds) and 人 (“person”, usually read hito in kun'yomi compounds) combine to form 大人, meaning “adult” but ...


22

Yes, they are, and it comes from Western Influence. 日曜, 月曜, 火曜, 水曜, 木曜, 金曜, 土曜 are Classical Chinese names for the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn, respectively. English names for the days of the week are mostly Germanic names for the same planets. Sunday, Monday, and Saturday are obvious, but we have Tuesday (Norse: Tiw for Mars) ...


22

Notice how in some fonts, the letter "A" has little things that stick out, too: But you wouldn't write those little tails in handwriting, would you? Same thing with 唱. I don't think I've met anyone who writes them with the "jumps". This is how I'd write 唱:


22

These "jumps" that you brought up are not part of the kanji, they are part of the typeface. (More specifically, they may be treated like serifs - or little decorations at the edge of certain lines) (see drooze's and Sweeper's answers) When you are learning kanji, you should definitely not be copying or referencing printed characters. You should learn from ...


22

There are three readings for 日本: にほん, にっぽん, and やまと. The last reading is non-standard as far as general use. The first two are still used often, but にほん is by far the de rigueur reading currently. Possibly you are reading something old, where 日本 is written as につぽん. While today, a repeating consonant is written with a small tsu (っ), in the past it was often ...


19

Yes, 熟字訓 words have no direct connection between its kanji spelling and its reading, and a few of them are actually longer in kanji than in kana, but these kanji are rare and not actively used in modern Japanese exchanges. 再従兄弟 はとこ (second cousin​; usually written in kana) 百舌鳥 もず (bull-headed shrike; usually written in kana) 香具師 やし (a type of old-time ...


19

In many kanji, some of the components do not provide meaning, but only sound.「桃」(On'yomi: とう) is made up of semantic「木」(tree) and phonetic「兆」(On'yomi: ちょう). Remember: Kanji were created for Chinese vocabulary, so the phonetic component is only relevant to On'yomi. Here's some relevant vocabulary with these On'yomi readings: [桃花]{とうか} (peach blossom) [吉兆]...


19

They are both slightly different simplifications of the traditional Chinese character which is 變. 变 is the simplified Chinese and 変 the shinjitai, i.e. the Japanese simplification. Often the simplifications are the same, but it also often happens that traditional Chinese characters have slightly different simplifications in Chinese and Japanese, for example ...


18

The correct word for it is yōi (用意), but perhaps you failed to perceive vowel length and/or your sensei isn't a native speaker. In many martial arts we start a match with: 用意――はじめ! Ready......Fight! Or in track race: 位置について――用意――ドン! On your mark......Get set......(bang!)


18

Yes, there are a few kanji that were invented purely by Japanese people. Examples are listed in 和製漢字. Some kanji were reverse-imported to Chinese (see: Japanese-coined CJKV characters used outside Japanese). But I believe there are also many Chinese-origin kanji that are in use only in Japan because they have fallen out of use elsewhere. So not all kanji ...


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