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 ...


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;...


13

I assume you're specifically talking about kanji/hanzi glyphs. (Hiragana are obviously more cursive.) Basically the overall appearances of typical Chinese hanzi and Japanese kanji fonts are not significantly different in terms of line width, roundness, etc., just as English "A", French "A" and German "A" are rendered the same. ...


8

「上のごとく」 文法的に間違っているわけではないのですが、おっしゃる通り、古い感じがするから修正されたのだと思います。As stated above を言うのでしたら、 「上述のように」 「上に述べたように」 「上のように」 または、 「上述のとおり」 「上に述べたとおり」 などがよいかと思います。


7

Handwriting is always harder to read, but I think in your case you miss practice. For me, reading difficult handwriting comes down to recognizing which strokes are used, and based on their number and approximate order, find the corresponding character. I am often stumped by unknown handwritten characters. The most glaring issues with what you've come up so ...


7

I basically agree with @naruto's answer - the main reason is that if a Japanese designer chose a relatively unique Japanese font for design aesthetics, it is normally a challenge to get a matching Chinese font. If Simplified Chinese is used as the Chinese text, this then becomes extremely challenging. For the photo in the question, to match the "antique" ...


6

How about: [一年間]{いちねんかん}/[半年間]{はんとしかん}/[三ヶ月間]{さんかげつかん}etc.* お世話になり、ありがとうございました。 (class name)[一同]{いちどう} or (class name)一同より *一年間=for a year, 半年間=for half a year, 三ヶ月間=for three months


6

Actually it's not a good idea to translate it. Japanese mail carriers can read envelopes written in English format, and a bizarre mix of the Japanese and English styles would make your envelope look worse. Rest assured that you can always write "The Tanaka Family" or "Mr. Taro Tanaka", using English alphabet, on the first line. (EDIT: By the way, did you ...


6

Yes, plain form is a standard for writing reports. In fact, 新完全マスター文法N3 has a chapter on this topic, on page 142. Here is what it says: In order to ensure a unified tone, casual and formal language are not used together. You should also adhere to a single register, whether using 丁寧体 (です and ます) or 普通体 (だ or である) verb forms. Formal language used in reports ...


5

I think children of about six years old can't read kanji, so you should write the letter in hiragana. If you are female(male), you should use ~のおねえさん(~のおにいさん) when you explain yourself. For example, if you are from the U.S, you can say アメリカのおねえさん(おにいさん). You can call her (first name)ちゃん. And you shouldn't use difficult words. If you draw some easy pictures ...


5

(Disclaimer: my knowledge on phonology and Okinawan is very limited) The glottal stop (/ʔ/) is a distinguishing feature in most Okinawan dialects. /ʔa/ and /a/ are different sounds in most Okinawan dialects, although they are both ア in katakana. The /ʔ/ sound is important in no dialects found in mainland (non-Okinawa) Japan. 沖縄語の音韻講座(1)【ア行】《新沖縄文字へのいくつかの提案》 ...


5

Regarding 時, this 時 is a 形式名詞 which should be written in hiragana if one needs to strictly obey guidelines. In general, you have to use とき when it translates to when, and 時 when it translates to time. You don't have to worry too much in casual writings. See: When writing for general public, is there a general guideline for selecting kanji? Regarding 見, I ...


5

Basically, yes. To be a bit more strict about "formal", I'd rather say it "objective" (vs "subjective"). That is, we hardly even use のだ when we have informal speech. Another point to notice is about であるのだ. The permissive range would be quite narrow if you're going to end a sentence with it. Because, the overall mood of a sentence is decided by the sentence-...


5

That's because the word is 伸ばす. The 伸 kanji for this word has a reading of の. As you might already know, Japanese has three distinct writing systems (not counting romanizations): ひらがな, カタカナ, and 漢字{かんじ}. It is preferable when possible and when it is normal to use 漢字 in your writing because, while ひらがな and カタカナ are syllabic characters, 漢字 convey ideas and ...


5

This kind of interrupting parentheses are a common practice in Japanese too. Beware that, however, the linguistic and cultural difference between these two languages might make literal translations not working. As for your examples, 事務所の閉まっている日は週末(と祝日)です。 The parentheses seems hardly useful to me, partly because this 祝日 is felt neither exceptional (...


4

Yes, there are "directional references": 右記{うき} "written to the right (before)" 左記{さき} "written to the left (later)", "following" They originate from vertical writing, but can be used figuratively in a text written horizontally. Normally they cannot be used in speech. 上記{じょうき} "written above" 上述{じょうじゅつ} "stated/mentioned above" or 以上{いじょう} for "above" 下記{...


4

First, your understanding of 「また」 in this context is correct. 「あたる/当たる」 here means 「相当{そうとう}する」. In describing a blood relationship: 「A は B に + 当たる」 means "A is someone's B." with B referring to a brother, uncle, daughter, niece, etc. (If I may say this, 「当たる」 is a key word in our language with 20 or so different meanings. I answered a question ...


4

You can use 「より」 and say 「より単純{たんじゅん}な」 for the comparative form. (The superlative form is 「最{もっと}も単純な」.) Nothing to do with your question. but 「だから」 would sound too informal and conversational to be used in that sentence that contains a big word like 「 導入{どうにゅう}」. I would suggest using 「従{したが}って」 instead.


4

Most everyone's answers are correct, but I wanted to bring up one useful aspect of kanji which I don't think has been brought up. It may be limited to learners like me, but many times when I encounter new words in kanji (in manga, online, paper forms at the doctor's office, etc...) I've found that I can understand what is being conveyed even without knowing ...


4

Yes, many sounds from Okinawan languages do not fit kana, but everyone sort of makes do with hiragana, katakana and kanji. On that note, it is only common to write Ryukyu words in katakana when the main sentence is Japanese and mainlanders are going to read it -- in particular if mainland Japanese are the ones doing the writing. Locally we often don't think ...


4

Thinking briefly, I think that there is no problem even if we have no kanji in Japanese to disambiguate homophones or homonyms as OP thinks , but in fact we need kanji. In conversation, not in writing, it is quite natural that people in the conversation hope the conversation goes smoothly. Therefore, we usually avoid using words that might cause ambiguities ...


4

This site talks about the sentence length using NHK,朝日新聞,日経 as a guideline. The author picked up 5 free article from each company. The methodology is splitting the text by the period symbol and then counting the letters in the sentences. The sentences from NHK are longer than the sentences from other newspaper companies. NHK could be using different ...


4

For verbs that end in つ, the imperative (command) form ends in て. It's just a coincidence that that looks similar to the same verb in て form. And yes, the pronunciation is not the same, as indicated by the lack of the small つ.


3

Am I correct in that the V+おう form could formerly be used in place of Vだろう? Yes, in the sense that it could be used both formerly and also contemporarily. I've heard a phrase「控え居ろう」, which means "get on your knees", if I remember correctly. I believe that your remembrance of this phrase’s meaning in its context (水戸黄門?)is clouding the actual meaning. In ...


3

I am not a native Japanese speaker, but used to speak it fluently. When I started to learn the language, I also worried much about many homophones which sounded same to me. Even though I knew native speakers had different accents for many of them, I was not able to learn everything and reading words with kanji was much more clear than listening to words that ...


3

You are right in that misunderstanding is common in spoken Japanese. but usually people who use Japanese know which word has ambiguity and escape the word or confirm the kanji of the word (like checking a spell).


3

It's hard to answer this "generally"... there are many reasons to use kanji over hiragana, katakana over kanji, etc. But basically it's a stylistic choice. If you keep on reading manga, I think you will gradually understand the image of hiragana, katakana and kanji. Why are katakana preferred over hiragana or kanji sometimes? Why is Toyota typically written ...


3

(1) First of all, Japanese uses 5 separate scripts, not 3. They are: Hiragana Katakana Kanji Romaji Arabic Numerals All of these scripts are used frequently in Japanese, so it is not correct to say it only uses 3 scripts. (2) Secondly, you ask why romaji are not considered to be two separate scripts since they have upper case and lower case. You imply that ...


3

I firstly thought 古語 or 古典語 would be the collective name you're looking for, but they are the Japanese in and before Meiji era, which seems to be too much older than those you are looking for. Speaking of 漢文・古文-type expressions, 時代劇doramas or movies are another place we can find a lot of old-style-like Japanese. Those are understood in general but actually ...


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