Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
nathanuk88

Japanese Kanji

Recommended Posts

nathanuk88

I read somewhere that people in china who speak mandarin can communicate by writing to people who speak cantonese and vice versa!

Does this also apply to japanese or are the caracter meaning totally different (eg (dont no any japanese jsut as an example) 你 could mean like coffe! lol) just wondered! :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

HashiriKata

Yes you can, in a fairly basic way.

(Given that it is with a very attractive Chinese girl, I don't think I even need to use Kanji)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Claw

The written communication between Mandarin and Cantonese speakers does not quite apply to Japanese. Both Mandarin and Cantonese speakers both read and write in standard written Chinese, which is based on Mandarin. When Cantonese speakers learn standard written Chinese in school, they're actually learning Mandarin, but speak the characters using the Cantonese pronunciation.

Generally Cantonese speakers will not speak the way they write because standard written Chinese does not match Cantonese exactly (although there's still quite a bit of overlap -- some people estimate that roughly 80% of it is shared). When Cantonese speakers do write in colloquial Cantonese (which can often be seen in some Internet chat forums), they use words that many Mandarin speakers are not familiar with and may not understand. For instance: 你識唔識睇我而家寫嘅廣東話呀? You may be able to get the gist of it, even though you may not know every single word.*

Japanese, on the other hand, is a whole different language family distinct from the Chinese languages. They borrowed their characters from Chinese and their usage has evolved separately so many words no longer have the same meanings. There has been exchange back and forth though, so many words in Chinese do have Japanese origins -- for instance, economy: 經濟. However, unlike their Cantonese counterparts, Japanese speakers are not trained in standard written Chinese, nor do they have anywhere near the 80% overlap that Cantonese has with Mandarin, so it is generally much much harder for the two to communicate in writing without at least some knowledge of the other speaker's language.

* The Mandarin equivalent of the Cantonese sentence above is: 你會不會看我現在寫的廣東話?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HashiriKata

You're right, Claw. But we're not expecting the people from 2 different countries to discuss politics or philosophy without learning each other's language, are we? As I said above, in a very modest and basic way, they can still communicate using Kanji.

You may find the following thread interesting:

http://www.chinese-forums.com/viewtopic.php?t=3240

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
marcopolo79

我個人的經驗是無論是韓國人,越南人,或日本人,幾乎所有的住在東亞洲文化圈內受到教育的人至少認識數百個漢字,不過並不意味他們看得懂基礎現代中文.我本身是非華人的美國人,中文學了六年了左右,看粵文的資料看得懂大約七八成,看日文的資料看得懂大約四五成.東亞洲文化圈內的語言共同來源是文言文,而不是現代的語言,至於當代日本人看中文資料看得懂多少,我猜想不到四成吧,不過他們學得很快.有趣的是,資料越複雜,越正式,越接近文言文,互相理解率越高.

My personal experience is that almost all educated East Asians can read at least some Chinese characters, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they can read and understand modern Chinese. I'm an American who's not of Chinese decent, when I read Cantonese articles I can usually understand a lot, when I look at writings in Japanese I can pick out individual words and usually understand the gist of an article, but I don't understand more than half (at best). The common litrerary heritage that Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and Chinese share is based on Classical Chinese, if an educated Japanese person were to read a Chinese work in a literary style, he/she would porbably understand quite a lot. If he/she were to read something very colloquial, he/she probably wouldn't get very far, however, Japanese students of Chinese pick up the written language very quickly. One interesting aspect of disparate linguistic groups sharing a common literary language is that when the language is more formal, more archaic in style, the odds are that more people from abroad will be able to understand it.

Cheers!

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Koneko

The short answer is yes. Chinese characters used by the Japanese derive from the same tradition as the Chinese, namely, the characters of the Classical language. In the same way that almost any English word is fair game for adoption into Japanese, virtually the entire corpus of traditional Chinese characters can theoretically be used.

However, anyone familiar with the two languages quickly realises that there are differences in the characters used. The main ones are:

Number of characters in use:

First, Japanese uses fewer characters than Chinese. While the Japanese adopted much Chinese vocabulary, they did not adopt everything. When they decided to restrict the number of kanji in use after the war, they were able to settle on 1,850 characters (since increased to 1,945) without undue problems. Even though many writers and academics find this number too restrictive and use some non-approved characters, the total number still does not come near the 3,000-4,000 minimum needed to function in Chinese. Japanese are aided by the fact that they can fall back on hiragana or katakana to write their language, unlike the Chinese who virtually use only characters.

Non-classical characters in Chinese:

Chinese contains some characters that have been specifically created for post-Classical Chinese words. For instance, zhao3 'look for' and ling4 'other' are relatively speaking fairly modern characters used to represent post-Classical vocabulary. They are not normally used in Japanese.

Japanese characters (kokuji):

Where the Japanese could not find an appropriate Chinese character to represent a Japanese word, they often created their own. Such characters are known as kokuji ('national characters') and a few have been included in the list of approved characters. Interestingly, the Chinese regard kokuji as part of the greater family of Chinese characters and include them in the larger, more comprehensive Chinese character dictionaries.

Standardisation of alternative forms:

Many Chinese characters have several alternative forms. The Chinese and Japanese sometimes decided on different standard forms, e.g., the character for 'receive', which is in Chinese and in Japanese (the Chinese contains an extra stroke).

Simplification:

The simplification of characters after WWII in Japan and in the 1950s in China gave rise to divergences between the traditional characters (still used in Hong Kong and Taiwan), China's simplified characters, and Japan's simplified kanji. A Japanese character will sometimes be the same as the traditional form, sometimes the same as the Mainland form, sometimes the same as both, and sometimes different from both (see table below). In general, the simplification of characters in Japan was relatively mild compared to the drastic simplification on the Mainland.

Substitution of characters:

In simplifying the characters the Japanese also restricted the number to be used, disallowing the use of some characters in education and the media. In order to follow these restrictions, abolished characters are either written in hiragana or replaced with a different character of similar meaning. This results in some less-than-satisfactory compromises.

Differences in the meanings of characters:

Partly due to changes in meaning on both sides, some characters have different meanings in Chinese and Japanese. To take a simple example, the verb zou3 meant 'to run' in Classical Chinese. It still does in Japanese as hashiru, but the meaning has changed to 'to go' in modern Mandarin. From the Chinese point of view, the Japanese usage has a quaint Classical feel to it.

source: cjvlang.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Altair

Japanese has a huge vocubulary based in Classical Chinese, but the language itself has no proven relationship to Chinese. There are many isolated words in the two languages that are the same or similar, especially in the ranges of vocabulary dealing with sophisticated subjects that would derive from Classical Chinese. The fundamental grammar of the two languages is, however, quite different.

I would analogize the situation between written Japanese and written Chinese to the situation between written French and written English. A very large number of words are recognizable and have similar or identical meanings, but true comprehension is really impossible without deeper knowledge of the grammar. The pronunciations are, of course, quite different and generally incomprehensible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atitarev

I'll just add my 2 cents, I think it wasn't mentioned that Japanese and Korean grammar are very different from Chinese, not sure how Japanese were able to read classical Chinese, I think they would need to know at least some Chinese grammar, otherwise it would not make any sense. Grammatical particles and ending in Japanese are always written in hiragana.

This very basic Japanese sentence doesn't make sense in Chinese:

学生は大学で中国語を習う。

Gakusei-ha (read: wa) daigaku-de Chūgoku-wo narau.

学生在大学学习汉语。 or

學生在大學學習漢語。

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nipponman

学生は大学で中国語を習う。I think they would get it though. Because they would see, 学生大学中国語習. Not a correct chinese sentence, but it could be understood. 學生在大學學習漢語. I was always under the impression that because 學習 was a true verb (not a verb-object compound) that it should be reduplicated as 學習學習, could be wrong though.

nipponman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skylee

I agree with nipponman. But that may be because I have learnt Japanese. People who have never learnt it might not feel/think the same. Just the other day my brother asked me what "戻る" meant. I was really surprised and thought how could he not understand such a basic word. And he has not really learnt Japanese before so sometimes he doesn't get it.

And one 學習 is enough. (BTW, why do we need "reduplicate" when there is "duplicate"? Don't they have the same meaning? Or does "reduplicate" double-duplicate?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nipponman
Originally posted by Skylee

Just the other day my brother asked me what "戻る" meant. I was really surprised and thought how could he not understand such a basic word. And he has not really learnt Japanese before so sometimes he doesn't get it.[/Quote]

That's right, I forgot they don't have 戻 in Chinese. I think our position is a little skewed, but I must submit a Japanese person could read much less of a chinese text than a chinese person a Japanese text. I asked my friend once (Japanese) if she understood the sentence

我是學生﹐所以我每天得去上課。日本人不都會看中文。. I and she said, "all I can understand is 僕は学生だ. I am surprised she got that much, since this sentence is full of words that don't make sense to a japanese person, 是, 所以, 得, 都, 會, and 看. But if a chinese person were to see a Japanese text (it would need all the necessary kanji of course) then they should be able to get the jist of the material. They wouldn't be able to decipher tense, but Japanese--like English-- doesn't have a future tense anyway!

I wonder how many chinese, besides Quest and Skylee, can make a little sense of this 次のは日本語の翻訳だ:僕は学生だ。従って毎日授業を始めに行か無きゃならねえ(ねえ==無い))よ。全ての日本人は中国語を読めないみたいね, It would be interesting to see the results!

(BTW, why do we need "reduplicate" when there is "duplicate"? Don't they have the same meaning? Or does "reduplicate" double-duplicate?)

We don't. reduplicate here is redundant:mrgreen: . What's more, I think reduplicate is nonstandard English in this usage. The correct word is duplicate (I think). But there are many examples in English where we don't use the correct word because it doesn't feel right, even though it means the correct thing. "Inflammable" is an example, or sometimes you might hear irregardless. The only time I think this word is appropriate is when you are duplicating something, and it comes out crappy, so you have to reduplicate it.

nipponman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
xiaocai

Personal opinion:

I have little difficult in understanding "学生は大学で中国語を習う。"

wonder how many chinese, besides Quest and Skylee, can make a little sense of this 次のは日本語の翻訳だ:僕は学生だ。従って毎日授業を始めに行か無きゃならねえ(ねえ==無い))よ。全ての日本人は中国語を読めないみたいね,

My guess is: the following is the Japanese translation:... .The left is very similar to the given sentences in Chinese .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shiaosan

This is interesting. I don't know any Japanese. So the first part is: 日本语的翻译

then it continues as: 学生, 每天do something, 没有something.

the last is : 所有的日本人something 中国语.

I don't think i would be able to know the meaning if not reading the whole text! :tong

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atitarev
I agree with nipponman. But that may be because I have learnt Japanese. People who have never learnt it might not feel/think the same. Just the other day my brother asked me what "戻る" meant. I was really surprised and thought how could he not understand such a basic word. And he has not really learnt Japanese before so sometimes he doesn't get it.

And one 學習 is enough. (BTW' date=' why do we need "reduplicate" when there is "duplicate"? Don't they have the same meaning? Or does "reduplicate" double-duplicate?)[/quote']

That wasn't a duplication but end of one and beginning of another:

学生在大学学习汉语 - 大学 = University, 学习 = study

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fenlan

Nipponman, "inflammable" is a perfectly acceptable English word, but it means exactly the same thing as "flammable". On the question of Japanese, I like to use the example of 切手, kitte, which means "postage stamp" ini japanese. In Chinese, this meeans "cut hands"!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HashiriKata
I think reduplicate is nonstandard English in this usage. The correct word is duplicate (I think).

No, both words are standard English. Though occasionally interchangeable, they have different usages and meanings: “reduplicate” is a verb and an adjective while “duplicate” is also a noun. As a verb, duplicate often means to copy or to make a copy, while reduplicate often means to repeat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skylee

HashiriKata, welcome back. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HashiriKata

Thanks, skylee!

Nice to still see some familiar faces.

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nipponman
Nipponman, "inflammable" is a perfectly acceptable English word, but it means exactly the same thing as "flammable". On the question of Japanese, I like to use the example of 切手, kitte, which means "postage stamp" ini japanese. In Chinese, this meeans "cut hands"!

Right, but what I'm saying is that it has a meaning that is opposite to that which one might think. inflammable to me, looks like in+flammable. Which would then become not+flammable. But it is actually a word from inflame.

No, both words are standard English. Though occasionally interchangeable, they have different usages and meanings: “reduplicate” is a verb and an adjective while “duplicate” is also a noun. As a verb, duplicate often means to copy or to make a copy, while reduplicate often means to repeat.

Well, I'm not so sure. If you duplicate學習, (you copy it) and you get 學習學習. But if you reduplicate it, that means you copy it again (which doesn't make sense) and you get學習學習學習. reduplicate here, is either a nonstandard usage, or an incorrect usage of

the word. But I agree, they're both words.

My guess is: the following is the Japanese translation:... .The left is very similar to the given sentences in Chinese .

:clap You're right, that was a japanese translation of the sentence.
That wasn't a duplication but end of one and beginning of another:

学生在大学学习汉语 - 大学 = University, 学习 = study

I needed to hear that, I didn't read the whole sentence and misunderstood.

the last is : 所有的日本人something 中国语...I don't think i would be able to know the meaning if not reading the whole text! :tong

That is the whole text:wink: . But really, you did pretty good. I think that 読めないみたいね would trip up any chinese not able to speak Japanese. Interesting results. Thanks everybody,

nipponman

P.s. good to see you again Hashirikata!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ferno

- - -

source: cjvlang.com

thanks for the comprehensive list... but shouldn't there be one more entry? If I'm not mistaken, theres this uh..homograph? thing in Japanese where the same characters are read differently and mean different things in different contexts

and nipponman, what do you mean that both Japanese and English have no future tense? :conf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...