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Hofmann

Effect of knowing Chinese characters on learning Japanese

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Hofmann

(...and Korean, Vietnamese, etc.)

Split from here.

What is the effect of knowing Chinese characters on learning languages with >50% of Han vocabulary?

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Hofmann

Anyway, one must acknowledge that a lot of Japanese and Korean learners (less so with Vietnamese, AFAIK) spend a lot of resources learning the meaning, writing, and Sinitic pronunciation of Chinese characters, so having that already taken care of (roughly with the pronunciation) should help. However, learning the other parts of the target language will be minimally aided.

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muirm

Knowing Chinese makes learning Japanese significantly faster. Not easier, just faster. But sometimes those feel like the same thing.

If you have a good vocabulary in Chinese (i.e. read books), acquiring Japanese vocab is painless. With kunyomi words, you have to remember a new pronunciation (already not too bad), but onyomi words are essentially free. It's not uncommon for me to "guess" a Japanese word by applying the Chinese to Japanese pronunciation rules to the Chinese word I want to use. Being able to build up your vocabulary faster means you can start enjoying native content sooner, which is where the real fun starts.

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Glenn

Any time you have a decent understanding of a large percentage of the vocabulary of a language down and only have to make minimal adjustments, it's going to be a lot easier than starting from scratch. When you can already glean the meaning of words just from the orthography as well, even if the pronunciations are vastly different, you have an even bigger advantage. For example, in Chinese you have 心得, which is read xin1de2. In Japanese, you have 心得, which is read kokoro'e, which has the same meaning. Similar for 手續/手続, which is shou3xu4 in Mandarin and tetuzuki in Japanese. Of course, false friends are a problem, but that's going to be the case with any languages that share vocabulary or the roots thereof.

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Edward Phie

well to put it simply knowing chinese vocabulary will help you understand japanese languange kanji and korean hanja easilly (in understanding "meaning" aspect) on the other hand it will confuse your pronounciation skill because sometimes it sounds totally different between each languange..

 

the foreigner learner from japan and korean also faster in learning chinese because they mostly grasp the basic vocabulary and languange sense

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MPhillips

Since this thread has been revived: here's an OOP book I'd love to have--V. Mair's "ABC Dict. of Sino-Japanese Readings". I have such a dict. from Taiwan but the type is miniscule & it's in 注音符号 order.

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DavidL706

I've found that a lot of words are similar, but there are some differences as well.  Some Kanji-Hanzi pairs will be approximately as different (in writing) as say, British and American English, whilst others will be different.  For instance, 我慢 in Japanese translates as "patience," but looks like "I'm slow" in Chinese.  On the other hand, something like 映画 is easier to figure out in context if you know that  is a simplified form of 畫.

You'll still have to work on the grammar though, which is quite difficult in my opinion.

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MPhillips

Some recent "round-trip words" -- 宅,萌,人气 from Jse. "otaku" , "moe" & "ninki". It seems to me the Chinese use of 宅 is kind of a cross between "otaku"(a computer game, manga, and/or anime obsessed person) & "hikikomori"(an agoraphobic more or less), while the Chinese 萌 seems more innocent than "moe" since I've seen it used to describe a small child--I think the Japanese meaning goes further than "cute". The borrowing of 人气 to mean "popular" seems rather unnecessary since Chinese had 受欢迎,流行,吃香 & 走红 already.

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