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What about latinos in Japan?

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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 07.30.2007 4:17 pm

Shirasagi wrote:
Perhaps what your friend was trying to say is that many Chinese characters with the same phonetic sound often share a character. For example, ma (horse) 馬 (in Mandarin Chinese). Many other characters that share the "ma" pronunciation (but with different intonation) share the horse character, although their meanings are quite distinct. For example, ma (question particle) 嗎, and ma (mother) 媽.

Now, there are no inflection marks for characters, but there is an official PRC romanization called Pinyin that does use intonation marks. For example,

mā - horizontal bar indicates high, level tone. This is the one used for "mother".
má - rising to the right indicates rising tone.
mǎ - v-like mark indicates a dipping tone. This is the one used for "horse"
mà - falling to the right indicates falling tone.
ma - no mark indicates neutral tone. This is the one used for the question particle.

Now, while the use of tones is similar in Cantonese (although it has more differences in tones) and the same Chinese characters are used to write it, it doesn't make use of any intonation marks in its romanization, largely because there's no real consensus romanization for Cantonese.


yep, mandarin has 5 tones and cantonese has 7 tones.. (also IIRC cantonese had 9 tones a few hundred years ago, I am not sure on my point of reference there, but I remember reading/hearing that at college, so that point might be innacurate.)

I think the ma with the rising tone marks a question.. thus not being careful you could call your mom a horse or even say mom is horse? lol.. of course in this case horse doesn't mean that she can't speak because her throat hurts.. lol
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby ocetalo » Wed 08.08.2007 7:43 pm

Well, I must agree with Sir Fire Storm about the "a single text cannot represent two languages at the same time". This mistake comes from our subjective comprehension of written text due to our languages being spelling languages (those which use phonetic alphabet). It means in our languages, a given letter is supposed to refer to a sound, therefore a written word is supposed to carry you to a spoken word, and that one takes you to the concept (e.g: there's no way for you not-spanish-speakers to find a clue of what the word "despistado" means, no matter you can "spell" it). But as hanzi is an ideographic system, it's possible for you to know the meaning (therefore, understand) even without knowing the pronunciation; for example I used to recognize many kanjis, as "old " and "neck", without even knowing how t opronounce them. It's like when you see this symbol "$". Almost anybody can get the meaning, even without knowing how to call it in a given language.
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby ocetalo » Wed 08.08.2007 7:44 pm

Rich: no word
Matt: depending on context (context sooo relative matter)

Gundaetiapo: "The Americas" referring to both continents (Central America sank to havoc, I guess). It can be right answer for another question but, once again, what are the whole unhabitants of "The Americas" supposed to call, I mean, as those from "Europe" are called "europeans"?

Sir Fire Storm: no word (Central America nuke-doomed)

Dehitay: "Americans" for the US citizens and also for the others (conciliatory answer, but kind of confusing)

Infidel: good answer, but answering another's question. I don't really get the part about Eurasia and America. I think is a hard comparisson. Sorry.

So, I'm not satisfied at all. I understand there is no way to include the whole people from the three parts of the continent (South America, Central America, North America) in one single word/name. A sad conclusion, isn't it? But I'm not sure whom for.
Thank you so much. I have learned a lot from you and your differents way of thinking.
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby Gundaetiapo » Wed 08.08.2007 8:08 pm

Gundaetiapo: "The Americas" referring to both continents (Central America sank to havoc, I guess). It can be right answer for another question but, once again, what are the whole unhabitants of "The Americas" supposed to call, I mean, as those from "Europe" are called "europeans"?


Your example should be more like: what do you call a person who is from either Europe or Africa. No word. Likewise for North and South America.

I'm not making a political point, I'm giving frankest assessment of what is common and established English. If it's any consolation, I would use an alternative to "American" if one existed in real life.
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 08.08.2007 8:32 pm

ocetalo wrote:
Well, I must agree with Sir Fire Storm about the "a single text cannot represent two languages at the same time".


Issues of fact are not decided by consensus.

But as hanzi is an ideographic system


It is not. The common idea that kanji work differently from alphabetic systems in that they go directly to meaning, bypassing sound, has no basis in fact. It is a myth.

for example I used to recognize many kanjis, as "old " and "neck", without even knowing how t opronounce them.


Notice that you are still associating them with sounds; you're just using sounds in your native language (or English) rather than Japanese.

It's like when you see this symbol "$". Almost anybody can get the meaning, even without knowing how to call it in a given language.


You are not talking about a text, though, you are talking about single characters. This has nothing to do with whether a single text can represent two languages.
Last edited by Yudan Taiteki on Wed 08.08.2007 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 08.09.2007 8:48 am

this is another dead horse, let's either slaughter it, or eat it, but this is just crazy talk now
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby Dehitay » Thu 08.09.2007 10:01 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
But as hanzi is an ideographic system


It is not. The common idea that kanji work differently from alphabetic systems in that they go directly to meaning, bypassing sound, has no basis in fact. It is a myth.


How the hell is that a myth? Have you not been able to get the general idea of what Chinese posters are about even if you can't read them? Since the Chinese black market is far greater than the American one, sometimes it's possible to get Chinese fansubs for anime when no English ones are out. You would be surprised how much the Chinese subtitles mix in with what Japanese I can understand to give me a good concept of what's being said. I should also mention my Also, I'll mention I have a Japanese friend who went to Korea with no knowledge of the Korean language. In order to communicate, she ended up writing down Chinese characters giving an idea of what she was trying to say more often then she gestured with body language. When using different languages, there is no definite sound available to bypass, so meaning is the only thing left. While meanings for some kanji differ throughout languages, most are very similar.
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby Infidel » Thu 08.09.2007 10:44 am

two_heads_talking wrote:
this is another dead horse, let's either slaughter it, or eat it, but this is just crazy talk now


I was going to say the same thing.
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 08.09.2007 3:13 pm

Dehitay wrote:
How the hell is that a myth? Have you not been able to get the general idea of what Chinese posters are about even if you can't read them?


We're talking here about a single written text representing two languages at the same time, and about native speakers reading and processing Chinese (or Japanese) in a different way than native speakers read and process English (or any western language). This isn't really the main issue, though, and (as the other posters indicated) it has been discussed at length on other threads. The only reason it even came up was that ocetalo was confusing individual words with whole texts.

Yes, you can derive some meaning from a written text even if you are not able to fully read the language. This is possible when writing systems and vocabulary are shared. But it doesn't mean that you could actually write a complete text that was readable in two different languages. One language has to make concessions -- in the case of Japanese reading kanbun, they mentally switch the order of the characters and add grammatical requirements that are missing from the Chinese. In the case of modern written Chinese, Cantonese speakers have to learn to read something that is farther away from their native language compared to a Mandarin speaker. But there are no two languages whose word order, grammar, and idiomatic phrasing are so close to each other that you could literally write both languages at once. This is hardly possible even with dialects of the same language.

The way that the writing systems of asian languages work, it is possible for a single word to be read in a number of languages. For instance, 天気 means "weather" in both Mandarin and Japanese (and probably Cantonese as well). But when you try to extend this into sentences, paragraphs, and entire articles/books/etc, you run into problems. Some sentences are possible to read in either Cantonese or Mandarin, but the popular perception that spoken Cantonese and spoken Mandarin can be completely, identically, and naturally represented by one writing system is not true.
Last edited by Yudan Taiteki on Thu 08.09.2007 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 08.09.2007 4:02 pm

dead horse.. dead horse.. dead horse.. dead horse..
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby SenescenceReign » Thu 08.09.2007 8:31 pm

We have the habit of beating things to death here. In many things, it's a good way, because you must be thorough. Still, the rest of the time...
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby ocetalo » Fri 08.10.2007 1:31 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
ocetalo wrote:
Well, I must agree with Sir Fire Storm about the "a single text cannot represent two languages at the same time".


Issues of fact are not decided by consensus.

Of course, man, I'm aware this community is not the OHGREAT COUNSIL OF LANGUAGE HERESY SUPRESSION. Take it easy, pleasy.

But as hanzi is an ideographic system


[/quote]
It is not. The common idea that kanji work differently from alphabetic systems in that they go directly to meaning, bypassing sound, has no basis in fact. It is a myth.[quote]

They don't bypass sound, of course. But it's possible to get the meaning, the concept, with no knowledge of the sound... and if I'm not mistaken, hanzi started as pictograms, so the hanzi for "tree", for example, comes from the look of the real object, the tree, and not from "mo", which means tree. Anyway, I've never listened somtehing like what you're saying... please explain.
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby Infidel » Fri 08.10.2007 11:50 pm

But it's possible to get the meaning, the concept, with no knowledge of the sound.


会社
社会

how do you tell these apart without knowing the sound? Same goes with any words that use the same kanji.

Today, I was doing my homework, and I could remember the kanji used for ryoushin but not the order. Knowing the meaning didn't help at all, I needed to fall back on the sound to remember the order. I remembered that shin = 親 and from there was able to write the word correctly.
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 08.11.2007 9:49 am

They don't bypass sound, of course. But it's possible to get the meaning, the concept, with no knowledge of the sound...


It may be possible to get the meaning of individual kanji and words, but you can't really read a long passage of text going by kanji meanings or concepts.

What we were talking about is one writing system being used to completely represent two languages, which is a different thing. You can't read an entire language just by kanji meanings, no matter what language it is.

and if I'm not mistaken, hanzi started as pictograms, so the hanzi for "tree", for example, comes from the look of the real object, the tree, and not from "mo", which means tree. Anyway, I've never listened somtehing like what you're saying... please explain.


Some kanji started as pictograms, but not very many of them. The majority of kanji (80-97% depending on which reference book you look at) are made up of a meaning component + a sound component. i.e. 桐 is the kanji for a particular tree, and it is 木 meaning tree, plus 同 showing the pronunciation (in old Chinese, of course).
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RE: What about latinos in Japan?

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 08.13.2007 1:14 pm

80-97 percent? that's a very large swing of numbers there.. care to back that up with source? I would like to see with reference books you are refering to..
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