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Kanji derivation

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Kanji derivation

Postby askeladd » Sat 08.18.2007 1:49 pm

Not sure which forum is appropriate, but here goes:

Does anyone know if 恵 and 恩 are derived from the same Chinese character? I suspect that they are, for as far as I can tell, they both have the meaning of "favor," but the former is Japanese kanji whereas the latter is Korean hanja.
Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

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RE: Kanji derivation

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 08.18.2007 2:35 pm

Those are two separate characters. The first is used in words like 知恵 (wisdom) and 恵み(blessing), and the second is used to mean "favor" or "obligation", i.e. 恩に着る, 恩人.

It may be that some dictionaries assign them both a meaning of "favor", but this is yet another example of how dangerous English kanji meanings are -- these are two separate definitions of favor, and the two characters are not used in words with the same meaning.
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RE: Kanji derivation

Postby askeladd » Sat 08.18.2007 2:50 pm

Thanks; I am not so much interested in whether or not the English kanji meanings are the same as I am in determining if 神恩 is the Korean equivalent of 神恵.
Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

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RE: Kanji derivation

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 08.18.2007 4:17 pm

Good luck; I don't know if anyone knows Korean here. Neither word seems to be Japanese.
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RE: Kanji derivation

Postby zxcjason » Mon 08.20.2007 10:27 pm

I think 恩and 恵 in Japanese are derived from two different characters in Chinese -- 恩 and 惠. In modren Chinese, the two characters usually are used together as 恩惠, which means favour. Both words are used only for serious favour rather than something trivial like "would you do me a favour and pass me the salt?"

Both words mean favour when used separately as well. But 恩 tends to mean a specific favour and 惠 tends to mean favours in a general context (e.g., like in philanthropy), but the difference is subtle.
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RE: Kanji derivation

Postby askeladd » Tue 08.21.2007 12:06 pm

Thank you both for the clarifications.
Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

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RE: Kanji derivation

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 08.21.2007 1:20 pm

askeladd wrote:
Thanks; I am not so much interested in whether or not the English kanji meanings are the same as I am in determining if 神恩 is the Korean equivalent of 神恵.


In order to do that, you would need to check with a korean/japanese linguist. As for my little addition, they are not the equivalent. Korean and Japanese share more kanji than Korea would ever admit to.
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RE: Kanji derivation

Postby JaySee » Tue 08.21.2007 1:51 pm

The koujien has both words:

神恵 − 神のめぐみ。
神恩 − 神の恩恵。神のめぐみ。

My Korean dictionary lists only 神恩, defining it as 신의 은총(恩寵)

恩寵 is defined more or less as めぐみ/恩恵 by the koujien and as 恩恵 by my Korean dictionary. Its also used in both languages toi translate the Christian concept of grace (ie. "the grace of God")

I guess 神恩 in Korean and Japanese have the same meanings, and the Japanese word 神恵 (which can probably be used in Korean too) is about 95% similar to that.
Last edited by JaySee on Tue 08.21.2007 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Kanji derivation

Postby askeladd » Wed 08.22.2007 6:15 pm

DH tried looking for 恵 in the Korean dictionary (I had originally asked him how to pronounce it) but it was nowhere to be found. I saw 恩 and speculated whether or not the two were related, after he had informed me that that was the second character in his brother's name, and it had the same apparent meaning as 恵. I'm sure that there are nuances between the two, but such nuances are beyond my ken at my present language niveau for J and K.

In the meanwhile, I suppose I'll just keeping on plugging away at the kanji as I encounter them ;)
Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

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RE: Kanji derivation

Postby askeladd » Wed 08.22.2007 6:25 pm

Korean and Japanese share more kanji than Korea would ever admit to.


No doubt. But the impression I get is that Korean hanja are more complicated (closer to the Chinese originals, perhaps?) than their kanji counterparts.

Right now I envy my DH, since he learned so many of the Chinese characters as a schoolboy, and for picking up Japanese has only to learn the Japanese readings :) (at least as far as mastering the kanji goes).
Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

---Mark Twain
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