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kana vs kanji

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kana vs kanji

Postby luky » Fri 10.19.2007 2:35 pm

go easy; i'm new at japanese. i was wondering how much kanji you'd implement into writing japanese. specifically, are there many words/phrases that have a kanji/jukugo but are commonly written in kana anyways? or is kanji used as much as possible? also, i'm aware that it's unorthodox, but is japanese written completely in kana understandable? any response would be appreciated. thanks.
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RE: kana vs kanji

Postby richvh » Fri 10.19.2007 3:00 pm

Native Japanese try to balance the use of kana and kanji. There are many words for which kanji exist, but which are usually written in kana in modern Japanese.

Japanese written in all kana is understandable (as long as really technical terms derived from Chinese are avoided), but is often harder to parse than mixed kanji/kana text.
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RE: kana vs kanji

Postby luky » Fri 10.19.2007 3:18 pm

so, mixing up kanji and kana is a matter of aesthetics and personal preference, right?
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RE: kana vs kanji

Postby saraLynne » Fri 10.19.2007 10:11 pm

Closer to convention than mere aesthetics and preference.

As I understand it, one who communicates entirely in kana is perceived as stupid (or at the very least, "uneducated"), even if they can be understood.
Last edited by saraLynne on Fri 10.19.2007 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: kana vs kanji

Postby CajunCoder » Sat 10.20.2007 2:28 am

I would say there is a large element of aesthetics and personal preference with many words, though. How formally one is writing is also an issue.

Don't look at kanji as too much of an obstacle - it's really not. No more than the thousands upon thousands of words you'll have to learn anyway. It's just something you need to become familiar with, so take any chance to read and write them.

Be careful not to over-do it, though. Some students go kanji-conversion happy when they start typing Japanese on the computer. This leads to countless miss-conversions, and very confusing sentences. So, don't try to use too many kanji that you haven't seen before - at least, not without looking up the word you want to use in a dictionary first.
Last edited by CajunCoder on Sat 10.20.2007 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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