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綺麗 or 奇麗

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綺麗 or 奇麗

Postby sei » Sat 07.11.2009 4:37 pm

So a few days ago, when I was checking the kanji of きれい to be able to add it to the entry in the Shiritori game thread, I noticed there were two different compounds for it. At the time I just checked wwwjdic and it gave me this:

奇麗(P); 綺麗 【きれい】 (adj-na) (1) (uk) pretty; lovely; beautiful; fair; (2) clean; clear; pure; tidy; neat; (3) (as 奇麗に) completely; entirely; (P)

I thought the (P) after 奇麗 meant that it was the most used compound, so I used that. But today I just remembered to check the number of hits in google, and it showed 49.800.000 hits for 綺麗 and only 1.520.000 for 奇麗.

So I was wondering if I read the wwwjdic entry wrong or if there's a special use for these compounds or so.

Thanks!
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Re: 綺麗 or 奇麗

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 07.11.2009 5:02 pm

This is probably one of those cases where a kanji substitution was made due to the Touyou/Jouyou list; 綺 is not on the list, but 奇 is. A similar situation exists with 臆病, which is often written 憶病 in writing that is trying to stick to the Jouyou list (like newspapers).
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Re: 綺麗 or 奇麗

Postby sei » Sat 07.11.2009 5:12 pm

Thanks Chris! That explains it. I guess I'll just use 奇麗 then if that's what "should" be used.
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Re: 綺麗 or 奇麗

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 07.11.2009 5:25 pm

I would personally go by what's more common rather than what's Jouyou-approved, but it's your choice. Hiragana is pretty common for きれい anyway.
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Re: 綺麗 or 奇麗

Postby sei » Sat 07.11.2009 5:39 pm

Ooh alright. :) I thought it'd be more "proper" to use what's Jouyou-approved. :P

Thanks again!
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Re: 綺麗 or 奇麗

Postby jimbreen » Sun 07.12.2009 2:53 am

sei wrote:Thanks Chris! That explains it. I guess I'll just use 奇麗 then if that's what "should" be used.


I agree with Chris's reasoning, but I suggest you write きれい, and don't use kanji at all.

I'll add a "P" to 綺麗 later (when the Monash server is back), but note that the entry has a "(uk)" tag - usually kana.

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Re: 綺麗 or 奇麗

Postby Hyperworm » Sun 07.12.2009 8:17 am

Hmm, I'm not sure about "usually kana", especially where IMEs are available... or in any case I don't think it's at the level where you have to avoid using the kanji. My impression seems to be that it's written in kana relatively often, but I've seen 綺麗 a lot as well, far more than something like 可愛い for instance.

+"綺麗" に一致する日本語のページ 約 37,200,000 件
+"きれい" に一致する日本語のページ 約 20,400,000 件

+"綺麗な" に一致する日本語のページ 約 20,800,000 件
+"きれいな" に一致する日本語のページ 約 14,800,000 件

+"綺麗ですね" に一致する日本語のページ 約 1,710,000 件
+"きれいですね" に一致する日本語のページ 約 980,000 件
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Re: 綺麗 or 奇麗

Postby sei » Sun 07.12.2009 3:54 pm

jimbreen wrote:I agree with Chris's reasoning, but I suggest you write きれい, and don't use kanji at all.

I'll add a "P" to 綺麗 later (when the Monash server is back), but note that the entry has a "(uk)" tag - usually kana.

Jim


Oh! I did not notice that tag at all. :? Sorry about that.

I guess for handwriting, just きれい is better, but now with Hyperworm's post, I'm a little curious at what should be written, for example, at the computer (though I understand that both kana and kanji would be understood and accepted). Or like, what would be more common to be found in a Novel, etc., Kana or Kanji?
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Re: 綺麗 or 奇麗

Postby jimbreen » Sun 07.12.2009 6:42 pm

sei wrote:I guess for handwriting, just きれい is better, but now with Hyperworm's post, I'm a little curious at what should be written, for example, at the computer (though I understand that both kana and kanji would be understood and accepted). Or like, what would be more common to be found in a Novel, etc., Kana or Kanji?


AFAIK the Education Ministry recommends it be written in kana alone. I see the big Kenkyusha JE dictionary (新和英大辞典第5版) only has a kana headword for it - no kanji at all. The smaller 新和英中辞典 has the kanji versions, but only uses kana in the examples. I don't recall seeing the kanji versions in a newspaper article.

Certainly the arrival of computers and IMEs has led to a big expansion in the use of kanji in words that for the last 50 years have usually been written in kana. This is particularly evident in WWW pages, etc. Whether this has really helped Japanese literacy levels is doubtful.

I stick to きれい.

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Re: 綺麗 or 奇麗

Postby Harisenbon » Sun 07.12.2009 7:47 pm

In advertising, this is a word that we use ALOT, and it seems that the decision to put it in katakana, hiragana or kanji is a rather important one as the subtext seems to change alot depending on which is used.

I fully agree that in 90% of cases the kana should be used, and that the kanji should be reserved for special occasions.

You generally see 綺麗 most often when dealing with "true beauty" rather than "pretty."
A lot of cosmetic ads use the kanji, or katakana for きれい, as do most ads dealing with traditional japanese beauty.

Of course, that's just what I've noticed. your mileage may vary.
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Re: 綺麗 or 奇麗

Postby sei » Mon 07.13.2009 8:07 am

Alright! :)

Thanks so much to everyone for the answers! I'll stick to きれい then. :P
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