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Confused with kanji?

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Confused with kanji?

Postby Gaijinian » Fri 01.13.2006 9:49 pm

Kanji may seem confusing... For example, you may learn the kanji, 話, is "hanashimasu," but then... it is "wa" in 電話... So, why?

Well, as you may know, most Japanese words came from Chinese words (denwa in Chinese DianHua, with the same "kanji."). The word "hua" means "to speak" in Chinese. So, the Japanese applied it to their own word, "to speak," hanashimasu. "Hanashimasu" is know as the kun-yomi, or the Japanese reading.

When the word "denwa" needed a word for it! So the used Chinese Characters... dian became DEN (electricity), and hua became WA, to speak. This is called the ON-YOMI, or the Chinese reading.


In combinations, the ON-YOMI is generally used. That is why, for example, 高校 uses KOU, and not takai. If there is hiragana in the word however, the on-yomi is used (ex: 食べ物 is tabemono, both are kun-yomi readings.)

Sometimes, there will be a small "tsu." This may seem confusing, also. Why is it 学校 (gakkou, with a small tsu), but also 学生(gakusei, no tsu)??
In Japanese, if two hard consonants follow each other, the first is changed into a small tsu:
By hard consonants, I mean:
Hiragana that start with b, c, d, g, j, k, n (not including ん), t, , w, y and z.

I hope that gives you some idea as to why Japanese is the way it is.

みなさん、日本語のべんきょう を がんばって ください!! Cool
Last edited by Gaijinian on Sat 01.14.2006 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby skrhgh3b » Fri 01.13.2006 11:09 pm

The verb isn't「話します」, it's 「話す」. 「〜ます」 is an auxilary that modifies verbs in "polite" speech. I just make this point because I think the way the way the 「〜ます」 form of verbs are taught to beginners over the verbs themselves leads to unnecessary confusion.
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby Gaijinian » Fri 01.13.2006 11:24 pm

Well, this was intended for beginners.
Plus, you must remember, 日本は、丁寧に基づけている文化、でしょう。
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby appleraja » Fri 01.13.2006 11:28 pm

so is onyomi used more than? i do hear denwa more than hanashimasu
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby AJBryant » Sat 01.14.2006 12:38 am

When the word "denwa" was made, the Japanese did not have their own word for it, so the used the Chinese word (spelt out in hiragana. So, dian became DEN (electricity), and hua became WA, to speak. This is called the ON-YOMI, or the Chinese reading.


I'm sorry, but this is so very, very wrong.

The word "denwa" was created *in* kanji. I'm not sure where it first was used, but a LOT of "two hanzi" words (several thousand, in fact) were imported *back* to China (which tended to have single hanzi words) from Japanese as the Japanese were doing things and working with the West in ways that the Chinese weren't. Denwa/Dianhua may be one of them; it definitely follows the pattern.

In combinations, the ON-YOMI is generally used. That is why, for example, 高校 uses KOU, and not takai. If there is hiragana in the word however, the on-yomi is used (ex: 食べ物 is tabemono, both are kun-yomi readings.)


Except when 食べ物 is written as 食物, which it often is (though I want to read it as shokubutsu ;)).

Tony
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby Gaijinian » Sat 01.14.2006 1:04 am

I had a few... technicalities in my post... But that was not the point..
I posted this for beginers (as I said earlier)

Denwa is a 和製漢語:|

Things I forgot:
〜つ、〜ち when followed by k s t h - note in particular that h becomes p.
as in やっぱり
〜く、〜き when followed by k.
As in 楽器 gakki
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby Infidel » Sat 01.14.2006 3:57 am

I had a few... technicalities in my post... But that was not the point..
I posted this for beginers (as I said earlier


When you make something for beginners it is more important to have your facts correct, not less.

When I was a kid I was shown how to hold the bat without emphasizing that Left over right was BAD, Stand on the left side of the base "like so." When I swung the bat. I was NOT happy when they took me to the hospital. Knees popped out of socket, wrists,,,not happy.

Lets just say I hate my dad, I hate my coach, and I hate all the idiots that acted like it was "My" fault. I told them I'd never played before how was I supposed to know better? I also got stuck on the school basketball team when I'd never played before, and told them so! My first game--I still knew jack for rules-- was the an important division game. I ended up with the ball and some guy came at me, so I stepped backwards--over the halfway line--and got boo'ed and again everyone acted like it was "MY" fault. Those were the last times I played either sport. The closest I ever came to team sports after that was marching band. At least there they explained what the rules and techniques were before throwing me into the fire.!

bleh, that sorta turned into a rant, sorry.
Last edited by Infidel on Sat 01.14.2006 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby Infidel » Sat 01.14.2006 5:08 am

what gives you the impression that anyone is angry at you at all? There is nothing really to apologize for. No one is angry at you. Everyone is just emphasizing the need for correctness and offering suggestions.

And my story wasn't about you. It was about my experience. It's purpose was to explain why teaching a beginner right is more important to me than for others. It was to explain to you why I would step in and cast extra emphasis on something someone else said already.
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby Gaijinian » Sat 01.14.2006 10:19 pm

AJBryant wrote:
Except when 食べ物 is written as 食物, which it often is (though I want to read it as shokubutsu ;)).

Tony


食物=しょくもつ, not "tabemono," or "shokubutsu."
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby mandolin » Sun 01.15.2006 1:47 am

Doesn't mean that in native japanese, they don't often write tabemono as 食物. Not that I'm speaking from experience, but neither are you, gaijinian. Tony is experienced, however, and considering how in "real" japanese, they break all the grammar rules all over the place, I have NO reason to doubt that they use 食物 in place of tabemono with alarming frequency.

One shouldn't completely ignore something from someone who is well versed in the language just because it appears 'improper'. You may (and likely will) encounter things that aren't in any grammar book.

How many english-speaking persons have impeccable grammar? There's a reason that japanese can learn english for a long time and STILL not be able to understand english in a "real world" environment (vs. classroom).
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby Harisenbon » Sun 01.15.2006 2:17 am

Exactly. In fact, most 送り仮名 are left off when writing, especially in signs.
買物,飲物,振込,税込,etc

HOWEVER

in the case of 食物, the correct reading is しょくもつ.


*Edited for stupidity. ;)
Last edited by Harisenbon on Sun 01.15.2006 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby AJBryant » Sun 01.15.2006 3:26 am

食物=しょくもつ, not "tabemono," or "shokubutsu."


I have *always* gotten that one wrong. And for the same reason. I keep "correcting" myself, knowing that I had it wrong before, and since somehow I *know* it's "shokumotsu" that must be the wrong answer, so I "correct" it to "shokubutsu."

Sort of how I keep screwing up my mom's birthday: She was born in 1920, and I know that her birthday can't be on the 20, (20/20) so it has to be the 21.... but it *is* the 20th. Sigh.

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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby Gaijinian » Sun 01.15.2006 10:44 am

mandolin wrote:
what you said.


Thanks for your little lecture, it was fun.
Anyway, I'm not learning from a book, and of obviously I see things all the time that break grammar "rules."

Maybe handwritten, tabemono could drop the kana. But try typing it in, and 食物 will not appear (but both 買物 and 飲物do). AND, 食物 is SHOKUMOTSU. If you want to argue that it is not, then your not arguing with not just me. 
Try and dictionary. 食物: It gives both KUIMONO and SHOKUMOTSU, but not sign of TABEMONO.
For 買物、飲物・・・等, it will give you KAIMONO or NOMIMONO.

一般的に文法のコツに伴わないものを書くとき、短くされたようになるでしょう。By that I mean, who is going to take time out of their day to go back and erase the be, honestly...

As for not having experience in Japan, you clearly have not read my speech, "日本滞在中のいろいろな経験." Although not a very long trip, I have been to Japan.
http://www.jref.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17590

Sorry for being so argumentative, I'm just saying...
Last edited by Gaijinian on Sun 01.15.2006 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby zengargoyle » Sun 01.15.2006 11:26 am

my IME rules :p, it does bring up 食物(たべもの) among other things 食べ物、田部物、多辺物、タベモの、タベモノ。 go figure.

i'm sure you're all talking about 食物 in isolation, in larger compounds it can't seem to make up it's mind. :o

飲食物 (いんしょくぶつ) (n) food and drink;
主食物 (しゅしょくぶつ) (n) staple food; main article of diet;
食物 (しょくもつ) (n) food; foodstuff; (P);
食物アレルギー (しょくもつアレルギー) (n) food allergy;
食物繊維 (しょくもつせんい) (n) dietary fiber; dietary fibre;
食物油 (しょくぶつゆ) (n) vegetable oil;
食物連鎖 (しょくもつれんさ) (n) food cycle;
副食物 (ふくしょくぶつ) (n) side dish; supplementary food;

is this some form of euphonic change もつ -> ぶつ or are these seperate on-yumi imported during different time periods?
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RE: Confused with kanji?

Postby AJBryant » Sun 01.15.2006 12:44 pm

Gaijinian:
Maybe handwritten, tabemono could drop the kana. But try typing it in, and 食物 will not appear (but both 買物 and 飲物do).


While a useful tool, "computer input" isn't the best way of defining what is and what isn't acceptable in Japanese.

As for not having experience in Japan, you clearly have not read my speech, "日本滞在中のいろいろな経験." Although not a very long trip, I have been to Japan.


Hope you enjoyed it. I sure did. But "a trip" wouldn't expose you to as much as actually living there for years would. It is a simple statement of fact that I have seen 買物, 食物, and 飲物, and people seem to know to read them as "kaimono," "tabemono," and "nomimono." The first time I saw it, I remember being very annoyed that it "broke the rules" as I'd learned them -- but it's not my language, so I don't get to define which rules are unbreakable and which aren't. ;)

zengargoyle:
is this some form of euphonic change もつ -> ぶつ or are these seperate on-yumi imported during different time periods?


They're different on'yomi.
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