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hiragana

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RE: hiragana

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 11.21.2007 10:34 pm

Exactly -- you often see the claim that Japan has "three writing systems"; this is not actually true. There's only one writing system that is commonly used, and it's a mix of kanji, hiragana, katakana, and a small amount of romaji.
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RE: hiragana

Postby succubus » Thu 11.22.2007 1:54 am

chikara wrote:
If you are going to make the effort to learn Japanese you should learn hiragana, katakana and kanji.

Yeh, I did type something like that originally, but then I deleted it cuz it sounded mean. :P You worded it slightly better than I did though. :D
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RE: hiragana

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 11.26.2007 11:03 am

guitarplayer7694 wrote:
well the homophones(words that sound the same) are so far as i know easy to tell what they mean such as 4 and death both し but you are pretty much going to know wich the are talking about


there are so many more than that. look up ka in your dictionary one of these days.

without kanji, it's difficult at best to know what is being written, it's just not as easy as saying, let's just use hiragana.
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RE: hiragana

Postby ThePacster » Mon 11.26.2007 11:58 am

Homophones eh?

in romaji

niwa niwa niwa niwatori ga iru

hiragana

にわにはにわにわにわとりがいる

Kanji

庭には二羽鶏がいる
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RE: hiragana

Postby saraLynne » Mon 11.26.2007 12:20 pm

You hardly ever encounter that in real life.

How about this english limerick for comparison:

Two tutors who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two Tudors to toot
Said the two to the tutors,
"Is it better to toot or to tutor two Tudors to toot?" (Toot toot!)

I don't even know if the "Tudors" word is correct, since I had never actually seen it written out before. But the limerick exists in english, and couldn't be used for an argument to introduce pictographs to clarify English. :P

That said, I <3 kanji and would never want to see it go away. :)
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RE: hiragana

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 11.26.2007 3:19 pm

tudor is correct saralynne. well done. i haven't heard that limerick in quite some time.
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RE: hiragana

Postby Dehitay » Tue 11.27.2007 12:53 pm

saraLynne wrote:
You hardly ever encounter that in real life.

How about this english limerick for comparison:

Two tutors who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two Tudors to toot
Said the two to the tutors,
"Is it better to toot or to tutor two Tudors to toot?" (Toot toot!)

I don't even know if the "Tudors" word is correct, since I had never actually seen it written out before. But the limerick exists in english, and couldn't be used for an argument to introduce pictographs to clarify English. :P

That said, I <3 kanji and would never want to see it go away. :)


The pronunciation may be the same or similar, but the spelling of those words is different. Since it's easy to distinguish the words in this case, I wouldn't say it's any evidence of need for a pictograph system. If you want a reason for a pictograph system, take the following bad choice for a grammar question:

'content' is a
a) noun
b) verb
c) adjective
d) adverb
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RE: hiragana

Postby JaySee » Tue 11.27.2007 1:42 pm

I don't think I really understand why that would be a reason for a 'pictograph system'. I have never come across the word 'content' in a text where it wasn't sufficiently clear from the context what part of speech it was. (Also, if content is used as an adverb it would probably be contently)

In Japanese there are plenty of kanji words which can function as several different parts of speech, 実際 to name but a totally random example can be a noun, adjective and adverb.
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RE: hiragana

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 11.27.2007 5:28 pm

But you never have trouble telling which part of speech it is in a sentence.

There are almost no homonyms that cannot be distinguished from context. When I look up "set" in an English dictionary it has over 100 definitions; I guess that means we need a kanji for each one so they can be told apart.
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RE: hiragana

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 11.28.2007 12:07 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
There are almost no homonyms that cannot be distinguished from context.


あのくもはおおきいです。 :D

But I know what you mean. ;)
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RE: hiragana

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 11.28.2007 8:05 am

"Careful, the food is hot." :)
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RE: hiragana

Postby CajunCoder » Fri 11.30.2007 1:53 am

Heheh, nice examples.

Well, I would agree that there is no true advantage to having Kanji, but I think they en richen the language. Much would be lost in many place names, 熟語, puns, and the pure artistic value of the written language.

However, on the slightly practical side, I do find kanji to give good visual cues which make reading faster. They also can help you to remember vocabulary, or even on the rare occasion, understand a word you've never heard or seen before.

Thinking back on it, memorizing all of those Biology terms I had to do last semester might have been a lot easier if English had Kanji. Or, if I had a good understanding of Greek and Latin, perhaps.
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