Questions here!!!

Do you have a translation question?
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Questions here!!!

Post by Tina » Fri 08.19.2005 6:51 pm

Anybody there want to talk? Like asking questions and sharing answers.
I kinda have a question to ask too... :D Im just a beginner, i know its stupid to post a thread like this but Im not really good at self study so to start a question i really hope you dont mind me asking...
"What is kanji and romanji?"

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RE: Questions here!!!

Post by Katana » Fri 08.19.2005 9:27 pm

I think its dialect...:|
Learning Japanese is hard, but it's really fun to learn something new!!!!

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RE: Questions here!!!

Post by Kates » Fri 08.19.2005 9:30 pm

Kanji are the characters that the Japanese use that originated in China. Typically one kanji represents one (or more) idea(s). Kanji can have from one to a dozen readings (or more?). I hear there are over 60,000 kanji in the world >_< but non-native Japanese learners are recommended to learn about 2,000 to feel comfortable with daily life in Japan. Japanese children learn about 1,000 kanji before junior high.

Some kanji:
日 (nichi) = sun
本 (hon) = tree/origin
日本 (nihon) = Japan (the 'origin of the sun')
語 (go) = word/language
日本語 (nihongo) = Japanese
私 (watashi) = I/me
愛 (ai) = love

Those 'fancy characters' are all kanji. The readings after them, in Roman letters, is romaji. (ROMAji, not ROMANji) Romaji is used for beginning non-native students (who use the alphabet) to know how to pronounce Japanese before they learn the Japanese syllabaries.

Which brings us to the other two forms of written Japanese you didn't mention: hiragana and katakana.
They are sometimes called the 'Japanese alphabets' but that isn't quite accurate since there are no letters. (hence, no 'alpha' 'beta' etc) They are syllabaries--symbols that represent a syllable. For example:

NIHON = Japan.... に=ni ほ=ho ん=n so: にほん=NIHON
That is hiragana. There are 46, and they always have the same reading. No meaning is attached to each, other than the sound. Hiragana were invented by the Japanese, and are not used in China.

Katakana are very similar. There are 46, and they too were invented in Japan. Katakana are used to write foreign words, sound effects, and sometimes used instead of hiragana or kanji to add emphasis to a word. It looks very similar to hiragana, but more angular.

AMERIKA = America ア=a メ=me リ=ri カ=ka ...アメリカ ^_^
(Nihon would be: ニホン in katakana, but it's usually written in kanji or hiragana.)

Boy... I hope that explained something. ^^;

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