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How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

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How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby flammable hippo » Sun 11.26.2006 9:00 pm

I think the subject is pretty self explanatory (so no need to be upset Tanuki). Anyway, if Japan decided to officially drop kana and kanji and switch over to romaji how would that make you feel (about the language, society, culture, etc)? Would this affect your desire to learn the language? Why or why not? Would the Japanese language loose its "coolness"?

For those of you who are native speakers or are already completely (or pretty much) literate/fluent in Japanese, how would you feel? Would you feel that you wound up learning all those kanji for nothing (well, not completely nothing since you can still read older texts, but thats not my point)?

Personally, I would hate it if that happened since the writing is one of the main things that makes Japanese well...Japanese. Without it, it might as well be European. Besides I think it might be pretty hard to read without kanji/kana though some people think otherwise. (This could be a part two question, which do you think is easier to read and comprehend, kanji/kana or romaji?)
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby Infidel » Sun 11.26.2006 9:04 pm

Well, for many people, learning to write Japanese was one of the primary motivators for learning it in the first place. Going roumaji would take most of the fun out of learning Japanese.
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby tanuki » Sun 11.26.2006 9:14 pm

Your title is OK, you just posted this in the wrong section. :D

Anyway, I would find the switch to rômaji terrible! About the "coolness", Japanese would completely lose its written coolness for me. What's cool about the Latin alphabet, which I've used non-stop for almost 20 years?

My main reason for learning Japanese is interest in the language, so it would definitely affect my desire to learn the language. It's just so nice to write kana, learn kanji...
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby clay » Sun 11.26.2006 9:20 pm

I think it would be difficult if not impossible since there are so many words with the same sound. Context can only go so far. It would be just as bad writing everything in hiragana. Kanji really does make things easier to understand.

I also like a healthy amount of kanji because it means I can comprehend the text quicker. I don't have to 'read' every sound out since I can just skim the meaning of the main kanji. Of course if I don't know the kanji, my comprehension and speed take a hit...
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby flammable hippo » Sun 11.26.2006 9:21 pm

tanuki wrote:
Your title is OK, you just posted this in the wrong section. :D


I didn't know where to put it so off topic seemed like a good place. :D

And learning kanji is definately one of the most fun parts of the language. They're just awesome.

Btw, how do you put that little mark onto your o's? lol.
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby tanuki » Sun 11.26.2006 9:23 pm

General Discussion
Anything about Japan or Japanese

Off Topic Discussion
Discuss anything not related to Japanese here.


Someone needs to be a tad bit more observative. ;)


EDIT: About the circumflex (the thingie on the ô). Well, I'm using a Spanish keyboard and Spanish keyboard configuration, which allows you to put acute accents, grave accents, tréma and circumflex accents to your vocals. áàâä
Last edited by tanuki on Sun 11.26.2006 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby flammable hippo » Sun 11.26.2006 9:25 pm

tanuki wrote:
General Discussion
Anything about Japan or Japanese

Off Topic Discussion
Discuss anything not related to Japanese here.


Someone needs to be a tad bit more observative. ;)


lol. I think I do. :D Oh well, at least I know for next time.
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby Matsumoto_hideto » Sun 11.26.2006 9:57 pm

Rediculous. Never going to happen.
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby kohyin » Sun 11.26.2006 10:00 pm

I'll be devastated.
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby flammable hippo » Sun 11.26.2006 10:04 pm

Matsumoto_hideto wrote:
Rediculous. Never going to happen.


I know, but this is purely hypothetical. Attempts at reform were posed twice in the past and both times they failed. I don't think they will try that again.

I'll be devastated


Me too.
Last edited by flammable hippo on Sun 11.26.2006 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby chikara » Sun 11.26.2006 10:09 pm

flammable hippo wrote:
...... Would the Japanese language loose its "coolness"?
......

The Japanese language is "cool"?

I always wondered why all of those middle aged business men I deal with are so intent on speaking it.

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without hypothetical situations?
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby zengargoyle » Sun 11.26.2006 10:23 pm

i like kanji because kanji is information dense... in normal font-size space, kanji is considered double-wide,double-high. so an 8 point roman font is a 16 point kanji as far as readability goes. to me, that means that each kanji is roughly equal to 4 roman characters. and 4 roman characters with 'cvcv' format is roughly 11,025 possible words. while there are less than 11,000 common kanji, i think that each kanji somehow manages to give more meaning than the 4 roman characters that would take the same space.

now, kana-wise, i think that if in the past some wise person had turned the Japanese system into a syllabic system instead of a syllabaric system that things would be much simpler...

but i still really enjoy the idea of kanji as ideogram versus the whole idea of language should just be phonetic...

on the other hand, the peoples of the Hawaii islands have a language that has fewer vowels/consonants than Japanese, and the same, or more homonyms, but they do just fine with a roman character/phonetic based writing system.... so in the end, the argument of homonyms doesn't really hold. as spoken language dictates, there is no need for for the complex kanji for the written language in order to preserve understanding. but still, it's really nice to have. :)
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby punkgrl326 » Sun 11.26.2006 10:33 pm

If Japanese went romaji, I think I would give up on learning the language. I mean, how would I be able to tell the difference between and correctly pronounce all those homonyms without the ever useful kanji and kana to back me up? Reminds me of re-learning english. So many failed spelling tests... :|
Last edited by punkgrl326 on Sun 11.26.2006 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby Matsumoto_hideto » Sun 11.26.2006 10:36 pm

waitwait

wouldnt that mean that all the time we spend learning japanese was a waste of time?

Or at least half of it...
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RE: How would you feel if Japanese switched to romaji?

Postby zengargoyle » Sun 11.26.2006 10:45 pm

chikara wrote:
I always wondered why all of those middle aged business men I deal with are so intent on speaking it.


you're middle aged business men are so enthralled because they are still remembering the Japanese *pownage* of the '70s and '80s.

so do i. my father was in the Steel Fabrication business and both hated the Japanese because they were killing our industry, and admired the Japanese because they could kill our industry so easily... :)

even in the early '90s, there was still a "OMG the Japanese!!!" mentality in the business world. i remember listening to 'books on tape' from my Corporate Overlords Library that extolled the Japanese Management Practices to make your company a lean, mean, profit machine.... and the 80's were full of movies and such about the Japanese buying up American companies and ruling them with an Iron-Fist to increase profit....

the whole "OMG they all do exercise every morning", or "They live for the company" type ideas were filtering into the American Business mindset. in the '70s and '80s, Japan was in a boom era and totally kicking America's *** in all things corporate.

the middle-aged businessmen still remember this and still want some... :)

there's still a downside to Japanese thinking (as far as my gaijin thinking takes me...). from what i know, you still have to sacrifice your soul to the company (or to the current idea of company in Japan) if you want to succeed. those people who finish college and want to take a year or so 'finding themselves' are forever stuck in the realm of what in the US we would think of a 'part-timers'. you either join the corporate world and follow all the rules and deal with the status-quo, or if you don't, you are just like a 'temp' worker who will never make it to the higher levels of management.

so there's an up and down side to the common Japanese workplace thinking.... you either tow-the-line and eek your way up the ladder, or you are nothing more than a 'temp' worker who gets nowhere...

(i may be wrong, thinking about foreign business without being *in* foreign business is fraught with difficulty.... but this is just the idea i get from reading blogs and such that are much more interested than i am about the Japanese business word. so i'm just taking their word as the truth of the matter... i have no personal knowledge of the Japanese business world :) ...
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