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Is it possible to create your own word/vocabulary using the Kanji characters?

Muz1234

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For example 人問, which is not found in a Japanese dictionary, and I create this myself. How many Japanese words/vocabularies are there in a typical Japanese dictionary? The words/vocabularies were borrowed from Chinese, right?
 

Majestic

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Muz1234, do you ever reply or say "thank you" to the many people who have spent time replying to your many unusual posts?
 

mdchachi

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For example 人問, which is not found in a Japanese dictionary, and I create this myself. How many Japanese words/vocabularies are there in a typical Japanese dictionary? The words/vocabularies were borrowed from Chinese, right?
Yes, you can freely create your own words. Just as I can make up a word such as BAHGUTA (which means nothing as far as I know). But the question is why would you do so?

Typical, comprehensive Japanese dictionary will contain about 70,000 "words." A dictionary such as Kojien which tries to include all words including rare and obsolete will have over 200,000.

The writing system was borrowed and many words were borrowed, it's true. But the Japanese were speaking long before they were exposed to China. Even the borrowed words have evolved into something quite different than Chinese. A borrowed word would not be recognized by most Chinese when spoken even if the characters used to write it or are exactly the same.
 

Julie.chan

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I can think of tons and tons of Japanese words that have (so far as I know) nothing whatsoever to do with Chinese. There are several classes of kanji use in Japanese; some are compounds based on on'yomi, sure, but some are just kanji thrown in for the way they sound, and some are traditional Japanese words with the same meaning as the kanji.

You need to understand kanji is just another writing system. A lot of people in the West fail to recognize this and instead end up believing that kanji are "works of art" or some such thing, or that it is used in some specialized way or has some kind of special properties. But the simple fact of the matter is that this:

七面鳥

...is just how you spell "turkey". There's nothing more to it.

When you understand this basic fact, it's obvious why you would never want to "create your own word" from kanji, just like you wouldn't want to "create your own word" from Latin script. The most you might want to do is create a name for something in a fictional work, which of course you can do with kanji just like you can do it with Latin script, for instance.
 

mdchachi

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When you understand this basic fact, it's obvious why you would never want to "create your own word" from kanji, just like you wouldn't want to "create your own word" from Latin script.
Unless you're a marketer. Even today the word Fahrvergnugen comes unbidden to my mind even though it's a made up German word used in English campaigns.
 

Psea206

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You can always make up words in a language. Whether the word sounds like a real word to a native speaker, whether the word invokes the idea you want to invoke, whether it sounds stupid or clever or just like a mistake, may be hard for you to judge if you don’t have a really good grasp of the language in the first place.

Even native speakers don’t always do a good job. Look at all the business names based on puns or intentional misspellings or portmanteaus, and see how few of them actually sound good.

But I think the urge to be creative in a new language is a really good thing. Have fun with it.
 
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Simon V

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When I work in nature conservation I use the nickname 野番人 which sounds the same as "barbarian" 野蛮人, (since I'm not Japanese) while showing that I'm a 番人 (guard, watchman/caretaker) for wildlife (野生).
 
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