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Learning Kanji

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後輩
3 Feb 2003
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Hi!

I am using a book called Essential 2000 Kanji
It is really good, I am learning 8 new kanjis a day.

Jonas
 
What sort of japanese are you starting from? And how does the book work? (Just shows kanji, has like problems and things to work thru etc)
 
me too! The way I am learning isn't too effective. I use the NJstar thingy. And it just doesn't work very well.
 
Kanji really is a confusing characters, a character got few different pronunciation...really unbearable, not like Hanzi~
 
emperor said:
Kanji really is a confusing characters, a character got few different pronunciation...really unbearable, not like Hanzi~
I've a question to Chinese ppl (or Chinese speakers).

Kanji(漢字 - the 字s of 漢.) imported to Japan at the time of 漢 Dynasty, so we call them Kanji. But Kanjis themselves were created before 漢 Dynasty(maybe 夏,商[殷] or周 Dynasty). And after 漢 Dynasty, there're some important innovations/creations about Kanji(eg. 干禄字書 by顔元孫 in 唐 Dynasty, 康煕字典 by康煕帝 in 清 Dynasty).

So I think 夏字(or殷字,周字.)is more suitable name than 漢字(Hanzi), and 唐字(or清字.) is as suitable name as Hanzi for you Chinese. Why do you call them Hanzi?
 
Oh no~ Troublesome question ariving~
Hanzi is 'chinese characters' in english. In Chinese region ( Mainland, HK, Taiwan ) and oversea chinese community, Ethnic Hans 漢人 is a majority, roughly 93% in chinese, so chinese characters call 'Han characters'...not mongolian characters or manchurian characters...and then, why Ethnic Hans called 'ethnic hans'? not 'Xias', 'Shangs', 'Tangs'?
Because Han dynasty is the first longtime (425 years) unified nation, (the first unified dynasty--Qin dynasty only last for 15 years, pity...) so the people who live in Han dynasty region are called 'Hans'... then, the descendant of Han, still remain their ethnical name to 'Han'... Mostly, Hans is refer to the people who stay in centre of China~~~ I am not professional historian, if anywrong, please correct...
 
Current Japanese kanji is based on the characters defined in the KangXi ZiDian dictionary of 1716 (with Japanese-local characters such as 辻, 畑, 峠 and so forth,) then simplified by the government in 1949.
 
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emperor said:
and then, why Ethnic Hans called 'ethnic hans'? not 'Xias', 'Shangs', 'Tangs'?
Because Han dynasty is the first longtime (425 years) unified nation, (the first unified dynasty--Qin dynasty only last for 15 years, pity...) so the people who live in Han dynasty region are called 'Hans'... then, the descendant of Han, still remain their ethnical name to 'Han'...

It's funny. I had heard before that Chinese people didn't have a word to call themselves. Probably didn't occur to them as they believed for so long that they were at the center of the world (中国 "chungkuo" means "central country", as if they only had contact with neighouring countries and knew nothing about other continents) and all non Chinese were just barbarians or 外国人 ("gaikuoren"). Same mentality as Japanese regarding the 内 "uchi" and 外 "soto". Either from inside the country, or from outside. A bit simplistic nowadays though.

It's interesting to see that the word "China" derives from the name of the very first dynasty, the "Qin" (秦 221窶?06 B.C), just before the "Han". The first mythical emperor of China was called "Qin Shi Huang Di" (秦始皇帝, which means "first emperor of "Qin"). I am just wondering why and how Europeans (probably only through Marco Polo in the 13-14th c.) have come to used "Qin" instead of "Han", if Chinese already called themselves "Han" at that time.

Anyhow, naming a country's people after a 2000 years old dynasty or empire is unheard of in Europe. It's like if ethnic Europeans were called the Romans or something.
 
In my view, 'China' isn't a Chinese term, 'China' this word actually is refer to earthware, pottery and same kind of chinaware in the previous time. So, those 'chinas' exported to European continental, they liked those material, i meant 'china'.... Those europeans ask the arabic traders, "Where those came from?" They get nothing, so they named, the place which producted chinaware, 'China'...
Some who stay in Rome called theyselves 'Roman'.... 😄
 
I don't think so that Qin Shi Huangdi is a mythical emperor, if he was mytical, where his grand tomb and terracotta army came from?
 
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I very highly recommend a book called "Read Japanese Today", if you are starting to learn kanji or as a supplement if you are already well on your way. It explains the origins and derivations of the characters, which makes them much easier to remember IMHO. If you like it then you can continue on with 2001 Kanji by De Roo, but that book is only available at bonjinsha.com since it does not have an ISBN number.
 
One thing I'm curious about related to the history of Chinese charecters in Japan. I've noticed that the same characters are often written differently in Japanese than they are in Chinese. I was wondering if its the case that the Japanese altered the way of writing certain characters? Or is it the Chinese who changed the way of writing them and the charecters in use in Japan are older versions of the Chinese ones.
 
Both the PRC and Japan simplified some characters after WW2, although some simplifications were different. Even though Taiwan and Hong Kong still use the original traditional forms, their characters there have still been simplified since Kangxi. Simplifications have been going on since the characters were invented. Another difference is that apparently Chinese people like fonts that look handwritten, while the Japanese like fonts that are printed.

As for the Han question, I think that there was actually a region or at least some kind of landmark called Han (river?), and actually the first emperor of Han, Liu Bang, called himself king of Han before he seized full power. Then his dynasty made such an impression that the people knew themselves as Han, I guess. Other names for the Chinese include Xia and Hua.

Also Qin Shihuangdi Ying Zheng wasn't mythical at all, the mythical one is Huang Di (Yellow emperor), whose reign I believe is what starts the Chinese calendar (some 4700+ years?).
 
Yes, yes, i strongly agree with you, Mr. Trans....
....Also, Liu Bang not called himself first as King Han, i think that is Xiang Yu give Liu Bang the area of Han and then named him one, then Liu remained the 'Han' after he overtaken the Chu reign....probably~~ 😄
Han empire really was a impressive dynasty in the history. 🍾
 
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