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Should Japan Abolish Kanji?

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Do you think kanji should be abolished ?

  • Yes (kanji make it difficullt to read and write Japanese)

    Votes: 46 13.2%
  • No (kanji are useful and fun to learn)

    Votes: 268 77.0%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 34 9.8%

  • Total voters
    348

Mataeka

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That's a myth littered on the internet by some dumbass people promote closeness of Japanese & Korean in all imaginable ways.

Glad I dont believe everything I see on the net ... I was actually told this by my Japanese teacher at University. And I'm not saying it easy - hell learning Japanese isnt easy, BUT once you've learnt all the nuances with the grammar (my least favourite point of Japanese and the part I'm most likely to fail on forever) you can apparently learn Korean which is similar in grammatical nature to Japanese easier.

It's on the same line as learning any language which latin/greek roots - When I, as a native english speaker with only 6 months experience learning Spanish, listen to some European languages I get a rough idea of what they're talking about because the words are similar because they all descended from the same places.
 

Aino

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I was actually told this by my Japanese teacher at University. And I'm not saying it easy - hell learning Japanese isnt easy, BUT once you've learnt all the nuances with the grammar (my least favourite point of Japanese and the part I'm most likely to fail on forever) you can apparently learn Korean which is similar in grammatical nature to Japanese easier.


Same analogy can apply to Chinese studying Japanese ~ it's easier for them to comprehend *reading and writing because of Kanji is an integral part of the language.A Japanese acquaintance told me that the Chinese may not excel in perfect pronunciation but they can definitely fair well above Koreans in proficiency of Japanese in those *2 areas.
 

Ichigokun

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I think Japanese shouldn't abolish Kanji because it's simply that, tourists who go to Japan from China, Korea, Vietnam and all the other overseas Chinese who go to Japan basically can understand the sentences even though they don't learn Japanese.

Like me, although I'm from Singapore, my mother tongue is Chinese because my ancestors are from China. When I go to Japan, it is much easier for me with Kanji around in Japan. But sometimes, since my mother tongue is Chinese it is harder for me to learn Japanese kanji.

Whenever I see a kanji word, my Chinese Hanzi pronunciational instincts kick in and I won't think of the Kanji pronunciation. :D
 

thepie

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Just to correct, I'm a Vietnamese and we stopped using Kanji 80 years ago. So did Korea 20 years ago. The young generation of Korean does learn much Kanji either (I lived in Korea for four years).

But without Kanji, I find it hard to read Japanese text. Hiragana and Katakana doesn't provide visual cues for skimming; they are very inefficient for fast-reading. So Kanji is absolutely needed. Korean used kanji before, but they have a (I guess the most) scientific writing system (in the world), so reading is fast. Though without Kanji some words will not be able to retain its original meaning. I have this experience since Vietnamese also contain many sino words, and after learning Kanji I realized I misunderstood many of the words' orginal meanings.
 

Ichigokun

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I find that Vietnamese words have many words alike Chinese. So I can roughly understand Vietnamese though I have never learnt it :D
Anyway, Kanji is Hanzi for Japanese. Hanzi is Kanji in Chinese. HanJa is kanji in Korean. What do they call Kanji in Vietnam?
 

thepie

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I find that Vietnamese words have many words alike Chinese. So I can roughly understand Vietnamese though I have never learnt it :D
Anyway, Kanji is Hanzi for Japanese. Hanzi is Kanji in Chinese. HanJa is kanji in Korean. What do they call Kanji in Vietnam?
We have about 70% of our vocabulary from Chinese, but many of them lost the original meanings already. The only thing retained is pronunciation, some words have altered meaning from the original (sometimes it makes me confused when learning Japanese). We call Chinese writing Hán Tự - the pronunciation is probably close to Cantonese's one.
 

Ichigokun

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We have about 70% of our vocabulary from Chinese, but many of them lost the original meanings already. The only thing retained is pronunciation, some words have altered meaning from the original (sometimes it makes me confused when learning Japanese). We call Chinese writing Hán Tự - the pronunciation is probably close to Cantonese's one.

Hmm.. I suppose so. After all quite a number of people mix up Vietnamese with Cantonese. 😊
 

Boris M

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I must say something about Serbian, do you know how we solved our problem with writing? In the most simple and probably the bast way. We write phonetically.

Azbuka in Cyrillic or Abeceda in Latin Alphabet both have 30 letters. We speak how we read, and we read how we speak.

For example, if you want to write the word "book" (although it's an English word I'll use it, the Serbian word for "book" is "knjiga" which is read like "knyga") you will write it "buk" because you will pronounce it b-u-k.

We have letters that English alphabet doesn't have: nj, lj, č, ć, đ, ž, š and dž. So if you want to write something long like "pronunciation" you will write it "pronansiejšn", "š" is actually sh.

So there is no spelling in Serbian or learning to write, you only need 30 letters and you need to know the word you want to write. That is it.
 

phatrat1982

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I am just starting out, just completed my first semester of study at my university and I only learned 15 Kanji and I was so excited to finally learn the ones I did I even though I only learned a few I use them as much as I can instead of those annoyingly redundant kana.
 

heboya

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In Japan, "kanji, hiragana, abolitionist," that is.
They say. "The complexity of the Japanese and international competitiveness has dropped," and.

However, that language is "not die instead of" cultural
"The changing political force" in it should not.
 

Chansu

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漢字 is what makes Japanese exciting and interesting to learn in my opinion. So no, it shouldn't be abolished.
 

Mike Cash

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I am just starting out, just completed my first semester of study at my university and I only learned 15 Kanji and I was so excited to finally learn the ones I did I even though I only learned a few I use them as much as I can instead of those annoyingly redundant kana.

At university did they also teach you about run-on sentences?
 

phatrat1982

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At university did they also teach you about run-on sentences?

Well as a matter of fact, know-it-all dumb *** grammar natzi's like you always correct people over stupid little things. Is it so god damn hard for your tiny little brain to READ a sentence on a DISCUSSION forum as in an INFORMAL discussion so hard? Seriously I hate *** holes like you YOUR the ******* retards that make me hate hate the god internet and your dumb *** loser ******* retard have to correct everybody. Anyways thanks to your IGNORANT ******* retard comment I will NEVER return to this website again I hope you are happy withyour self because you NEED commas to read? honestly if you were in PUBLIC , of **** it there is no NEED to waste more time explaining ANYTHING to an ******* retard like you go to hell and **** off and suck a dick and DIE retard faggot piece of **** know nothing **** face. Good bye.
 

nameless

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annoyingly redundant kana
Ever considered learning Chinese?

retard faggot piece of **** know nothing **** face. Good bye.
For a 29- or 30-year old (phatrat1982) you still take the Internet pretty damn seriously.


More on topic, what's the Japanese equivalent to Hangul supremacy/superiority?
A friend from Korea recently gave me a sales pitch about it.
 

visser300

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Well as a matter of fact, know-it-all dumb *** grammar natzi's like you always correct people over stupid little things. Is it so god damn hard for your tiny little brain to READ a sentence on a DISCUSSION forum as in an INFORMAL discussion so hard? Seriously I hate *** holes like you YOUR the ******* retards that make me hate hate the god internet and your dumb *** loser ******* retard have to correct everybody. Anyways thanks to your IGNORANT ******* retard comment I will NEVER return to this website again I hope you are happy withyour self because you NEED commas to read? honestly if you were in PUBLIC , of **** it there is no NEED to waste more time explaining ANYTHING to an ******* retard like you go to hell and **** off and suck a dick and DIE retard faggot piece of **** know nothing **** face. Good bye.

This guy is hillarious :D
 

nekojita

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@nameless: if you are interested in arguments by native speakers about the abolishment of kanji, look for 漢字廃止論
There is a split between those who want to use a kana-based system (I guess close to hangul supporters) and those who want to switch entirely to romaji.
e.g. there are quite a few articles here:
カナモジカイ
 
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It would not make sense this is because of these top 3 reasons:
1. "Hi", which means Fire, flame, sun, spoon, and other nouns and verbs, creates confusion unless it is read in context. English and other languages do not have as many definitions that are confusing as Japanese would be.
2. Diphthongs and other aspirated or accented words would be have to be added in order to
3. Tradition would be broken and this law would never fully get rid of Japanese Kanji and would only make translation "easier" for Roman, Latin and some Greek derived languages to pass standardized tests.
It's important to understand why this law is even being talked about being passed, or even suggested. Sounds like Super-Elite Europeans are attempting to dumb-down Japanese society.

---------- Post added at 19:29 ---------- Previous post was at 19:27 ----------

This guy is hillarious :D


Ouchies. That may make you think twice b4 correcting anyone. Dude I'm no teacher, I correct no one. I just hope that he can't track you down in China if that is where you really live. Kinda funny how angry nerds get PO'd because of that. I never got that pissed off online. Seems like he needs to get laid, or relieve some stress by working out. By the way, this is my second night and second post here. Correct me if you can, I won't get mad. 👍
 

Mike Cash

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I didn't even correct him; I only asked a simple question.

In a bid to be on topic: the thought of a kanji-less Japan is, on a personal level, mildly terrifying.
 

Grinning Studio

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I couldn't imagine reading Japanese in only Kana. How would you know what the meanings of the words are? Well, some phrases would be easy to understand, but it would be too easy for me, because I am a simple man with simple thought processes, to misunderstand the meaning of words. I don't know anyone that speaks Japanese like it is written in normal conversation. Maybe because my reading level is so incredibly low that this looks like a difficult idea to pull off.
 

nice gaijin

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I'd prefer humanity to evolve to understand greater complexity than set the bar low and leave it there. Should a language dumb itself down so it can be learned by more people? I'd argue that the cons outweigh the pros.

Indeed, not many people get very excited about kanji, but I think that's a failure in education, rather than a fault of the language that needs to be rectified. As an example, I think that Hangul is a brilliant phonetic script, but just because Chinese characters (Hanja, as they're called in Korea) are all but gone from most facets of Korean daily life, that doesn't negate the fact that almost 70 percent of the vocabulary comes from Chinese, and ignorance of those characters leads to all kinds of problems. In fact, it's lead to a vicious cycle of ignorance and wasted effort:

  • The Korean education system requires students to intensely study almost as many Hanja as Japanese students>>
  • Hanja have all but disappeared from common use>>
  • Because of this, Korean students don't see any point in studying Hanja>>
  • But neglecting Hanja hinders their understanding of their own language>>
  • And so the Korean education system requires them to study hanja... and we're back to the top of this list.

The usefulness and importance of Hanja aren't impressed on young Koreans, so I have yet to meet one who actually LIKES studying it. The drill-to-death approach to education (and by education, I mean test-preparation) fails to inspire any passion or greater understanding in students, which means we have a whole lot of knowledge and not much wisdom floating around.

That's a greater issue than whether or not they use Hanja, but Korea is a great example of how eliminating Chinese characters from common use has succeeded only in increasing literacy rates, and has not actually lightened the workload on students. On the contrary, it has increased their burden AND removed the motivation of necessity from their education, ensuring their contempt of Chinese characters instead of interest therein.
 
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