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Posted: 2005-01-10, 21:32
by Stan
Hello I have a question, do you think Chinese or Japanese is more difficult? Is Japanese the easier one?

Re: Kotoshimo yoroshikune.

Posted: 2005-01-11, 7:47
by Kubi
kei wrote:新年明けましておめでとうございます。 :partyhat:



私は普通に抱負を何週間後で忘れますから、今年の抱負は、抱負がしないのでした。 :wink:

Posted: 2005-01-15, 0:01
by Rounin
That depends. Japanese probably has the more complex grammar and writing system, whereas Chinese has a lot more hànzì signs and more complex tones. It all depends on what you find difficult.

Posted: 2005-01-18, 10:21
by Axystos
I’m having some problems with the on’yomi and the kun’yomi of Japanese kanji. I read the wiki site on this subject and they say that, basically, on’yomi is used for kanji that are part of two or more kanji that make one word and kun’yomi is used for kanji that appear on it’s own (not regarding exceptions).

Now my question is: if I’d want to learn the Japanese word for ‘hand’ (you know, the thing with the fingers), my dictionary tells me the kanji is 手, the on’yomi is ‘shu’ and the kun’yomi is ‘te’. According to the paragraph above, this kanji alone should be ‘te’. Would you advise to learn the translation of ‘hand’ (i.e. 手 + pronunciation ‘te’) or both readings of 手 + the fact that ‘te’ means hand?

Other example: the word ‘country’. Kanji: 国, on’yomi is koku, kun’yomi is kuni. Should I learn only ‘kuni’ for this kanji, or both readings? Personally, I would guess that learning only the kun’yomi would suffice, if I want to know the translation of ‘country’. And since on’yomi is used in kanji combinations, I’d encounter them some other time, and I’d learn them when that time comes.

What do you think?


Posted: 2005-01-18, 11:54
by Kubi
Axystos wrote:And since on’yomi is used in kanji combinations, I’d encounter them some other time, and I’d learn them when that time comes.

I think this is the essential point in your question. If you learn the on'yomi when they appear in a jukugo, that's fine, and you can stick with the kun'yomi for the isolated kanji. But if you want to be able to pronounce new jukugo correctly based on your knowledge of the kanji they're composed of, you'll need to learn the on'yomi together with the isolated kanji.
In general the first approach will be sufficient, also because some kanji can have quite a number of different on'yomi so that you'll have to learn them seperately for every jukugo anyway.

Posted: 2005-01-18, 14:44
by BobMaster0
I would learn by readings without question. I think that if you're going to learn kanji then there's no reason not to learn all the readings in current use for each character. Also, to take your example, just knowing "kuni" for country is not enough. Much of the time this character occurs in compounds as "koku". Also, once you get to a certain point, there will be increasingly more times when you hear a new word and you are able to infer the meaning and attach two characters to it.
Now, it is true though that you'll have to learn a lot of compounds individually. You'll see it written a lot of places that the on yomi is used for compounds and the kun yomi for the individual word, but in many cases that doesn't accurately describe the situation. However, Japanese morphology (and when which reading is used) slowly begins to reveal and self after awhile, but for some characters it's difficult to know which reading to use without already knowing the compound in question. Then again, the majority of compounds are on-on compounds. The one's that will be confusing are the remainder, namely on-kun, kun-on, and kun-kun.

Posted: 2005-01-18, 15:25
by schalke81
Exactly, where the kanji for country is read as "kuni", koku is also necessary to learn, as for example , with the word "foreigners", the kanji are read as "gai-KOKU-jin"...therefor it is important to learn all the reading of each kanji.

Posted: 2005-01-18, 15:31
by Kubi
Of course in the end you need to know all the readings. But Axystos says he'll learn the on'yomi when he encounters the jukugo. In that case, the first time he encounters a word like 外国人, he'll learn the readings "gai" for 外, "koku" for 国, and "jin" for 人. But when he learns only the kanji 国 on its own, he'd in this case be ok by learning only the reading "kuni", as that is the reading of this character when it stands on its own.
I don't think our opinions are that different, we're probably saying the same from different perspectives :)

Posted: 2005-01-18, 15:39
by Rounin
If I had to pick one single change I wanted to see in the Japanese language, it would be the immediate and complete removal of the kunyomi system. One thing is using it in dictionaries to show the etymology of words and to distinguish homonyms, but to a foreign student of the language, at least, it just seems to introduce extra difficulty. It just seems to introduce such a level of irregularity and guesswork to the decoding of a Japanese sentence that it's not even worth the few benefits it has.

The Koreans, by the way, use Chinese ideographs only for writing Chinese words, and then only rarely. I think the Japanese could easily do away with the kunyomi readings (Except for name readings, of course - It wouldn't be nice to mangle people's names), and it would make the Japanese language magnitudes easier.

Posted: 2005-01-18, 15:46
by Kubi
What do you mean by "removal of the kun'yomi system"? The kanji stand for Japanese words with that pronunciation. Abolishing all the kun'yomi would mean to abolish all the underlying words, and I can't imagine that's what you want...

Posted: 2005-01-18, 16:05
by Rounin
In the same way removing a man's hat would mean removing the man?

Compare these three versions of "Today, I took a picture.":



きょう は 写真 を とった。

As you can see, there's no need to use kunyomi, as in example number one. We could also completely remove all kanji, writing Chinese-derived words with either Katakana or Hiragana:



This would probably "not be a chess move", as one would say in Norway. :lol: But some common Chinese-derived words, for instance 拉麺, are already usually written in this manner.

Posted: 2005-01-19, 17:40
by BobMaster0
The problem with doing this is that it strips the words of their meaning. While it is true that the are many native Japanese words that not longer use the characters for them any more, I feel like changing words like 今日 to hiragana would be a step backwards. Furthermore, taking a kanji-derived word such as 写真 seems to me an even more radical change. The characters' individual meanings do so much that kana alone can't. I would argue that reading a mixed-script text is faster and much more effecient than trying to read anything written primarily with kana. Having those characters also makes it much easier to acquire new vocabulary.

Posted: 2005-01-19, 22:07
by Axystos
After having read your messages, I have decided to learn the on'yomi when I encounter them in kanji combinations, and otherwise just the kun'yomi. I thank you all for your replies.


Posted: 2005-01-20, 12:45
by Kubi
BobMaster0 wrote:I would argue that reading a mixed-script text is faster and much more effecient than trying to read anything written primarily with kana.

I second that. It's a real pain to try and read a completely hiragana-written text, I've done that, and it took me much longer than reading a "normal" one as long as I knew most kanji.
And Rounin, what you do in your examples, is NOT removing the kun'yomi, but remove the KANJI of the words read in kun'yomi. That's a difference!

Posted: 2005-01-27, 12:54
by Rounin
That's exactly what I suggested. You're the one who got the idea that I wanted to remove the readings and not the signs.

Posted: 2005-01-31, 8:49
by Kubi
What else should I have read from this sentence:

Rounin wrote:I think the Japanese could easily do away with the kunyomi readings [...], and it would make the Japanese language magnitudes easier.

Anyway, I would prefer them to make a clearer distinction of kanji or kana according to word classes. For instance, write nouns, adjectives and verbs (that is, the stems) in kanji, and the rest in kana, or so. It is like that by and large, but could be more structured :) On the other hand, it's also the irregularities that make languages interesting :wink:


Posted: 2005-01-31, 14:02
by Brazilian dude
今日は、撲も日本語を少し話す。一年間習んでいる。800 漢字を覚えました。すごいですね!

Brazilian dude

Excellent sites

Posted: 2005-01-31, 14:05
by Brazilian dude

Posted: 2005-01-31, 20:38
by Rounin

Posted: 2005-02-22, 21:57
by gingekerr
EXERCISE 9: Join these two sentences together with ga and then translate into English:

1) Watashi wa machimashita ga kare wa kimasen deshita.
I waited but he didn't come.

2) Kinō gakusei wa Furansugo o benkyō shimashita ga kyō daigaku e ikimasen deshita.
Yesterday the student studied French but today he does not go to university.

3) Haha Chūgokugo o hanashimashita ga kakimasen deshita.
My mother speaks Chinese but she does not write it.

4) Ima hon o yomitai desu ga tomodachi wa yomimasu.
I want to read a book in the living room but my friends are reading.

5) Inu wa neko o mimashita ga neko wa inu o mimasen deshita.
The dog has seen the cat but the cat has not seen the dog.