Saturday, December 2, 2017

Kanji 漢字

The kanji 漢字 is one of the three Japanese "alphabets". Unlike the kana かな, the hiragana ひらがな and the katakana カタカナ, the kanji isn't actually a syllabic alphabet, but a collection of logograms, representing words, and ideograms, representing ideas and meanings.

Also unlike the kana, the way a kanji character is read may vary depending on the word. A single kanji character can have one reading, or it can have multiple. And the readings can even be classified as kun'yomi 訓読み readings or on'yomi 音読み readings.

The meaning of kanji and the reading of the kanji in kanji 漢字

Because of this, kanji is sometimes accompanied by furigana 振り仮名, which tells the proper reading of a kanji in a given word.

The parts of a kanji character are called "radical" and "components", and they sometimes hint the meaning or reading of the kanji.

There are thousands of kanji. Some of them are difficult to write or read. Because of this, sometimes words are written without kanji, or repeated kanji are expressed with the repetition kanji 々 instead.

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