How many simplified Chinese Hanzi are used directly without alterations in Japanese?
Thread poster: trademe900
Feb 29, 2008

Some very broad questions that i can not seem to arrive at any satisfactory answer for myself:

Am i right in saying nearly all basic Kanji is exactly the same as simplified Chinese Hanzi? At least all the basic Hanzi i know are exactly the same... woman, field, water, fire etc etc etc. I have heard people say they use exactly the same as traditional characters, some say they use their own, slightly different to traditional and simplified- yet from what i have seen they are exactly the same as simplified.

How many Kanji are exact Chinese traditional/simplified characters, how many are particular to Japanese?

I am aware that after the war, the Japanese took some simplifying measures as the Chinese did, but are these methods of simplification different?

Basically, what i am trying to conclude is- if one knows simplified Chinese Hanzi, could they employ all the hangzi they know in writing kanji without alterations? Is that formally acceptable if so?

Given this, i take it if you know Hanzi you are ahead with learning Japanese, not hindering it?

Thank you in advance for clearing this up!

[Edited at 2008-02-29 08:50]

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Angus Woo
Local time: 10:51
Chinese to English
+ ...
No Mar 1, 2008

Simplified Chinese and Kanji can not be exactly the same, though many of the characters do look similar. S Chinese actually only appeared in the last century, before that, the Chinese writing system was the traditional one. There is no way that the Japanese could learn S Chinese before Meiji time, for S Chinese didn't even exist then.

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Nadja Balogh  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:51
Member (2007)
Japanese to German
+ ...
Yes and no Mar 1, 2008

I studied Japanese and later a little bit of Chinese (with simplified characters), and I must tell you that the simplification approach seems to be quite different and goes much further than Japanese ever did. As far as their degree of simplification goes, Japanese characters could, to put it simply, be placed somewhere between the traditional and the simplified Chinese.

I don't think that studying one of those languages gives you much of a headstart for the other as far as a direct application of the characters goes. Sure, there are lots of similarities, but also so many differences that they kind of cancel each other out - especially on the beginner's level.

It also depends on how well you know Chinese at the point you take up Japanese. I noticed that most Chinese students didn't have any difficulty with the Japanese style characters because they were so familiar with Chinese (based) characters in general that it was easy for them get a quick overview, so to speak. On the other hand, people who learned both languages at the same time were complaining quite a bit because they were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of characters they were supposed to learn, and of course they ended up mixing up the writing styles etc.

I hope this answer is somewhat helpful...

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How many simplified Chinese Hanzi are used directly without alterations in Japanese?

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