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 Post subject: Kanji meanings in kana instead of english?
PostPosted: Fri 26 Jul 2013, 16:35 

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Wouldn't it make more sense to have the meanings of the kanji in kana rather than english? Or have an option to switch between the two?


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 Post subject: Re: Kanji meanings in kana instead of english?
PostPosted: Thu 30 Oct 2014, 11:00 

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That would not have much sense because a kanji alone is not a word most of the time and only an actual word (with meaning) could be written in kana. Understand that a kanji "meaning" is etymological information, not an actual translation.

Let's take an exemple 空. This character can be used standalone to mean empty or sky and then written in kana (から、そら), but this character also has the meaning of vacant that do not occur in Japanese with the character alone: like in 空室 (くうしつ) for an empty room or 空空 (くうくう) for the word vacant.

Thus, writing the meaning of a kanji in kana would restrict you to the limited meaning of this kanji *when used standalone* and you would loose the other meanings which only appear when said kanji is part of word.

When you'll go up in the jouyou, you will discover many characters that are never used standalone and only spoken in words made with other characters or at least some okurigana.


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