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Old 06-04-2013, 03:20 AM
 
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Can someone break this down for me?

I've never quite understood it. To my knowledge, Japanese & Chinese (not sure if Korean is as well) are all based off the same Kanji characters.

How is that Japanese words are typically much longer and follow a certain pattern that is not found with Chinese? How are Asian languages translated in English letters in the first place?

When the characters are all completely different, I've always wondered how they are changed into English letters, while still retaining its meaning.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:31 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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the Chinese talk fast+loud (like they are about to fight you) and seem to enjoy it when other people can hear their voice, the Japanese are more shy about their English and talk slow+low volume.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:36 AM
 
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I have sort of noticed that...but how are they translated into English? Do they sound the same in English as they do using the characters?
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:12 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trancedout View Post
I have sort of noticed that...but how are they translated into English? Do they sound the same in English as they do using the characters?
The Chinese just yell what's on their mind and use every word they can think of,
in general the Japanese are more considerate of other peoples feeling and really seem to think more about their words before they say them.

I think the Japanese use more words to say the same thing, just more polite and trying harder to sound intelligent/sophisticated.
Where the Chinese just use 2 words and a exclamation mark in most sentences, the Japanese use at least 5 words plus a question mark.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:27 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,175,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trancedout View Post
Can someone break this down for me?

I've never quite understood it. To my knowledge, Japanese & Chinese (not sure if Korean is as well) are all based off the same Kanji characters.

How is that Japanese words are typically much longer and follow a certain pattern that is not found with Chinese? How are Asian languages translated in English letters in the first place?

When the characters are all completely different, I've always wondered how they are changed into English letters, while still retaining its meaning.
Japanese uses kanji characters, but they also have two other alphabets entirely. One of their alphabets it to accomodate their own grammar, which is completely and totally different from Chinese altogether. The other Japanese alphabet is used ONLY for foreign words. Kind of like a 'how to pronounce this in Japanese' alphabet.

In short, Japan has three entirely different writing systems, and kanji (the chinese characters) is just one of them. But, it's the completely different grammar altogether in Japan, which makes it so much more difficult. (Korean is basically the same grammar as Japan, but everything is written in the one Hangul Korean alphabet).

Regarding grammar, Chinese grammar is relatively similar to the English grammatical style. You can just sort of translate the same words more or less in the same parts of the sentence, and have it come out kind of close. In Japanese and Korean, the entire sentence structure is reversed and backwards and upside down seemingly from English.

Translating English in Japanese/Korean I have to reverse the order of my subjects, verbs, add on little classifiers all over the place, etc. I don't know Chinese, but heard its a similar grammar to English. So I want to say "I like ice cream", I can translate 'I', 'like', 'ice cream' and keep in the same sentence order, and it sounds right. In Japanese/Korean, the verb 'like' goes at the end, and I'd have to add some type of honorific depending who I'm speaking to. The honorific goes at the end of the sentence just after the verb. 'I' and 'ice cream' would need classifiers to designate which is the subject and which is the object. In short, it's much more complicated in Japanese/Korean than Chinese. You really have to think about it, when translating them into English, because the grammar is just so completely different from English & Chinese.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:08 AM
 
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I think OP means transliteration of characters? What needs to be understood is Chinese characters are different compared to most other writing systems as it is not a phonetic system, but rather the characters represent more the meaning of the word rather than the sound.

For example, the Chinese character for person or man is 人. In Mandarin Chinese, this is pronounced as and transliterated as rén (the acute accent represents a rising tone). In Japanese, the same character is borrowed to represent the same meaning as person/man. It can either be read as hito (originates from the native Japanese word of person) or jin (the sound of which is borrowed from Chinese as it was spoken around 1200 years ago) or nin.

You can think of Chinese characters as having somewhat similar usage as the "Arabic" numerals. 1 is read as "one" in English, "uno" in Spanish, etc. People may not be able to read it properly in other languages but they know what is meant when you show them the written form. The Chinese character of 1 is 一, transliterated as yī in Mandarin Chinese and transliterated as "ichi" (borrowed Chinese pronunciation in Japanese) or "hito" or some other pronunciations in Japanese. Japanese has notoriously many different pronunciations for the same Chinese character, depending on how it is used in the sentence or where the term has been borrowed from.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:32 AM
 
956 posts, read 1,547,281 times
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Doesn't Chinese also have honorifics? Some words like, nin(您), ba(巴), and qing(请)

Oh, and I know for sure age hiearchy ALWAYS matters A LOT in Korea, where if one is even only a year older than the other, the younger person has to be more polite to the older one. Is this also the case for Japan?
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,175,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
I think OP means transliteration of characters? What needs to be understood is Chinese characters are different compared to most other writing systems as it is not a phonetic system, but rather the characters represent more the meaning of the word rather than the sound.

For example, the Chinese character for person or man is 人. In Mandarin Chinese, this is pronounced as and transliterated as rén (the acute accent represents a rising tone). In Japanese, the same character is borrowed to represent the same meaning as person/man. It can either be read as hito (originates from the native Japanese word of person) or jin (the sound of which is borrowed from Chinese as it was spoken around 1200 years ago) or nin.

You can think of Chinese characters as having somewhat similar usage as the "Arabic" numerals. 1 is read as "one" in English, "uno" in Spanish, etc. People may not be able to read it properly in other languages but they know what is meant when you show them the written form. The Chinese character of 1 is 一, transliterated as yī in Mandarin Chinese and transliterated as "ichi" (borrowed Chinese pronunciation in Japanese) or "hito" or some other pronunciations in Japanese. Japanese has notoriously many different pronunciations for the same Chinese character, depending on how it is used in the sentence or where the term has been borrowed from.
One thing I've been curious about Chinese. Could someone learn to READ Chinese, and have no clue how to speak or comprehend it. I mean, is it possible to just study the characters, know the meaning 'in English', and more or less read/understand it based on that?

(I'm sure my question sounds crazy, but without knowing Chinese, I've long wondered that).
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:40 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,403,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
One thing I've been curious about Chinese. Could someone learn to READ Chinese, and have no clue how to speak or comprehend it. I mean, is it possible to just study the characters, know the meaning 'in English', and more or less read/understand it based on that?

(I'm sure my question sounds crazy, but without knowing Chinese, I've long wondered that).
Yes, of course. The Chinese characters can technically be used for any language, with a different word substituted for the meaning of the character or characters. That is how Japanese people as well as speakers of say Cantonese might be able to read Chinese but not speak Mandarin.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:44 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I know the Japanese language borrows half its vocabulary from Chinese, so I assume some if those words would be the same, but I some characters represent native Japanese words. This used to apply to Korean and Vietnamese too. Indeed I think the written and spoken languages of Chinese are two different things entirely.
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