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Old 11-01-2014, 03:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeurich View Post
Japanese and Chinese they do basically have same script but they are two different languages. But if some one learned far further kanji there is a big possibility to understand Chinese language well. I know because I do.
You would have to not only learn a lot of extra kanji, but study Chinese syntax and learn a lot of idioms. I know about 3000 kanji (in Japanese). I can make out single words and sometimes very short and simple Chinese sentences. This, for instance, I can read by using my knowledge of Japanese: 我要看医生 "I need a doctor."

This I can not read: 那 张 沙发 坐 起来 很 舒服 "That sofa is very comfortable to sit on." I can see the word "sit," and some characters that mean get up, come, and clothes in Japanese, but the whole sentence is utterly unreadable to me.
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Old 11-01-2014, 04:00 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,192,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
You would have to not only learn a lot of extra kanji, but study Chinese syntax and learn a lot of idioms. I know about 3000 kanji (in Japanese). I can make out single words and sometimes very short and simple Chinese sentences. This, for instance, I can read by using my knowledge of Japanese: 我要看医生 "I need a doctor."

This I can not read: 那 张 沙发 坐 起来 很 舒服 "That sofa is very comfortable to sit on." I can see the word "sit," and some characters that mean get up, come, and clothes in Japanese, but the whole sentence is utterly unreadable to me.
Yep that's why I said that's the first time I've heard such a claim, cause my native speaker Japanese and Chinese friends certainly don't share that opinion. It's like me, as a native speaker of Spanish, trying to read Latin. Latin is the source language of Spanish, but Spanish has diverged far enough from Latin that I can only understand 15% of the language. That's also assuming the words I do recognize also mean then the same thing in Spanish. Take my hot water and soup characters as an example
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:36 AM
 
117 posts, read 64,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
You would have to not only learn a lot of extra kanji, but study Chinese syntax and learn a lot of idioms. I know about 3000 kanji (in Japanese). I can make out single words and sometimes very short and simple Chinese sentences. This, for instance, I can read by using my knowledge of Japanese: 我要看医生 "I need a doctor."

This I can not read: 那 张 沙发 坐 起来 很 舒服 "That sofa is very comfortable to sit on." I can see the word "sit," and some characters that mean get up, come, and clothes in Japanese, but the whole sentence is utterly unreadable to me.
Chinese language mostly is about grasping contextual meaning logically. From what I understand, they don't really care about grammars that much. Maybe in Japanese you have to follow grammar rules to make senses of the sentences. In Chinese, you don't really need to follow grammar rules. If you twist those sentences in many dozen different ways, Chinese will understand it intuitively e.g. place all the verbs at the end of the sentences and all compounds words in the fronts or vice versa. Probably Chinese use their creative side of brain more to have a mental picture of what the all pieces of jigsaw puzzle looks like together first rather than trying to solve the puzzle one by one piece.

That probably explains that Chinese students always score very high in Kanji on the Japanese college entrance examination.

Last edited by davidmun; 11-02-2014 at 01:00 AM..
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmun View Post
Chinese language mostly is about grasping contextual meaning logically. From what I understand, they don't really care about grammars that much. Maybe in Japanese you have to follow grammar rules to make senses of the sentences. In Chinese, you don't really need to follow grammar rules. If you twist those sentences in many dozen different ways, Chinese will understand it e.g. place all the verbs at the end of the sentences and all compounds words in the fronts or vice versa.
I don't think this is true at all. Chinese nouns do not decline, verbs do not conjugate, Chinese has very few articles, some sentences don't even require verbs, etc. Chinese grammar is quite simple compared to western languages (and Japanese), so word order is very important, otherwise you cannot determine who or what is doing the action and what is being acted on. Chinese is pretty much always Subject-Verb-Object.

Quote:
That probably explains that Chinese students always scored very high in Kanji on the Japanese college entrance examination.
I am not sure what recognizing kanji has to do with your statement about grammar above, but it seems pretty obvious why Chinese are good at recognizing kanji--kanji is the Japanese word for "Chinese characters".
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:53 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
4,294 posts, read 3,084,730 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
You would have to not only learn a lot of extra kanji, but study Chinese syntax and learn a lot of idioms. I know about 3000 kanji (in Japanese). I can make out single words and sometimes very short and simple Chinese sentences. This, for instance, I can read by using my knowledge of Japanese: 我要看医生 "I need a doctor."

This I can not read: 那 张 沙发 坐 起来 很 舒服 "That sofa is very comfortable to sit on." I can see the word "sit," and some characters that mean get up, come, and clothes in Japanese, but the whole sentence is utterly unreadable to me.
I am talking about over 20 000 Kanjis Basically 2000 till 3000 but around 13000 Kanji is common use in Japanese Language. But all of them are not in use except very rare cases. When you learn far further Kanjis you get the ability to use when to read which reading means when to use "on yomi " and "kun yomi".
when you have that ability you may read more easy both language. yes it is not only learning characters, basically everything as we learn a language. Grammar, idioms, vocabulary, adjectives, subjects, past/present/future tenses.
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:01 AM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,614,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmun View Post
Chinese language mostly is about grasping contextual meaning logically. From what I understand, they don't really care about grammars that much. Maybe in Japanese you have to follow grammar rules to make senses of the sentences. In Chinese, you don't really need to follow grammar rules. If you twist those sentences in many dozen different ways, Chinese will understand it intuitively e.g. place all the verbs at the end of the sentences and all compounds words in the fronts or vice versa. Probably Chinese use their creative side of brain more to have a mental picture of what the all pieces of jigsaw puzzle looks like together first rather than trying to solve the puzzle one by one piece.

That probably explains that Chinese students always score very high in Kanji on the Japanese college entrance examination.
It is wrong to assume Chinese has no grammar or does not care about grammar. If a sentence is ungrammatical, a native speaker can immediately tell it is unacceptable. However it is true that Chinese does not have as many syntatic/morphological rules as most if not all other languages. Therefore people have more freedom to use the words in different places.

In oral language, it is also common to rearrange things in a sentence so the focus can change. Sometimes we do that in English too, but less often than in Chinese.
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by strad View Post
Chinese is pretty much always Subject-Verb-Object.
To some extent, it is true, but Chinese has many ways to move things around.
The following sentences are all perfectly correct in Chinese (I use English words with Chinese sentence structures, for illustration):
(1) I read this book.
(2) I BA this book read.
(3) This book BEI me read.
BA(把) and BEI(被) are particles in Chinese.

In addition, in Chinese it is very often to say
(4) This book, I read.
It is called topicalization in linguistics.
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:15 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strad View Post
I am not sure what recognizing kanji has to do with your statement about grammar above, but it seems pretty obvious why Chinese are good at recognizing kanji--kanji is the Japanese word for "Chinese characters".
yes Hanzi actually it is Han but in Mandarin Chinese it called Hanziand in Japanese it is Kanji as well In Korea it is Hanja and in Vietnamese system we call it chu nom.
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:25 AM
 
3,252 posts, read 6,337,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preventsquirrel View Post
I have always wondered this.. thank you for this answer
Not to totally digress, but for far-east languages, Thai is what I consider a total mess (the SO grew up in Thailand, and her English is a little rough, for example they have no vocal sound for the letter 'v').... It is derived from old Khmer, Sanskrit and Pali... I have tried to learn it over the past few years, and I think I am hopeless. There are 44 letters in the 'alphabet', and no spaces between words. Personally, I found Latin much easier.
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:30 AM
 
6,582 posts, read 4,102,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeurich View Post
But if some one learned far further kanji there is a big possibility to understand Chinese language well. I know because I do.

I am talking about over 20 000 Kanjis Basically 2000 till 3000 but around 13000 Kanji is common use in Japanese Language. But all of them are not in use except very rare cases. When you learn far further Kanjis you get the ability to use when to read which reading means when to use "on yomi " and "kun yomi". when you have that ability you may read more easy both language. yes it is not only learning characters, basically everything as we learn a language. Grammar, idioms, vocabulary, adjectives, subjects, past/present/future tenses.

On-yomi and kun-yomi (Chinese-style vs. native Japanese pronunciation of a kanji) have little to do with grasping meaning.

The bolded statement doesn't make sense. It's correct that between 2000-3000 kanji are in common use in Japanese. It's not correct that 13,000 kanji are in common use--and if they were, how would they be "not in use except in very rare cases"?

The joyo kanji (kanji approved for general use) are 2,136. If you can read these, you can read any newspaper.

If you can read 3000, you can read most any contemporary literature. Kanji beyond that number are NOT in "common use" in Japan. Extremely well-educated Japanese, such as university literature professors, may know 5000-6000 which enables them to read classical literature. The number 13,000 is way out of the ballpark.

As for Chinese, even the most literate Chinese do not know 13,000 kanji let alone 20,000. The number that appears in huge dictionaries is irrelevant as the vast majority are not used at all. Full literacy in Chinese requires 4000-5000 kanji. If you know 20,000, you are a Chinese national treasure so I have to judge that you personally do not know that many.

Quote:
when you have that ability you may read more easy both language. yes it is not only learning characters, basically everything as we learn a language. Grammar, idioms, vocabulary, adjectives, subjects, past/present/future tenses.
So, in other words, a person who studies Chinese grammar, idioms, vocabulary and so forth will be able to speak and read Chinese. I think that's a "given," but it wasn't the question. The question was whether a Japanese person can speak and read Chinese, and the answer is no.

Last edited by saibot; 11-02-2014 at 09:38 AM..
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