Kanji: Chinese characters

Do all Chinese characters have meaning?

Yes, each character of Chinese origin has one or more meanings. In contrast, properly Japanese characters only represent sounds and have no meaning. We have two types of Japanese characters called Hiragana and Katakana.

Can everything be written in Japanese characters?

Effectively. Children’s books are written only in Hiragana. Children begin by learning the easy Hiragana and then learn to substitute Chinese characters (kanji) for them. We use the Hiragana to write the grammatical inflections and the invariant particles.

Wouldn’t it be easier to write everything in Japanese characters?

As Japanese has many homonyms, that is, words with the same writing and different meanings, it is necessary to use Chinese characters to distinguish them. For example, today 44 origin characters are used that are pronounced Kan and all of these have different meanings, so if we did not use these Chinese signs, it would be difficult for us to distinguish these meanings.

How many Chinese characters are there in total?

An exact number cannot be established since even among scholars there are diverse opinions on this subject. However, it is estimated that there are more than 40,000 characters if the old and those that are almost in disuse are included.

Kanji: Chinese characters