Kanji Madness!!!


This week I showed ふみせんせい(Fumi Sensei), a link about the difference between the meaning of Kanji and how the same kanji means completely different things in Japan and China.  What was even more amuzing was the video in the post by Koichi san of Tofugu.

Thank you Koichi san for bringing the article to life and making it fun!

The original article on the What Japan Thinks blog also displayed a list of some of the fun kanji differences.

Kanji Japanese Meaning Chinese Meaning
挨拶 Greetings Torture
手紙 Letter Toilet paper
愛人 Lover Wife
Daughter Mother
下水 Sewage Pig guts boiled in spices
切手 Postage stamp To cut one’s hand
汽車 Steam train Car
暗算 Mental arithmetic To conspire a plot
勉強 Study Force someone to do something against their will
邪心 A wicked heart Dreaming


Two things I learned from my lesson with ふみせんせい

1. It is all in the pronunciation! So even though the Kanji is the same the pronunciation is completely different! Open a Kanji dictionary and what you will find is the both the Chinese pronunciation and the Japanese pronunciation. There are many times that the Chinese pronunciation is used in the Japanese language. So pronunciation may sound like an easy way to tell the difference…it isn’t so simple!

2. There are many, many more examples. I hope that as I continue my studies with ふみせんせい I will learn even more.

Do you know a funny Kanji difference? Post it in the comments!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply