Kanji

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Kanji'

Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Kanji'


Kanji is one of the three forms of Japan writing. A kanji is an ideogram: that is, a kind of simple picture. It is a symbol of an idea such as an object, thing or quality.

Kanji ideograms (or “characters”) were taken about 2000 years ago from Chinese characters, and many were gradually changed. The word “kanji” means “Han characters” (i.e. “Chinese characters”).

There are two other systems used to write in Japanese. These systems are called Hiragana and Katakana (together they are called “Kana”). They show how a word is pronounced because each character stands for a syllable (a, ka, sa, ta etc). Each kanji could also be written in kana, indeed they are in children’s books or books for foreigners learning Japanese.

Many words in Japanese can have more than one meaning, e.g. “hana” can mean “nose” or “flower”, but the kanji character for each is quite different. However, each kanji character can have several different pronounciations, according to which meaning (which “reading”) is intended.

[See more about Kanji at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]


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