[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Japanese also has its own ideograms/characters
Japanese also has its own 'kanji' or characters. The word "hakate" consists
of the chinese for fire and the word for paddy field side by side. It means
a 'cultivated dry field'. The word 'tsuji' meaning crossroads does not
appear in Chinese. It is formed with the character for the number 10 and
the three stroke variant of the radical number 162. Characters such as
these are called Kokuji or National Characters of Japan.
Since the Japanese uses its own word compound for 'you' anata (or in Hakka
gui4 fong1), you will be hard pressed to find the Mandarin 'ni' listed in
their kanji dictionaries.
In Hakka the word him/her/it is 'gi2'. It is represented by the character
meaning sewer or drain which is normally pronounced 'ki2'. It sometimes has
the addition of the side variant of radical number 9 meaning person.
The Hakka word for 'I' is "ngai2" and is written sometimes as 'person'
radical number 9 and the right portion of the word 'ngai2' meaning to
endure which has the 3 stroke variant of 'hand'.
The word 'hiao3' is Hakka for able is little used in Cantonese (hiu) or
Mandarin (xiao) in common speech. Able is 'wui' (C) or 'hui' (M) but in
Hakka we can say this particular character as 'foi4' or 'fui4' which can
also mean 'a meeting'.
Characters can be created specially to fit a particular language. It is
nothing out of the ordinary. In Florian Coulmas' book Writing Sytems of the
world she explains that the Annamese who abandoned Chinese characters over
two centuries ago also adapted characters to fit their own language, for
instance the word 'an' sounds similar to the annamese for to eat. So they
used the word 'an' (M) meaning peace, and attached an extra bit on to form
a non chinese character.