This Question Came to My Inbox: Is it true that a native Japanese speaker and a native Chinese speaker can communicate at a basic level writing?

Yes. The kanji only has meaning. It is like drawing pictures. Every country that uses them uses a different pronunciation. I talked to a Chinese girl in Japan who told me she didn’t speak and Japanese, but she always knew exactly what she was doing and exactly where she was at because she understood the signs. Here is a good example: 口 is said in Japanese くち “kuchi” or いる口 “iruguchi” meaning “entrance.” In Korea, they have 口 in Korean 입 “eeb” which means “mouth” or 문 “moon” which means “door” or “entrance.

This sign has Japanese, Chinese, English, and Korean written on it. If you look under where it says in English “1 Drink Free,” the first character there is the same as the first character after the slash on the same line. The first part is Chinese, and the second part is Japanese. Photo by JAMIE DIAZ on Pexels.com

出口in Japanese, でくち “deguchi” means “exit.” It is written in kanji (or as the Koreans say ‘hanmoon’) on the signs in Korea as 出口, but in Korea it is pronounced 줄구 “chool-goo,” but it is the same kanji or hanmoon that means the very same thing, just different pronunciations according to who is using it. The kanji or hanmoon is written on the signs in the subway in Korea, and it doesn’t matter where you are from, if you understand the kanji or hanmoon, you will know how to get around.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s