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Thread: Characters (kanji etc.)

  1. #1
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    Characters (kanji etc.)

    Hi, all!
    How do You name characters (e.g. Japanese kanji or Chinese characters) in Your respective language? What is meaning of this word?
    Thanks.

    In Czech:
    znaky (marks)

    In Lithuanian:
    hieroglifai (hieroglyphs )(came from Russian)

    In Japanese:
    字[ji] or 漢字[kanji] (character or character from Han(漢) dynasty 206BC. - 220)

    In Russian:
    иероглифы[ieroglify](hieroglyphs )
    Su pagarba: 薬屋 (S úctou: kusurija) As I'm too poor in English, please repair my mistakes. Prašau pataisyti, jei ką netiksliai parašiau.

  2. #2
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    In Portuguese:
    ideograma (or simply "caractere", as in "caracteres chineses")
    Ut omnes unum sint

  3. #3
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    In German, we say "Zeichen" (signs/characters).
    Wer keine großen Dinge vollbringen kann, tue kleine in großem Maße. — Free translation of Napoleon Hill's citation —

  4. #4
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by kusurija
    How do You name characters (e.g. Japanese kanji or Chinese characters) in Your respective language?
    Quote Originally Posted by andlima View Post
    In Portuguese:
    ideograma (or simply "caractere", as in "caracteres chineses")
    In our language, though, the main characters are called letras (letters).

    In addition, we use punctuation marks and diacritics, but I don't imagine that Kusurija wants us to be that thorough.

    BTW, the correct singular is carácter. Many people don't know this.
    Last edited by Outsider; 4th August 2008 at 10:43 PM. Reason: spelling
    Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau.

  5. #5
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Outsider View Post
    In our language, though, the main characters are called letras (letters).
    I was thinking about this myself. Does Kusurija want us to translate "Chinese/Japanese characters" into our language or how we call our characters?

    If it's the latter, you'd say "Buchstaben" (letters) in German.
    Wer keine großen Dinge vollbringen kann, tue kleine in großem Maße. — Free translation of Napoleon Hill's citation —

  6. #6
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Outsider View Post
    In our language, though, the main characters are called letras (letters).
    In addition, we use punctuation marks and diacritics, but I don't imagine that Kusurija wants us to be that thorough.
    Yes, a regular letter like "A" or "Z", or even one from Cyrillic or Greek alphabet, is called "letra", but I thought he was referring specifically to Chinese and Japanese characters, wasn't he?

    Quote Originally Posted by Outsider View Post
    BTW, the correct singular is carácter. Many people don't know this.
    You're right, Out (as usual, hehehe)... In this context, the correct is "caráter" (in Brazil) or "carácter" (in Portugal).

    In Brazilian Portuguese we actually have the word "caractere", but it's restricted to computer related areas, such as "caractere ASCII", "digite um caractere"... I bet in Portugal you guys use the word "carácter" for this too, don't you?
    Ut omnes unum sint

  7. #7
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by andlima View Post
    Yes, a regular letter like "A" or "Z", or even one from Cyrillic or Greek alphabet, is called "letra", but I thought he was referring specifically to Chinese and Japanese characters, wasn't he?
    It would be best if Kusurija explained for himself what he meant to ask.

    Quote Originally Posted by andlima View Post
    In Brazilian Portuguese we actually have the word "caractere", but it's restricted to computer related areas, such as "caractere ASCII", "digite um caractere"... I bet in Portugal you guys use the word "carácter" for this too, don't you?
    In Portugal also, there are people who think there is a word caracter or caractere specific to computer contexts, but this is a misconception. It just happens that this word has an irregular inflection.
    Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau.

  8. #8
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Outsider View Post
    In Portugal also, there are people who think there is a word caracter or caractere specific to computer contexts, but this is a misconception. It just happens that this word has an irregular inflection.
    Actually, as far as Brazilian Portuguese is concerned, Houaiss dictionary has both words: "caractere" (although not "caracter") and "caráter". The first one has a single aception, with its use restricted to "Rubrica: informática", while the second one is more general, meaning written letters and symbols and a type (as in typography).
    Last edited by andlima; 5th August 2008 at 4:02 PM. Reason: clarification
    Ut omnes unum sint

  9. #9
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    I did mean only Japanese or Chinese type of characters(), not other type letters (as e.g. Latin, Cyrilic and so on). Anyway I'm very thanksfull for Your answers. I think names of all other types of letters/characters we could discuss in other thread?
    Su pagarba: 薬屋 (S úctou: kusurija) As I'm too poor in English, please repair my mistakes. Prašau pataisyti, jei ką netiksliai parašiau.

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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    They're called han4 zi4 in Mandarin. 汉字 [simplified] 漢字 [traditional]

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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by kusurija View Post
    I did mean only Japanese or Chinese type of characters()
    I guess in Spanish it would be ideograma, but usually they are called "caracteres chinos"... even the Japanese


    Re
    Er

  12. #12
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by kusurija View Post
    I did mean only Japanese or Chinese type of characters(), not other type letters (as e.g. Latin, Cyrilic and so on).
    What other writing systems do you include in this group? Depending on the answer, which is actually a definition of 漢字, the label in Japanese is either 表意文字 (hyōi moji; ideogram) or 表語文字 (hyōgo moji; logogram).

    It must be mentioned also that Japanese uses besides Chinese characters two sets of phonograms.
    Quote Originally Posted by kusurija View Post
    Hi, all!
    How do You name characters (e.g. Japanese kanji or Chinese characters) in Your respective language? What is meaning of this word?
    Thanks.

    In Japanese:
    字[ji] or 漢字[kanji] (character or character from Han(漢) dynasty 206BC. - 220)
    字 [ji] does not specifically mean a character in Japanese. A component of any script can be referred to as 字. 文字 (moji) is an entire writing system or a component thereof. In fact, Japanese (and perhaps Chinese too) is not very interested in telling a characters system (or components thereof) from other types of scripts (or components thereof).

    An alphabet, such as <A>, <B>, <C>, or <D>, can be referred to as a 字母 (jibo) but this is a very technical term. Most of the time, <A>, <B>, <C>, and <D> are referred to as four ji's or moji's, just as <あ>, <い>, <う>, <え> and <天>, <地>, <玄>, <黄> are. In a sense, therefore, the answer to your question is that there is no such concept, thus no word, in Japanese.
    Always give as much context as you think unnecessary. How do you like your lamb leg steak? — Medium, right leg!

  13. #13
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Turkish:
    Harf=Letter
    Harfler=Letters

    We also use the word karakter (character).

  14. #14
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Finnish: merkki, -n, -ä

    This is obviously etymologically related to mark (in English). The Finnish word also means "sign".
    That which caterpillars call the end of the world, we call the butterfly. Sitä, mitä toukka kutsuu maailmanlopuksi, me kutsumme perhoseksi.

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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Bulgarian: йероглифи (hieroglyphs) or sometimes (писмени) знаци ((written) signs).

  16. #16
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    In Greek:
    «Ιδεογράμματα»
    iðeo'ɣramata plural neuter; in sing. «ιδεόγραμμα», iðe'oɣrama
    lit. "ideograms". Compound formed with the joining together of the feminine noun «ἰδέα» (ĭ'dĕă, i'ðea in Modern Greek)-->idea, from PIE base *woid-, to know, or *wid-, to see + neuter noun «γράμμα» ('grammă, 'ɣrama in Modern Greek)-->written character, letter, from the verb «γράφω» ('grapʰō, 'ɣrafo in Modern Greek)-->to write, inscribe from PIE base *gerbʰ-, to scratch

    [ð] is a voiced dental non-sibilant fricative
    [ɣ] is a voiced velar fricative

  17. #17
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Bulgarian uses идеограми/ideogrami too, but this is usually in specialized contexts.

  18. #18
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by ErOtto View Post
    I guess in Spanish it would be ideograma, but usually they are called "caracteres chinos"... even the Japanese


    Re
    Er
    Hummm I'm not agree with you.

    For Chinese ideograms we just say: ideogramas. But for Japanese characters we say just as in Japanese: Kanjis not "caracteres Chinos".

  19. #19
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Swedish uses the word tecken which means character or sign together with the corresponding adjectives: kinesiska/japanska tecken. The latter is, at least by uneducated people used to denote Japaneses kana as well. (Similarly, I would assume the same principle being applied to refer to hangul characters as koreanska tecken).

    However, in educated speech, I would say that the native names: kanji, kana and jamo are used.

    (Notes: tecken belongs to the neutral gender and is hence identical in singular and plural. The "borrowings" kanji, kana and jamo are all treated as uncountable utrum.)

  20. #20
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    Re: Characters (kanji etc.)

    Hungarian írásjel, jel [írás writing jel sign]
    [ɒkinɛk humorɒ vɒn, mindɛnˤtud, ɒkinɛk niŋʧ, mindɛnrɛ ke.pɛʃ]

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