fear, hope

Mediocre Jedi

New Member
russian
The thread has been branched from this thread:
http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2495088
A forum thread must contain one and only one topic.


What I meant by difference in styles is that would a modern kanji symbol like this two look strange near a line written in cursive, semi-cursive and old grammar?
View attachment 10595View attachment 10596

And I have seen words "Fear" and "Hope" written in single characters like theese ones, and also in double characters. What would be the difference?
 

Attachments

Last edited by a moderator:
  • Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    a modern kanji symbol like this two look strange near a line written in cursive, semi-cursive and old grammar?
    Using more than one font style in a text is rare. Old grammar does not matter. And the kanjis you have pasted above are shaped identical in the older and modern standards.

    "Fear" and "Hope" written in single characters like theese ones, and also in double characters.
    Not all Chinese characters are independent words (especially in Japanese). 恐 and 望 are not words most of the time. "Fear" and "hope" are their senses but they cannot appear in a sentence by themselves. For words (words can appear in a sentence by definition) meaning "fear" and "hope," maybe you want to provide more context and background information (cf. Forum Rules)? There are double kanji words as well as kanji-hiragana words. Which is more appropriate depends on what you want to use them for. The more detailed your explanation will be, the better.
     

    Mediocre Jedi

    New Member
    russian
    And again thank you for all this information, Flaminius.
    In my case theese kanji characters are not supposed to be a part of the text, but more of a graphic symbolization of fear and hope. So, if I understand correctly, theese single characters would be enough for this purpose? The whole concept is a drawing of an object with fear and hope charachters inscribed on it and the cursive line from Hagakure besides it as a connotation. Would it make sence? I mean strictly from linguistic point of view?
    What I want to understand is would kanji charachters be ok, or fear and hope should better be written some other way in this situation? Sorry If I explain myself too vaguely.
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Customarily, only words and sentences are calligraphic themes. So, 恐 and 望 are inappropriate. They are not words.

    For fear, use 恐怖.
    For hope, use 希望.
    They are read kyōfu and kibō, respectively.
     

    Mediocre Jedi

    New Member
    russian
    I see, thanks.
    If they were written very close, should there be something similar to comma? Again, I'm not going to put them in one sentence. It is just if they are written in two characters each, there might be not enough space on the object to put them apart enough. So, just "恐怖希望", or "恐怖 希望" would be inappropriate too, right?
    P.S. When I searched for this characters, I found lots of pictures of t-shirts, cups, tattoos, etc. with only a single character on them. So, they don't make any sence?
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Space is enough to separate two words. Thus "恐怖 希望" is okay.

    T-shirts, cups, tattoos: no, they are not good examples at all.
     
    If they were written very close, should there be something similar to comma?
    Japanese language has its own comma "" and period "" so you should use them if you want to write a real sentence.
    But in this case you don't need a complete sentence, so it's entirely up to you. I personally think that punctuation marks won't fit for symbolic decoration, though.

    P.S. When I searched for this characters, I found lots of pictures of t-shirts, cups, tattoos, etc. with only a single character on them. So, they don't make any sence?
    As you are aware, those people are using a kanji as a graphic symbol just like a heart symbol representing "love".
    It's true that the kanji "" represents "fear" to some extent, but it's not a word but only a fragment of a word. Thus it's usually unnatural to put it alone. That's what Flaminus is saying.

    But, in my opinion, a single kanji is not so bad as long as you use it solely as a decorative symbol (Even though it looks like a kind of "quasi-Japanesque").
    To me, for example, a warrior who has a kanji "恐" on his helmet looks much better than the one with "恐怖". A single 恐 doesn't mean anything in a linguistic sense, therefore I can easily assume that it's just a decoration. Compared to that, the guy with "恐怖" would look as if he had been born in Google Translator :).

    Actually I've seen a real case that a Japanese illustrator gave the single kanji "" (that represents "to kill" but doesn't work as a verb or a noun alone) as a decorative symbol to his fictional character. Perhaps there will be some more.
     
    Last edited:

    Mediocre Jedi

    New Member
    russian
    I see. Thank you for the explanation! So, as I understand, the single character would bear some meaning but would look unnatural, and we wouldn't want that).
    In case of fear one symbol is clearly not a word, but is it also fair for hope? I don't know if it's correct, but on this page http://www.orientaloutpost.com/shufa.php?q=hope it says that one of the characters of hope, particularly 望, may be used as a stand-alone word. Is it true?
     
    Even that page says:
    This is a whole word in Chinese and old Korean, but is seldom seen alone in Japanese. Still, it holds the meanings noted above in all three languages.
    So as Flaminus told you, "望" doesn't appear alone in Japanese, as well as "恐".
    Thus you must choose "恐怖" and "希望" if you give weight to correctness.
    But again, these correct words look less cool to me (perhaps because they are less symbolic as a decoration). A hard choice indeed.

    Just for your information, Japanese people preferred to pick a bit longer (3 or 4 letter) kanji idioms (e.g. "獅子奮迅" Furious like a lion) in history.
    Those idioms will be an ideal alternative (as long as you have enough space to draw it), because those are correct, natural and cool at the same time. But probably it makes even harder to find out a good one, and I'm afraid I also can't come up with an idea now. If you're interested, this Wikipedia entry may be a starting point.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yojijukugo
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top