Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Chinese characters: Tokyo


The Chinese character, kanji, have more than 50,000 letters, I hear.

Of all of them, leaning 3,000 letters are said to be enough to read Japanese newspapers or books. The character is more than 100 times as 26 letters of the alphabet.

What is the difference between the alphabet and the Chinese character?

The alphabet itself has no meaning until the letters are combined. The Chinese character itself is pictographic letter and has the meaning each. For example, :-) means "smile", five letters, and in Chinese character "笑", only one letter. Each letter in Chinese character is very specific, and so they have many letters.

By the way, when I was walking in the city of Florence, I found the young boy wearing T-shirt printed "onara" in Japanese, then I burst into laugher. Because "onara" means gas, breaking wind, in English.

Now I hear some foreigners have a Japanese letter tattoo on their arms. Ask Japanese to make sure the meaning before it's too late!

at Tokyo


At 2:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Macky, perhaps it was meant to be a funny t-shirt :D like how you reacted, it shows that it has been effective:) but i understood your point about checking out the meaning of the chosen character(s) before the TATOO becomes a 'TABOO' or rather a 'laughing stock' :)

At 5:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i saw one movie, i forgot the title --Anyway, a tough guy wants a tatoo on his bulging arm, asked the tatoo guy to copy some japanese characters,he picked up somewhere. Then so proud to show it off, of course wearing a black leather vest, rode a train to downtown. He got pissed when he saw a japanese couple laughing their heads off when they saw the tatoo. he was sooo angry, then an american, who can understand the characters, told the tough guy the meaning of the characters-- "chicken soup" lol! Apparently he got this from a restaurant menu!

At 9:19 AM, Blogger macky said...

zannie: Yes. It is miserable that tatoo makes people crack up!
jane: thanks for your comment. LoL! Yesterday I saw Japanese guy wearing T shirt, printed "I am an invisible man" in English, though I can see! The same would happen if he is in US.

At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can guess the meaning more than 90%.
an introduction for a market which is posted on the entrance wall ??

At 2:33 PM, Blogger macky said...

It is great! Kanji is from China!!
Yes, it is the entrance of small market.
商店 means shop.
市場 means market.


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