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Tag: kanji

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 kanji with the longest readings 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five kanji with the longest readings.

I love doing articles on “the most ___ kanji ever” because I used to get asked those questions so often by my students. And back then I didn’t really have any answers besides what Google brought up, and that wasn’t always the most reliable source.

But now, thanks to my readily-available references in Japan, I can write articles to give any enterprising Japanese students the answers they desperately need. Which kanji are the most difficult? Which kanji are the strangest?

We now know the answers to those very important questions, and now the answer to which have the longest readings can be yours to know too.

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 most ridiculous kanji handwriting shortcuts 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five most ridiculous kanji handwriting shortcuts, also known as ryakuji.

In English we have a whole bunch of handwriting shortcuts that would baffle people who only have a basic knowledge of the language. There are abbreviations of words (“gov” for government, “veg” for vegetables), abbreviations for phrases (“FYI” for “for your information,” “etc” for “et cetera” which is a whole other can of worms in itself), and even things like ” to repeat a phrase down a list, or using numbers instead of words (“4” for “for,” “2” for “to”), and more.

And it’s no different in Japanese. Since writing complex kanji can take some time, there are a lot of shortcuts that some people take when writing them that are not technically “correct Japanese.”

But when have correct things ever been interesting? So let’s take a look at the wild world of “incorrect” Japanese shortcut-kanji: ryakuji!

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 most insane kanji place names in Japan 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about top five most insane kanji place names in Japan.

I wrote an article a few months ago about the top five myths of learning Japanese, and (spoiler alert!) learning how to read Japanese kanji was number one on that list. In my opinion learning how to read Japanese isn’t too much harder than learning how to read English.

English spelling has tons of exceptions and irregularities that sometimes make it seem more like a hieroglyphic writing system itself than an alphabetic one (I’m looking at you “colonel,” “indict,” and “mnemonic”).

But then there’s place name kanji. All bets are out the window when it comes to kanji used to spell place names (and people’s names too for that matter, but that’s for a different time). You could know every single reading a kanji has, and there’s a good chance you’ll still be completely wrong when it comes to pronouncing it correctly when used in a place name.

So that’s why this week I picked out some of the most insane kanji place names all over Japan that I could find. Even if you don’t know how to read Japanese at all, I think I wrote it in a way that will at least show how ridiculous some of these are. Enjoy!

Read the article here.