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The chinese character 醋 is more interesting than vinegar! [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2015-4-19 23:59:20 |Display all floors

In the Chinese language class, Mr. Zhao explained: “The Chinese character 醋(for vinegar)is meaningful!

-------its left part looks like a jar with a nice lid and some liquid thing in it;

-------The top of its right part means “twenty’; The 日(the Sun) represents ‘one day’

-------The whole character could tell you how to brew vinegar!----------You put the raw materials into the jar and seal it with the good lid, and leave it aside alone;Twenty plus one days later,the special liquid would be produced!

  

(The above is one part of my recent blog ‘One bottle of vinegar for one month, please!”)---------Please have a look at it if you are free!

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Post time 2015-7-19 10:51:15 |Display all floors
Caution:
Too much vinegar may be harmful for kids since that chemical thing might damage their bone and teeth! ----------Vinegar might take away much of the calcium element out of the body that is important for the teeth growth!
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Post time 2016-1-2 10:20:06 |Display all floors
I find it interesting how China writes horizontally, but Japan writes vertically.  How did this difference come to be?

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Post time 2016-1-4 18:54:03 |Display all floors
Dragon4 Post time: 2016-1-2 10:20
I find it interesting how China writes horizontally, but Japan writes vertically.  How did this diff ...

Ancient Chinese wrote vertically and from right to left.
Too many Japanese words look Chinese characters and it is said the Japanese ancestors were Chinese who left the mainland for the islands. ------There were such folk children‘s stories when I was young.
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Post time 2017-2-25 10:44:52 |Display all floors
"Too many Japanese words look Chinese characters and it is said the Japanese ancestors were Chinese who left the mainland for the islands."

That may well be true about the ancestors of the Japanese being Chinese people who left the mainland.  But the linguistic evidence would indicate that that would have been a very long time ago, long before the origins of Chinese writing, so migration would not be the reason for the use of Chinese characters in Japanese.

The Chinese and Japanese languages are completely different, as different as any two languages in the world.  Chinese and Japanese languages are as different from each other as each of them is from English.   Setting aside Chinese words that have been borrowed into Japanese, there is no evidence of any relationship at all between the two languages. The syntax (word order), morphology (word formation), sounds, and vocabulary of Chinese and Japanese are completely different.  

Any migration from China to Japan would have had to happen ten thousand years ago or more for their languages to become so completely different that there is no evidence of any relationship at all.  So that migration would have been long before the origins of Chinese writing.

Yet it is true that Japanese writing uses Chinese characters.  But that is simply because Japanese writing is based on Chinese writing.  At a certain point in history, Japan decided that it needed a writing system, and it turned to China.  Japan has copied a lot of culture from China, after all.

But the Chinese writing system is an awkward fit for Japanese because the Japanese language is so completely different in grammar and structure from Chinese.   So the Japanese had to make serious modifications to fit the writing system to their language.
This is a subject that has interested me as a linguist, as I have studied both Chinese and Japanese to compare them.  To discuss this comparison further would be better as a blog than a forum post, I think.  So thank you for your inspiration, and I hope to have a blog post on this subject soon.

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Post time 2017-3-13 09:04:46 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Gayle at 2017-3-13 09:06

Now I have finally written the blog on the comparison of Chinese and Japanese languages and why Japanese writing contains Chinese characters.  It is in two parts, one addressing the first question (comparing the two languages) and the other addressing the second question (why Japanese writing contains Chinese characters but also other symbols).  The first blog can be found at http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/blog-2526444-38118.html and the second blog at http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/blog-2526444-38119.html .

I love Linguistics (the science of language) and hope that there are other people on China Daily who share my interest in that subject.

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Post time 2017-3-13 18:01:09 |Display all floors
Gayle Post time: 2017-2-25 10:44
"Too many Japanese words look Chinese characters and it is said the Japanese ancestors were Chinese  ...

Thanks for your interesting saying.  It is said 'Chinese start Japanese learning with smiling since their words are similar to ours those are easy to write! But most of the learners have to cry because the great difference of the two languages has troubled them so much to get high marks in exams!”---------学日语,笑着进去,哭着出来!
The most useful knowledge and skill that we are lack of is that of about human!

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