Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Kanji and Stuff…

It’s a little bit complicated, but I’ll try to make a chart to help you make sense of it. In any case, here’s a summary I wrote for a friend of mine:

The japanese name for Chinese characters is “Kanji”. In Japanese, all Chinese characters can technically be used as part of the language. Japanese also has it’s own special characters called “Kana”. Kana is pretty simple… Just a few strokes per character. Often looks like rows of slashes…. Korean and Japanese both give Chinese characters adopted meanings in their language, though the meaning isn’t necessarily *exactly* the same in each language… Of course pronunciation is all over the map.

If I’ve got a few spare minutes today, I’ll use OmniGraffle and put together a little chart of how they all (including Vietnamese!) fit together…

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