User Comments - willbcocks

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Posted on: Introduction to Pinyin
January 30, 2010, 06:05 AM

"Is the speed and facility of hanzi/kanji vs phonetic/kana script not testable in Japan?"

カタカナの多い文章や漢字のない子供向きな絵本は特に読みにくいですよ。例えば、この文章を見てみましょう:(The worst are kids books and books with lots of English loan words, blah blah)

1) 王さんは中国にお茶を買いに行った。

2) おうさんはちゅうごくにおちゃをかいにいった。

3) おうさん は ちゅうごく に おちゃ を かい に いった。

4) トーマスさんはコロンビアにコヒーを買いに行った。

1) is the standard way of writing.

2) would be the way to write it if you simply replaced hanzi with hiragana. This is very hard to read--there is nothing to break up words whatsoever. When long strings of hiragana naturally occur in writing, as it sometimes does, its a pain in the ass.

3) This, not 2), is how writing would probably be rendered without kanji. This is how they do it in children's books. But it's not clear where spaces should go and it takes a ton of physical space. It's also not very easy to read.

4) This sentence means basically the same thing (Thomas went to Columbia to buy coffee) as the first (Wang went to China to buy tea), but is much slower to read. Loan words are especially difficult when they are long and similar: サンフランシスコ;サンディエゴ、サンティアゴ San Fransisco, San Diego, Santiago--these kinds of words (or typical foreign words at a bar's drink menu) are killer

Posted on: Wrapping a Gift
December 10, 2009, 02:26 PM