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What's the difference between Japanese Kanji and Chinese Hanzi?

Or are they exactly the same??

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Japanese Kanji has a lot of characters that originate from Chinese Hanzi, many of them being exactly the same. China simplified their Hanzi (characters) in the 1950's and the Kanji didn't change with that, so they are the traditional Hanzi, which aren't used in China anymore.

    Also, each character, Hanzi and Kanji, although they look identical, have different pronunciations in each language but the same meaning. For example, the characters 国字 in Mandarin Chinese are pronounced guózì meaning 'national characters'. In Japanese the same 2 characters are pronounced kokuji again meaning 'native script'.

  • 1 decade ago

    Japan originally introduced kanji from China.

    But some kanjis mean totally different while most ot them mean the same. If it comes to pronunciation, I would say they're totally different. It is interesting that when I show Japanese kanji to Chinese friends, in most of the case they understand what it means, but if it is reverse, sometimes 'no idea' for Japanese.... (there're kanjis that Japanese don't use)

    There seems not to have specific rules to make difference.

    The followings are well-known confusing differences;

    手紙 (a letter in Japanese meaning ⇔ toilet paper in Chinese)

    愛人 ('a lover mostly on affair' in Japanese ⇔ 'wife' in Chinese)

  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Kanji Chinese

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    If you simply mean handwriting, style and appearance, and not actual words, no there's no difference. It would be like if you had a Russian person write the letter A, a Chinese person write the letter A a French person write the letter A and a Canadian write the letter A. It just depends on the person's handwriting not the nationality.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A part of them, they have the same figure of letter. And some have the same meaning, some are in different. The some are read in the same sound.

    The reason is why Kanji has came from China to Japan more than a thousand yeas ago. After that, the each letters changed individually in both countries.

  • 1 decade ago

    A Chinese character, also known as a Han character (汉字 / 漢字; Hànzì), is a logogram used in writing Chinese (hanzi), Japanese (kanji), less frequently Korean (hanja), and formerly Vietnamese (hán tự), and other languages. Chinese characters are also known as sinographs, and the Chinese writing system as sinography. Chinese characters represent the oldest continuously used system of writing in the world.



  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Speaking Japanese & Loving Japanese Culture!

  • 1 decade ago


    愛人 ('a lover mostly on affair' in Japanese ⇔ 'wife' in Chinese)

    Wrong: In China, it doesn't mean a thing [remember, the Chinese in China DO NOT use the Traditional Chinese script, which is what 愛 is written in: In Simplified Chinese script = 爱]. And 爱人 is ONLY used in China. And it doesn't mean "wife". It means "either one of the spouses" or "both spouses"[Chinese doesn't use inflections as a grammatical rule]: If the speaker is a woman, then 爱人 refers to a husband. If a man says it, then 爱人 refers to a wife.

    In other parts of the world, "wife" = 太太 or 老婆, but NEVER 愛人 and 老婆, laopo is borrowed from Hong Kong into China. But Hong Kong uses Cantonese & English, while China uses only Putonghua.

    手紙 is NEVER used in China. only in Japan. and like the above, in Chinese people use Simplified Chinese which 紙 isn't. 紙 = 纸 in Simplified Chinese = paper. 手纸 is Chinese slang, not official term for "toilet paper". If you want the official term, then use "卫生纸" or 衛生紙 in Traditional Chinese.


    "Chinese characters are also known as sinographs, and the Chinese writing system as sinography."

    BULLSHIT: Don't EVEN use Latin word SINO to refer to Chinese! It's not accurate: Latin didn't have a word for "Chinese" so they borrowed from Hebrew or Arabic, so it's not even original!!! No such thing as "Sinograph" or "Sinography"!!! No matter what, that's not a developed word and doesn't relate to the Chinese language whatsoever.

    The only word which you don't have in English is called "Sinosphere", which with a lack of words must be used in order for others to understand. I would prefer to use the Greek word Kinezo- or Kineziko- but that's due to borrowing from German for the name of China = Kina.

    Source(s): I'm Chinese.
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