Interesting discussion of Chinese characters in Japanese
As we know, most of the characters in Japanese are introduced from Chinese. Now here will talk about interesting characters by two jokes.
One foreign student who didn’t understand Japanese visited to a Japanese home for the first time. He communicated with hostess through sketches and notes. When the hostess pointed to the tea on the table she wrote ”御茶” , he immediately looked at the house around and did not find any links with the royal things. Then the hostess pointed at her husband’s colleague wrote ” 同僚” , he thought that she was crazy. Because he knew the man and her husband was just a cleaner. Then the hostess pointed to her husband wrote”主人” ,finally pointed to her daughter wrote”娘”. As a result he hastened to find an excuse to leave. So people will think that early Japanese people absorbed superficial Chinese culture and they can’t use very well. Another example, why the Japanese people call the thief as “泥棒”? In fact it’s because they used the problems that appears in Chinese phonetic evolution, such as “海参”, in Japanese character written as”海鼠”，”生子”. And “泥棒”was early written as “泥坊” since it means a useless young man just like the mud. As the same pronunciation it becomes”泥棒”.
One Japanese man went to a Chinese cinema, he saw “请勿喧哗”written on the wall. And he left in a hurry. Because the word of “喧哗” in Japanese means arguing and fighting, he thought there was not a good place to stay. And then he went to the hospital to a dental treatment. But he could not find “齿科”for a long time, finally he saw”牙科” ,as “牙”is used for animals so he brace himself and went to the doctor started the communication with writing, the doctor wrote ”把嘴张开”，and the word”嘴”in Japanese is also used in animals! Later he made a Chinese friend and tell him his animal sign is”野猪”, when he said goodbye to his friend he wrote”请常给我来‘手纸’”. It amazed the friend who didn’t know that “手纸”in Japanese means letter: “does Japanese haven’t even toilet paper ?” while they were talking in the restaurant and wanted some beers, when the waiter asked him need how many bottles he made a gesture meaning two bottles, but the waiter gave him eight bottles! Actually Japanese people use finger to express numbers are different from Chinese. In Chinese the number of eight means the number of two in Japanese.
If someone know Chinese classical literature going to study Japanese he will get a great advantage either in grammar or phrase. Even if he understand Buddhism will gain more superiority. Such as Japanese postpositive verbs as “马鹿”,it comes from Chinese word”指鹿为马”.Japanese alphabet”假名” comes from “一切之名虚假不实”.
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