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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Jeremy Falcon4-Aug-15 6:30
professionalJeremy Falcon4-Aug-15 6:30 
GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
jibalt5-Aug-15 4:57
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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Jeremy Falcon4-Aug-15 6:34
professionalJeremy Falcon4-Aug-15 6:34 
GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Simon Lee Shugar4-Aug-15 22:05
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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Mario Prawirosudiro5-Aug-15 2:42
professionalMario Prawirosudiro5-Aug-15 2:42 
GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
RASPeter5-Aug-15 9:03
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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Mario Prawirosudiro6-Aug-15 8:57
professionalMario Prawirosudiro6-Aug-15 8:57 
GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
RASPeter6-Aug-15 10:28
MemberRASPeter6-Aug-15 10:28 
I think you actually mean katakana, not kanji.

Japanese use two phonetic character sets: katakana and hiragana. Historically, hiragana was used by women and katakana was used by men, and you can still see that history in the characters themselves. Hiragana tend to be more round and have loops, while katakana tend to be more angular. In modern usage, hiragana is used for native Japanese words and katakana is used for foreign words.

Kanji are Chinese characters, and each is a word in itself, representing a distinct concept. They are not used as syllables, because that's what katakana and hiragana were created for. When kanji are strung together it is to merge the concepts together to describe a new thing that can't be described adequately by any existing single character (again, just like we do with Greek and Latin roots).

All the characters in both katakana and hiragana were derived from kanji that have the same pronunciation, and most (possibly all?) retain the meaning of the original kanji, even though that's not typically how they're used.

It's pretty common to see kanji and hiragana together, and there are two general cases. First, small hiragana are sometimes placed above or below a kanji character as a pronunciation guide, called furigana, because children are generally taught hiragana first and gradually introduced to kanji as they get older. Second, hiragana are often added to the end of a kanji word (one or more characters) to indicate verb conjugation, because Japanese has verb tenses and Mandarin (which kanji were actually created for) does not.

Anyway, I hope I didn't go too overboard there. I actually do have some formal training in both Chinese and Japanese. Not enough to claim even moderate fluency, sadly, but enough to understand how the writing systems work.

GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Mario Prawirosudiro6-Aug-15 16:22
professionalMario Prawirosudiro6-Aug-15 16:22 
GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
RASPeter6-Aug-15 17:02
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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Gary Wheeler4-Aug-15 7:12
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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Simon Lee Shugar4-Aug-15 22:12
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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Kornfeld Eliyahu Peter4-Aug-15 7:49
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dan!sh 4-Aug-15 13:46
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Anthony Appleyard4-Aug-15 22:36
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Member 103624065-Aug-15 0:59
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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Kirk 103898215-Aug-15 5:58
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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Simon Lee Shugar5-Aug-15 6:15
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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Kirk 103898215-Aug-15 6:28
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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
DanKorn5-Aug-15 7:16
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Member 118513265-Aug-15 14:55
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GeneralRe: A plea to Japanese (or Asian) Language Web Developers Pin
Colorado_Bill6-Aug-15 4:41
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GeneralThought of the day Pin
OriginalGriff4-Aug-15 5:05
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