Re: Subset of Unicode to represent Japanese Kanji?

Date: Fri Jul 14 2000 - 15:46:25 EDT

I would say:

"If an all kana Japanese document is read aloud, there will be places that are
ambiguous and hard (may be impossible) to understand"

When a typical Japanese (written in kanji + kana) is read aloud, the reader
knows where to put accent, tonation and pause, but not so with an all kana

Imagine reading an English article written all in Webster phonetics.


John Cowan <> on 2000/07/14 13:20:00

To: "Unicode List" <>
cc: (bcc: Foster Feng/TYO/NIC)

Subject: Re: Subset of Unicode to represent Japanese Kanji? wrote:

> The problem with all kana (or all Roman ch) document is because there are so
> many words with same pronounciations. For example, the Roman Characters "KAMI"
> may mean God, or hair, or paper, or above. "HASHI" may mean bridge or chop
> sticks. If it is written in kanji, all God, hair, paper, above, bridge, chop
> sticks are represented in different kanjis, thus no ambiguity.

Which is to say, that if a typical Japanese document is read aloud, it is
a mass of ambiguity, and nobody has any idea what it says? I know this was
true for Classical Chinese documents, but is it really true for modern
Japanese ones?

If not, then an all-romaji or all-kana representation cannot be *logically*
insufficient; however, it is enough that people are not accustomed to it.


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! || John Cowan <> Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, || Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

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