Never Enough Kanji: Japanese Government Adds More


How are you doing learning all 1,945 official jouyou kanji, fellow nihongo learners? I'm doing okay- thanks to my Learning Japanese the Baka Way program and Kanji Test for 2.5 Millions: Premium Edition, I'll be hitting fourth-grade level any day now (shut up, at least it's something.)

Of course, it makes it harder when the Japanese government just ups and decides to add more Kanji- the official 1,945 has been increased to 2,136. Apparently, the kanji added are so commonly used that it doesn't really matter; anyone who studies Japanese seriously was going to have to learn them anyway. Plus, the jouyou list hadn't been revised for 29 years, which does seem like a pretty long time to me.

I'm just afraid of the precedent this sets: if the Japanese are okay with the government just adding a few more kanji "here and there", we could be in one of those slippery-slope type situations. Today it's 2,136; tomorrow, they may start basing the list on Natsume Souseki's elephantine vocabulary, and before you know it we'll all have to learn forty-thousand kanji, and White Rabbit will have to stop printing Kanji Flashcards because the world will run out of trees. Will you join me as I make a stand against both Kanji Inflation AND Deforestation? I don't want to nip the "let's add more Kanji!" trend in the bud just because I'm lazy, it's because I care about the environment, dammit.

[Via Kirainet]

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Karen Mead
Karen MeadContributor   gamer profile

Hi, I'm a former newspaper journalist who got tired of having a front row seat to the death of print. There probably could be some interesting story there about a disenchanted reporter moving on ... more + disclosures



Filed under... #learn japanese



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