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    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Jul 17, 2002

    Gaijin, but with what kanji ?

    Japanese is a notoriously ambiguous language. The hundreds of possible homophonic combinations with different kanji having the same pronuciation certainly makes it interesting... but also potentially confusing. The term "gaijin", normally used with the kanji for 'outside' (外) and 'person' (人), could take completely different meanings by changing the kanji. Here are a few interesting kanji to play with :


    外 (outside)
    劾 (censure, accuse of crimes/misdeeds)
    駭 (be surprised)
    礙 (obstruct; hinder; block)
    乂 (cut, subdue)
    害 (harm)
    啀 (wrangle; growl at)
    街 (street, town)
    愾 (anger)
    亥 (sign of the hog)
    該 (above-stated; the said)
    孩 (baby, infancy)
    垓 (hundred quintillion)
    鎧 (put on armour, arm oneself)


    人 (person)
    刃 (blade, sword)
    仁 (humanity, virtue, benevolence)
    尽 (befriend; serve)
    臣 (retainer, subject)
    辰 (sign of the dragon)
    神 (god)

    Here are some amusing combinations :

    劾神 : censure/accuse god (the gods) of crimes/misdeeds; or else 'divine accuser'
    外神 : outside god, divine foreigner
    外臣 : foreign subject, retainer from outside
    孩神 : baby god
    街神 : town deity
    街人 : town person, citizen
    害神 : harmful deity
    害人 : harmful person (this has been used by some Japanese instead of 外人)
    垓仁 : one hundred quintillion of virtues
    乂刃 : cutting sword
    鎧刃 : arm oneself with a sword; wearing armour and sword
    鎧辰 : armoured dragon
    愾辰 : angry dragon, the anger of the dragon
    亥辰 : the hog and the dragon (of the Chinese zodiac)

    EDIT : I have just googled all the above examples, and all of them got results. No less than 3,120,000results for 害人 ! Only 乂刃, 愾辰, 垓仁, 孩神 and 劾神 got less than 100 results. The others are in hundreds of thousands or millions.
    Last edited by Maciamo; Oct 21, 2005 at 22:45.

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