It's pretty lucky that i'm a native Chinese speaker, so kanji isn't really a problem for me. (althogh sometimes i natually prononce kanji in Chinese lol) Actually most kanji (the Japanese pronounciation) sounds extremely similar to hanzi (the Chinese pronounciation). Watching anime is also pretty helpful lol.
Kanji are actually ideograms. They represent ideas rather than images.
The (incredibly simplified) history's kind of fascinating and funny though. "Since we don't have our own writing system let's just shoehorn the Chinese one into our lives to facilitate trade! All right, now let's use both our pronunciation and theirs for some of the words! The Chinese pronunciation changed? Eh, we'll just add it to the list... New word from our end? New pronunciation for the list!"
ACTUALLY, kanji include pictograms, ideograms, phono-semantic constructions, and possibly more that I can't remember. 日 is a sun pictogram. 五 is an ideogram representing the number five. 語 is a phono-semantic character, combining the meaning of the language radical (left half) with the pronunciation of the character for five (五/ご/go). Here's an amazing piece of writing that really helps you understand how Chinese characters have evolved. http://www.zompist.com/yingzi/yingzi.htm
Don't worry, my friend. You gotta embrace them like you are trying to make a girl like you. If you treat it with respect and if you have lots of patience, then you'll get the hang of it eventually.
Trust me. I'm not saying this because I want to make you feel better. I am saying this because it'd actually helped me understand why it is difficult at some time, but at the end of the day, you'll succeed in remember the kanjis. Thanks for your time! :-) がんばって！
Sorry, but Mercury ( Hermes ) was known as the messenger of the gods, often associated with swiftness, trading, merchants, and luck. The one you're talking about was usually referred to as "the boatman", for he would cross the lake with the dead man to Hades in exchange for a silver coin ( and that's why they would bury the dead with a coin ).
Check Mercury and Hermes on Wikipedia and you will find me correct. The ferryman you mentioned is Charon. A god could be in charge of several different tasks. Naming the seven days began in Rome, used Roman gods which were highly connected with Greek mythology. But English used Germanic mythology because Anglo-Saxon originated from Germanic. They used the gods' duties to make the connection. Woden, the highest god in Germanic mythodology is also in charge of leading the dead soul. Woden changed into Odin in Northern Europe as languages evolved. If you play seriously you may argue that Odin should match with Zeus. But on the other hand, Zeus is the god of thunder which is Thor in Norse mythology. No it just does not work in your way.
By the way, Saturday is the day of Saturnus, the god of agriculture. Thor is also in charge of the agriculture. The ancient people might think that thunder has a connection with weather which affect the agriculture. They used Thor to match with Jupiter's thunder, so they just copied Saturnus in this case.
Actually early Japanese translators combined eastern elements with these days. These days in English meas a certain god's day. These gods are related to planets and Chinese use the five elements to name the five planets that can be seen with naked eyes. We all know kanji are Chinese characters which are ideographic, so Japanese took in the Chinese names of the planets and later used it to set a connection between the English day names and translated Japanese names.
Yes to both questions. Many kanji have at least 2 pronunciations:
音読み（おんよみ）: a Sino-Japanese one, which is the approximate sound of how it was pronounced in Chinese when Japan borrowed the character. This pronunciation is used mainly when combining kanji with each other to make longer words.
訓読み（くんよみ）: a Japanese one, which is the sound it had in spoken Japanese when they selected the character to represent it. This pronunciation is used mainly when the kanji is used by itself, or as the stem of a verb/adjective.
Some kanji may have several onyomi and no kunyomi, or the other way around. In the case of 日, it has two of each:
- its onyomi is ニチ or ジツ
- its kunyomi is ひ or か
Heh, I agree in general, but I'm Chinese, so I'm in the interesting position of having significantly fewer problems understanding text if it involves a lot of kanji... and then not having a clue what's being said when I hear the exact same thing spoken aloud.
Consequently lot of my self study has involved just making flashcards containing various common pronunciations of the same damn word and trying to memorise them XD
Short story: that's the "day" part. 日 is normally pronounced ひ, but voiceless consonants (like 'h' and 'f' sounds) often turn into voiced ones ('b' or 'p') when they're preceded by other kanji.
Long story: this change is usually made for euphonic reasons, and sometimes due to historical changes in how words are written. The precise rules for when/why this occurs are pretty complicated (thanks to the latter), but as a guideline: always after 'n', often after 'chi'/'tsu', and sometimes after long vowels.
A good example is "x minutes". A minute is normally 分 （ふん）. Yet 一分 "one minute" is not いちふん, but いっぷん. "Two minutes" is simply にふん, but "three minutes" needs to change again to さんぶん. (similarly; 5, 7, and 9 use ふん, but 4, 6, 8, and 10 use ぷん)
Yeah, I understand that, but this is not a particle. That is usually written in kanji or all hiragana, because it is a full noun, whereas there is a different word that is written in hiragana. Mostly, Japanese people mix up sentences with kanji and kana, but words are usually written in one or the other (except for verbs, adjectives, and stuff like that, because they change).
Unfortunately, yes. Because Japan borrowed the characters from China and living languages are always evolving, the pronunciation of some of those kanji changed at different points in history. Rather than go along with this change, the Japanese simply added the new on'yomi as an extra option. Normally they're limited to one or two, but some can have three or four. It's fairly common for kanji to have multiple kun'yomi as well.
For example: 日 has two on'yomi: ニチ and ジツ, plus two kun'yomi: ひ and か.
NagisaShio1, The romanji is "nichi yoobi/youbi". If you go up towards the beginning of this discussion, "Jim373739" gave the hiragana for all 7 days. That might help you figure out the romanji. I used romanji in some Japanese classes a long time ago and at the time thought it was easier, since I had not learned the hiragana thoroughly. But now that I started over on dl with the hiragana, it took patience at first, but now I find it much easier to learn with and feel it prepared me to start learning a little kanji as it is presented in these lessons. I DO wish the advanced students who seem to use a lot of kanji would also add the hiragana in parentheses for those of us who do not know a lot of kanji yet. It would be SOOO helpful! Some of you do, and I greatly appreciate it.