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    Re: SI Units
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2009 Oct 22, 21:45 -0700
    Peter Fogg wrote:
    Another good example may be the multiple scripts currently used for written Japanese, combining Chinese characters (the first writing system adopted) and two (or more?) subsequent purpose-designed scripts.  In practice none of the reformed scripts has entirely replaced older forms, although some books (and especially comics!) etc, are entirely written in the more modern kanji.  Nevertheless, it is common to see a mish-mash of Chinese and other characters in written Japanese.
    Sorry, I have to offer a correction here.   Japanese writing is primarily in kanji, which are "Chinese" characters (I quote "Chinese" because these same characters are (or at least were) also used in Korean.   Kanji has been around for a couple of millenia. 

    A Japanese can read a Chinese newspaper with fairly good comprehension despite the spoken languages being radically different, thanks to the use of an ideographic language reflecting words rather than an alphabetic one writing down spoken words.  

    But Japanese has verb inflection, adjective endings, etc, that Chinese does not.  An alphabet representing syllables and not single characters, hirigana, is used for that. 

    Another syllabic alphabet, katakana, is used to represent non-Japanese words.  

    With the shrinking of the world, Romanji (the western or roman alphabet) and western or Arabic numerals are also made their way into Japanese writings.  


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