Back in mid-December, 2013, I started assembling materials for a post about the differences between Chinese and Japanese writing. I think that someone (I forget who) sent me a couple of links that stimulated me to think about this topic, and then I added some things of my own. That was about as far as I got, though, so the would-be post was filed away in my drafts folder until I stumbled upon it today.
This one is about Japanese words adopted in Chinese:
"New Japanese makes inroads into Chinese vocabulary" (10/7/08) by Mark Schreiber.
This is a subject we've addressed on Language Log before, e.g.:
"Recent Japanese loanwords in Chinese" (7/22/13).
This chart, from sci.lang.japan, is a collection of words that have the same kanji in Japan and China, but have different meanings in the two languages:
Here is a video clip about such words made by Koichi, the Koichi of Tofugu:
"Japanese Words? Chinese Words?" (6/14/11).
Tofugu is a popular Japanese language and culture blog. Incidentally, I don't know the meaning of Tofugu. Judging from the logo on the site, the "fugu" part is from the name of the dopey looking, but potentially lethal, fish that kills those who dine on its flesh when it is not properly prepared. I'm guessing that the name Tofugu may be composed of "tofu" + "fugu", where the "fu" syllable is doing double duty. That light-brown stuff on top of the cute little fugu fish in the logo might be a blob of super soft tofu, or it might be something else….
I recall that Koichi is the person who wrote about character amnesia in Japan, a subject near and dear to my heart:
"Kanji Amnesia And Why It’s Okay To Forget Kanji" (8/27/10).
Those who don't know Japanese and / or Chinese may be lulled into believing that if you read the one you can also read the other. After all, they're both written with hanzi / kanji / hanja, right? Wrong! Just because hundreds of different languages are written with the Roman alphabet (including Modern Standard Mandarin written in Pinyin and Japanese written in Romaji) doesn't mean that if you can read one of them you can read all of them. Chinese and Japanese do not even belong to the same language family, and they have very different grammars and lexicons — for starters, not to mention that, in addition to kanji, the Japanese writing system also includes two syllabaries (katakana and hiragana) plus romaji.
[Thanks to Ted Bestor, Joe Farrell, Cecilia Segawa Seigle, Linda Chance, Hiroko Sherry, and Frank Chance]