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Kanji skills decline in digital age

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By Miwa Suzuki

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others say the shift frees up brainpower for more useful things, like foreign languages, and even improves writing as a whole.

Balderdash! What space ship did you get off at. Just look at what the natives are doing on the trains and you can see that it frees up what little is left of their brainpower to drool at AKB48 dollies and play video games.

thought children should keep learning the characters in the way they have done for hundreds of years.

More like 3,000 years, or at least 1,400 in Japan's case. They preceded the invention of paper.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Thinking that all the way in their K-12 education Japanese students have to learn how to read really surprises me! In most other languages (including English!) a child can read a news paper (not necessarily to understand it, only to read it!) half way in their first year of their primary school! But not in Japan, they have to be well into their high school (or be exceptionally smart) to be able to pick up a newspaper and read it! I find such an investment absolutely insane! English and all other Indo-Europian languages have evolved to fit the times during the last few thousand years, but the Japanese and Chinese seem to take a take so much pride in keeping an archaic form of writing!

14 ( +18 / -4 )

the Japanese and Chinese seem to take a take so much pride in keeping an archaic form of writing!

That might be strategic. It could be a simple and effective way of keeping others out. You can never get inside a culture without knowing the language and without cultural literacy. That's part of what makes it "very very difficult" except for the most persistent, passionate and (often) scholarly non-Japanese or non-Chinese to gain entry to society. Even then, other barriers exist.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

So, what would “ultra-violet street fighting rays” be in Japanese? ;)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So, what would “ultra-violet street fighting rays” be in Japanese? ;)

"shigaishigasensen" - 紫外市街戦線

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

While some bemoan what they see as the loss of history and culture, others say the shift frees up brainpower for more useful things, like foreign languages, and even improves writing as a whole.

Could be. The number of times I hear my Japanese colleagues bemoaning other colleagues poor "Japanese writing" is astonishing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What is the role of education? To prepare children for the future. Hand written kanji are simply not part of the future. Already 99% of the kanji I see at work are in emails and typed documents. The 1% I do see are normally abbreviated notes written on a whiteboard or blackboard, or more often just scrawled in hiragana because kanji are too dense to be read easily unless they're written REALLY BIG... which means that hiragana are more efficient.

Stop wasting kids' time teaching them stuff they'll never use. It really is that simple.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Every Japanese must master at least four different character sets (including the Latin alphabet). But to write out words phonetically without using the kanji risks confusion because there are so many homonyms. If somebody says "seiko," how do I know if he means success, a brand of wristwatch, steel manufacturing or sexual intercourse? (The context usually helps, but not always.)

But once mastered kanji are not that difficult to use. I found I could read excerpts from a Japanese medical textbook much more easily than one written in English, since even technical terms are comprehensible when written out in ideographs.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

People all around the world are forgetting how to write, this isn't a Japanese phenomenon. English cursive writing is all but dead, many people even have a hard time with english print handwriting.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@Virtuoso

There are plenty of homonyms in English and other languages that use an alphabet system. Yes, context or a specific explanation is how you tell which meaning is intended.

Alphabets are vastly superior over ideogram writing systems in terms of time needed to learn them. This advantage is not even remotely counterbalanced by some small space saving benefit.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land, try to read a Japanese text written in Romaji. You will know Japanese texts written in Japanese letters are much more readable than Japanese texts written in Roman aphabets.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Kanji are perfectly okay as a means of communication. Any vaguely intelligent kid will be able to read most of a newspaper by the age of ten or so, just as in countries with alphabets, because they don't learn kanji only at school; they see them on TV or in manga or they ask their parents.

Seems to me that people who don't like kanji are generally unwilling to put in the considerable effort required by an adult starting from scratch to learn them. Which is fine, but sounds a bit like sour grapes.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The argument that kanji are "economical" because they require fewer symbols has been proven false by linguistic experts. Native speakers of alphabet-based languages do not read each letter in a word one by one, rather, they "see" the entire word and recognize its entire pattern visually in exactly the same way as kanji are recognized visually by Chinese or Japanese speakers. What makes an alphabet format superior is that each component of that visual symbol/word corresponds to a specific sound, whereas kanji components do not and usually veer off into abstraction. The Koreans figured this out and wisely ditched kanji for the hangul alphabet long ago (hangul is also nicely compact, and I think it it this "visual compactness" that Chinese and Japanese mistake for "economy"). That said, kanji are elegant and aesthetically pleasing (except when written in neon!).

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Space saving benefit is minor/non existent IMO. In the case of text messages, going to Japanese text allows only 70 characters per old-style SMS. However the ability to convey meaning without ever having seen the word before is very useful. I can read much more Japanese than i can understand in spoken language, just based on being able to guess words from their Kanji.

People try to compare that to some of the latin roots of English words, but that only works in some cases. Most cases unseen words have to be inferred by the context. In Japanese it works most of the time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That boy should put his tablet away, get out of the road and look where he is going.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

the iPad is a great device for learning and practicing kanji, you can draw them with your finger. Guess you can do the same with other tablets?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I know mine have as I don't write it much on paper anymore save the end of the year reports (指導要録), everything is usually email. Don't have the time nor motivation to practice writing anymore either.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This article, while hedging its bets toward the end, helps to debunk the moral panic about declining Japanese abilities. Having two chatterbox haafu sons, normal Japanese boys, it's obvious that their communicative repertoire and expressiveness are far beyond past norms. The linguistic and cultural purists are just going to have to stew in their juices because, now increasingly, languages change.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

For Kanji, we have to learn not only its shape and meaning but also its stroke order. The most difficult Kanji has more than 20 strokes and it's too complex to memorize its correct orders. If not, however, my test score may drop significantly. It's ridiculous and and may cause many students to hate leaning Kanji!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Im battling to keep this alive with my family at the moment. Since moving to the US, my Japanese husband is the one who "doesnt see the need" for keeping the childrens Japanese alive. I am desperately trying to, but Im not a native speaker and it would be far better coming from him. Very frustrating. Language is a gift, not just because of the mechanics of reading and writing it, but also because understanding it offers a window into a completely different way of thinking from your own native way. You may not agree with it, or even empathise with it, but it can only be a good thing to truly understand another culture. At this rate the kids are going to get dodgy eigo (from him) and dodgy nihongo (from me)! Maybe we should just give up and send them to Spanish school....!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The reliance on technology can become indeed a problem. What do you do if you suddenly cannot rely on your smartphone anymore? Like, say after a global thermonuclear war where all the fancy gadgets are rendered to useless relics due to EMP. Ok maybe that a too drastic example, but still.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I find myself increasingly using Chinese Kanji characters in my handwritten notes, as they are often quicker to write, easier (more legible) to read back, and a single character can often be used for a longer word such as a country, a writing scheme that was often used in older Japanese companies. When driving, I pick up the Kanji characters on a road direction sign before any English words on it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I remember talking to a college kid years ago about one of his final papers he had to write. It had to be handwritten and there could not be more than 2 or 3 (I can't remember which) kanji corrections per page.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the iPad is a great device for learning and practicing kanji, you can draw them with your finger. Guess you can do the same with other tablets?

Yup. Android has this great app called Obenkyo which is a great way to learn kanji, it can randomly ask for a knji's meaning, or show you a meaning and ask for the kanji and even ask you to draw a random kanji, with a pretty great recognition software for the strokes. Best of all, it's free. I have learned a few dozen kanji thanks to it, but I've not been studying lately.

I don't know if Windows 8 has a similar app... but anyway people can just install Bluestacks which is an Android app player for Windows and install the Obenkyo Android app.

Anyway, I realized the phenomenon the article talks about when I noticed kanji mistakes in written discussions with younger Japanese, they type the words phonetically, but the program selects the wrong kanji and they don't even notice before sending the mails or messages. It's only when I point out the sentence makes no sense that they realize they've made a mistake. I don't remember the word they used for that though, for a kanji error.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I noticed kanji mistakes in written discussions with younger Japanese, they type the words phonetically, but the program selects the wrong kanji and they don't even notice

Not only younger Japanese; I get sent documents to translate that have to first be 'reverse-engineered' to work out what the intended homophone was. The newbies in the office tend to get their stuff screened before it goes out; it's the old-timers who are too senior to be checked who send in the biggest bloopers.

I think it's called henkanmisu (変換ミス).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@kchoze,

Thanks for the app info. I've installed it and it works really well. Much appreciated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder what percentage of expats can read the typical article in the Japanese newspaper without being roadblocked by kanji that they don't know. Anyone guess?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

With regards to language, the same argument can be applied to every language in the world, it's just the symbols that usually differ. I sometimes get into heated debates with fellow native English speakers about how strict teachers should be in regards to proper grammar, spelling, the Oxford comma... you name it, and really there is no right or wrong, but the point one friend in particular makes is that languages, especially English, are fluid and forever changing. He argues that none of the typical rules matter so long as a message ultimately gets across and is clearly understood. In a way, he's bang on, but it's hard to let go of the idea that languages need rules and that those rules should be followed.

With regard to Kanji in particular, I agree and disagree that proficiency is decreasing. I think we can all safely agree that in general proficiency in writing is dropping due to modern technology, but in terms of overall awareness of characters, I would argue that in many cases the ease of access to look them up, their readings, and their meanings, can actually INCREASE via software and apps. I play Kanji games and read about the history of the characters, practice stroke order, do quizzes, etc. on my phone and computer all the time, and I know more difficult Kanji than most Japanese I know (and can write it as well). Admittedly, I often forget or cannot read everyday 'difficult' Kanji and usually don't even bother to read a newspaper, but still. As for word meaning and what not, perhaps because I'm not Japanese, I'm kind of the opposite in that if I am presented with a Hiragana/Katakana word I don't understand, if I am shown the Kanji that represents the meaning I CAN understand it.

What I really wanted to add is this -- Kanji will never fully be lost or disappear, especially so long as China and Chinese exist. There will always be students for calligraphy classes, and as proficiency in writing decreases there will be an increase in people who want to keep it alive and practice it solely for that sake. It is indeed beautiful. That said, blaming modern tech is absolutely pointless... same as blaming ball point pens for the loss of use of fountain pens, or TVs for less people listening to the radio. Technology will always move forward, and clinging to the past solely for the sake of fear of losing identity is futile and can only stall progress for a short time. One of the best examples of an exercise in uselessness that I can think of in regards to Kanji is in writing resumes (CVs). I don't know of anywhere else in the world where a hand-written resume is accepted, let alone required.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I love/hate Kanji to be honest with you all - its just the remembering of their strokes.If I see a Kanji, I can say that means such and such but writing it is a different story.

To me Kanji is basically an alphabet and you don't see those who are native English/German/Thai etc struggling with their own. The chinese language has basically every word as an individual Kanji and these kids aren't struggling.

If I'm stuck at which Kanji to use, I can hop on the computer change the language to Hiragana then type away, press the spacebar and a list of Kanji pops up with their meanings beside - which to me is a God send of the digital era

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This loss happens with other languages also... the art of Calligraphy is getting lost, because the technology writes for us, I'm a Spanish speaker (native) so when I was little we did a lot of Calligraphy at school, but not only that, we are also losing orthography we don't have as much stresses like French but there are a set of rules for using them, Computers and the use of twitter makes the language deformed (young ones write "ke" instead o "que" although "ke" it's not a word), and also we have a new "language" the emojis... I didn't know for example that 1313 was the internet symbol for a face moving the eyebrows up and down, and there are a lot of them, I do regret the loss of writing with a fountain pen Although I don't know Japanese or Chinese I'm pretty sure that If I was born there I'd have loved the handwriting...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ZombieNemesis Exactly. I find cursive easier to write in because it flows better for me. I also think it is a more attractive way to write but not many of my classmates can read it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are plenty of homonyms in English and other languages that use an alphabet system. Yes, context or a specific explanation is how you tell which meaning is intended.

Sorry. But it doesn't even compare to the amount of homonyms used in the Japanese language. Hence, it becomes a debate of learning kikan (期間、機関、器官、気管、帰還、基幹) or (term, engine, organ, trachea, return, nucleus)

It's debateable whether or not the recent technology advances have made "kanji skills" decline for my guess is that people are still able to "read" these sets of characters more so than in the past due to text messaging (i.e. more exposure) but for obvious reasons, the ability to handwrite these characters might have declined.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cool. At the rate I'm learning it, we can meet half-way in a few years.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Koreans figured this out and wisely ditched kanji for the hangul alphabet long ago (hangul is also nicely compact, and I think it it this "visual compactness" that Chinese and Japanese mistake for "economy").

Reminds of the KTX railroad crosstie 방수 防水 incident. 

Water resistant to water absorbent.

http://news.sbs.co.kr/section_news/news_read.jsp?news_id=N1000546173

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think writing in Kanji won't die out, just more people would prefer to type it instead of handwriting. Very few die hards only want handwritten letters in snail mail, or crazy college professors that want a 10 page handwritten essay. Even at my job and every day life I still have to write (in English only though) my grocery list, taking notes, and stickies/post-its. Cursive should be dead though, I see no point in it except to learn how to write your signature.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not just the Kanji skills but with the increase in use of email, text messages, social media and the rest has forced the decline of verbal/visual interaction. We now have much more time to draft correspondence. It seems as a race and a society we are losing this talent and basic human instinct. It seems to help our natural insecurities of facing one another in person. It will most likely evolve even further.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tie this article with the one about the ojii-san suing NHK for using too many adopted English words in their broadcasts, and you'll get a good idea of how many out there hate change.

I was taught cursive penmanship in elementary school. It's not taught anymore because the only need for cursive these days is in a signature and you can use just about ANYTHING for that. Those weeks spent each year trying to get the kids to write letters correctly using tools that have been around for a century are better spent teaching the kids to use the tools available today. People here bemoan the same things that this article brings up, but the fact is that in the digital age, hand-writing ANYTHING whether in cursive or print is considered an anachronistic exercise.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm guessing that the shift away from knowing so many Kanji is invested in acquiring new skills and digital language that the younger generations need and are at the forefront of inventing, using and implementing as the face of society changes. The fact is that the modern social and communications landscape is undergoing a seismic shift and perhaps having to know and use so many Kanji is simply redundant.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Koreans figured this out and wisely ditched kanji for the hangul alphabet long ago

I couldn't agree more. Japanese waste a ton of time memorizing a couple thousand kanji when kana works just as well. If the Koreans can do it so can the Japanese.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Have you even seen Japanese written completely in kana? Its an absolute eyesore.

As for Hangul, wise as though it may be, it was simply another way to differentiate them from their neighbors because they felt the need to be special.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In most other languages (including English!) a child can read a news paper (not necessarily to understand it, only to read it!) half way in their first year of their primary school! But not in Japan, they have to be well into their high school (or be exceptionally smart) to be able to pick up a newspaper and read it!

This is a nice bragging point, but the point of reading a newspaper is to understand its content, NOT to sound out the words.

Kanji is definitely higher density.

Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet 紅橙色黃綠青藍紫

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Change with the times !!!! Change is a big step in moving forward......

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is sad to see how technology and changing culture seems to be destroying languages. In English, slang terms are increasingly replacing the original accepted terms, making the language seem foreign, even alien. Even though I know people are technically speaking English, I can't understand what they are saying due to the high density of slang terms and "text talk". It seems to be happening with Kanji as well. Admittedly I know very little Kanji (having only just begun learning it), but I prefer it to Hiragana and Katakana (in which I'm fluent) since it is easier to write long words and sentences without taking up so much space (as in the cited case of Twitter, with its 140 character limit). I think Kanji should continue to be used properly, written out by hand. Relying on smartphones or computers doesn't really help you memorize the characters. If I had used my computer when learning the two kana, I would not be fluent. Using the same characters time and time again has got them ingrained in my long term memory. So if asked to write a sentence in Hiragana for example, I can confidently do so, without having to look up the symbols. The same will apply with Kanji once I have had enough practice writing it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As for Hangul, wise as though it may be, it was simply another way to differentiate them from their neighbors because they felt the need to be special.

No it wasn't. It was to increase literacy levels among the masses. Much like the Chinese with their simplified kanji.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

technology and changing culture seems to be destroying languages. In English, slang terms are increasingly replacing the original accepted terms, making the language seem foreign, even alien.

Language evolves and develops with or without technology. People from the middle ages and before wouldn't understand your pristine, slangless 'accepted' form of English. It isn't 'destroyed', it has simply changed over time to meet the needs of the evolving culture. When a language stops evolving, that's when it dies.

As smitty says, the new technology may mean that people are writing fewer kanji by hand, so skills there are dropping; but it also means we have easy access to and awareness of many, many more kanji. Swings and roundabouts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I note that the young birdbrain in the foreground of the photograph is completely absorbed in his tablet computer while in a pedestrian crosswalk, making him an ideal candidate for a Darwin Award. In which case he'll only need to know kanji to sign his organ donation release form.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They still need kanji, one reason is homonyms that other commenters mentioned, the other is that in Japanese language, there is no spacing between words. Kanji tells you instantly which letters are noun, adjective, verb, and so on, because these words are usually written in kanji, and it works like some sort of spacing in other language. If sentences were written all in hiragana, it just looks like letters one after another, it takes more time to know which is vocabulary and which is connection like は after subject or を after object. If it was one sentence or two, it might be OK, but you can't read a book written only in hiragana.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

At least what I can say to no Kanji managing people, it's ideogram, not phonogram, such difference should not be disregarded to discuss Kanji, since ideogram has its special function to curse others, with no matter if it's used for good measures, or bad ones. Ideogram does influence a lot more than phonogram using, when it's to insult others, or courage others, that's my very discovery I found in managing phonogram like this, as one of Kanji managing people. Off course there's less Kanji managing ability of Japanese than Chinese people, but I'm still able to share a lot with Chinese people through Kanji, which I'm actually trying recently. One more thing which most of you might not be so alert about, no one can get admired without enough Kanji pronouncing skill, which I'm pretty good at, in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kanji tells you instantly which letters are noun, adjective, verb, and so on, because these words are usually written in kanji, and it works like some sort of spacing in other language. If sentences were written all in hiragana, it just looks like letters one after another....

But there are plenty of languages which lack both kanji and spacing, but nobody has any trouble reading in them. Korean and Thai are examples.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Korean has spacing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@CH3CHO

You're right,written left-to-right in the modern style it does. I was thinking of an old T-shirt I had with a reproduction of an ancient text on it. My bad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@lucabrashi

I don't know how Thai works, but Korean has spacing, and if you put space between different words it could have different meaning, even though the letters are the same. Japanese without kanji would be like Korean without spacing. The example I found on the Internet, きょうはくじょうがかいしゃにきた。can mean today there were complaint to company, or a threatening letter came to a company. This is not homonyms, this depends on how you space letters. You still can read sentence all in hiragana and guess from context, but it is so tiring if you are reading books, newspapers, etc.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

IOW, kanji's inherent deficits as an efficient writing system are once again put on display.

That really is the thing: as much as I, or anyone, may like kanji, it is not as efficient a writing system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Younger generation doing this its not a good sign. Why not Japan adopt English?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why not Japan adopt English?

You first.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The hiragana syllabary is elegant and a perfect match for the Japanese language. With respect to homonyms, there are no more than in regular oral communication. In the future it would make sense to retire kanji and adopt pure hiragana, with spaces between words, much like children's books.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's just my opinion, but retiring kanji doesn't seem realistic or practical. I have read linguistic study that even in oral communication, Japanese translate words into kanji in their head because it is ideogram. Unlike phonogram, sound doesn't tell you much, letters tell you. Because kanji was imported from China, kanji has two ways to read, On-reading (imported Chinese reading) and kun-reading (Japanese reading), for example, 着 could be chaku (On-reading) and tsu (Kun-reading). Words with on-reading, because it's not original Japanese reading, the sound is foreign, so people imagine kanji in their head to understand. If Japanese retire kanji, they will lose a lot of vocabulary that were borrowed from China (and there's just too many of them to lose.) It would literally be like Children talking, poor vocabulary. Also, you could space words like children's books, but still it is not as practical as using kanji. For example,

きしゃは きしゃで きしゃしました。 (journalist went back to office by train. )   にわには にわ にわとりが いる。 (Two roosters are in the yard. )

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No it wasn't. It was to increase literacy levels among the masses. Much like the Chinese with their simplified kanji.

Yeah, because they will admit Tokiyo's reason in an official setting... :-)

IMHO, the Chinese Simplified Hanzi system is an unsatisfactory half solution. The elegance of the original ideograms is lost, a lot of words as different as "back" and "queen" now share the same glyph - between these two reasons they are really quite hard to read. Besides, there are still thousands of simplified glyphs which is comparable in count to the jouyo kanji, so they aren't saving very much on this score anyway.

The hiragana syllabary is elegant and a perfect match for the Japanese language. With respect to homonyms, there are no more than in regular oral communication. In the future it would make sense to retire kanji and adopt pure hiragana, with spaces between words, much like children's books.

I'm not sure if it is elegant, but by definition it is a perfect match for the Japanese language.

You have to be careful because they is usually more context in oral conversation than written. There is also room to use rise and fall (for example, between Rain and Candy). Sure you can put pinyin-style marks on top of the hiragana, but that would be compliated.

So you can't just compare them one to one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People should not waste any more time learning how to write kanjis, because it takes too much time, and that time could be invested elsewhere.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Keep Kanji so it doesn't get to a point where a foreign Anime Otaku is more skilled in Kanji then the Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@GldenElf

We're already at that stage. In the last month I've been asked by my university students how to write 蚊 (ka = mosquito) and 疑問 (gimon = suspicion). And they don't seem to find it strange that a Japanese is asking an Englishman!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have you even seen Japanese written completely in kana? Its an absolute eyesore.

Not any more of an eyesore than English. In fact, there is many more characters and different types of kana in Japanese than letters in English.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm willing to bet a lot of the people here who are saying that Japanese should do away with kanji are saying so because they themselves can't get a grip on kanji.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As a kid I hated kanji. Today I spend a healthy portion of my day watching high brow debate programs, writing down new vocabulary and proverbs that I come across on my second monitor at work. I have a feeling a lot of the yay vs neighs on this issue lie on the fault lines of how much bandwidth people have available in their day to day existence which causes them to be more practical.

Kanji will probably be like fencing, seamanship, and horsemanship. It will be kept alive by those who can afford to invest the time to learn it might ebentually be a sign of class. Watching medival dramas and rakugo is almost a foreign Language to me. Even WW2 era military speak is not easy to understand.

If the older generation wants the next generation to learn kanji, they have to pitch in and help end deflation, even if it means a lower income for those on "nenkin". Young people who are struggling to get by won't have the bandwidth to learn things that aren't immediately needed for money making.

Luckily, we might be nearing a cybernetic age where we just implant hardware in our heads and download kanji packs to our brain. Then we can use our freed up time to address the next thing gramps and grandma are cranky about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kanji will probably be like fencing, seamanship, and horsemanship. It will be kept alive by those who can afford to invest the time to learn it might eventually be a sign of class.

Unless the Chinese get their way, in which case kanji will be as familiar as, well, ABC ; (

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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