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What do you think about the influence of the Chinese language towards the Japanese language?

I have heard that some Japanese and also Korean think that the Chinese language in due time had spoilt their languages (Japanese, Korean) by its influence (writing system). Many Japanese also complain that KANJI are hard to study (i agree on that).

One of my Korean friends once said that the Chinese language disfigured Korean language by its disharmonious words.

Do you think that the influence of the Chinese language to Japanese was negative? Or you think that it was positive?

For learning: Japanese
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    I would like to hear about your opinion, too. What do YOU think?

    I personally have never heard any Japanese people express negative opinions about the influence of Chinese on Japanese. Even primary school textbooks in Japan cover this subject and have a section that highlights borrowings from Chinese, Portuguese and Dutch in a neutral to positive light. Loanwords from English have been on the rise for the last few decades too. There has been some resistance but very few people are bitter about it.

    Similarly, the majority of English vocabulary is of non-Germanic origin (mostly Latin and French) and contact with other languages even caused some structural changes in English grammar but almost no one harbors resentment toward this linguistic fact. Contrary to popular belief, Chinese itself has been greatly influenced by a bunch of languages (in ancient times by Altaic languages such as Mongolian and Manchurian and many other vernacular languages spoken by the so-called ethnic minorities that actually used to be the majority in many parts of China, and in modern times, mostly by Japanese and European languages for the last 100+ years) but most people in China seem to be fine with it. Sure, it’s not widely publicized, and most people are not aware of it, but a lot of academic ink has been spilled on the subject and many scholars in Chinese linguistics do acknowledge a major impact. For some reason, however, I hardly ever see articles deploring the invading influence of foreign languages or some such.

    The way I see it, it is not so much a question of linguistics as one of politics and ethnic emotion. I have my opinions but I won’t bleat on about this issue here.

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