Similarity between Cantonese and Japanese Kanji Pronunciation

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by alphone, Jun 5, 2022.

  1. alphone

    alphone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    21
    From :
    https://universalalphaomega.blogspot.com/2022/06/similarity-between-cantonese-and.html


    Cantonese and the Japanese Kanji system both preserve ancient Chinese pronunciation, as well as some important ancient Chinese features not inherited by the modern official Chinese, a.k.a. Mandarin. By comparative study of Cantonese and Japanese Kanji pronunciation, we can better understand ancient Chinese, and further more, better understand ancient Chinese literature and culture.

    For example, a double-character word - ‘目的’, is pronounced ‘Mok Dek’ in Cantonese, and ‘Moku Deki’ in Japanese. Here is a comparative table :

    [Chinese character] 目 -> [Cantonese] Mok -> [Japanese] Moku
    [Chinese character] 的 -> [Cantonese] Dek -> [Japanese] Deki

    The Cantonese pronunciation of ‘目’ is ‘Mok’, the ending ‘k’ is called a Checked Tone or an Entering Tone (入聲). This is an ancient Chinese feature preserved in Cantonese but lost in Mandarin.

    The Japanese pronunciation of ‘目’ is ‘Moku’, the second syllable ‘ku’ represents the Checked Tone ‘k’ in the ancient pronunciation of ‘目’.

    Why does the Checked Tone ‘k’ in ancient Chinese become ‘ku’ in Japanese ?

    Japanese uses Kana(仮名)s to simulate foreign language pronunciation. A Kana is either a vowel sound or a consonant+vowel sound ( except for ‘ん’ / ‘ン’ which pronounces ‘n’ ), there is no Kana for a single consonant ‘k’, so the only solution is to choose a Kana of [ ‘k’ + vowel ] pronunciation to simulate the consonant-only sound ‘k’. In this case, Kana ‘く’ / ‘ク’, which pronounces ‘ku’, is chosen.

    For Chinese character ‘的’, the situation is similar.

    The Cantonese pronunciation of ‘的’ is ‘Dek ’, the ending ‘k’ is a Checked Tone.

    The Japanese pronunciation of ‘的’ is ‘Deki’, the second syllable ‘ki’ simulates the Checked Tone ‘k’.

    If we say ‘目的’ in Japanese quickly, the vowel of the second syllable of each Kanji can be pronounced lightly or omitted, so it would sound like ‘Mok Dek’, exactly the same as the Cantonese pronunciation.

    There are a lot more examples like this. Such as :

    The Chinese character ‘僕’ is pronounced ‘Bok’ in Cantonese, and ‘Boku’ in Japanese. The second syllable in the Japanese pronunciation, ‘ku’, simulates the Checked Tone ‘k’.

    ‘國’ is pronounced ‘Gwok’ or ‘Gok’ in Cantonese, and ‘Goku’ in Japanese ( in terms spelled with ‘國’ such as ‘中國’, ‘外國’, ‘全國’, etc. ). ‘ku’, the second syllable in the Japanese pronunciation of ‘國’, simulates the Checked Tone ‘k’.

    ‘擊’ is pronounced ‘Gek’ in Cantonese, and ‘Geki’ in Japanese. The second syllable in the Japanese pronunciation, ‘ki’, simulates the Checked Tone ‘k’.

    ‘敵’ is pronounced ‘Dek’ in Cantonese, and ‘Deki’ in Japanese. The second syllable in the Japanese pronunciation, ‘ki’, simulates the Checked Tone ‘k’.

    ‘薩’ pronounces ‘Sat’ in Cantonese, and ‘Satsu’ in Japanese. The second syllable in the Japanese pronunciation, ‘tsu’, simulates the Checked Tone ‘t’.

    ‘易’ pronounces ‘Yek’ or ‘Yee’ in Cantonese, and ‘Eki’ in Japanese. The second syllable in the Japanese pronunciation, ‘ki’, simulates the Checked Tone ‘k’.

    Besides, there are many Chinese characters whose pronunciation contain no Checked Tones, their Cantonese pronunciation are also similar to their Japanese Kanji pronunciation.

    For example, ‘萬’ pronounces ‘Man’ in Cantonese, and ‘Man’ in Japanese, almost identical, just slightly different in tone.

    ‘解’ pronounces ‘Gai / Kai’ in Cantonese, and ‘Gai / Kai’ in Japanese, almost the same. ( The exact pronunciation is between ‘Gai’ and ‘Kai’, so it can be written as ‘Gai’ or ‘Kai’, but neither of them is 100% accurate. )

    ‘大’ pronounces ‘Dai’ in Cantonese, and ‘Dai’ in Japanese, exactly the same.

    ‘門’ pronounces ‘Moon’ in Cantonese, and ‘Mon’ in Japanese.

    ‘簡’ pronounces ‘Gan / Kan’ in Cantonese, and ‘Gan / Kan’ in Japanese.

    ‘單’ pronounces ‘Dan’ in Cantonese, and ‘Dan’ in Japanese.

    Say ‘簡單’ in Japanese quickly, the sound is almost identical to the Cantonese pronunciation of ‘簡單’.

    ‘市’ pronounces ‘See’ in Cantonese, and ‘Shi’ in Japanese.

    ‘問’ pronounces ‘Mʌn’ in Cantonese, and ‘Mon’ in Japanese ( in terms like ‘問題’ ).

    ‘題’ pronounces ‘Tai’ in Cantonese, and ‘Dai’ in Japanese.

    ‘家’ pronounces ‘Ga’ in Cantonese, and ‘Ka’ in Japanese ( in terms like ‘家屋’ : Ka-Oku ).

    ‘話’ pronounces ‘Wa’ in Cantonese, and ‘Wa’ in Japanese ( On'yomi 音読み ).

    ‘世界’ pronounces ‘Sai Gai’ in Cantonese, and ‘Se-Gai’ in Japanese.
     
    Thomas likes this.
  2. alphone

    alphone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    21
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,721
    Likes Received:
    2,459
    Do you speak these?
     
  4. alphone

    alphone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    21
    Not all of them, but at least I am confident that the pronunciations I enumerated are correct, I heard many of them in real life.
     

Share This Page