Chinese vs Japanese writing

There’s some cases, though I can’t think of any examples, where the kanji is identical to the simplified Chinese character.


The one that always pops out at me is the “guo” in Mandarin. I think it’s “goku” in Japanese? In anycase, the simplified character the Chinese use for “country.”

No more so than if you’re going by a short phrase, absent context, in any other language. After all, the language under discussion here (Japanese) is an oral language and thus it is the sound, not the written symbols, that are of import for usual communication. The advantage of kanji is that it provides a definition readily without having to wait for more context clues. Of course, there may be some situations where, even with kanji, one still needs more context to glean the actual meaning of the written phrase.

At any rate, the kana do not carry any meaning whatsoever–they merely represent sounds.