3rd Kanji In This Image - Can't Figure It Out!

Tried drawing / looking up and came up short. I used google translate camera and it came back as 第 but it looks nothing like this! Tried it a second time and it came back as オー ‘on’ Katakana, but it doesn’t have the drop. Safety… on?


I’m assuming I’m just overthinking this and it’s just オ but hey - maybe it’s some weird thing I can learn about! :slight_smile:



安全第一 Google translate was right

It’s a 略字 (abbreviated character)



Fascinating! I will look up more on my own. Thanks!


Did I do something wrong or am I misinterpreting this as hostility toward my question? Google translate has been wrong or misleading very frequently as I’ve been learning. If this isn’t the right place to ask questions, where would you recommend I go in the future?


They’re just literally shocked that google translate was right.


Got it!

Seth Meyers is almost always sarcastic (and looks like it in this gif too!), so I just misinterpreted it as ‘oh my gosh, just use Google Translate you idiot.’

Thanks for clarifying! Cheers!


No! Sorry, I didn’t even think about it coming across that way. I am always surprised when Google Translate is correct. :sweat_smile:

Asking here is always a good way to check against those misunderstandings, and you’ll generally not come across anybody who is legitimately intending to be rude here. ^^’


Yeh Google Translate is all over the place


Looks like you got the misunderstanding sorted out. :smiley::+1:

There are actually two threads I would recommend. Not because questions “should” go in there or anything like that, but because a lot of users are actively watching those threads so you’ll get a better chance for responses.


Are abbreviated characters like this extremely common? In other words, is this something I should take the time to study?

This is news to me.

There’s a whole thread on it here:

From @Leebo ’s picture, 2, 6, and 12 seem to be the most common, although I have seen 1 from @hx9 ’s example before, but I don’t remember where.

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Hm, from skimming over the thread it seems that most of the listed abbreviations aren’t super common. So I guess at most it would be a good idea to just keep the list of abbreviations somewhere as a reference in case I spot a character that I don’t recognize, in case it’s an abbreviated form.


Yes, they’re not that common, I guess depending on what you’re reading.

One place they show up is on handwritten text in manga, since handwritten stuff is where you’d want to use an abbreviation.

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One place I’d like to read Japanese is fan manga I find online which often has handwritten text, so stuff like this will probably pop up somewhere. It’ll be good to at least be aware that this is a thing.



Unlike the others, this one doesn’t seem to be much of an abbreviation :sweat_smile:


I guess it’s technically fewer strokes (but only like 1 stroke fewer, lol) but honestly I find the “boil” radical to be easier to write neatly than the “big” radical.


I wouldn’t say it’s worth taking extra time to study, but just keep it in mind if you encounter something you can’t otherwise figure out, like what happened here.

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It isn’t the only Kanji that boil is converted to big, I saw on this forum the other time, so it might be nice to remember.

Chinese way would rather just write one

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@Leebo , does this graphic just represent the most common abbreviated characters, or are these all of them?

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