Hard to read? Does it change?


#1

I am just starting with WaniKani and I have noticed that many kanji on the page have intricate sections. I understand why this is the case, but my question is whether this makes Japanese harder to read on electronics? Do readers use a larger font? I say this because my grandmother has poor vision and I couldn’t imagine how she would get by if she ever had to read Japanese.

ください & ありがと


#2

It often depends on the font, the style, and the size. There are quite a few times when trying to read small kanji that you’ll struggle, but generally, if you’re familiar with the kanji, you’ll probably recognize it without being able to see the small details. Even if you aren’t completely sure of the kanji, you can usually guess based on context.


#3

I’m farsighted, so I need glasses for reading. When I first started I needed to enlarge the characters on the screen in order to distinguish them, but as I got more familiar with how certain kanji are used, I’ve grown more and more accustomed to seeing them how they come. I wouldn’t say that my recognition is 100%, but I’ve certainly gotten used to the shapes of the frequently used kanji.

EDIT: Handwritten kanji, though. That get real difficult if one doesn’t know the stroke orders of the characters or if one is not accustomed to seeing handwritten kanji on a regular basis.


#4

This.

Also, Japanese texts on websites are usually slightly larger than English texts. Compare https://en.wikipedia.org and https://ja.wikipedia.org. The English Wikipedia uses 14px font-size, whereas the Japanese one is more like 15.1px font-size.


#5

Hehe, some video games make reading quite difficult. The Monster Hunter games for the 3DS can be quite difficult to see on the standard size screens (not many issues on the XL, personally). You definitely start getting the feel for them because radicals have particular locations they sit in the kanji. Even if a character is squished, the radical map is usually still comprehensible. Now handwritten kanji, on the other hand…


#6

Even elderly English speakers often need to increase the font sizes on electronic devices to read comfortably. But as others said, the tiny details rarely make the difference between two kanji. Most kanji that have lots of strokes create a general shape that is distinguishable even if slightly blurred or obscured.

Take 憂鬱 for instance. You probably can’t see all the individual strokes at typical font sizes, because there’s just not enough room, but I expect people who have reached level 55 should be able to recognize it.


#7

Heck yeah it does. On computers, I often ctrl+alt+pluskey(+) to enlarge the page. Works wonders if you’re wanting it bigger!


#8

Also I think on most browsers, hold down the control key and scroll mouse wheel up to enlarge font


#9

Whatever that most recent FF game is has the most obnoxious font ever.


#10

Thanks for the replies. I have good eyes myself but this is all good info.