The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

Also, I think nowadays (unicode-wise at least),
is the standard Chinese display form of the character,
is the standard Japanese display form.
There’s a handful of characters like that, for example vs.

I’m using markup to specify between them:
<span lang="zh">令</span>
<span lang="jp-jp">令</span>

Googling it sounds like in this case the official Chinese version of the character was updated to match the older handwritten form, whereas in Japanese both forms still exist, it’s just one of those things where characters can be written slightly differently in different contexts. (like printed vs. handwritten)


Can you run me over how to get firefox to display japanese instead of chinese characters again? I can’t find your last explanation (and am running a new configuration)

I’m pretty sure in Chinese too both variants exist. It’s just that the so called “simplified Chinese” is actually a standardization of printing based on cursive handwriting (like if textbooks, newspapers and poker books printed in English had started to consistently use Lucida instead of Times Roman or Helvetica).

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Sure, if you set one of your browser language preferences to Japanese (along with English and whatever else you want), those characters should default to Japanese when not specified.

Looks like in Firefox it’s this area of preferences:

It looks like “Choose…” → adding Japanese to the list and moving it down to the bottom of the list works for me.
(the menu is a little confusing… I would have thought Set Alternatives would be the way to go but Choose seemed the one to pick) (normally I use Chrome)

If English is still the primary one (top of the list in Choose), it shouldn’t cause any major trouble, but it does seem like sometimes websites default to Japanese if it’s specified for some reason, so if that ends up being annoying feel free to turn it off - it’s only a few characters anyway, and getting used to both forms of them isn’t the worst thing in the world.

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In general, yes, but it seems like the “traditional” non-simplified characters in this case match the simplified Chinese usage moreso than the Japanese (if wiktionary is to be believed at least):

I’m definitely not one to ask about usage in Chinese though! So I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if it’s used in some capacity, I just thought the computer formatting by language setting was interesting. (or I might be misunderstanding what you mean)

Can I mark myself right for returning “middle” instead of “center” for 中央?

Yeah, I would

Is this a Bunpro typo? I’m terribly at katakana but スマート means smart right?

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スマート means slim. In Japanese.

I mean, it can mean well-dressed in English too, but they kinda warped it.


It’s a nice addition to the katakana topic going on right now :grinning:


Yup, let’s move it there. We’ve already talked about dogs, mayo and 唐揚げ.

But it is derived from smart right?

I thought smart meant “intelligent” exclusively

Nah, someone can be smartly dressed, as in well dressed / fashionable. It’s just an old fashioned usage in English.


It is.

You look smart is something a dad might say to his son on prom night. (or really any time the son is dressed up). As noted, it’s not used by young people.

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What’s the difference between labour, work and toil? Why does WK not have these as synonyms? (do they mean the same but WK chose a single one for each kanji for random crabigatory reasons?)

Work is a general term, basically any form of putting in effort to get something done.

Labour is usually physical work. Bricklaying is labour, building furniture is labour. Accounting is definitely work, but it’s not labour.

Toil is exceptionally exhausting (also usually physical, but not always) work.


thank you very much my english keeps failing me

Which kanji do you mean specifically? Like 働 and 努, for instance?
So far I’ve only seen 過 pointing to the wrong nuance, but the rest make sense :slight_smile: .

Screenshot from 2021-10-17 21-25-42

Given that this text is displayed left to right, what’s up with the empty space on the left? Is this normal or does it denote something like a “、” ?)