Can anyone with a strong knowledge of Japanese/Kanji weigh in on this?
I just can’t understand why there are so many kanji with the same pronunciation.
There are just tons of kanji that all have the same ”こう”、”たい” etc. pronunciations.
Mathematically, this just doesn’t make sense.
There are 46 basic kana. Even if we just limit kanji to having two basic syllables, to get the number of unique kanji sounds you could make, you would take 46 P 2.
This is 2070 different pronunciations. That’s enough to cover pretty much all of the necessary words for basic communication.
But kanji can have up to three syllables. If we include those, we end up 91,080 different pronunciations. That’s enough to cover an entire language.
But there’s actually more than 46 sounds in Japanese. Counting all of the advanced/extended sounds, you get 114 different syllables.
So, 114 P 2 gives us 12,882.
114 P 3 is 1,442,784.
Over a million possible unique sounds that each kanji could have.
So, if I only know about 100 kanji, and there are over 1 million possible pronunciations for kanji, why the hell have I just learned about the 10th kanji that’s just pronounced “こう”?