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How important is Kanji nowadays?

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I've been told that nowadays there isn't much focus on the Kanji characters in most texts aside from official newspapers and school textbooks, so my question is: how true is that statement, and how much do I really need to learn to be considered fluent?

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It's absolutely fake. Kanji is still used pretty much everywhere, even in kids' manga (it usually has furigana then, though not always) and there's no way to become fluent in Japanese without learning it.

In general, to be considered fluent in Japanese one should know roughly 2000 kanji, I think. At least that's the official version. Maybe we don't need that much to be more or less fluent, but I must say that at ~600 kanji that I know I'm nowhere near fluency.

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If you ask me, Japanese without Kanji would look kinda awful. Moreover, Kanji help to disambiguate sentences. Therefore, if you have a real interest in learning Japanese, just learn them. :grin:

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  • 1 month later...

Kanji is really unlikely to disappear any time soon. Because of the limited number of phonemes in Japanese, there are a high number of homonyms, and kanji is often used to distinguish. Sake: one time it'll be the drink, another it means salmon. Hana: sometimes it means flower, others it means nose. There are sometimes small pronunciation differences, but to see them written in kana without any context, you wouldn't know which was which. The different kanji help to clarify.

Others in this thread are correct: around 2000 kanji are required for basic literacy. The more you know, the easier learning will be for you.

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