Monday, February 22, 2010

Kanji…What’s your level?

Kanji kentei is a Japanese test where they test your kanji ability. So what is kanji ability? Notice how Japanese Kanji has so many characters written with complicated shapes and each character has so many ways to read it? Well they test you on how you could read and write these kanji. They have 12 levels with level 10 being the easiest level (they have some levels such as Pre 2 and Pre 1 so there are 12 levels in total) and most native speakers passes through level 10 to somewhere about 8 or 7. But when you go up to level 1 fewer than 15% of the students who take it only pass the tests. Since it requires you to have at least 70% or 80% scores of the test (depending on which level you take).

Just writing out your own language’s letters…that just sounds so simple! May be the impression you might get but no, there are so many kanji in Japan and every kanji has practical way to write it and so many ways to read it. So the test itself is very difficult!

Here is an example;
開ける(akeru)= To open (doors), 開く(hiraku)= To open (party, festival).
Although both kanji and the meaning is same, by changing the letters which comes after the kanji the meaning changes from opening a door and opening a party. And here is another example of “akeru,” 空ける(akeru) = To open (room). This time it means to open a room. Its different kanji but how to read it is the same. Complicated ey?

Although it is very complicated, if you are interested, anyone around the world is more than welcomed to take the test. They also have test centers around the world in such place as; U.S, Australia, Canada, China, Taiwan, Thai, Singapore, U.K., and Italy! So start learning some kanji and take a step closer to the language, Japanese!

1 comment:

九份 said...


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