[Japanese] 賛成


Chinese script Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence

賛成(さんせい, sansei), meaning approval; agreement; support; or favour. This seems to be the most common way of using the character 賛(san) in a sentence, even though there are many words which can be formed from the character.

On first searching, the first character (賛) does not appear to exist in Chinese, however on further digging as I am fairly sure there is a Chinese parallel to the above word, I discovered 贊成 (zaan3 sing4 [Jyutping] / zan4 cheng2 [Pinyin]) which is written very subtly different.

There are extra ticks on the left size for the small particles(?) on top of the first character, with a difference also in the last stroke on each — if that makes sense. I would be wrong for me to assume, but I can hypothesise that this is another case of where those that brought hanzi to Japan seemed to have misremembered some words. My dad used to like to laugh about how ‘study’ in Japanese seems to translate to something completely different in Chinese. More on that another time.

It’s interesting to discover these differences between the two languages, and it would be interesting to see what differences Japanese has with Korean also. Alas, I know much less Korean than I do of Japanese or Chinese…