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Trying to go against the current

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Adapting Kanji to English

A while ago I started wondering if English would benefit from being written in Chinese characters, as the English spelling system is already something of a mess, maybe a pure logography would benefit English.
While I’m not the first person to come up with this idea, the other attempts I’ve seen have been underwhelming, to say the least.



I’m using Kanji over Hanzi or Hanja because I’m most familiar with Kanji over the other two, and because Japanese uses Kanji in a mixed script. If English were to adopt Chinese characters, then I believe it would likely use a mixed script.

English mixed script

While thinking about this, I realized English already appears to use a mixed script. It has two alphabets (uppercase and lowercase), similar to Japan’s two syllabaries (Hiragana and Katakana), and a logography. However, there appear to be far less logographs in English, and they’re all almost exclusively used for short-hand. The best example I can think of is the #, which can be read as ‘hash’/‘hashtag’/‘number’ depending on the surrounding context.


Yingzi was something created by a conlanger mimicking Chinese characters, and one of the other attempts at creating a logography for English. While I’ve gone through the article, I think that Yingzi is honestly kind of stupid, but that’s only because the symbols the author chose are over-complicated, and thus uncomfortable for actual use.

Kanji Only

Kanji adapted to English but without a mixed script, so purely logographic.
Since I haven’t had the time, I haven’t bothered to work on this yet.

Mixed Script

Kanji adapted to English with latin used in addition to Kanji in a mixed script.
Similarly to the previous section, I haven’t worked on this yet.

English Logography

Since English already contains a few logographs, I figured it would make sense to mix the existing symbols together to create a unique logography. I’ve already identified a few symbols that could serve as good logographs, which are listed below.


  • Numerals
    • 0
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
  • Currency symbols
    • $
      • Money, Currency, Dollars (american or otherwise)
    • ¥
      • Money, Currency, Yen, Yuan
    • ¢
      • Cents, pennies, small amounts of money.
      • Money, Euro
  • Other
    • #
      • Number, Hash, Numeral
    • @
      • At, location, area
    • %
      • Percentage, division
    • ~
      • ‘Around’; ‘Roughly’
      • Music; Playful tone.
    • X
      • In regular English it’s already occasionally read as ‘cross’ or ‘Christ’.
lb/en.kanji.txt · Last modified: 2024-04-25 09:02:38 by ninjasr

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