Appendix talk:Single character gairaigo

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A note on obscurity – I asked my go-to expert on Japanese details about this (60-something Japanese language teacher, literature major, author – the kinda person who knows the reading of 御御御付 off the top of her head), and she was unfamiliar with almost all of these. Specific comments follow.

These are common:

  • 頁 ページ pēji “page” – she uses this herself in writing
  • 零 ゼロ zero “zero” – this is quite common, and easy to miss (れい rei is the native reading)
  • 打 ダース dāsu “dozen” – commonly used in drink packaging, esp. beer

These are marginal:

  • 釦 鈕 ボタン botan “button” – stated that it was usually glossed in kana if written, and incorrectly wrote it as 鉤 from which I conclude: many people have trouble reading it and even highly educated people have trouble writing it, which is par for 表外字
  • 米 メートル mētoru “meter” – could figure this out when I asked “what’s the kanji for メートル”, based on 平米 heibei but wasn’t sure and didn’t use it generally.


  • 瓩/粁 – she also knew (and could write) 瓩, but was unfamiliar with 粁 or the general rule of composition (i.e., even knowing 瓩 and 米, couldn’t figure out 粁 without prompting – it was a puzzle, not a known character).
  • 瓲 – she understood 瓲 by analogy with 瓩 since 屯 is in common use, but again, it’s not in general use.

I’ve thus marked 頁、零、打 as common, and 釦/鈕 and 米 as marginal, with the rest as obscure, which I think is accurate, based on above.

—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 10:14, 18 August 2011 (UTC)