Point of interest: variant forms and spellings

variant forms and spellings
250 words
In Japanese, the use of so many characters (kanji and kana) to write words naturally leads to far more variants in the way words can be written than in alphabetical languages such as English, and over time, variant forms of many words have come to be considered perfectly acceptable. As a result, when learning Japanese, you will start to encounter different forms of words very early on, and it is a good idea to develop tools for learning how the same word can be represented in different ways.
As an early learner, you will encounter many words which use kana instead of a kanji you are unlikely to have encountered. The most common example of this is the days of the week, which in their full correct form use the kanji
, but are very often presented to beginners with よう in kana instead:
As you advance, words which use kanji outside the Joyo, or which themselves are not common, are very often presented in kana. However, in many words, the alternatives have no particular rhyme or reason, and are simply 'alternatives'. For example:
Alternative forms are extremely common in Japanese - about 60,000 words in Japanese have at least one variant, and although there are about 260,000 words in Kanshudo's vocabulary dictionary, there are only about 180,000 'words' - the remaining 80,000 are variants of about 60,000 of those words. Most words only have a single variant, but 16 have ten or more!!

Kanji used in this point of interest

ヨウ    day of the week   
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ド   ト   ground; earth   つち ground, earth, soil   
ニチ   ジツ   sun; day   ひ    -か    
ヤク   エキ    office, role; service   
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リツ   リュウ   た to stand   たてる to build   
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