If “hachi” means “eight” and “bee”, how do you know which is which?

Q: If hachi is number eight and bee, how do you tell the difference between the translations? – D

A:  Very good question!  And this is the main reason that kanji is still around, you tell the difference because they have difference kanji! 八 (8) or 蜂 (bee).

Now in everyday conversation you can tell that someone isn’t saying “I’d like bee pints of beer please” or “Wow, I just got stung by an eight!”  but in science and other fields it can get very confusing and hence kanji is still important as it’s very often the best way to avoid any confusion.

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