I'm planning on picking up Chinese, but I don't want to go over the hassle of relearning every single definition. I'm pretty sure at least one Japanese sinologist has attempted making such a list, but with my limited ability to use Japanese with google I need help. Does a list like this exist somewhere online or in a book form? It shouldn't matter if it's in Japanese, but I'd prefer English
The Japanese—Chinese false friends (日中同形（異義）語) have always been a hot topic among learners of each language in both countries.
(The Chinese version with the same contents is: 《日汉同形异义词词典》)
(Same as above: 《日汉同形异义语词典》)
Both contain 1400 to 1500-ish pairs.
Googling around with the keyword above would give you a tremendous number of research papers in Japanese (and a bit Chinese). The English one returns many results too, but there seem to be few serious studies.
And while we're at it, let me introduce you to my favorite one.
A Chinese product quality manager visited a Japanese factory. He saw many automated and advanced management systems, but seemed to be most impressed by the slogan on the wall. "How demanding!", he screamed, "That must be the secret of Japanese quality!" The slogan is: 「油断一秒怪我一生」.
- Japanese: ゆだんいちびょう、けがいっしょう "One second carelessness, a lifelong injury"
- Chinese: yóu duàn yīmiǎo, guài wǒ yīshēng "Out of oil for a second, blame me for a lifetime"