I have been wondering this for a while now, but hesitated to ask.

I have been studying jouyou kanji for several years, yet I do not know if there is a general way of how to read a list of kanji out loud. How do Japanese people generally read a single kanji?

Or is it unusual to read a list of kanji out loud, as some kanji on themselves are rather to be understood?

1 Answer 1


I am not sure if there any traditions or rules regarding kanji lists, but usually when someone refers to a particular kanji it is called by its common use and the word it is in, without separating 訓読み from 音読み.

Some kanjis have no 訓読み at all, some kanjis have a wide list of 音読み so it is very hard to distinguish which kanji are you referring to by calling one of its pronunciations. To solve this problem people refer to a particular usage of a kanji which is made using an example of a commonly known word.

For example:

  • referring to 漁 it's said 漁船のギョ
  • referring to 電 it'd said 電気のデン and so on.
  • Thank you, that's true, some kanji only have 音読み reading, thanks for reminding!
    – magissa
    Aug 23, 2014 at 4:45

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