I know there are 音読み and 訓読み.

In case of 国, but has 2 way to pronounce: 国{くに} vs 国{こく}.

When to use which?

  • 1
    You are going to need to give more context to make the question genuinely answerable but the basic answer is that the word is pronounced コク or in sino-Japanese compounds. When standing alone, it is generally くに. Here's a list of some common words – virmaior Dec 2 '15 at 8:48
  • very good question. – oldergod Dec 2 '15 at 9:13
  • Do you plan to ask this question for every kanji? What did you learn from japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/28371 ? – oals Dec 2 '15 at 14:18
  • Do you know that 音読み is the copy of old Chinese pronunciation, and 訓読み is the translation into original Japanese. Generally, only either 訓読み or 音読み is used in a word. Please clarify what is your question with some examples or some sources. – Toshihiko Dec 2 '15 at 14:37
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    @EricWang Paste your kanji into wwwjdic's kanji lookup for this sort of thing. Pasting 国 there returns [音] コク [訓] くに – oals Dec 2 '15 at 16:29

When 国 is used as a part of idiom like 米国, it's pronounced こく like 米国(べいこく). When it's used alone, it's pronounced くに.

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  • 3
    Why has it been down-voted? – 永劫回帰 Dec 2 '15 at 13:16

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