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A friend recently showed me her name in Kanji. It was 梶原{かじわら}。I'm trying to figure out how I would say that "I knew that Kanji (原), but not that reading (わら)". If I was shown the Kanji first I would have guessed either はら or ばら.

This is what I came up with:

漢字の「原」は知っているが読み方は「わら」だと知りませんでした。

  • I occasionally run into such a situation and am very interested in knowing what should I call it. – broccoli forest Aug 21 '16 at 19:19
  • Your sentence is fine but it'd be more reasonable to include 「わら」だと in the scope highlighted by は. i.e …読み方が「わら」だとは… – user4092 Aug 22 '16 at 2:25
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    I wonder if it's not being typed, but spoken out loud, how would one say the first 「原」without first knowing its reading? Explicitly pronouncing the entire typed sentence reveals: かんじの「?」はしっているがよみかたは「わら」だとしりませんでした。 – Flaw Aug 22 '16 at 3:52
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    ^ あ~確かに・・・「『はら』という漢字は知ってましたけど、『わら』とも読めると(いうの)は知りませんでした。」とか・・・ – Chocolate Aug 22 '16 at 13:45
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Your translation sounds very good already (I'm a native speaker). If I force myself to come up with a variation of it, I got:

「原」という漢字は知っていましたが、「わら」と読むとは知りませんでした。

The most significant difference here is the use of 「~しました」 for the first 「知る」; since you use 「~でした」 for the second 「知る」, it sounds more natural to use 「~します・しました」 form there. (Use of the past tense is just a matter of taste.)

UPDATE

Since I can't comment yet, I'm answering to the comments here;

@user4092 Yes, that's more correct; I missed it. Omitting 「は」 from 「だとは」 makes you sound more casual. But 「は」 here also gives another implication. See below.

@Flaw In that case, I usually say something like 「この/その漢字を『わら』と読むとは知りませんでした」.

Combining the two points, you can say:

「この/その/『原』という漢字を『わら』と読むとは知りませんでした」

Here, 「知っていましたが」 is now omitted. 「とは」 in 「読むとは知りませんでした」 implies that you know something about the kanji other than how to read it. In this case, how to write it or that you have seen it.

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