I have some questions.


I don't understand why 悪夢 is read as ゆめ not あくむ.

  • 4
    ...because it's a title and authors are granted an artistic license to do what they want.
    – macraf
    Sep 1 '16 at 15:07
  • 2
    I've seen [something like] this in Japanese comics.
    – Williem F.
    Sep 1 '16 at 15:26
  • It"s 当て字, This is a related link. japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/36955/… Sep 1 '16 at 17:16
  • 3
    @YuuichiTam properly, 当て字 is specifically the phonetic use of kanji, like 「寿司」 or「兎に角」 (広辞苑:「漢字のもつ本来の意味にかかわらず、音や訓を借りてあてはめる表記。」) That is, real ateji is when you discard the meaning and keep the sound. In this kind of creative rubi you do the contrary: discard the sound, but keep the meaning (and combine it with the meaning+sound of the rubi). Though currently the word "ateji" is also being used for other kinds of kanji techniques, including 熟字訓, 義訓 etc., I still think it's worth distinguishing each case. Sep 1 '16 at 17:51

That's a technique Japanese authors use every so often: playing with furigana (rubi) glosses. You can put a different word in the gloss and in the kanji, and in this way insert two words simultaneously at the same position. The implication is something like: the title is pronounced yume "dream", but when saying "dream" they mean a nightmare.

See discussion in the comments here; and, for a deeper discussion, see Ariga, The Playful Gloss: Rubi in Japanese Literature.


悪夢 should be read as あくむ, and it means a nightmare. "夢" ipse reads ゆめ, and it means a dream. 夢 (dream / hope) and 悪夢 (nightmare) are different words.

"ゆめ" added to 悪夢 as a ふりがな (vocal notation) is 当て字, an arbitrary coinage of the author. It has no currency. You'd better not to follow / emulate it.


http://togetter.com/li/834249 「宝貝人間」と書いて何と読む?『当て字・当て読み 漢字表現辞典』のカオスっぷりが話題

当て字 is an older term.

Perhaps, the newer term 当て読み is more likely to refer to the playful or newly-invented Ateji.

http://dictionary.sanseido-publ.co.jp/dicts/ja/ateji_ateyomi/ 運命(さだめ)・時代(とき)・秋桜(コスモス)・本気(マジ)・豆富・夜露死苦など、現実に流通していながら辞書には載りにくい表記を多数採録。

Conceptually related to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portmanteau words.

かばん語(かばんご)あるいは混成語(こんせいご、英: portmanteau)とは、複数の語のそれぞれの一部を組み合わせて作られた語である。語の一部ではなく全部を組み合わせたものは合成語である。その語源からポートマントーとも。

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