Regarding the on'yomi shi (シ), of the character 思 from the word 思う, why does Google Translate list the pronunciation of this word/kanji as shitau instead of shi (with shitau missing from the dictionary entry as displayed below in Takoboto):

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    Could you refrain from pasting giant screenshots of your mobile phone into your questions? They do not add any clarity, but make the questions painful to view. Thankyou.
    – oals
    Oct 27, 2016 at 17:11
  • Maybe you can suggest how I can shrink them. I just added then to provide evidence that whatever I Ann saying is true, in case someone doesn't believe me. I just posted them to show that shitau is present in Google Translate but not in my dictionary. Thanks. Oct 27, 2016 at 17:19
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    Use any image editor to shrink them.
    – user1478
    Oct 27, 2016 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


To answer your specific question, of " why does Google Translate..." -- it is a machine program, and thus it is only as good as the data fed into it, combined with the cleverness of its algorithms. Clearly, the programmers have not finished programming Google Translate to correctly handle Japanese.

In short: Never trust Google Translate. Especially when it comes to single words. The reading shitau is for the spelling 慕う, and it means "to yearn for, to long for". 思 on its own is read (generally) as shi and is only used this way in compounds with other kanji.

  • You mean to day I only user the on'yomi pronunciation of 思 when combined with other characters? Why is this? I mean, how does this compare with combinations of other characters? Thanks. Oct 27, 2016 at 19:02
  • Why can't I see 思 on my keyboard input when I type "shi"? Using Swype Japanese keyboard. Thanks. Oct 27, 2016 at 19:04
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    Software keyboards and IMEs (input method editors) use extensive dictionaries to try to provide useful autocomplete / autoconversion candidates. The reading shi is used by lots of potential kanji, so most IMEs won't bother offering 思 as a conversion candidate unless you've used this before. Also, the shi reading for 思 is again only used in compounds, more specifically on'yomi compounds. If you haven't typed in the kana / romaji for the entire compound, the IME won't offer 思 as a candidate. Full compounds include words like 思惑{しわく}, 思想{しそう}, 思考{しこう}, etc. Oct 27, 2016 at 19:21
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    Kun'yomi compounds will generally have okurigana between the 思 and the next kanji, like 思{おも}い合{あ}う, 思{おも}い浮{う}かべる, etc. Oct 27, 2016 at 19:23

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