I am studying japanese have gone through almost all of the hiragana characters and was slowly also learning a bit kanji , and i want to know how to use kanji when i see one with a hiragana character next to it for example 日本に引っ越すのを持ってる In this sentence i clearly only know tsu , no, te and ru but when i see these kanji characters i wonedr to speak the sentence what is the sound of that kanji? do kanji have sounds or just meaning ?

in kanji i have learnt radials like woman- 女 , tree-木 , eyes-目 just a few as i started learning kanji a few days ago.

  • 1
    I feel like this is too broad. It essentially boils down to "How do I read kanji?"
    – istrasci
    Apr 18, 2017 at 15:08
  • 3
    "持ってる" <- Are you sure it's 持, not 待? Could you check the original?
    – chocolate
    Apr 18, 2017 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


Kanji have sounds too! It's not just meanings. For example, this is how they sound in your sentence:



The sounds of kanji are called their "readings". There are more than two thousand kanji, and all of them have readings. (What's more, most kanji have more than one reading; depending on context, the reading changes.) You'll have to memorize all of that. It's quite hard. Good luck!

Right now you should just keep studying with your Japanese course and practice more.

  • Kanji have sounds too! seems wrong to me. words have sounds (meaning pronunciations) and some words in Japanese are written with kanji and others are written with a combination of kanji and hiragana (okurigana) and some are written in just some form of kana. / kanji do have multiple readings but these largely exist in words.
    – virmaior
    Apr 19, 2017 at 1:36
  • 1
    @virmaior I'm trying to use OP's own words for an intelligible answer. Sure, kanji are a notation for words (morphemes), and words have sounds. But each kanji is associated with a specific set of morphemes, and, transitively, with a specific set of sounds. More to the point, there are linguistic, cognitive, and structural reasons to consider kanji to be also phonological writing system; in all ways that matter, they encode meanings and sounds, not just meanings. I can't make the argument here; if you'd like, ask a new question and I'll make a brief overview of the relevant research. Apr 19, 2017 at 9:55
  • Reading your comment and rereading mine, I don't think I disagree with you so much as worded my own comment very poorly. Yes, the OP does use terms this way. Maybe I just disagree a little on the pedagogical method here, but I think it's quite common for beginning learners to misunderstand the role of kanji in regular Japanese and that part of this confusion stems from a misunderstanding of how mixed Japanese orthography works (ps you've written some other answers that I thought were great).
    – virmaior
    Apr 19, 2017 at 11:13


You should read the phrase as:
nihon ni hikkosu no wo motte iru.

I think you wrote down the phrase incorrectly. It should have been;


nihon ni hikkosu no wo matte iru.

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