To be specific, I`m directing this question to intermediate/advanced learners. Do you guys eventually notice any patterns or trends on certain kanji pronunciation, and manage to instinctively know thats how the word is pronounced, or is it just searching up the furigana every single time.

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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youbian_dubian - Also applies to Japanese On'yomi. – droooze Apr 11 at 4:00
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    Could you please clarify whether you're talking about unknown words (most of which will be two-character Chinese-origin words using known kanji with onyomi readings) or unknown kanji? In the latter case, yes, often you can guess based on radicals you find in the character. In fact, probably many of us have had the experience of encountering an unknown kanji and guessing the reading correctly without being able to state precisely what element of the character clued us in. – mamster Apr 11 at 4:27
  • Oh, one other thing: I think you're confusing the terms reading (how a kanji is pronounced) and furigana (which are small kana characters placed above or alongside kanji, usually but not always to show the reading of the kanji). – mamster Apr 11 at 4:29
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    @GreatGas What was meant is that your usage of furigana in the question is incorrect. Yes, furigana represent the reading of a word when they are present, but when you look up a reading for a word you don't know, you wouldn't say you are looking up the furigana. That's all. – Leebo Apr 11 at 4:56
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    p.s. it's possible to learn to read Japanese. It's not easy but it's possible. Foreigners succeed at it all the time, it's not just geniuses or something. Whenever you're feeling overwhelmed, recall that there has to be some way, since thousands of people have done it before you. If I could do it, so can you. – boiko Apr 11 at 17:18

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