The kanji 読 appears to consist of 言 and 売.

How come 言 (say) + 売 (sell) = 読 (read)?

Could you please shed some light on the origin of the kanji?

Thank you!


Character structure analysis is usually on Kyūjitai. The character to look at is「讀」.

Note that「売」approximates the shape of「賣」, but the right hand side of「讀」is not「賣」, but「𧶠」. In the character「読」, we therefore have「売」approximating the shape of「賣」which approximates the shape of「𧶠」.

「讀{どく}」(Baxter-Sagart OC: /*C.lˤok/, to read) is comprised of semantic「言」(speech, words) and phonetic「𧶠{いく}」(/*luk/).

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