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If a native Japanese does not know how a kanji is pronounced and want to ask about its reading over the phone, how would he 'spell out' the kanji?

Maybe this is why faxes are still popular in Japan, but let's imagine they don't have access to a fax machine.

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    I'm not super sure that this is an on-topic question. But if I had to guess, the advent of the smart phone has made it so that you can look up any kanji you find in seconds. Otherwise, the native speaker would identify the radicals and go from there.
    – ajsmart
    Jan 14, 2020 at 16:40
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    If the kanji is a common/recognizable one, they might use a compound word that includes that kanji or the kun'yomi version of it. For example: 「田中の'タ'は田んぼの田. 'ナカ'は中国の中。」Also not sure about this being on-topic.
    – BJCUAI
    Jan 14, 2020 at 18:29
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    Also, when talking with someone, many (most?) kanji components have names. For example, 冫 as in 冰 is called 二水【にすい】, ⺡ as in 泳 is called 三水【さんずい】, 宀 as in 寝 is called ウ冠【かんむり】, ⾫ as in 焦 is called 古鳥【ふるとり】 (in reference to the ⾫ in pre-spelling-reform character 舊【ふる】, replaced by modern simplified 旧), etc. etc. Speaker and listener would need to know the readings / meanings of the basic elements, so this approach is problematic for people earlier in their studies. Jan 14, 2020 at 18:37
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    Related? japanese.stackexchange.com/q/9570/9831
    – chocolate
    Jan 15, 2020 at 6:49
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