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Questions tagged [homophonic-kanji]

異字同音・異字同訓. Questions concerned with the fact that many kanji (漢字) may share a reading or pronunciation.

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7 votes
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Can 混む and 込む be used interchangeably to mean "to be crowded?"

I knew of 混{こ}む to mean "to be crowded," but recently came upon a different kanji (込) being used to convey the exact same meaning, and with the exact same reading. Looking it up on jisho.org,...
JNat's user avatar
  • 1,154
2 votes
2 answers
329 views

大葉 vs 紫蘇 for shiso leaf

What is the difference in usage between 大葉(おおば) and 紫蘇(しそ)? Are there any implications or nuances in the usage of either? I've seen more 大葉 in the supermarket.
arturomp's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
205 views

What is the difference between 上がる and 挙がる?

Both 上がる and 挙がる are read the exact same way — as あがる — and in the dictionaries I looked them up, they appear under the same entry, and seem to show up as alternate spellings of the same word. Is is ...
JNat's user avatar
  • 1,154
2 votes
1 answer
289 views

What is the difference between 始めに and 初めに?

I'd learned 始{はじ}めに to mean "in the beginning" or "firstly" a while back, and recently I came across 初{はじ}めに to have the exact same meaning. I looked it up on the dictionary, and ...
JNat's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
271 views

Is there a fundamental difference between homonyms with close meaning and words with multiple possible kanji?

I noticed that dictionaries usually treat differently some homonyms, which for a learner's perspective look similar. For example: 熱い and 暑い are usually two different entries 早い and 速い are usually one ...
Teleporting Goat's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
507 views

What is the difference between 楽しい, 愉しい, and 娯しい?

Recently I've been trying to understand the difference in nuance between the words 楽しい, 愉{たの}しい, and 娯{たの}しい, but I'm still confused after reading a few different explanations on chiebukuro and other ...
Emily's user avatar
  • 197
3 votes
2 answers
672 views

How should I read 購売部?

I've seen it in an anime. There was 購買部 in the first season and then it has been changed into 購売部 in the second season. I suppose they have the same meaning and pronunciation, but 購売部 doesn't even ...
Haragurodanshi's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
92 views

On homophonic tuples of words with slight differences in meaning

I am wondering if tuples of words such as: 聞く、聴く、訊く 効く、利く 硬い、固い、堅い which are homophones with only a very nuanced difference in meaning, have a name and whether or not they've been studied by ...
kiyopi's user avatar
  • 333
1 vote
1 answer
445 views

Why do authors choose to use obscure/old ways to write words?

To be clear, this is not a question on why alternate forms exist. Obviously there are a lot of historical reasons behind them. It is also not about why people use rarer alternate forms generally. ...
MegaZeroX's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to properly use とまる/とめる/やむ/やめる/とどまる/とどめる/よす/さす

There are a lot of native Japanese verbs that use 止, namely 止まる{とまる}, 止める{とめる}, 止む{やむ}, 止める{やめる}, 止まる{とどまる}, 止める{とどめる}, 止す{よす}, and 止す{さす}. There are many confusing parts about these words for a ...
MegaZeroX's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
604 views

龍 安 寺 蹲 踞 『吾唯足知』 [closed]

¿ Can you trace the ancient Chinese roots of the sentence 吾 唯 足 知 。 In the 茶の湯 garden of 龍安寺 🇯🇵 there's a stone dubbed 蹲踞〔つくばい〕where there it's written on it :   五 矢 囗 隹   止 and the 囗 is a basin of ...
Routcheau's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Does “Tekken” sound like “iron sword” to someone unfamiliar with the franchise?

The word “ken” has at least 2 meanings: Ken (拳) means fist, while ken (剣) means sword. If a Japanese speaker hears about the video game Tekken (鉄拳, “iron fist”) for the first time, without seeing the ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 153
2 votes
1 answer
831 views

Why is 運命 read as さだめ? [duplicate]

The very first lyric of the song "Fighting Gold" goes like this: 夢を縛りつける 重たい運命の石に And everything makes sense except for the fact that the singer reads 運命 as さだめ. Why?
helpmedaddy's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
167 views

希硫酸, 稀硫酸? What’s the difference?

希硫酸, 稀硫酸. My dictionary says they are both “dilute sulfuric acid”. What is the difference in usage here? Is there just one optional radical? English has “sulfuric” and “sulphuric”, and that’s an ...
Ragaroni's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
149 views

A concrete example of problematic disambiguation (part 1)

Beginner here. I know that there are a few questions out there that deal with disambiguating spoken Japanese (in a gist, the existing answers suggest that you are able to disambiguate either based on ...
l7ll7's user avatar
  • 101
5 votes
1 answer
463 views

The difference between transitive verbs 窮める, 極める, 究める and intransitive verbs 極まる, 窮まるand 谷まる?

I'm sorry if this question has been answered before, but I did not find a suitable answer. Please provide reliable link if that is the case. I would like to know the differences between the ...
blaoi's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
210 views

What is the difference between the pronunciation of 「休校【きゅうこう】」and「急行【きゅうこう】」?

「休校【きゅうこう】」と「急行【きゅうこう】」の発音はどう違いますか。 よろしくお願いします!
jarmanso7's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
375 views

Difference between 黒齣 and 黒駒

I'm trying to figure out if there's a difference in meaning/translation between 黒齣 and 黒駒 I've attached an image just to make sure that I didn't accidently look up the wrong character (I'm 99% ...
YTZ's user avatar
  • 267
0 votes
1 answer
865 views

今しかない!! pronouncation

My memory from playing the VN that the sentence is based off of is 87% certain in the protagonist's voice pronouncing the above as "YareshKA-nai!!" and meaning something similar to "I have to do ...
Toyu_Frey's user avatar
  • 1,470
2 votes
1 answer
437 views

Differences between 利く and 効く, and examples

I would like to know what's the meaning of 利く with this kanji 利. Could you also give me some examples, please? I've searched in kotobank for a difference between 効く (to have effect) and 利く, but I ...
Rick's user avatar
  • 1,113
3 votes
1 answer
251 views

What is the Japanese Homophonic Group?

Equivalent question: What Japanese letters won't equal 1? From: the homophonic group: a mathematical diversion → This is an exercise from Michael Artin's Algebra on, well, abstract algebra. In this ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
4 votes
0 answers
440 views

Difference between "foot" and "leg" in spoken Japanese [duplicate]

After going on a long run, if you want to say, "My feet are sore", I would imagine that in Japanese you would say 「足が痛い」. If you want to say, "My legs are sore", I imagine that would be 「脚が痛い」. How ...
Otomatonium's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
725 views

Specific examples of tonal Chinese words rendered into Japanese

It is often said that Japanese contains a large number of homonyms because there was no way to render tonal Chinese words into Japanese. This makes complete sense. But I am looking for specific ...
kandyman's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
116 views

Is the couple 解ける / 溶ける related to the English solve/ dissolve?

I've noticed that 解ける which means 'to be solved' and 溶ける, 'to dissolve' are pronounced the same way. Furthermore the second one can be written using the kanji of the first one. That relation between ...
Chewie's user avatar
  • 241
1 vote
1 answer
299 views

Difference between 越える and 超える

What is the difference between 越える【こえる】 and 超える【こえる】?
IUnknown's user avatar
  • 1,051
49 votes
5 answers
16k views

If Kanji are necessary to disambiguate homophones, how come it's still used, being that Japanese people seem to know the difference when speaking?

I'm a beginner. People argue for Kanji being that it helps disambiguate homophones in written Japanese, but in spoken Japanese, kanji (or any other visual aid) are not available, yet people seem to ...
Matcha's user avatar
  • 639
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Academic/historic attempts to create an alternative writing system similar to Hangul?

I was reading upon Japanese writing system history and found out there were several attempts to abolish the use of 漢字 in favor of kana or romaji, e.g. after the WWII. All of those failed, and the only ...
scriptin's user avatar
  • 541
3 votes
2 answers
324 views

Differents ways to write 箸 [duplicate]

I realized when looking for the kanji for chopsticks that you can actually find 2 versions of the 箸 kanji (see for example 箸 (Jisho) or 箸 (Jitenon)). Namely, there is sometimes a little stroke above ...
Sennin's user avatar
  • 31
0 votes
1 answer
111 views

Doubt when translating しかも and しかと in this excerpt

I was reading an answer on Yahoo! Chiebukuro about Nichijou series. In the answer, the poster quoted an excerpt from a light novel Nichijou no Shousetsu. It's about a tale of Momotaro being played by ...
Andrew T.'s user avatar
  • 399
8 votes
2 answers
224 views

Can homophonic kanji (in this case 怨 and 恨) be used purely to avoid repetition?

I came across this sentence in 雁: 一体お玉の持っている悔やしいと云う概念には、世を怨み人を恨む意味が甚だ薄い。 My understanding is that 恨, unlike 怨, can convey not only resentment but also regret. My questions are the following: (1) ...
zdge's user avatar
  • 115
22 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is [mathematical] 'analysis' in Japanese the same word as 'fine cuisine' in Japanese?

According to the Fields medal winner Cédric Villani, in the Japanese language the word 'analysis' is (I quote) "the same word" as the word for 'fine cuisine'. Such can be seen in a video of a ...
O0123's user avatar
  • 335
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

When to use 云う vs 言う?

They're both pronounced the same, and seem to mean the same thing; is there a difference, and if so, what is it?
Popful Frost's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Can mokuso literally mean close your eyes?

In numerous martial arts, the command mokuso(黙想) is used to get students to clear their minds before training. Many many people (often very high level people) think that this literally means close ...
A Greene's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
139 views

[苛々 ]{いらいら} versus [刺々 ]{いらいら}

Is there any difference in meaning between using [苛々 ]{いらいら} or [刺々 ]{いらいら} to indicate annoyance?
paullb's user avatar
  • 3,964
6 votes
1 answer
648 views

Why write「もの」instead of 「物」 or 「者」?

In the following example, it remains unclear to me why the term もの is written in hiragana. あの真っ黒なものは何 Here is a second example, where 優しい is written in hiragana. とてもあの人はやさしい My suppositions: ...
Mots du Jour's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
274 views

What is the meaning ウソ & 誰向 in this sentence

I've been wondering about the different usage for USO in Japanese. Recently I bumped in this little text: 多分いつも以上に誰向けだか分からない内容になってます 自分の好きなものにウソをついてはいけない松野で! My only issue here is with 誰向 and ウソ. ...
Seishin Kan's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

Which of these means affection 愛情, 愛 or 情?

Wiktionary says that's in Japanese kanji "愛" means "love" and "affection" however after checking on a Translator in no case does "愛" mean "affection". Supposedly 愛情 is "affection", the only difference ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 103
19 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why are there many kanji that are read and mean the same?

My question comes from this case: 会う 逢う 遭う 遇う I see they all are read あう, and mean "to meet". So, why are there these many cases? And more important, which one should I use? I knew 会う, and when I ...
Adrian Ferreyra's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is there a radiotelephony alphabet standard for kanji, similar to NATO phonetic alphabet ("alfa, bravo, charlie")?

NATO phonetic alphabet is used for precise dictation of English letters: "A" is pronounced as "Alfa" "B" as "Bravo" "C" as "Charlie", etc. There are similar alphabets for other languages. There are ...
scriptin's user avatar
  • 541
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the difference between 飲む and 呑む?

I saw a tweet that said 要は日本酒が呑みたい And my dictionary translated 呑む as 'to drink', with 飲む as the default spelling and 呑む as an alternate form. What is the difference between 飲む and 呑む?
Holly's user avatar
  • 173
13 votes
2 answers
12k views

Confused in choosing 早い versus 速い

In my understanding, 速い is used for motion and 早い represents "early". Which one is the correct one in this example? A: 授業がそろそろ始まるので、早く来てください。 B: 授業がそろそろ始まるので、速く来てください。
Display Name's user avatar
  • 7,489
5 votes
2 answers
580 views

How many possible phonological forms could be represented by a randomly chosen single character?

In Chinese, every character is monosyllabic and Mandarin has a total of about ~1200 licit syllables including tone (about 400 if you don't count tone). This means that if I take any Chinese character ...
Nick Anderegg's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Differences between the various readings of 描く and 画く

Are there any differences between the following? 画{か}く 画{えが}く 描{か}く 描{えが}く
akj's user avatar
  • 661
2 votes
1 answer
358 views

Distinguishing between homophones in everyday speech

While trying to figure out the polite imperative form of 呼ぶ I figured the correct conjugation to be 呼んで下さい。I found instead that, colloquially, the imperative is 呼び出して下さい。 Am I correct in assuming that ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 317
3 votes
2 answers
468 views

Difference between 交替 and 交代

Is there any difference between 交替 and 交代 or are they completely interchangeable?
Michal Tenenberg's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
183 views

What kanji is used to write かん in 会話かん?

In the first episode of WataMote at about 7:40, Kuroki says this sentence: やはり、中学時代の私の会話かんを取り戻さなくては。 which is translated to Jeez, I've got to get back the conversational nature I had in middle ...
Mets's user avatar
  • 43
4 votes
3 answers
952 views

Where can I find the nuance/meaning differences between words with different kanji options?

This question is related to the questions (here) and (here) regarding a word or verb with multiple kanji options, for example [作る、造る、創る] or [蔵、倉、庫] Is there a resource somewhere that will tell me ...
Judas's user avatar
  • 368
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Difference between 誠, 実, and 本当

All of them means "truth; reality". 誠 is read as "まこと", and 実 as "じつ", however 実 can also be read as "まこと". 本当 seems to have an inclination to a thing or fact, rather than a concept, but it also means ...
Yuuza's user avatar
  • 615
2 votes
1 answer
547 views

What is the difference between spellings しまう、仕舞う、終う、了う?

What is the difference of meanings between the spellings しまう、仕舞{しま}う、終{しま}う、了{しま}う? Or at least, between the first two? (They are marked as common.) If there is a source about such nuances, I'll ...
firtree's user avatar
  • 518
6 votes
1 answer
4k views

Multiple common kanji for a word: which to use?

I have been using jisho.org and aedict (android) to look at the definition, kanji and reading of words. Sometimes though, they list words that have multiple kanji in use and they are all indicated as "...
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