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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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1answer
86 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
136 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 ...
0
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0answers
92 views

What modern Chinese languages are closest to the Kanji go-on, kan-on and tousou-on?

I'm currently developing my proficiency in both Mandarin Chinese and Japanese as part of my program of study. In Chinese, because so many characters have semantic-phonetic decomposition, predicting ...
4
votes
0answers
86 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
249 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
116 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】?
33
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5answers
8k 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 ...
8
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2answers
403 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
128 views

Differents ways to write 箸

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 ...
-1
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1answer
75 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 ...
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2answers
135 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) ...
20
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2answers
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
352 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?
3
votes
1answer
580 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
111 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?
5
votes
1answer
313 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: ...
2
votes
1answer
145 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
553 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 ...
16
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3answers
2k 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 ...
16
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2answers
806 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
478 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?
5
votes
2answers
757 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。
6
votes
2answers
371 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
595 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
3
votes
2answers
257 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
232 views

Difference between 交替 and 交代

Is there any difference between 交替 and 交代 or are they completely interchangeable?
5
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1answer
152 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 ...
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3answers
514 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
524 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
307 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 ...
5
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1answer
2k 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 "...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Different kanji forms for “みる”

Wiktionary lists a couple of different kanji words that are verbs pronounced "みる", some but maybe not all of which are associated with looking at something in one form or another. What's the ...
6
votes
4answers
951 views

Most egregious examples of the reading of a kanji changing due to (textually) distant characters

I've been thinking about how Japanese people can read a text (out loud, say) when the readings of the kanji can be so variable depending on okurigana, suffixes, or prefixes that change the meaning and/...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Same kanji compound, with different readings, and meanings depend on the reading? (heteronyms)

In the thread titled is "こっかい" a heteronym?, the accepted answer explains that there are some because of "pitch accent". However, in Japanese, there are more than one way to think about heteronyms. ...
6
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1answer
552 views

Kanji for におい - when do you use 匂い and when do you use 臭い?

Could someone help me understand when which kanji is used? For example I have seen 臭い on a packet of cat sand. I can't remember where I've seen the other but I found the following example sentence on ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

What is the term for a word which can be written with one kanji or two kanji but where the meaning is the same?

I'm asking mostly about verbs like 陥る / 落ち入る though I'd also be interested in nouns and adjectives. I'm not really looking for synonyms, more words where the meaning and pronunciation are the same ...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

What is the difference between 目を細める and 眼を細める

Example: 「できるのか?」【大男】 大男が眼を細めてくる The definition for the first expression as given from weblio is 目の開き方を小さくする。 うれしそうにほほえみをうかべる Is the reason that this line uses 眼 instead of 目 to ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Difference between 見る and 観る?

Lately I've seen in some dialog games with this difference. They use 観る rather than 見る, e.g.: ・あなたテレビ観るかな。 ・あんまり観ない方なんだ。 So I'm thinking I can use 見る to make the same dialog. However there ...
5
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2answers
1k views

What's with all the possible kanji for とる?

Skimming through the options my IME presents for とる, I'm seeing a whole lot of choices, including the following: 取る 撮る 録る 執る 摂る 捕る 獲る 穫る 採る 盗る While I've seen 取る ("to take") and 撮る ("to record") ...
15
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2answers
2k views

What's the difference between 図る、測る、計る、量る、諮る、謀る?

These six words are all pronounced はかる, and many are listed under the same definitions in dictionaries. What are the difference between these words?
4
votes
3answers
607 views

What is the difference between 護る and 守る?

Is there any difference in meaning between 護{まも}る and 守{まも}る? When there are multiple kanji for a particular reading (like 暑{あつ}い/熱{あつ}い or 初{はじ}め/始{はじ}め), they are frequently used in different ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

硬い・堅い・固い - how are different spellings used?

硬{かた}い, 堅{かた}い, and 固{かた}い all have very similar meaning and can be generally translated to English as "hard, tough, solid, stiff". Yet it seems that different kanji are used in different situations. ...
6
votes
2answers
965 views

Is there a difference between 'hanasu' written 離す versus 放す?

I was looking for the pronunciation of 離す by searching 'let go' on Jdic. I came across 放す, but not 離す. Is there a difference between the 2? The example I was looking at was: あいつはマイクを握ったが最後、...
4
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1answer
2k views

Origin of 夜露死苦?

I've seen よろしく written out as 夜露死苦 on a couple of occasions where it's being used sardonically. At first I thought it was just authors having fun substituting characters that sound the same, but it ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Which word is this use of かめ specifying?

In Kenji Miyazawa's poem "Thief", many words are left as hiragana: 青じろい骸骨星座のよあけがた 凍えた泥の乱反射をわたり 店さきにひとつ置かれた 提婆のかめをぬすんだもの    にはかにもその長く黒い脚をやめ 二つの耳に二つの手をあて 電線のオルゴールを聴く ...
8
votes
1answer
688 views

What's the difference between 舟 and 船?

They both mean "ship/boat". Are they completely interchangeable? Do they signify boats of different sizes or uses (people, cargo, etc.)? Is only 船 used in compounds to describe metaphorical "boats" ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

When 澤 has a kunyomi of うるお

I'm working on another kanji riddle. 澤 has a kunyomi of うるお (followed by い or す). I've been digging around to try to figure out what this adjective(?) means. Swamp-like? Is this word the same as ...
3
votes
1answer
807 views

What's the difference between 生む and 産む?

These two words both appear to have the meaning "to give birth" or "to produce". However, what is the difference between the two kanji used? I originally assumed that 生む meant "to give birth" and 産む ...
7
votes
1answer
313 views

Oceans — Thick or Big?

Straightforward question. The Pacific Ocean is 太平洋【たい・へい・よう】 and the Atlantic Ocean is 大西洋【たい・せい・よう】. What was the reasoning in using a different character for the たい in each? And why 太 for Pacific ...