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Questions tagged [readings]

読み. The reading of a kanji character or a word written in kanji characters refers to how it is “read” in terms of kana characters. Please use this tag rather than 'pronunciation' if it fits your question.

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51
votes
4answers
67k views

How to choose between “よん” (yon) vs “し” (shi) for “四” (4) and “しち” (shichi) vs “なな” (nana) for “七” (7)?

Two numbers in Japanese have two pronunciation alternatives. 四 / 4 can be pronounced either "よん" (yon) or "し" (shi) 七 / 7 can be pronounced either "しち" (shichi) or "なな" (nana) I know that "し" (shi) ...
34
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is 二十歳 pronounced はたち?

二十歳 is a (to me) bizarre exception to the usual number+さい rule for discussing age. Is this rooted in 20 being the Japanese age of majority? Added: To be more specific: why isn't it pronounced にじゅうさい ...
25
votes
7answers
3k views

Does anyone have advice on how to get over/through/around the intermediate language plateau? (Self-learner) [closed]

How do you get through this? Especially in regards to reading. How do you practice reading at beyond the beginner level (No little black sambo's or whatever other children's books like I found in the ...
25
votes
1answer
1k views

When to read “その後” as “そのご”, “そのあと” or “そののち”?

I've recently been seeing あと as well as ご as Furigana on top of 後 in その後, but is there a difference in usage or meaning between the different readings? Looking at the Yahoo thesaurus, it seems it can ...
24
votes
2answers
4k views

What does the highlighted portion of this handwritten Kanji say?

知恵袋で***いてるし… I tried searching Google, hoping it's a phrase that might come up more often, but none of the Kanji that came up looked even remotely like the one written here. Thank you!
24
votes
2answers
1k views

Reading (and usage) of 他: when is it 【た】, when is it 【ほか】?

他 is one of these common words that still to this day confuses me... My general assumption is that: used as a prefix, it should always be read 【た】, e.g.: 他人【たにん】 when treated as a "substantive" (...
22
votes
2answers
26k views

Words/characters for fast food meal sizes: 並, 大, 特

When dining at Yoshinoya I never know how to ask for the size meal I want. Their sizes are 並, 大, and 特. I only know that "大" means big, but it also has two readings so I have no idea whether to ask ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

is there a difference between さみしい and さびしい?

Both mean "lonely" and appear to be valid readings for 寂しい. Is there a difference in nuance? Is this difference due to dialect?
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “何” as “なん” or “なに”

"何" is pronounced as "なん" before counter-words like in "何時{なんじ}", "何歳{なんさい}" etc; or before particles like in "何で", "何とか" etc. However, it remains to be pronounced as "なに" in some words like "何事{なにごと}...
20
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the difference between 「食う」 and 「食べる」?

I've often seen 「食べる」 used, when should we use 「食う」 ? Are these two interchangeable ? Can you provide examples ?
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is 五右衛門 read “goemon”?

Why is the name 五右衛門 read as ごえもん? How can the three kanji 五右衛 be read with only two syllables?
19
votes
3answers
3k views

How do attendance checklists in Japan deal with multiple possible name readings?

Even though there are several recurring, easily guessable family name readings ([田中]{たなか}、佐藤{さとう}、田村{たむら}) in Japanese, there are usually many possible readings to people's names Kanji, especially ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

How many unique on'yomi are there?

This question is of interest to me because of my own difficulty with remembering on'yomi, as there are fewer possible on'yomi than kun'yomi. So there must be a finite number of valid on'yomi ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

How do you read simple arithmetic equations in Japanese?

My dictionary (EN → JP) suggests to translate "Three multiplied by four is twelve" as 3 × 4 = 12 without giving a hint as to how to read this in Japanese. How do you read simple arithmetic ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Reading of 入る - 「はいる」 vs 「いる」

Sometimes I'm having trouble choosing the reading for 入る. There was a related question about the reading of 入れる, however my JMdict-based dictionary marks both 入る{はいる} and 入る{いる} as intransitive ...
18
votes
2answers
657 views

Is there a specific time to pronounce 日本, にほん/にっぽん?

Are the two used completely interchangeably or are there specific situations where one might be used more than the other? For example I've never heard 日本語 said にっぽんご.
17
votes
6answers
15k views

What's with this “On reading”/“Kun reading” thing? Is it important to learn both as a beginner?

I was reading this article on Japanese numerals and I first encountered the whole On reading/Kun reading thing, with an additional column on "Preferred reading," which was almost always the On reading....
17
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the reading of -中 as a suffix?

I see this all the time, but I don't know that I've heard it spoken. For example: インストール中 Is it simply "なか"?
17
votes
4answers
5k views

When Chinese personal names are written in Japanese in kanji is there always an obvious reading?

In their comment to an answer on the question "Are foreign personal names usually written in katakana rather than Romaji?", user sawa says: ... Chinese names should be written in kanji rather than ...
16
votes
2answers
513 views

How do I know when to read the kanji 抱 as 「だ・く」, and when to read it as 「いだ・く」, or even 「うだ・く」?

This sentence was in a grammar textbook: 彼{かれ}は同僚{どうりょう}にライバル意識{いしき}、ひいては殺意{さつい}すら抱いていた ... it means: "He regarded his colleague as a rival, even to the point of considering murder." My ...
15
votes
1answer
794 views

Reading and usage of 「垂オます」

A while ago I was chatting with a Japanese man and when he introduced himself instead of using 「申す」 or 「言う」 he used 「垂オます」, as in (His name)と垂オます. Can this be used in the same way as 「申す」 and 「言う」 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

How to read: the “~” (tilde) in “3~4 行”

How should I read the "~" mark that stands for range, as described in the title? I saw this in the following sentence: 3~4行ごとに1行あけると読みやすい。
15
votes
1answer
1k views

When are 止める, 停める and 留める read as とめる, やめる or とどめる?

When are 止める, 停める and 留める read as とめる or とどめる (and in the case of 止める, やめる)? I think 止めてください could be read as both やめてください and とめてください, which I think could maybe be translated as "cut it out" and "...
15
votes
2answers
699 views

What are the rules for reading numbers before a foreign counter-word?

Is there a rule of thumb for knowing the reading of a number when it is written in western numerals, and is followed by a loaned counter-word? For example, how would you pronounce the "1" in 1セット? My ...
14
votes
1answer
837 views

Do native speakers consciously use phonetic elements in 形声文字?

Do native speakers of Japanese use phonetic elements when reading less common kanji? For example, does the compound 咆哮 look like ほうこう because of the elements 包 and 孝, even if you haven't learned to ...
14
votes
2answers
724 views

How do native speakers “read” single-kanji signs when those kanji are not also standalone words?

In my time in Japan I've noticed a few kanji that can be used on their own commonly in various kinds of signs, yet I don't think they are also words in their own right: 押 引 危 開 閉 Since all kanji ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the average native Japanese reader know how to pronounce a majority of Kanji found in books?

After studying Japanese for quite a while and having read many books (maybe over 50-60 over a bunch of different genres), despite the fact I generally have tried to learn the readings of most words I ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What does 中3の25% exactly mean?

I am not sure about the first part of 「中3の25%、短文も理解困難」  Do you read 中 as ちゅう here? 25% of 3 would be 0.75% if I am not mistaken. Therefore does it mean something like 「around 0.75% of the ...
13
votes
2answers
469 views

How to read the X in 5X4間?

A book about architecture I'm trying to read (it's a bit of a slog what with the technical jargon and such) contained this description of a temple building: 二重、初重5X4間、裳階 (もこし) つき、上重4X3間. So it's two ...
13
votes
2answers
364 views

How to pronounce “R → ∞ ” in a mathematical context

For example on this wikipedia page: 一方、右辺第二項は R → ∞ のとき 0 に収束するので、... In English it would be something like "as R goes to infinity". How would you usually read this in Japanese?
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Is かわいい wago or kango?

かわいい is sometimes spelled in kanji as 可愛い. This seems to be an 音読み reading which points to a Chinese loan, and Chinese does have this word. However, the meaning of 可愛 as "cute" in Chinese seems to ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between 山道【さんどう】 and 山道【やまみち】?

To provide context, I stumbled upon this new term for me when reading this sentence: 田舎の山道を車で走っていたら、突然サルが飛び出してきた。 I looked 山道 up in a dictionary and I saw there are two possible readings. さんどう and ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Some Japanese dictionaries (e.g. 大辞林, 大辞泉, and 明鏡国語辞典) use this inverted triangle outline symbol (▽) for some kanji compounds. What does it mean?

It doesn't apply to all the words, just some. Here are examples of words from that are marked with that symbol 悪い (with reading にくい): 大辞泉; 大辞林 面倒くさい (with reading めんどくさい): 大辞泉; 大辞林 皆 (with reading ...
13
votes
1answer
601 views

How is 名 pronounced in computer terms?

For usernames, etc., you usually see like ユーザ名 or something similar. Or like on my Skype, it says Skype名. How is the 名 pronounced in these situations? I've never been able to conclusively find this ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I use English in place of katakana?

A habit that I have is replacing certain words with how I'd say them in English. For instance I'd write something like this: 私はイングランド人。 私はイーストアングリアに住んでいます, but say something like this: 私はEngland人。 ...
12
votes
3answers
480 views

Do people actually ever say みょうにち?

I've heard people using あした (the common one) and あす (rather uncommon) to refer to "tomorrow". I was wondering does anyone actually uses the reading みょうにち ?
11
votes
2answers
8k views

How are the different pronunciations of kanji used, such as onyomi and kunyomi?

Even when I think I've memorized how to read a particular kanji, 人 (ひと) for example, and try to read other words I find that it's also pronounced じん...and I'm sure it probably has many other readings. ...
11
votes
2answers
467 views

Nuance between いっとき and いちじ as a pronunciation of 一時

I am writing a flashcards deck to memorize Minato-ku's list of 防災-related words. Excerpt: 一時集合場所 いっときしゅうごうばしょ Temporary meeting places 一時滞在施設 いちじたいざいしせつ   Temporary stay facilities As you see, ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Which readings would you use to pronounce people's names?

I'm confused whether it is normally appropriate to use On-readings or Kun-readings when dealing with people's names; I'm fine when its just two character names; I just make a logical deduction in my ...
10
votes
3answers
934 views

How to read single stand-alone language-name kanji?

So we all know that most (all?) countries' names can be written in kanji as well as kana. And occasionally kanji from these names are used to represent the language of those countries. For example, we ...
10
votes
1answer
771 views

つけ用 in Udon preparation recipe

I have the following text on some Sanuki Udon I brought home with me ;) This is the part for ざるうどん: 水洗いした麺をざるに盛り、あらかじめ用意したつけ用つゆに、生姜、ねぎ、ごまなどお好みの薬味を添えてお召し上がりください。 So, つゆ is the sauce or soup, ...
10
votes
1answer
655 views

Which readings are used for 漢文?

If I am reading a Chinese text to a Japanese audience, how can I know which reading to use for each character? Of the 音読み, there can be 呉音, 漢音, and 唐音 to choose from. Also for pronunciation, would ...
10
votes
1answer
321 views

How do you read zeros in abbreviated years? (i.e. 03年)

I came across 03年度 and 09年度, and while the meaning is clear I didn't know the actual way of reading it. My first reaction was ゼロさんねんど, but I have no way of checking if that's right. I thought it might ...
10
votes
1answer
372 views

Do native speakers pronounce long vowels えい or おう as one long vowel, or two different vowels?

In Japanese, long vowels ā, ī, ū are written as ああ (aa), いい (ii), うう (uu). However, ē and ō, in most cases, written as えい (ei) and おう (ou), but in other cases as ええ (ee) and おお (oo). For example: 先生{...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Does 一二三 mean “1 2 3” or “123”?

Is it possible, without any context, to tell whether 一二三 means "one, two, three" or "one hundred twenty-three"? In English, this kind of ambiguity would be removed by adding spaces between each digit:...
9
votes
2answers
226 views

Why 東南西北 is read トンナンシャーペー in this lyrics?

I expected to read this word as とうなんせいほく but the furigana indicates another reading. I did some search but I only found information about this band: The東南西北
9
votes
2answers
387 views

Pronunciation of 家 in …家ちんも安い

Here's the actual sentence: 私の部屋は、家ちんも安いし、駅にも近くて便利です。 How do you read '家ちん' and what does it mean? It's most likely that ちん is usually written in kanji since I got the sentence from a Japanese ...
9
votes
2answers
362 views

When a number is written in western numerals, how do you say them?

Someone has said this in my manga. まず!我らの使命は2つ!! Does he actually say "two" or "に"? If the latter, why not use 二? I don't see 二つ as being any different.
9
votes
4answers
475 views

Pronunciation of 九

The dictionary I'm using lists two common pronunciations of 「九」: 「きゅう」 and 「く」. I've usually heard it as 「きゅう」 before, but when saying 「9時」, it always seems to be 「くじ」. Is there a rule to this?
9
votes
4answers
429 views

In which terms, if any, is へつ used as an On-reading of the character 閉?

Just now in the chat room we came across a reading of the kanji 閉 that seems to be either rare or erroneous. In the English Wiktionary's entry for 閉 there is the following "Readings section": On: へい ...