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Yes, the kana に is derived from the Chinese character ([漢字]{かんじ}, kanji) 仁. See also the English Wiktionary page and the Japanese Wikipedia page, among other references. All kana derived from kanji. In fact, the word kana originally meant something like "provisional / borrowed + name / label" (from older kari na or 仮り名), in reference to the way ...


I'll answer one of your questions. how do you know the correct reading if you come across a kanji you dont know? You know the correct reading because you recognize the kanji as part of a word that you know. When you see, let's say, the word 自動車{じどうしゃ} (automobile), there is no mental process such as "ah, its 自{じ} + 動{どう} + 車{しゃ}, じ - どう - しゃ, wa-lah, ...


I'd hate to throw the "there's an app for that" answer at you, but there indeed are such apps. Some make you write it with finger on screen, some let you point the camera at the kanji in question and recognize it for you.

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