26 votes
Accepted

Reading of 入る - 「はいる」 vs 「いる」

Basically, in contemporary Japanese, intransitive 入る = /hairu/. The /iru/ readings are essentially all survivals from an earlier stage in which 入る was just /iru/. (In fact, /hairu/ is basically /hau/ "...
Matt's user avatar
  • 10.1k
20 votes
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What does 中3の25% exactly mean?

yes, you read 中 as ちゅう , and 中3 as ちゅうさん 中3 is a shorthand way of writing 中学校3年生 which is (Japanese) Junior High School 3rd graders or in other words, 9th graders. so 中3の25% would be "25% of (...
ericfromabeno's user avatar
19 votes

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

It's like this: Teacher: 「野田{のだ} 努{つとむ}さん。」 野田: 「はい。」 T: 「いわい 隆{たかし}さんですかね?しゅくさんですか?」(the surname reads 祝) 祝: 「はふりです。」 T: 「はふりって読むんですか。珍しい名前ですね。はふり たかしさん。」 祝: 「はい。」 This conversation has ...
user19858's user avatar
  • 774
19 votes
Accepted

Can I use English in place of katakana?

I think it matters a lot and that it's best to break from the habit if you intend to speak Japanese long-term. I think for place names it's somewhat understandable because the Kana is obviously there ...
sazarando's user avatar
  • 7,391
18 votes

Do we really need to remember the kunyomi and onyomi reading of each kanji?

Adding to what others said, in my opinion you shouldn't think of it as memorizing all the readings for every kanji, abstractly. You should think of it as learning Japanese words (which you have to ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

たいまつ , why is it in this order: 松明?

I have long enjoyed Shogakukan's Kokugo Dai Jiten (KDJ) for its etymologies -- it's one of the few monolingual Japanese dictionaries to include etymologies for its terms. This post relies on their ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Why is the Japanese word for "this year" not kyōnen or konnen but kotoshi?

ko (from older *kə) is native Japonic ancient proximal demonstrative pronoun ("this"), now surviving as prefix. Rarely used kanji spelling for this prefix is 此. Some words with this prefix: ...
Arfrever's user avatar
  • 1,516
15 votes
Accepted

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

さんどう is often an alternative name for a 登山道【とざんどう】 (a mountain trail/path where cars cannot pass). Modern hikers/trekkers normally use さんどう or とざんどう. For example 増毛山道 is a さんどう. When 山道 is combined ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
15 votes
Accepted

What is the origin of 場所?

Not a real answer, but some facts to think about. According to the 日本国語大辞典, the word 場所 is attested in Japanese since the 17th century, and the first appearance ever (the 甲陽軍鑑 of 1616) actually reads ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
  • 2,369
15 votes
Accepted

Why does Japan still use ペキン for Beijing?

Supplementing the existing answer. Short answer: because there's neither /b/ nor /j/ in that word. Nor do they even exist in modern standard Chinese to begin with. This may come as a surprise, but ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
  • 11.5k
14 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to algorithmically convert Japanese text to Romaji?

Basically this is very difficult. Real Japanese sentences on the net are mixture of kanji, hiragana, katakana and English alphabet. See Japanese writing system on Wikipedia. Among these, hiragana ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
13 votes
Accepted

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

As long as you are reading common novels, you can generally believe that average Japanese speakers can pronounce almost all kanji that don't come with with furigana (But as for 図書館の魔女, I don't know, ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
13 votes
Accepted

How is Tsuyuri Kumin's name (五月七日くみん) read with 3 characters when it's made up of 4 kanji?

Say we have a Japanese word that has a meaning, and we want to write it using kanji. If we cannot find any corresponding character, we have the option of combining characters and assigning the ...
Ketchup901's user avatar
12 votes

「電車が空く【すく】」 と「 電車が空く【あく】」

I cannot think of any practical uses of 電車が[空]{あ}く. 電車が[空]{す}く means, as passengers get off, the train gets more and more spacious. Probably it's more commonly used as この電車は[空]{す}いている Not many ...
nodakai's user avatar
  • 1,094
12 votes
Accepted

Kanji that don't use their specified readings

First of all, be aware that 一日 is usually read ichinichi, to count one day, or tsuitachi, when it refers to the first day of a month (as in "April the 1st"). But the phenomenon you spotted in ippi ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Remembering when to use [原]{げん} and when to use [源]{げん}?

Putting etymology aside, in modern Japanese... 源 means resource. When one can draw something useful from it, always use ○源. Similarly, a place from which something is (radially) emitted is described ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
12 votes

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

Well I don't know about school per se, but every form I've seen so far (Foreign registration, tax, social security, subscription to various utilities...) asks you to not only write your name, but ...
Urukann's user avatar
  • 2,736
11 votes
Accepted

Why is 五右衛門 read "goemon"?

Originally, these kanji were thought to be pronounced as: 右衛門: u we mon But since Japanese u and consonant w have little difference, the actual pronunciation was like: 右衛門: wwe~we mon Later, ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Kanji of そそっかしい

This kotobank.jp link says that『日本国語大辞典』refers to a kanji version of「そそっかしい」as「麁相かしい」, and gives a quote from the novel (section) 式亭三馬『浮世風呂・2・下』: 私が一体麁相かしい性で Here's a page from『浮世風呂』(taken from ...
dROOOze's user avatar
  • 9,085
10 votes

Why some tutorials teach writing Japanese numbers with Hiragana when they are actually written with Katakana (as on-yomi) in dictionaries?

Because it's a long tradition of kanji dictionaries, succeeded from the "first Japanese kanji dictionary" 漢和大字典. Technically, kanji were foreign notions in Japanese; on'yomi was the pronunciation, ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

How to pronounce "R → ∞ " in a mathematical context

R → ∞ is usually read R を限りなく大きくする[と・とき] R が限りなく大きくなる[と・とき] I don't think that 「R → ∞ のとき」 is supposed to have a fixed natural pronunciation. You can ignore the の and read it as above, or you ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
  • 48.2k
10 votes
Accepted

How is 中 read in 「昨日寝る中で電話がありました。」?

I would read it as なか. You read 「plain form of a verb + 中」 as 「~~する + なか」, e.g. 「雨が降る[中]{なか}」 cf: 「勉強[中]{ちゅう}」 By the way, 昨日寝る中で電話がありました。 doesn't sound natural. You could say [就寝中]{しゅうしんちゅう}に, ...
chocolate's user avatar
  • 65.5k
10 votes
Accepted

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

First, even native Japanese adults can correctly guess the reading of the kanji names of, say, only 90% of students, at most. Quite a few people have names (either first names or surnames) with really ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
10 votes
Accepted

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

とん・なん・しゃー・ぺー are unique readings of 東・南・西・北, respectively, used only by Japanese Mahjong players. I personally don't play Mahjong, but these unique readings are known to Japanese populations. Compared ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k
10 votes
Accepted

Is "gen" also a reading of this kanji? 間

It's called Rendaku. Regularly in compound words, though not always, the second part of a compound ends up voiced. So the reading of the kanji is in essence ケン, but with a dakuten (゛) or voice mark ...
Christer's user avatar
  • 656
10 votes
Accepted

Do we really need to remember the kunyomi and onyomi reading of each kanji?

Studying Kanji can easily become one of the most overwhelming challenges of studying Japanese. Even people who speak the language decently have difficulty reading and writing Kanji. As you have no ...
ajsmart's user avatar
  • 7,099
10 votes
Accepted

What does どうなちきつたんだよオ mean?

It's not どうなちきつたんだよオ but どうなっちまったんだよォ, which in this context roughly means "What happened to you!" or "What has become of you!" I don't know how much you know about Japanese, but assuming you can read ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 315k

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