41 votes
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What does the highlighted portion of this handwritten Kanji say?

It says 聞いてるし. is 略字 (the handwritten simplified/abbreviated kanji) of 聞. Other kanji with 門, such as 問、間、開、閉 etc., can also be simplified the same way: Other examples of 略字: For more about 略字, ...
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32 votes
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How to read: the "~" (tilde) in "3~4 行"

There is no strict rule about this. It's best not to use this "~" symbol denoting a range, when it's meant to be read out loud by someone. But if you really have to, you can read the "~" symbol as "...
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  • 264k
23 votes

What does the highlighted portion of this handwritten Kanji say?

This is the handwritten simplified version of , similar to simplified Chinese . Note however that the simplified Chinese form of the radical has a break, and the "divider" is a single dot-like ...
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22 votes
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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/ "...
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  • 9,884
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 (...
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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 ...
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19 votes
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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 ...
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  • 7,191
16 votes
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How to read single stand-alone language-name kanji?

Generally speaking these are read using the 音読み, and most frequently occur in pairs (e.g. 日米【にちべい】, 日独【にちどく】). I actually did some trolling through EDICT and a couple other sources to create a master ...
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  • 5,060
16 votes
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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?

Am I going in the right direction with this interpretation? You got it, friend! 大辞林曰く、 【 】の中【なか】の漢字【かんじ】が「常用【じょうよう】漢字【かんじ】表【ひょう】」にないものには「 ▼ 」、その漢字が「常用漢字表」にはあるが見出【みだ】しに相当【そうとう】する音訓【おんくん】が示【しめ】...
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  • 1,145
16 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 ...
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16 votes
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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 ...
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15 votes
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Reading 九十九 as "tsukumo"

I looked up in my etymology dictionary (小学館's 日本語源大辞典) :) The answer goes like this: つくも was originally a name of a kind of plant (modern standard name: フトイ; English name is softstem bulrush or ...
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  • 2,378
15 votes

How many unique on'yomi are there?

If you prefer visuals I've done some research on this topic several years ago. Like, for example, this is the list of kanji grouped by ON-yomi and sorted by their uniqueness. The research was done ...
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  • 251
15 votes
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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 ...
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15 votes
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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 ...
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  • 2,104
14 votes
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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 ...
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  • 264k
14 votes
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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 ...
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  • 9,088
13 votes

How to read 二、三日

It reads に、さんにち (the comma is purely orthographic, you may or may not write it out). Similarly, we say... 一、二日 いち、ににち 三、四日 さん、よっか ← irregular! 四、五日 し、ごにち 五、六日 ご、ろくにち Longer span equivalents ...
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13 votes
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How do I read 初商業誌?

It's read as はつしょうぎょうし. You can never find it in dictionaries because it's actually three words: 初【はつ】: first (jisho.org) 商業誌【しょうぎょうし】: commercial book/magazine (often as opposed to dōjinshi) 商業【...
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13 votes
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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, ...
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  • 264k
12 votes

Difference between 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり}

As a noun Only 怒り【いかり】 stands as a noun anger, rage, fury etc. (Accent in Tokyo: いかり{LHH}) As a verb gerund (連用形) It's basically a matter of distinction between おこる and いかる. Both mean "to get ...
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12 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 2,648
11 votes
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Looking Up Whether 御 Is Read お or ご

I don't know of any dictionary or reference book, but since 御 is most often written as お or ご, as appropriate, you could check the Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese (BCCWJ, 少納言, http://...
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