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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, ...


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What is the purpose of these obscure readings? It is a question that would lead to the entire Begriffsgeschichte of kun'yomi, but in a quick understanding, those kun readings are a different notion from those in discussion of Japanese orthography. Kanji dictionaries are conceptually a form of Chinese-Japanese dictionary. Thus as what I wrote in another ...


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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. https://www.appbank.net/2020/06/10/iphone-application/1859201.php


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Why? "Why" is seldom a useful question to ask when it comes to language and words -- it is awfully broad. :) To narrow the scope a bit, and to focus on the etymology that you mention, let's look at the structure and derivation, and whether these words are related at all. (Note: This gets long.) Analysis tips Underlying word structure You describe &...


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