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Dictionary ? about Prefixes + Suffixes

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Dictionary ? about Prefixes + Suffixes

Postby caladwenaeariel » Sat 01.28.2012 5:34 am

Hey guys ^^

I'm having trouble understanding, like, EVERY dictionary I use -.-' .... and I could use a little help. Could you interpret this entry for me? Specifically, I don't understand the reason for the -まち. (In the dictionary's "Documentation" under "Contents and Format") it says readings with '-' indicate prefixes/suffixes ........

Basically, I don't understand what the dash (-) is for, and why it would be different from the other 音読み and 訓読み。

From Jim Breen's WWWJDIC
[JIS] 4254 [Uni] 5f85 [部首] 60 [教育] 3 [画数] 9 [音] タイ [訓] ま.つ -ま.ち [名] まち まつ [英] wait; depend on

I don't understand how hiragana could be used as a "suffix" or "prefix", especially in the case of 「待」 What does the dash in -ま.ち mean exactly?

For another example, the readings for 一 look like this: イチ イツ ひと- ひと.つ ...blablabla... so what does is the dash in ひと- supposed to be indicating? I understand best if you explain with some examples.

Thanks so much--

ps. if you want to see this entry, go to WWWJDIC , the "kanji lookup" tab, and put in 待.
Last edited by caladwenaeariel on Sat 01.28.2012 2:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dictionary ? about Prefixes + Suffixes

Postby Pianogirl123 » Sat 01.28.2012 7:24 am

Don't forget to cross-reference with other search types. One trick is to type in a short entry, even a single kanji, and see what comes up. Longer entries will exclude other entries that don't have every part of the search key, but short entries will turn up everything that has that as part of a combination. If you have something like 待ち that calls itself a suffix or prefix, try searching it in the normal Word Search/Home section. There is an entry for the word itself, and it says [n. n-suf] I find this means that it is normally a suffix, but occasionally used on its own. Some entries of combinations including 待ち will come up, but i don't really understand what all of those mean. The reason its nice to know what the suffix itself means is that the dictionary can't account for EVERY instance people might decide to use it in.

I once put in (組合) and came up with hundreds of names of unions and organizations in japan listed as entries in the dictionary.

For 一, it is used in tons of combinations. Enter 一 in word search, get the entire dictionary. There are a lot of combinations of 一 and a counter Kanji together that has its own meaning, besides the literal meaning. For example 一切 "one cut" meaning "the whole thing" 一目 "one eye" meaning "a glance" 一冊 "one volume" meaning "one copy of a book". Whether its read as "hito, ichi" etc. is just specific to each combination and must be memorized.

You can click on the [Ex] next to most entries for example sentences. If they don't have any, you can try entering a phrase in google search and see what comes up.
Another thing to note is that the EDICT kanji entries are very complete, which is good, but also they contain many less frequently used meanings and readings, irregular, and name readings, that you don't have to memorize. If you're trying to understand Kanji in context, generally searching for words will get you the best results.
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Re: Dictionary ? about Prefixes + Suffixes

Postby caladwenaeariel » Sat 01.28.2012 8:10 am

Searching in google is a good idea, but I don't really have a phrase to look up. I don't think I explained myself very well, I'm not so great at explaining myself. I edited my post so my question is more direct.

I'm having the most trouble with understanding the format of the dictionary, basically, I don't understand what the dash (-) is for.
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Re: Dictionary ? about Prefixes + Suffixes

Postby yangmuye » Sun 01.29.2012 9:14 am

Just forget about it.
The reading of a character varies depending on the meaning and usage.
Try to look up a well-formed dictionary such as 大辞林. Here is a online access: http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/
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Re: Dictionary ? about Prefixes + Suffixes

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Sun 01.29.2012 2:10 pm

I don't understand what's so confusing, honestly.

The - simply indicates where the word goes when a character is used as a prefix or suffix.

達 can appear as a suffix read as たち as in 私達・わたしたち and other plurals. As such it has '-たち' in it's KANJIDIC entry.

It is, however, not worth worrying about if you still don't understand. Terms that are commonly used as arbitrary prefixes and suffixes will have their own dictionary entries and you can read about them in a JE or JJ dictionary.

Yahoo doesn't actually have a character dictionary, but it does have a good set of JJ and JE dictionaries, I use them all the time.

You don't really need a character dictionary for reading online since you can always cut and paste the character even if you don't know the reading. If you're looking up something from a written text, you only need the character dictionary for enough information to generate the character and look it up in your online dictionary or electronic dictionary.

(It gets more challenging if -all- your dictionaries are paper, but if that were the case, you wouldn't be using KANJIDIC in the first place.)

Edit: Actually, although yahoo does not have a character dictionary as such, 大辞泉 apparently has kanji entries as well as word entries:
http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/dsearch?p=%E5%BE ... =0&dtype=0
However, use as a common suffix or prefix still appears under the word entry, not the character entry. I can't see much practical use from the character entries, but it might be semi-useful when getting acquainted with a new character, mostly for its links to example vocabulary and kindly pointing out irregular readings.
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Re: Dictionary ? about Prefixes + Suffixes

Postby caladwenaeariel » Sun 01.29.2012 10:15 pm

haha... okay. I won't worry about it.

And actually, somehow it kinda makes sense now.

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