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kanji for "japanese"

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kanji for "japanese"

Postby appleraja » Tue 10.11.2005 1:51 am

is the word japanese in kanji an on kanji? because it is composed to 2 kanjis (sun, book)?
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RE: kanji for "japanese"

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 10.11.2005 3:08 am

The kanji for Japan (nippon) is comprised of the kun-yomi of 日 and 本

It's a special case, because it's a name. Proper names do not usually follow the standard practice of using on-yomi when combining kanji.

That's why 高木 is Takagi, not Koumoku.
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RE: kanji for "japanese"

Postby mandolin » Tue 10.11.2005 3:09 am

it's a jukugo (kanji compound word), and sun + origin ('origin' is the more appropriate meaning for that kanji, and not 'book' -- origin of the sun would be... east. :) ) is just "Japan".
If you want "japanese" as in a person, sun + origin (japan) + person
If you want "japanese" as in the language, sun + origin + speech

日本 = nihon = japan
日本人 = nihonjin = japan person
日本語 = nihongo = japan language

While there are sort of some rules about on and kun readings, like one being used for single-kanji words and the other for jukugo (compounds)... well, there's always about as many exceptions as there are to the rule.

It's best to try not to categorize things like that, in my opinion. Just try to learn the jukugo as you come across them. Of course, it doesn't mean you're not allowed to try and guess how something is read without looking it up first. But even a native speaker will get them mixed up sometimes if it's a word they're not familiar with.

Vocabulary growth virtually eliminates this problem with most common words, however. So don't fret... you'll eventually be able to decipher which pronounciation goes with which kanji based on your vocab. :)

For instance... I don't think there are many people who would pronounce the 日 in 日本 as hi.

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RE: kanji for "japanese"

Postby AJBryant » Tue 10.11.2005 2:02 pm

The kanji for Japan (nippon) is comprised of the kun-yomi of 日 and 本


Knowing you, that has to be a slip of the keyboard.

NICHI and HON are on'yomi. The kun'yomi is HI(no)MOTO.

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RE: kanji for "japanese"

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 10.11.2005 6:28 pm

Eh? Oh yeah.. you're right.. less of a keyboard slip and more of a brain fart. ;) Thanks for the correction.
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