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On and Kun?

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On and Kun?

Postby Inkinsarto » Mon 04.07.2014 12:12 pm

When viewing Kanji, what exactly do "On" and "Kun" mean?

kanji.png
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よろしくおねがいします!
日本語が分かりませんので、もちを食べます!
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Re: On and Kun?

Postby Dustin » Mon 04.07.2014 12:38 pm

Basically, the "on" readings of the kanji come from Chinese at the time that Japanese borrowed the character set to make Kanji, and the "kun" readings come from japanese words that already existed.

Which reading is used depends on the word, but commonly a kanji in isolation will be represented by japanese kun reading, and generally in compounds, they will represent chinese readings, though these are just rules of thumb.

Example 山 = やま ( kun reading ) ( mountain ) but in the compound「富士山」 山 reads as さん (on reading ) ( Fuji san / Mount Fuji )

Tofugu wraps it up well here:

http://www.tofugu.com/2010/03/23/the-ty ... s-kunyomi/
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Re: On and Kun?

Postby Dustin » Mon 04.07.2014 12:40 pm

ところで、TJPへようこそ

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Re: On and Kun?

Postby Inkinsarto » Mon 04.07.2014 12:47 pm

Wow- That clears up much confusion. This should help with the early frustration of not knowing how to pronounce compounds correctly.
有難うございました!
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Re: On and Kun?

Postby Dustin » Mon 04.07.2014 12:52 pm

Just keep in mind that there can be multiple on and kun readings, and the on=compound, kun=by itself is only a guideline that works about 90% of the time.

You'll get used to which readings apply through vocab acquisition though! :)

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