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Postby Reggie » Sat 02.26.2005 3:42 pm

Hi again. I was looking at the Kanji section and I was just wondering what the On and Kun readings were and when to use one over the other.
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RE: Kanji

Postby GMK-kaijuu » Sat 02.26.2005 5:01 pm

I think that 90% of the time this rule works.
The KUN reading is used for single kanji words whereas the ON reading is used for compound kanji words. Here is a illustration of this:
Single words: 人(person)is pronounced hito[kun reading]
口(mouth)is pronounced kuchi[kun reading]
Coumpound words:The above kanji make up the compound word 人口(population)which is pronounced JINKO.
JIN and KO are ON readings of 人 AND 口。
I took this directly from a book. I hope this helps
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RE: Kanji

Postby Reggie » Sat 02.26.2005 5:42 pm

Thanks. That helps a lot. Another thing though. What about the ON or KUN readings that have more than one um...reading? Like 人 for example again. Under the ON readings, it says that it's either jin or nin. How do you know when to use nin and when to use jin?
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RE: Kanji

Postby clay » Sat 02.26.2005 9:47 pm

You will just have to pick that up as you learn words. You can't say "nanjin" for how many people (nannin). The good news is as you progress you will find the number of readings decreases. Most of the kanji that have many readings are the easy ones.
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RE: Kanji

Postby hihlordjp » Sun 02.27.2005 1:34 am

Just watch out for those kanji combinations that don't fall under the norm like:

出口 - でぐち (from the "kun" readings) (
Comment: One of my first kanji combinations ever. You see this a lot in terminals (as a child, I recall seeing it almost everywhere in Hong Kong!)

何処 - どこ (a special reading which doesn't involve any of the individual character's readings)
Last edited by hihlordjp on Sun 02.27.2005 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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