What's new

くんよみ/おんよみ

thesuker

先輩
Joined
May 20, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
1
Hi, I'm starting to learn basic kanjis and in the textbook it says that normally we use くんよみ for the individual word (山-やま)and the おんよみ for kanji combinations (火山-かざん)but I've seen that in some cases we use the くんよみ in combination with other kanjis. For example, in the days of the week: 月曜日(げつよう), names: 山田(やま), things: 入口(いりぐち)... So, are these just exceptions to the general rule? Or is there no general rule and I should just focus on the general meaning of the kanji rather than it's くんよみ/おんよみ pronunciations?
 

Razahia

先輩
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
210
Reaction score
1
Hi, I'm starting to learn basic kanjis and in the textbook it says that normally we use くんよみ for the individual word (山-やま)and the おんよみ for kanji combinations (火山-かざん)but I've seen that in some cases we use the くんよみ in combination with other kanjis. For example, in the days of the week: 月曜日(げつよう), names: 山田(やま), things: 入口(いりぐち)... So, are these just exceptions to the general rule? Or is there no general rule and I should just focus on the general meaning of the kanji rather than it's くんよみ/おんよみ pronunciations?
I found that I spent a month trying to learn the くんよみ and the おんよみ for a month and got nowhere. I found looking at the actual Kanji combinations and learning the meaning of what the compounds meant, or how it was alone, I started learning Kanji a lot quicker.

easy one like 今日. The amount of times I've seen that I memorized it quite quickly just learning what it meant and constantly seeing it.

That's my opinion anyways. I'm still learning myself.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
1,568
Be aware of the on/kun readings. You'll find kanji and their readings easier to remember if done in some sort of context, so let the textbook lead you by the hand for a bit and you'll be better prepared to wander off on your a bit later. Getting over-eager learning kanji just leads to confusion.
 

lanthas

 
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
940
Reaction score
137
There are so many exceptions to the "rule" that words with multiple kanji use the onyomi, that you may as well forget about it. In practice, you often get kun-on or even kun-kun words. And even for on-on words, you still need to take into account kanji with multiple onyomi (such as 人: にん/じん) and rendaku (which turns the はつ reading of 発 into ぱつ when used in 原発).

Of course you shouldn't forget about irregular readings. Just yesterday I encountered the new word 素人 (amateur). Based on the onyomi of 素 (そ/す), so you might think this word is pronounced as そじん; and if you were talking about a person's name, you would be right. However, when used as a noun, this word is pronounced しろうと! Speaking of people's names, this subject is so confusing that even native Japanese have trouble with it.

So like the other posters wrote: don't bother learning the readings by themselves. You can use them to take a guess at a word's pronunciation, but you'll often be wrong (in fact, FinancialWar may join this thread to remind us all that Japanese has the worst writing system in the world because of this). Instead, learn the words that the kanji are used in.
 
Top