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なか/じゅう/ちゅう readings of 中

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Up until now everything seemed to be clear to me:
- read なか for "inside" like 箱の中「なか」に和菓子がある
- read ちゅう for "in the process of" like 仕事中「ちゅう」寝ちゃった
- read じゅう for "during/duration" like 晩中「じゅう」お好み焼きを三丁食べました ( 午前ちゅう being an exception)
But now i've learned that CATEGORYの中でSUBJECTが一番ATTRIBUTE like ロシア料理の中でブリヌイが一番好きだ
And that was quite a surprise for me to find out that 中 here is なか, because i thought it would be more like じゅう from 世界中.
Is it 世界中's reading that's out of ordinary? Are there any other pecularities of 中 readings usage?
And a bonus question: what's the difference between 普通 and たいてい?
 
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Toritoribe

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ちゅう can mean "inside", e.g. 空中, 海中 or 地中. The reading depends on whether it's used as a stand-alone word or in a compound kanji word.

As for the difference between ちゅう and じゅう, see our posts in the following thread. (The site linked in the thread basically says that it's really complecated for temporal words.)
https://jref.com/forum/learning-japanese-64/%82%A9%82%C6%8Ev%82%A4%82%C6-39411/#post595500

普通: ordinary / generally / usually / normally
たいてい: almost always
 
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You can make an endless list of such inconsistencies. Is there a reason why 黒 is pronounced as くろ in 黒子 but as こく in 黒人? Why is 人 pronounced にん in 人間, じん in 人類, and びと in 恋人? Why is the "o" in "women" pronounced like an "i"? One might as well conclude that it's all completely random and purely meant to frustrate students. :D
 

Mike Cash

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There is no inconsistency between 世界中 and ロシア料理の中. Examine the nature of what 中 is used with and you'll see it.

The difference is that of "among" and "throughout". The difference between whether you're dealing with many items or a single entity.

世界 is a single entity; 体 is a single entity; 家族、一年、部屋 are all single entities, for example. So you have 世界中、体中、家族中、一年中、部屋中 all with the reading じゅう

While ロシア料理 is a single collective noun, when you decide to talk about which ロシア料理 is the best you're now treating it in terms of separate Russian dishes and distinguishing between multiple items and the 中 usage is appropriate.
 

Toritoribe

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You can make an endless list of such inconsistencies. Is there a reason why 黒 is pronounced as くろ in 黒子 but as こく in 黒人? Why is 人 pronounced にん in 人間, じん in 人類, and びと in 恋人? Why is the "o" in "women" pronounced like an "i"? One might as well conclude that it's all completely random and purely meant to frustrate students. :biggrin:
As for with spacial terms, a general rule "じゅう=completely throughout; ちゅう=somewhere in the middle of it, but not completely throughout" does exist, as Glenn-san pointed out in the thread I linked above.

海中[かいちゅう]: in the sea
e.g.
クラゲは海中を漂っている。

海中[うみじゅう] / 海じゅう: throughout the sea(In this meaning, hiragana じゅう is preferred to avoid confusion with かいちゅう.)
e.g.
プランクトンは海じゅうにいる。
 
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Is there a reason why 黒 is pronounced as くろ in 黒子 but as こく in 黒人? Why is 人 pronounced にん in 人間, じん in 人類, and びと in 恋人? Why is the "o" in "women" pronounced like an "i"?
One can always come up with a reason or explanation. Even if artificial and far-fetched such explanations do a great job aiding language studies.

The difference is that of "among" and "throughout". The difference between whether you're dealing with many items or a single entity.
Now it totally makes sense to me. Thanks, Mike!

As for the difference between ちゅう and じゅう, see our posts in the following thread.
https://jref.com/forum/learning-japanese-64/%82%A9%82%C6%8Ev%82%A4%82%C6-39411/#post595500
The thread is quite insightful. Thanks.
 
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