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Different pronunciations of the Kanji?

Scotas

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Hello. I am new to studying Japanese. I have been studying Chinese for about 2 years, and am already familiar with the meanings of many of the Kanji because of that.

However, when I learn the Kanji in Japanese there is a difference. Generally speaking, in Chinese each character has only 1 pronunciation. 日 is always ri, for example. But in Japanese, each Kanji seems to have at least 2 pronunciations, and sometimes many more.

My question is: how to go about learning Japanese pronunciations of the Kanji? Should I try and memorize them all at once when I learn each one? Or does it make more sense to just learn 1 pronunciation at a time?

Scotas
 

nice gaijin

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onyomi and kunyomi can be a real headache when you start learning Japanese, and they don't even cover all the the different readings. Rather than trying to learn them for individual characters, try to learn words and take note of how the characters are pronounced in particular contexts. Drilling pronunciations independent of context doesn't strike me as being particularly effective; give your studies meaning, and learn things you can then use to form sentences (ie learn whole words instead of just readings for individual characters)
 
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Angel Valis

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I completely agree with nice gaijin, learning appropriate vocabulary is the best way to learn the many readings of each kanji.

It gives your mind something to connect to the reading which it doesn't get if you just memorize the readings by themselves.

Often times a character acting as a word by itself uses the kun-yomi, and in compounds uses the on-yomi, but this isn't always the case, and kanji can have more than one of each kind of reading.
 
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