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漢字 - Kanji

Learning kanji is a long process that requires a commitment, it is best to get into a pattern of studying a few kanji every day. The reason I wrote Kakitai was for learning kanji and learning it well. There are over 2000 Kanji characters that are used in every day writing in Japan and are taught to school children across all their years in school.

Kanji Readings

For the most part there are 2 types of readings for Japanese 音読み (Onyomi) & 訓読み (Kunyomi). Onyomi is normally similar to the original Chinese reading and is mostly used when multiple kanji for one word. Kunyomi is the Japanese reading and is mostly used when the kanji is on its own. There are also exceptions, words with kanji that are pronounced with neither a Kunyomi nor Onyomi reading these excepts are that common but are most common is names. Examples:

  • 七つ Kunyomi(ななつ) - 七月 Onyomi(しちがつ) - 七夕 neither(たなばた)
  • 日の出 Kunyomi(ひので) - 毎日 Onyomi(まいにち) - 今日 neither(きょう)
  • 小山 Kunyomi(こやま) - 火山 Onyomi(かさん) - 山葵 neither(わさび)
  • 女の人 Kunyomi(おんなのひと) - 友人 Onyomi(ゆうじん) - 大人 neither(おとな)

Kanji Radicals

Kanji characters are often made up of combinations of other characters (often compressed versions) these are known as radicals for example the character for village 村 is made up of the character for measurement 寸 and tree 木. Learning radicals can be a good way to start learning kanji as there is only 214 radicals and remembering which radicals make up a character can help you remember the character. Radicals and stroke order are also used for sorting characters similar to alphabetical order in other languages. These 50 radicals below are used in 75% of the characters in Kakitai:

々 Character

There is one special kanji character that doesn't have its own reading it instead repeats the previous character, the repeated character might be pronounced with the first syllable in its voiced variation were applicable. It is sometimes but not always used as a plural, here are some examples;

  • 人 (ひと) Person - 人々 (ひとびと) People
  • 少 (しょう) Little - 少々 (しょうしょう) Just a Minute
  • 時 (とき) Time - 時々 (ときどき) Sometimes
  • 日 (にち) Day - 日々 (にちにち) Every Day
  • 一 (いち) One - 一々 (いちいち) One by One