Saturday, June 2, 2012

Japanese Kanji Characters - Set 1

Kanji script is of Chinese origin. The Japanese incorporated a Japanese reading along with the original Chinese reading.

On-reading (On-yomi) is the Chinese reading of a kanji character. Chinese also used it that way at that time.  But it  might be quite different from Standard Mandarin today. The Kun-reading (Kun-yomi) is the native Japanese reading.

Even though which reading is to be used depends on specific words, as a general rule On-reading is usually used when the kanji is a part of a compound (two or more kanji characters are placed side by side). Kun-reading is used when the kanji is used on its own, either as a complete noun (word) or as adjective stems and verb stems. This is not a hard rule, but it would help to start with till one recognizes the usage and learns the pronunciation of the word.

Kanji Alphabet (One pronunciation)

S.No.     On-reading             Kun- reading      Meaning      Link

1.           Ichi                         hito                     One, Unity

2.           u, yuu                      migi                     right, right wing

3.            u,                            ame, ama            rain, rainfall

4.            en                            maru                  circle, yen

5.            ou                            no reading          king      

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