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Difference between ほか and か.

Hi! I'm a beguinner and I have come across this sentence: 日本の他の名前は『にっぽん』です。The only word I didn't know was 他, which I deduced to be "other" from the context (later, I verified). My doubt was how to read it, as I found to readings: ほか and か. Can anyone explain me the difference between ほか and か?
posted by Filpez

Comments 8

  • mog86uk
    他 kun'yomi = ほか; on'yomi = た

    I believe it is read as "た" in that sentence. Although, when a word is a single kanji used on its own, then it is more likely that the word is meant to be read as the kanji's kun'yomi. So it is understandable that this is confusing, and there is more to it.

    First way to check how it is read is Google Translate. Select Japanese→English and click the "Read phoentically" icon at the bottom of the Japanese text box, then paste the text you want to read.
    It Says "Nihon no ta no namae wa" for your sentence. Google Translate is probably not the most trustworthy way to find out the answer though.

    If you check "他" in an online dictionary like Denshi Jisho, it has two results with slightly different meanings. Only the first result, which is read as "た", is listed as a "common word", while the second result read as as ほか isn't. If you look at the two slightly different meanings, た is "epecially used for people and abstract matters", while ほか is "especially used for places and things". In your sentence 他 is being used for other name(名前), and names are abstract matters (not physical things), so た would be used. :)

    If you check "ほか" in Denshi Jisho, it shows that there are two different kanji for that same meaning for which either one can be used to write it - 他 or 外. Only 外 is listed as a "common word" though, so apparently 外 is the kanji that would more often be used for ほか.

    Sorry for posting so much, I struggle to keep things short, but hopefully that helped. ^^
  • Filpez
    Thank you! That helped a lot.
  • jpnative
    日本[japan](nihon, nippon)--にほん,にっぽん

    日本(nihon) の(no) 他(hoka) の(no) 名前(namae) は(ha)『にっぽん(nippon)』です。(desu.)

    examples of use:
    他人[another person, others](tanin)--たにん

    他 [other](hoka,ta)+ 人[person,human,people...] (hito,nin,jin) = (tanin)

    why ?

    訓読み(kun'yomi): hoka
    音読み(on'yomi): ta

    訓読み(kun'yomi): hito
    音読み(on'yomi): nin, jin

    kanji + kanji = kanji(on'yomi) + kanji(on'yomi)
    他人[another person ,others](tanin)

    kanji + hiragana = kanji(kun'yomi) + hiragana
    他の人[another person ,others](hoka no hito)

    however , this rule has an exception.

    sorry. my english is terrible ;(
    I hope I can be of any help to you. :)

  • mog86uk
    I had thought the same, that in "日本の他の名前は" the 他 = "ほか". However, after I had checked online dictionaries that did not seem to be the correct answer.

    This online dictionary link seems to say 他の = "たの":

    Also, every time I've come across "他の" in my Japanese language Bible, the furigana has always been "た". If ほかの is meant, then it seems to always be written plainly in hiragana and never written as 他の.

    Here's a good example phrase I've found:

    And here's another phrase which uses both "た" and "ほか":

    One thing I had mentioned was that Google Translate says 日本の他の名前は = "nihon no ta no namae wa", however I've noticed if you instead put just 他の名前は it does actually say "hoka no namae wa"... -_-

    I have thought of some better ways of learning the answer...

    Type "ほかの名前" (with the quotation marks) into Google search, to see if this is a common phrase... 580,000,000 results! Obviously, it is important to check through the results, to make sure the words are being used in the same way.
    Searching for the exact phrase "日本のほかの名前" also returns a couple of results.

    Another place to check is Stack Exchange, where someone has already asked a question about "ほか" vs "た":
    One user on there mentions that the older generation might chose to optionally use "た" where "ほか" would normally be used?

    I'm still confused, but I'm only a learner of Japanese, so I'll accept whatever a native Japanese says. Definitely more reliable than Google Translate! :P
  • jpnative
    "他の" (たの)  not often used

    however ,その他 (そのた)or(そのほか)

    例文(example sentence):
     ・その他(そのた)(the others... etc...)

    例文2(example sentence 2):

    その他(そのほか)= and, moreover...

    This is difficult problem. XD
    I'm confused too. lol

  • jpnative
    日本の他の名前は『にっぽん』です。 this sentence is not good enough.

    more naturally

    more naturally ,more native

  • mog86uk
    Very interesting, although still very confusing too. :D

    Here are a couple of other interesting pages where I've found people talking about そのた vs そのほか:


    - yaiko144 seems to agree with what you said: そのた as a single word, そのほか within a sentence.

    Your explanations have been very clear and give a lot to think about. Thank you. :)
  • jpnative
    you're welcome.
    I'll be very happy if I can serve you.