Kanji Onyomi and Kunyomi

So a quick question.

In most of the Onyomi and Kunyomi for Kanji I see a few letters or characters (not exactly sure what I should refer to such as) and then a red dot and then another few.

み ・ み.つ ・ みっ.つ
Here's an example. Are these all different ways you can pronounce the same kanji? or the entire pronunciation spaced out?
posted by Zach0

Comments 16

  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    The red middle dots (interpuncts) separate different readings of the kanji. It's a commonly used way in Japanese dictionaries for separating different readings in a list.

    So, 三 has three kunyomi readings listed: み, みつ, and みっつ.

    Interpuncts are used in Japanese for other things too. One such use is for separating two kunyomi words:
    バラク・オバマ = Barrack Obama.
  • Zach0
    Zach0
    Alright. So are there specific readings consider more proper or better to use? Are there times where you should use a specific reading over another? Or does it not matter? Sorry. I'm new to this obviously.
    Thank you for your comment by the way.
  • Koji11
    Koji11
    As a general rule the kanji by itself will use the kunyomi reading, and as a part of a compound word the kanji will usually use an onyomi reading. This is most often the case, but there are exceptions. As you learn new words you will start to recognize the different readings being used. For beginners it is best to concentrate on kunyomi readings as they're usually used for simple words. As you learn more complex words the onyomi come into play more.
  • Zach0
    Zach0
    Thank you for the responses.
  • Aarowaim
    Aarowaim
    To elaborate on koji's comment: you learn readings from new words. There may be 20 readings for one kanji, but it will only use one or two most of the time. The proper reading depends on the word. 一日 (first day of month) may appear to be いちにち, but it's actually ついたち. 二十歳 appears to be にじゅうさい, but はたち is the correct reading. Learn the readings by the words.
  • hebirion
    hebirion
    dunno if this will help or not, it's over a month anyway :v
    1st is about kunyomi and onyomi.
    the easiest explanation is Kunyomi is japanese's kanji read.
    on yomi is the chinese read.

    2nd for example of kunyomi and onyomi i'll use your question.
    "三 has three kunyomi readings listed: み, みつ, and みっつ." yes you're correct. but it have onyomi which is さん like chinese though yi(1),er(2),san(3). but not all always same as chinese, they will be nearly the same.

    3rd about dots yes it is for separating but at kanji it use to separate the kanji and a hiragana after it so み.つ = 三つ

    4th i'll give and example of ru verbs
    like eating たべる it will be given dot at た.べる cause the one that change to kanji is the た became 食。
  • Zach0
    Zach0
    oh, also does the small dash in something like "-か" mean anything?
  • Zach0
    Zach0
    Man, it has already been a month since I posted this huh?
    Well thank you. This is useful info.
  • White176
    White176
    I don't know of the first question, but about "-か", it means a prolongation of the sound, Do you understand?
  • Aarowaim
    Aarowaim
    かー is basically the same as かあ. Due to pronunciation rules, けー would be けい. It isn't used too often in hiragana, but the dash appears often in katakana.

    It extends the previous vowel to twice the length. Each letter (mora) in Japanese is pronounced for a beat. Adding the line makes the letter two beats. ん is usually not pronounced on its own, doo a word like しゅんかん is only 2 beats.
  • Zach0
    Zach0
    I think? I'm not really sure. I'm still trying to get a good grasp of pronunciation.
  • Aarowaim
    Aarowaim
    *...It's own, /so/ a word like...
  • Velyzia
    Velyzia
    I'm quite afraid saying this as i'm a beginner in this idiom but the"-" mentionned by Zach0 is about the pronunciation of a kanji according to the place of this same kanji in a sentence, isn't it ?

    For instance, "-ka" would mean that this kanji is pronunciated "ka" if it's following another kanji right ?
  • Zach0
    Zach0
    Alright so the hyphen means it's used after a number, the dots separate readings, and the dot used like this み.つ in a reading means that tsu is the hiragana following the kanji in the reading like this 三つ. And also to understand what reading of kanji I should use, I just need to lean more vocab and see how they're read in certain words. Is that all correct?
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    えっ? The hyphen in -か isn't a prolongation of any sound, rather it is simply used to represent that this か is a suffix—used not on its own but attaching onto the end of another word. Counters especially will have a hyphen representing this, if they are listed on their own somewhere without being used after a number (like in the definition of a kanji in JCJP kanji lessons...).

    I'm guessing you found -か in the first kanji chapter on here (for the 日 kanji maybe)? So the hyphen means this か is used after a number (as a counter) for saying the day of the month.

    For example: The number 九 (9) in Japanese is pronounced ここの (need to use the "ここの" kun-reading not the more usual "きゅう" on-reading). The ninth day of the month is written 九日 (ここのか), which is the number 9 九 (ここの) + the suffixed counter 日 (-か).
  • Aarowaim
    Aarowaim
    Yeah, you got it. My response was an attempt to clarify that -か probably didn't mean what white said.
Zach0

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