あたり vs. あたり

Hi,

I’m still at the beginning of my japanese learning, but i wonder about listening comprehension.
I know that in french for example some words sound pretty similar so you have to look for the context.
It seems to me that in japanese this is a lot more difficult.

For example
あたり

At least in my imagination there are some contexts in which you could misunderstand
辺り (area) for
当たり (a success)

Is it really that difficult or haven’t you been in a situation like that during your studies?

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I’d say this is perfectly normal for the beginning of language study/listening comprehension, especially for Japanese!

Japanese has a lot of homonyms, so it can naturally feel daunting to try to successfully recognize and distinguish words sometimes, but fret not, it does get better ^^

Context is a major factor in helping to distinguish similar/exact sounding words, so as you develop your listening comprehension overall, you’ll start realizing you can figure out which word they’re referring to quicker, and at some point it won’t even be as much of a struggle and more second nature to you. It can feel tough and intimidating in the beginning sometimes, but as you gradually make more progress and improve, your ability to hear the “correct” word naturally will improve too.

That’s been my experience at least :slightly_smiling_face:

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I don’t think I have encountered that yet, because usually they would be written with kanji, so it’s very easy to know what they mean. When it’s spoken though, it’s a little more difficult if you are still a beginner because it takes longer for your brain to process the information, but when you know more vocabulary and grammar, it should come naturally to you within the context!

Remember we have words like that in english too and you most likely have no problem understanding them.

bear/bare, coarse/course, plane/plain, break/brake, there/their etc.

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Red/read, reed/read

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Pretty much what’s been said already, context is key. Nobody would say, for instance: “He lives in this success”, right? You’d know that it has to be 辺り and not 当たり.

I think for me it’s not that I confuse the meaning of the words, I simply don’t understand what’s being said. Like others have mentioned, based on the context, alternate irrelevant meanings won’t come to mind. Instead if I really don’t know what the speaker is saying, then I won’t know what they’re talking about. That’s usually when I ask what that specific word they had used means. Though in the beginning when my vocabulary was sparser, I would often just assume the speaker said something in the realm of my understanding only to find that I didn’t understand what they had said. (This is usually after I’d embarrass myself with a response that had nothing to do with with the conversation). :rofl:

These actually aren’t homophones (at least in 標準語).

https://www.weblio.jp/content/あたり

当たり has no accent nucleus, and 辺り is accented on the first mora.

If you don’t get what that means, it means they’re kinda like desert (to abandon) and desert (a really dry place) in English. They don’t sound the same.

You can read more here

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I feel like Leebo has a passive aura skill that raises everyone’s Japanese skills within range.

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