I’ve known for a long time that 卵 means eggs. But recently I stumbled on the alternative spelling 玉子 for eggs. It seems like 玉子 is mainly used in recipes. Can someone shed some light on this matter?
Incidentally, I saw this on a Japanese TV show No guarantee that I got it 100% right, though.
卵 is for the physical object itself, 玉子 when you use it for a sort of purpose, like eating. So if you take a raw egg in hand, it starts out as 卵, once you crack it open and put it on rice it turns into a 玉子.
Thank you both for your answers! Now I got it
It seems there are more words that can be written with different but with slightly different meanings. I recently had 眼 as a vocabulary and that kanji seems to be the more scientific version of 目. It also could refer to the physical eyeball. Is there a rule of thumb when one could expect multiple spelling of a word or is there a limited list with everyday items that are written differently depending on context?
The other way round it’s even more confusing:
市場 read as いちば is the market place of a town, but 市場 read as しじょう is the market as a concept, like in 株式市場 (stock market).
Now that you mentioned it, this is something I’ve been loosely aware of. Thanks for pointing this out! This forum is really a gold mine of helpful information. Now I regret not becoming active sooner
Also incidentally, 卵 is used pretty much when referring to human reproduction also.
It’s even more confusing with rice because 米 (こめ) is uncooked rice but cooked rice can be called 飯 (めし) or ご飯 (ごはん), both of which can also mean meal (including non-rice meal) in general depending on context.
I don’t think the distinction between rice as a grain and rice as a meal is that confusing.
Also I think English is way more confusing with Tea meaning Dinner, apart from if you are Scottish then Dinner is Lunch.
Or if you are a northerner then Dinner is Supper, only Supper is actually Afters because you eat it for dessert.
I think this kind of thingsis totally normal for every language. The only thing that REALLY confuses me in Japanese are the readings… I mean what the hell? You learn the 2000 most important kanji with at least 2 readings, but you have no clue, if this new word is even using the readings. Maybe it’s an exceptional reading (wich is no exception but rather usuall -.-)?! Yojijukugos do almost NEVER use the onjomis (at least it feels like that).
Not sure what you mean by that… since yojijukugo usually come directly from ancient Chinese, what else would they use?
I think WK is pretty good with the readings really.
Or if you’re an an American living in the northeast USA and are totally confused by everything you just said
Or if you live in America then entrée is the main dish and not the opening dish
Y-you’re not the opening dish! o:<
No, I’m a dessert because I’m sweet
!! I had never noticed that before. I mean, it’s true, but I never thought about what the word literally means. (And I like to notice those things.)
Hey, Discourse, if you don’t want me to resurrect old threads, stop recommending them to me at the bottom of the page. Sorry (not sorry).
Don’t worry, we’re all necrophiliacs here
I was today years old when:
- I learned that “tamago”(when written with 玉子) means egg.
- That the rough LITERAL translation is “child in a ball”.
If you live in the Midwest USA, dinner is lunch and supper is what you eat at night. In the South, you eat lunch at noon and dinner at night.