I am having the hardest time differentiating the pronunciations of 大 in different vocabulary words. Sometimes it is だい and sometimes it is たい. I usually always pick the wrong one! Sometimes it is おお. I usuly only have trouble with the others, though. I have tried to see a pattern, but I can’t.
I looked up in the boards and couldn’t find a topic on it. Are there any good pointers to remembering when to use たい and when to use だい?
I find it is pretty much a role of the die whether a new vocab uses たい or だい. Except when you have a bit more feeling for the language, you can kind of predict it, since it just feels better one way, vs the other
It’s weird to be honest. I can’t tell you the rule on how i know them, but 9 times out of 10 i can predict which reading to use for 大。That is because you will learn so many words that use that kanji, and the human brain is an expert of picking up on patterns subconsciously.
I don’t know much but what I do know is that most (I won’t say all because that’s asking for an exception) vocabs having to do with education are だい. Ex. University, Private College, Grad School.
Now whenever I come across 大 = だい I try to set the mnemonic in a school to help remember.
I don’t really know of a rule, but you’ll get better at guessing over time. Eventually you’ll get to a point where one will just sound right. That doesn’t mean you’ll guess right every time of course, but with enough practice and exposure you can certainly get to a point where you’re right 90+% of the time.
I’d be interested to see if it holds true generally, but off the top of my head some exceptions would be 大工 (だいく, not だいぐ) and 大胆 (だいたん, not だいだん) and 大概 (たいがい, not だいがい) and 大木 (たいぼく, not だいぼく). And then even things like 大分 (だいぶ) and 大部 (たいぶ) have both ways for similar second-half readings.
Exceptions are inevitable, but I wonder what the percentages are.
The pattern I’m getting so far is that if it’s attached to another kanji it would be たい or だい, but I still can’t predict whether it’d be any of both. If it’s attached to okurigana then it’s usually おお.
As for 日, when it means something like a name of a day whether it is day of the week of independence day and such, it’s usually ひ or び (mostly it’ll be び, it’ll get rendaku-ed when two words form a compound, but there isn’t really a formula for this too). When the context is somewhat a counter for day or dates, it’s usually にち. And the rest would be じつ. It’s hard for me to explain じつ、but I’m starting to feel which one of these sounds more natural.
Of course these are all just my best guesses. (^_^;)
This does not apply only to 大, but my approach when I learn a word is to associate its meaning with the sounds of the pronunciation, not the kanji themselves, and it works great. I know the word だいじ means “important”, I know the word たいかい means “tournament”. When I hear them I recognize them like that. When I see the kanji, I use that as a shortcut to get to the word that’s already memorized as kana in my head. So if I see 大会, I try the different readings in my head first and see if I find a match. I don’t recognize だいかい so I try たいかい. It matches the word I know, so I’ll pick that reading.
In my experience, that’s the easiest way not to mess up the different readings.Instead of seeing the characters and trying to guess the readings, I memorize the word in kana and use the kanji as a tool to get to the kana that I already know. Not sure how much that helps you, but I hope it does.
After learning a lot of kanji, you kind of get a feeling for what readings are the most common, and can guess the reading of a new kanji word you haven’t learned before, but that will take a lot of learning until your brain learns to recognize these patterns.