2 different kun'yomi readings?

When doing my learning I found that the kanji 上 has the kun’yomi reading うえ, but when put into the vocab word 上げる, 上is read as あ, despite it being listed as the kun’yomi reading as well. ;.; If someone could explain to me why I’d appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

There’s no limit to the number of readings.

Kun: うえ、 -うえ、 うわ-、 かみ、 あ.げる、 -あ.げる、 あ.がる、 -あ.がる、 あ.がり、 -あ.がり、 のぼ.る、 のぼ.り、 のぼ.せる、 のぼ.す、 たてまつ.る
On: ジョウ、 ショウ、 シャン

生 has a ton too.

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Japanese readings are not unlike English words’ pronunciations, as I noticed. Can make good guesses, but ultimately have to know what each word uses.

As I understand it is especially true for the most common kanji.

Are the reading interchangeable? So for example could i read上げる as うえげる or do the vocab words have one set reading?

So probably a no on interchangeable readings then.

No, readings are generally not interchangeable.

Consider the English word “cake.” Even though the letter C can be pronounced like an S, that doesn’t mean you can pronounce cake like sake and expect to be understood.


Right, makes sense. Thanks for all the help ;D

I’ve read that there are also some colloquially interchangeable readings, but it looks murky.

The words exist in spoken Japanese and then have kanji assigned to them. Different readings are just different words that still go well with the same kanji concept.

So that’s why they’re not interchangeable.

うえ - up
あがる - to rise
のぼる - to climb

You say those words and they obviously aren’t interchangeable with each other. But they still go well with the concept of 上, so that gets used.

What might confuse you more is when those same words also get assigned different kanji based on nuances.

These are all のぼる
上る - to climb stairs
登る - to climb a mountain
昇る - to ascend (i.e. into heaven)


I kinda like it when similar words are read the same way :wink: at least it makes remembering the reading easier, and when you read a text with the kanji and get the different nuances it’s like poetry :smiley:

And if you get confused by kun homophones in the future (mentioned by Leebo) this could be a good resource:


Somehow my first thought was that this is the holy bible of puns.


Bahaha YES. The ultimate ダジャレ guide.

For those of you who havent learned the kanji, it’s 孫(まご)and means grandchild.


This is for on’yomi pun, but is learned relatively early in WK:


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