A multiple readings question

Hi everyone!

Recently I started reading the example sentences to each vocabulary item and noticed that due to some words having multiple readings — and I don’t mean just oniomi and kunyomi, I mean words like 他所 being both たしょ and よそ — I have no idea how to pronounce them in a sentence. I’ve being using Google Translate hoping that it would show me the correct reading but I have no way of knowing how reliable it is. Is there a better way to find out which reading a word takes in a particular context? Can Google Translate be trusted at all with choosing the correct reading?

2 Likes

No.

Dictionaries like Jisho will often point out when one meaning corresponds to only one of the multiple readings. It will also point out when a word has multiple forms like in this case.

5 Likes

For example for the case of よそ you can see 他所 listed as an alternate form:

1 Like

If you look up よそ in Jisho, it will tell you that it’s usually written in kana.

If you see 他所, the standard way to read it would be たしょ. If someone wants you to read 他所 as よそ, they’ll probably put furigana on it.

This information can usually be gleaned from monolingual dictionaries as well. When you see things like these triangle symbols next to kanji, or extra brackets around a reading, it’s a sign that it’s a non-standard, or possibly non-jouyou reading.

That isn’t a sign that you won’t see the reading ever… but when you have two ways to write something or read something and one is standard and one is non-standard, you can guess the standard one will be more common.

Or perhaps the definitions will give you a hint that one or the other is not intended. But you need to be able to analyze the full sentence for that usually.

5 Likes

Thank you for the explanation and for recommending me Jisho! I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never heard of it before :see_no_evil: It has so much useful information, I’ll be sure to look up the new words there from now on :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thank you for the explanation! May I ask which monolingual dictionary you’re using? I’m not quite there yet but I would love to save it for the future :sweat_smile:

That is a site called weblio, which searches multiple dictionaries when you look up a word. The results for that word came from the dictionary 大辞林だいじりん, which is one of those huge hard-cover dictionaries, if you buy it in physical form.

https://www.weblio.jp/content/よそ

image

3 Likes

Oh, this site looks super useful :smiley: Thank you!

2 Likes