Help with vocabulary's rendaku/different onyomi reading

I know i might be wrong but till now what i understand rendaku for vocabulary like こく make it into ごくif rendaku’ed but i don’t understand why it happens or when it happens which make me get reading wrong even for kanji’s i know all reading of.
Same thing happen to me with different onyomi reading for kanji’s it got almost similar reading but i still get it wrong for more than 2~3 levels even though i know both readings can someone help me with this. Example for this are kanji for day and kanji for month.

Also can someone help me with number + “thing” and number + "day " <-- it is difficult to memorise thanks and sorry for long post


There’s a Tofugu article on rendaku you might find interesting.

As far as readings, it will get easier the more Japanese you learn and you’ll instinctively pick up patterns.


Okay, let’s see if I can help.
I’m pretty sure こく getting a dakuten in words doesn’t follow a pattern and is, in fact - random. (If it isn’t then I’m making a pretty big fool of myself right now.) So you should try and learn the words that use ごく to not mix anything up again!
The words containing 国 (こく or ごく) you should have seen by now are:
米国 (べいこく), America
中国 (ちゅうごく), China
外国 (がいこく), foreign country
天国 (てんごく), kingdom of heaven
全国 (ぜんこく), nationwide
As you see, you have two words with rendaku, heaven and China. Everything else uses こく.
I remember it like that: Heaven is pretty special. It’s nothing that can be found on earth. It gets rendaku’ed for its specialness :sparkles: And China, well, China is China. I don’t have any trick to remember this, it just happens after repeating the word often enough.

To overcome that problem, I wouldn’t focus on seeing a word as “two kanji”. I would try to look at it and identify it as “one word” so that you don’t have to think about the kanji readings for too long and end up putting the wrong one.

It’s a pain, but you have to learn when to use 日 as じつ or にち. I can help you out with 月 though. Every specific month (January, February, March…) uses がつ. The question “what month?” (何月) uses がつ as well.
Words like “last month” (先月) or “this month” (今月) use げつ.

Did you use the mnemonics? I thought they weren’t helpful at all for memorizing those words so I just made a list (one thing, two things…) and studied them everyday over a short period of time and then it clicked :)) ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ…

Sorry for the long reply… there’s not that much to read actually :sweat_smile:


I’ve made myself a list for exactly these kind of words - particularly day/month but also for 人 to try to work out the readings.

I don’t think I’ve found an easy answer but after a while it becomes familiar as a word rather than a thing to remember…if that makes sense?

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.