How do you not get confused with two words being pronounced the same?

For example. Both the kanji for Artificial and population are pronounced ‘Jinkou’. How does one avoid confusion when speaking?


It’s not much different from English. You can understand from context if people are talking about population or describing something as artificial. You’re unlikely to ever just hear じんこう and have no context around it.


Context. If I say 日本のじんこうは一億人ぐらいです, it’s pretty plain that I mean “population” and not “artificial”.


As others said, context gives clarity to homonyms. In spoken English, you don’t get confused between “to,” “too,” and “two” either.

And there is also pitch accent in certain cases. An English equivalent example would be “present” and “present.”

“He’s here to present the results.”
“He’s here to bring the kids a present.”

For example

今 「いま」 - “now”
居間 「いま」- “living room”

have different pitch accents.


“He’s from the future. He’s here to live in the present.”

Was this meant to be ambiguous?

I think they mean there is a third kind of present

Indeed another homonym. :slight_smile: But since it’s pronounced the same as “giving a present,” it wasn’t relevant to my example of differentiating pitch accents.


There’s like 7 other じんこうs as well. It happens. (don’t worry, they’re not common words)

No. Just another example of homonym.


He’s come to the present to present a present.


Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.


Als vliegen achter vliegen vliegen vliegen vliegen vliegensvlug. (“When flies fly behind flies, flies fly quick as flies.”)


Kannst du micka funga ?

(where I live, everyone can answer this question)

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Don’t get people wrong, if the question is “is it hard for you too ?”
I think that yes it is hard for every foreigner. Here you can work you reading of kanji’s but the earring part is a Hhhhhuuuuge part as well and the speaking one is another :slight_smile:

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Gore gore gore gore (Up there the woods burn worse).

Context and intonation.

The following (grammatical) sentence is a great example in the English language:

James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher

It makes much more sentence when punctuation is used in written language and appropriate intonation is used in spoken language. Practice with the language is key here. If a sentence was really ambiguous to even a practiced user of a language then people would have found another way to express it.


The kanji for upside-down is pronouced @Jun-ko

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I saw a bat flying around last night after work.

Reckon it was of the wooden stick variety, or the animal variety? :slight_smile:

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Love this one : 庭には2羽にわとりがいます。:grin:
Of course the intonation helps determining what are the words used there…