Jukugo words

Hi Guys,
Do I have to memorize jukugo words or is there a way to recognize them?

kind regards

I’m not quite sure what you mean.

“Jukugo” is just the Japanese word for “compound word.” It can encompass

  1. compounds made from two or more words being jammed together, like 引き分け (ひきわけ, from 引く and 分ける). This can also be called a 複合語 (ふくごうご)
  2. compounds made from two or more kanji, like 大人, 日本, or 熟語 itself. This can also be called a 熟字 (じゅくじ)

So in most cases it should be clear what is a jukugo and what isn’t. Unless it’s a jukugo that has been written in all kana… that could be harder to identify for a beginner, potentially.

Is there a particular reason you are concerned you won’t be able to identify jukugo?


Are you asking if the meaning of jukugo words will always be obvious if you know the kanji? Unfortunately the answer is no. Thankfully you can usually (but still not always) guess the reading, making it easier to look up the words in a dictionary. But very often the meaning will not be obvious.