Katakana with Kanji

Hi everyone!

I have a quick question about kanji that are combined with katakana. I know kanji combined with hiragana tend to use the kun’yomi readings. The only words I’ve learnt so far with Kanji and katakana however use the on’yomi readings however. Is this a general rule for kanji and katakana vocab or an exceptional reading?


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Are you talking about アメリカ人 or フランス人? If so, it’s because all words that indicate nationality use the jin reading (日本人、中国人).

The only other katakana + kanji word from the first two levels I remember isビー玉, but that’s because the first part is a loanword (from ビードル、 Vidro - glass in Portuguese), and the kanji reading is kun anyway.


I don’t think there is a helpful rule or anything, but since most katakana+kanji words seem to mash two words together, they probably will take the kun reading for the kanji. But

these take the on reading because it’s about nationality, as @rodrigowaick said.

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Yes thank you!

I would have specified but I don’t have a Japanese key on my phone to input the characters (yet!). I was thinking that it might be a general nationality rule like the readings for number of people all generally following a rule, thank you for clarifying!

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Hiragana after kanji, within the vocab, are called okurigana. They are the latter portion of a single element that just happens to be represented with two forms of writing.

Something like アメリカ人 is a compound of two concepts. In that case, you generally can’t draw absolute conclusions about how the kanji will be read when there are compounds, unless there is a small-scale rule, like mentioned above with nationality words.

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