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?



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.


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!


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.