Question about 真中

Hello,

I’ve been going a little deep into a couple different Japanese resources, including things like jisho.org (which get’s its data from JMDict).

Which leads me to an example question that I have and how much faith I should put into these resources.

There are two different spellings for 真中 and 真ん中. The second is clearly まんなか the former… well google translate says its also まんなか, and I have a couple other resources that agree, but Jisho/JMDict say it is まなか, which would logically follow from the kanji readings.

So… is まなか a valid reading of 真中, or is it a special reading where it should be read まんなか despite not having an explicit ん and まん not being a typical reading of 真?

I know… a somewhat silly question in the grand scheme of things.

Really at the heart of it is: what resources can I trust. I had hoped that JMDict was a reliable dictionary.

Thanks!

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Two native speakers here indicate that it’s the same either way, and it’s just a matter of preference.

It seems like まなか might be more common for names.

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Thank you!

Of course! Also, from just googling the terms 真中 spit out a bunch of Chinese results and 真ん中 gave me a bunch of Japanese ones… I think 真ん中 might be the preferred usage :laughing:

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Daijisen agrees with JMDict in listing only まなか for 真中; GG5, Progressive and Meikyou don’t have an entry for 真中 at all, only 真ん中. The only source I found that gives まんなか as a reading for 真中 is 精選版 日本国語大辞典 (which lists it after まんなか and also lists みなか, so I suspect this dictionary might have a lot of historical/obsolete/rare readings).

The conclusion I would draw from this is:

  • 真ん中 is most common and also not susceptible to misreadings, so if writing, use that
  • if you read 真中 as まなか, that’s at least not wrong and is the most commonly cited reading
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I don’t think you’re wrong in this instance, but that’s always a little tricky when it comes to pure kanji search terms, mostly from the sheer size of the Chinese internet.

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Yes, agreed. If you do want to use google for this, I suggest going to language settings and specifically search in Japanese to get the Japanese hits to come to the top. Then your searches can find things like https://www.amazon.co.jp/VEGETABLE-真中シェフの野菜のおいしい「こつ」レシピ-本当においしく作れる本-真中-陽宙/dp/441816300X?language=ja_JP

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That’s a hit for the word as a name, though – the author of that cookbook is 真中 陽宙(まなか あきお). Name readings can be all over the place compared to readings for actual words.