The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

Perhaps this is a silly question, but is there a trick to typing Japanese names that use unusual kanji?
I know that most Japanese keyboards suggest the most common variations of the most common names, but if it’s a special case just typing in the pronunciation doesn’t seem to work at all (assuming I want to use the correct kanji instead of kana or romaji and can’t just highlight and copy it).

So far, I’ve usually ended up searching for the correct kanji in a dictionary and copy&pasted it but that’s so…inefficient… Is there something I’m missing or is this just how it is?

What about typing other readings for the kanji? My girlfriend’s name is somewhat uncommon, so she often has to enter the onyomi to get the first character to appear. Then you can assign the reading you want to that combo in the IME settings.


Yeah that would work, assuming I know the other readings.
So I guess researching/looking them up is the only option until I know most readings by heart, huh? I was hoping there is a shortcut, but that’s fine haha

Yeah, I suppose that makes a difference. She can describe her kanji to any Japanese person easily even though it’s a Kanken level 1 kanji, because they all know the basic radicals and onyomi. You’ll notice that you can start to guess the onyomi for kanji you haven’t learned yet over time, because certain elements within kanji are used for their pronunciation rather than their meaning.

Like how all of these have the onyomi of そ



Ah okay, I see! Right, I think I’ve read about that a while ago. Thanks for bringing it up! It’s a lot easier to remember a pattern and its exceptions than remembering them individually; I’ll pay more attention to those.
But I guess that answers my question. Thanks for the quick reply!

If you want a constant reminder to pay attention to these patterns, install this script.


I adore that script. I had started noticing these patterns before but it really helps to have it all laid out. So much less work learning new readings now

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Oh that’s awesome! Thanks a lot! : D

Sometimes I’ll type a two-kanji vocabulary word to get the correct kanji to appear. That works too.

Like if I want the じん in 人参 (ninjin) I can type “ninjin” and delete 人, but I can’t type “jin” and get 参 because it’s not common enough.

A doll has the physical attributes of a human, thus using にん.

人参 comes from the Chinese for ginseng, referencing how the forked shape of the roots looks like the legs of a human, thus using にん because of the meaning despite the Chinese pronunciation itself leaning towards じんしん(or じんじん, I suppose).

The very first phrase of the part of my post you quoted indicates I was referring to words that END in 人 and/or refer to people. 人形 and 人参 do neither.

Reasoning in bold. Maybe I should reconsider the exact words I used to define them. じん assumes little to no ability to alter the circumstances, while にん change is likely or possible. That any better?

My bad. I made some re-ordering edits when I wrote that, and forgot to change that to ???. 'Twas quite early in the morning (late at night). Fixed now.

I myself never used “rule,” but guideline. If I must provide a definition to clarify my intention: " information intended to advise people on how something should be done or what something should be" from Cambridge. I’m also curious about where you reach 25%, as almost every WK usage of 人 applies. Even assuming my justifications for every example @Leebo provided are rebutted, that is still over 50%.

There’s more than two choices though, in this case.

How does it relate to one being the Go-On, the other Kan-On? Do the Chinese distinguish it like that with different readings nowadays? Did they do that two thousand years ago? Did the Japanese really import one kind of interpretation first, and then the other :thinking:

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Given the number of exceptions, I think any correlation between meaning and pronunciation is coincidental.

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Aha, I see. Can you post an image (or a link?) of the original source?

There’s been a lot of debate, and my content is mainly conjecture based on of experience (and what has worked for me, at least in my head), but many solid arguments have been made, so here’s a translated excerpt from a post from the Japanese Language Center here to provide input from a native speaker. If anyone finds any issues with my interpretation, please do elaborate. I’ll be starting from point 2, as the beginning content is anecdotal and ひと is fairly straightforward.

“When a word expressing the actions (behaviors, movements; see 動作) of a person precedes 人, it is said as 「にん」.”

Several examples are listed, but the scheme seems to be that most nouns capable of being する verbs or that conjugate directly into a verb using kun’yomi result in the 「にん」reading.

"When a word describing the attributes or condition (status, state; see 状態 of a person precedes 人, it is said as 「じん」.

Examples include nationality (日本人) and adjectives (美人 from 美しい人 and 老人 from 老い人。

The writer also emphasizes that there are exceptions, but states that having general idea where to start is better than simply trying to memorize every instance of the kanji.

I can screenshot it after work. I’ll likely edit it into this post. Pretty sure it’s 飴色, but I’d hate if I not only misunderstood but also missed a potential kanji to learn. :no_mouth:


Really! I had no idea.
I got into the Japanese fan club through anime ^_~
Thank you!

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I’d like to ask something silly if possible.

For a younger sibling referring to their older sister, what is the difference between ねえさん and おねえちゃん?

I recently learned about お金 and お茶 and the description given in WK was that adding an お is used to elevate something and show respect for it. But as far as I can understand, the difference between さん and ちゃん is that the former is more respectful and the latter tends to be to show familiarity. So, what differentiates the two of these from each other?

Maybe I’m thinking of this too logically, but still.

Personal preference?

What people end up calling their family members is something that develops over time and with regard to the personal quirks of everyone involved.

In other words, you can’t assume anything about a particular relationship just because in one family the younger sibling calls the older sister おねえさん and in another family the younger sibling uses おねえちゃん, or doesn’t use the お or any possible combination of them.

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Can you make assumptions if they call the older sister 姉貴?
(Mostly kidding, but kind of not)

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I got a comment on my Instagram post saying “オシャレですね”. Jisho provides the translation “smartly dressed, stylish” for オシャレ, but it was a pic of my study space and not my outfit or something, so… What could it mean in this context? What could I reply to it?