Tips for similar readings

So there are lot of kanji that have multiple readings that we all seem to struggle with, such as 人、月、日, or even words that we get confused, like the dreaded 光栄・栄光, or 論理・理論. I was thinking we need a single thread where we could all post our various ways of remembering them, since they seem to be scattered through various posts.

I was trying to figure out a way to remember whether 人 at the start of a word was にん or じん, and I noticed something. Whenever it can be translated as someone’s 〇〇〇, it’s always じん (except for 人参 and 人口, but meh). For instance 人工・人造 are both manmade, 人類 is mankind, 人種 is man’s race. Even 人脈 could be translated as a person’s network.

All the にん readings can’t be translated as such, such as 人形 (doll), 人間 (human) or 人気 (popular).

Anyway, share your ways of remembering things.

(hope this is the right forum, and shouldn’t be in the language section)


四月、何月…:you’re talking about/looking for a specific month → ~がつ
先月、来月…:could be any month, you’re talking about → ~げつ
月見:that’s a bit special, 'cause it’s a composite and got neither of the above reading; but you’re viewing specifically the moon (and not the month), therefore it’s つき~
月光:follows the general rule for composites

If any one got any tips for たい/だい for 大, I’d really appreciate it, as I often mix those two up.


My trick for 栄光 and 光栄 is a little long winded.

栄光 must be glory because its reading is えいこう.

This is because 光栄 could only be honour because its reading is 光栄.

光 is the first kanji with a kun’yomi reading of ひかり = hikari and honour.

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光栄です。“it is my honor”

And If you played nier automata (in japanese)
人類に栄光あれ “glory for the mankind”

That trick was game-changing when I learned it, I just remember that 光 can be read as hikari with an H, the same as honour.

If you translate 人間 (human) as ‘mankind’ instead then it fits your pattern :slight_smile: but I don’t know if that’s correct or not…

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