Two unrelated questions


Again, I’m little confused and have 2 unrelated questions, they may be stupid, sorry about that.

1- I like jukugo, they make sense but I’m not sure about these: do you always use onyomi readings with jukugo? Are multiple kanji side by side always jukugo? For example, is there a chance of two kanji side by side not being jukugo? In the end, if I see multiple kanji in a row, can I be sure that it’s a jukugo and use onyomi? Or do I need to learn if a vocab is jukugo or no?
2- Is there a general idea to split sentences into words in Japanese? For example, if there is kana after the kanji, end of kana should be end of that word right? I mean you can’t have “kanji + kanji + kana + kanji” as a single word right? I’m talking about these kind of tips?

There isn’t any hard and fast rules but you can go by rules of thumb and get a general idea of the gist of things…

For the first question, many jukugo words will be on’yomi but definitely no small amount are kun’yomi, but you might find patterns in which words use kun. Like, a lot of words that use body parts will use kun’yomi, so 手首 is “hand” and “neck” and is read てくび, for example; both kun’yomi. But this isn’t hard and fast either, like 歌手 means singer (in this instance and instances like this, the hand kanji sort of functions as “person performing the act of”) and is read かしゅ, using on’yomi. There are a couple of words like this using this exact function where the readings are all on’yomi, ie 投手 (pitcher), 助手 (assistant), 選手 (pro athlete) so as you can see there are exceptions to the exceptions. This all seems overwhelming but the light at the end of the tunnel is that as you learn, I promise you will get a feel for what the reading should be. You’ll start to guess the readings of the vocabulary before you see them, and a lot of the time you will be right. It just takes time.

As for the second question, it depends, and this is where knowing grammar becomes a big deal. In 食べる the hiragana are part of the word “to eat”, so they are a piece of the word. You can also have 折り紙 which is made up of the noun (masu stem?) version of “to fold”, 折る, and paper 紙, and is one word - origami (folding paper, folded paper etc, hopefully you know this word?). and then there are particles, so you can have 私の電話 where the attributive particle の is telling you how “I” (私) is related to “phone” (電話) - “my phone”.

The point is that there really isn’t a cheat sheet, but it gets easier the more you know.

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You can’t be 100% sure. But if there are no kana in the word, it’s onyomi more often than not. But you can still have things like 大昔 (おおむかし, not たいせき or たいしゃく or だいしゃく or anything). You get used to it over time.

I’m not really sure what you mean by that. Like… you can have stuff like 馬鹿馬鹿しい (ばかばかしい, absurd).

Or [kanji]+[kana]+[kanji]+[kana] like 売り切れ (うりきれ, sold out)

Or [kana]+[kanji]+[kanji]+[kana] お手洗い (おてあらい, bathroom)

Knowing grammar will help you understand where words end and begin. If you know the grammar, certain interpretations become impossible.



I’m trying to find some stuff to say “it’s not that bad” but Japanese never gets any easier I guess :sweat_smile:

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