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Confusion: how do you break down 今日?

#1
Hi...

今日 means きょう, (today). But as far as I know, none of the kunyomi / onyomi / mixed combinations if you look up the readings for these 2 kanji's make "kyou" come together.

Is this an example of an exception in Japanese readings? If so, how many more of these tricky devils are there? This would be a good argument to use the AJATT method, if this is the case.

Please shed some light on this... anyone!
Edited: 2008-12-22, 9:09 pm
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#2
smujohnson Wrote:Hi...

今日 means きょう, (today). But as far as I know, none of the kunyomi / onyomi / mixed combinations if you look up the readings for these 2 kanji's make "kyou" come together.

Is this an example of an exception in Japanese readings? If so, how many more of these tricky devils are there? This would be a good argument to use the AJATT method, if this is the case.

Please shed some light on this... anyone!
It's the same as strange kanji like 雪崩 or 素人.
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#3
smujohnson Wrote:Hi...

今日 means きょう, (today). But as far as I know, none of the kunyomi / onyomi / mixed combinations if you look up the readings for these 2 kanji's make "kyou" come together.

Is this an example of an exception in Japanese readings? If so, how many more of these tricky devils are there. This would be a good argument to use the AJATT method, if this is the case.

Please shed some light on this... anyone!
It's the opposite of 当て字. Instead of using kanji with proper pronounciations to create a word, they took kanji with proper meanings to create a word. Remember, the word きょう probably existed in Japanese even before they started to use Chinese characters. Instead of picking a きょ and う sound kanji, they picked two kani based on meaning.

There are definetly more like those, 明日 (あした) being one.

EDIT: I actually looked it up and it isn't considered an opposite of ateji, it's considered a form of ateji.

EDIT 2: Looking even more, especially at japanese wikipedia made me find this:
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/熟字訓
More or less, an article on new kanji compounds created in japan. きょう is among the listed.
Edited: 2008-12-22, 9:20 pm
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JapanesePod101
#4
smujohnson Wrote:Is this an example of an exception in Japanese readings? If so, how many more of these tricky devils are there?
Here's a list of ateji adapted from the book "The Complete Guide to Everyday Kanji" by Habein & Mathias.
The original data is from government-approved irregular readings for Joyo kanji.
The starred* entries are on the JLPT test level 2 vocabulary list. These should, on the whole, be more common/ useful to learn. Google Docs Spreadsheet

明日 あす tomorrow *
小豆 あずき red bean
海女、 海士 あま woman diver
硫黄 いおう sulphur
意気地 いくじ spirit
田舎 いなか the country *
息吹 いぶき breath
海原 うなばら the wide sea
乳母 うば wet nurse
浮気 うわき inconstancy
浮つく うわつく be flippant
笑顔 えがお a smiling face, a smile
叔父、 伯父 おじ uncle *
大人 おとな adult *
乙女 おとめ maiden
叔母、 伯母 おば aunt *
お巡りさん おまわりさん policeman *
お神酒 おみき sacred sake
母屋 、母家 おもや main house
母さん かあさん mother *
神楽 かぐら kagura; Shinto music and dance
河岸 かし riverside
鍛冶 かじ forging, smithery
風邪 かぜ a cold *
固唾 かたず hold one’s breath, with bated breath
蚊帳 かや mosquito net
為替 かわせ exchange *
河原、 川原 かわら dry riverbed
昨日 きのう yesterday *
今日 きょう today *
果物 くだもの fruit *
玄人 くろうと expert
今朝 けさ this morning *
景色 けしき scene *
心地 ここち feeling
居士 こじ a Buddhist layman, person’s posthumous Buddhist name
今年 ことし this year *
早乙女 さおとめ rice-planting girl
差し支える さしつかえる to have trouble
桟敷 さじき gallery
五月 さつき May
早苗 さなえ rice sprouts
五月雨 さみだれ early summer rain
雑魚 ざこ small fish
時雨 しぐれ drizzling rain in early winter
尻尾 しっぽ tail
竹刀 しない bamboo sword
老舗 しにせ long-established store
芝生 しばふ lawn *
清水 しみず clear water
三味線 しゃみせん shamisen
白髪 しらが white hair *
素人 しろうと amateur *
師走 しわす December
砂利 じゃり gravel
数珠 じゅず rosary
上手 じょうず skillfullness *
数寄屋、 数奇屋 すきや teahouse, tea ceremony room/ pavillion
相撲 すもう sumo *
草履 ぞうり sandals *
太刀 たち sword
立ち退く たちのく move out
七夕 たなばた Festival of the Weaver
山車 だし float
足袋 たび tabi; Japanese socks *
稚児 ちご child in a festival procession
一日 ついたち the first day of a month *
築山 つきやま miniature hill in a garden
梅雨 つゆ rainy season *
手伝う てつだう help with *
伝馬船 てんません barge
凸凹 でこぼこ unevenness *
投網 とあみ cast net
父さん とうさん father *
十重二十重 とえはたえ ten and twenty fold
時計 とけい clock *
友達 ともだち friend *
読経 どきょう sutra chanting
仲人 なこうど go-between
名残 なごり (sorrow of) parting, traces, remains
雪崩 なだれ snowslide
兄さん にいさん elder brother, Young man! *
姉さん ねえさん elder sister, Miss! *
野良 のら farm
祝詞 のりと Shinto prayer
博士 はかせ doctor, expert, learned person *
二十、 二十歳 はたち twenty years old *
二十日 はつか twenty days, the twentieth day of a month *
波止場 はとば wharf, pier
一人 ひとり one person *
日和 ひより weather
二人 ふたり two persons *
二日 ふつか two days, the second day of a month *
吹雪 ふぶき snowstorm *
下手 へた unskillfulness *
部屋 へや room *
迷子 まいご lost child *
真面目 まじめ serious, earnest *
真っ赤 まっか deep red *
真っ青 まっさお deep blue *
土産 みやげ souvenir *
息子 むすこ son *
眼鏡 めがね glasses *
猛者 もさ stalwart man
紅葉 もみじ maple; autumn tints *
木綿 もめん cotton *
最寄り もより the nearest
八百長 やおちょう fixed fight
八百屋 やおや greengrocer *
大和 やまと Japan
弥生 やよい March, Yayoi period
浴衣 ゆかた summer kimono *
行方 ゆくえ whereabouts *
寄席 よせ variety house (sim. to music-hall, vaudeville)
若人 わこうど youth

Edit: Included changes from the updated Joyo kanji list in 2010.
Edited: 2011-04-16, 9:43 am
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#5
In the case of 八百屋(やおや), the kanji are thought to be phonetically chosen to match a preexisting word, ignoring the meaning of most of the kanji. Likewise 風呂(ふろ).

It's a bit different to 今日(きょう) where the the kanji were chosen for their meaning, ignoring their pronunciation. Likewise most of the words in the list above.
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#6
Ok, that's quite a large list you guy(s) have posted.

I'm almost regretting ordering RTK2 and just doing AJATT's method. I had a feeling something like this would happen!!

Is that a comprehensive complete list, or are there still MORE of these things kicking around.
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#7
No method will teach you this kind of stuff better than the AJATT method, I don't really understand what you're worried about. It's all just Japanese words. If you didn't know allready, all kanji have kun'yomi, Japanese readings. if you thought you could simply learn the on'yomi (chinese readings) of the kanji and then simply read... well, you thought wrong Smile
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#8
Tobberoth Wrote:if you thought you could simply learn the on'yomi (chinese readings) of the kanji and then simply read... well, you thought wrong Smile
The whole point of this thread I started is because these readings are not kun-yomi readings, either. Neither "kun", nor "on" readings encompass these exceptions.
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#9
smujohnson Wrote:
Tobberoth Wrote:if you thought you could simply learn the on'yomi (chinese readings) of the kanji and then simply read... well, you thought wrong Smile
The whole point of this thread I started is because these readings are not kun-yomi readings, either. Neither "kun", nor "on" readings encompass these exceptions.
And it doesn't matter. You aren't going to be able to memorize every single reading of every single kanji anyway, you will have to learn most of it from learning words. When you learn 今日 you aren't going to be confused just because it happens to be a special reading. It's just a word like any other.
Edited: 2008-12-23, 12:19 pm
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#10
That's right. You just learn them as words comprising multiple characters, just like you learned that "who" is pronounced "hoo" in spite of how it's written.

Think about what the words on and kun mean anyway. "On" means "sound", the intrinsic sound of the kanji the Japanese borrowed from the Chinese. "Kun" means "taught", the reading that was artificially assigned to the kanji that you have to be taught so you can read it.

OK then, think of ateji as a sort of kun reading that applies to character compounds instead of individual characters.

(Of course some of the words in the list are actually modified on readings or combinations of on + kun but don't let that worry you for now.)
Edited: 2008-12-24, 5:55 am
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#11
Alright dudes, thanks for all your replies. Because of this, I'm no longer doing RTK2. I've chosen to do the radical AJATT method. Thanks for posting !
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#12
Tobberoth Wrote:If you didn't know allready, all kanji have kun'yomi, Japanese readings.
Well, not all. There are plenty of kanji with on-yomi only.

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In addition to these jukugo with strange readings, there are a few words where one or more of the kanji don't seem to have any reading at all! :o

Like 百舌鳥 (pronounced もず) - which one is the も, which one is the ず, and which one has no reading?!?

I've never looked at RTK2, but I'd say that the AJATT method is a pretty good bet for remembering readings of characters. Not only are the readings easier to remember in context, but I think you'll find that the readings aren't as hard to remember as the meaning and writing.
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#13
This all reminds me of when I first came to Japan and realized that the kanji for the Yamanote Line in Tokyo is just 山手線. WHERE'S THE の SUPPOSED TO GO?????

I got even more confused a month or two later when I happened to pass by Yamate Station (山手駅).


Edit: I looked up the Yamanote Line on Wikipedia and noticed that it mentioned that 吾妻線 in Gunma is actually pronounced あがつま. I've noticed that line in the past, but I though it was pronounced あずま, most likely due to me living near 吾妻山 (pronounced あずまやま).

So there, I just learned something new.
Edited: 2009-01-29, 2:27 am
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#14
EnjukuBlack Wrote:Like 百舌鳥 (pronounced もず) - which one is the も, which one is the ず, and which one has no reading?!?
Looks like 百舌 is もず and the 鳥 is just added to emphasize the meaning.
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#15
EnjukuBlack Wrote:
Tobberoth Wrote:If you didn't know allready, all kanji have kun'yomi, Japanese readings.
Well, not all. There are plenty of kanji with on-yomi only.
In fact, the majority of kanji don't have kun-yomi. This surprised synewave and myself when we were working on the Japanese keywords.
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