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How to read Kanji

What are ON-YOMI?

ON-YOMI (音読み) readings are those which were derived from classical Chinese pronounciations and in most cases, are used for compound words – eg 食事 (shokuji) – which are formed using multiple Kanji characters, similar to how Latin and Greek roots are used in compound words in European languages.

What are KUN-YOMI?

KUN-YOMI (訓読み) readings are native Japanese readings and are used in most cases when you see a Kanji character on its own – eg 白 (shiro) – and in all cases where you see Okurigana (ending with Hiragana) – eg 食べる (taberu).

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