[Solved] Using the dictionary - Japanese readings
  • I am confused about how to read the Japanese readings in this dictionary (and other dictionaries).

    What does it mean when there is a '-' in front or behind the Japanese hiragana or katakana?

    For example:
    http://jisho.org/kanji/details/日
    日 in kun reading is -か、 ひ、and -び. How is か different from -か (If か is 'ka' then what is -か)? How is び different from -び?

    一's kun reading is ひと-. Does this mean 'hito'? What does the '-' mean?

    Can someone explain to me what the '-' in front of and behind the readings mean?
  • You could just ignore it and would not miss anything important. For the record, though, the "-" signifies the following:

    "-" at the beginning: the word is used as a suffix, eg
    >the reading か 日 is used a suffix with numerals to count days 二日(ふつか)、三日(みっか) etc
    >び is also used as a suffix in compound words such as 水曜日, 西日; when used on its own, it is read ひ

    "-" at the end of a word indicates it is used as a suffix, eg
    >the reading ひと of 一 is used at the beginning of compound words such as 一重(ひとえ)、 一足(ひとあし)、一安心(ひとあんしん)

    "." in between verbs usually indicates okurigana, eg
    >http://jisho.org/kanji/details/全 全 has すべ.て and まった.く, which indicates the correct okurigana spellings 全て and 全く, respectively.

    While this provides some interesting extra information, this also leads to entries such as:
    付:
    つ.き、 -つ.き、 -つき、 つ.く、 つ.け、 つ.け-、 -つ.け、 つ.ける、 -つ.ける、 -づ.き、 -づき、 -づ.く、 -づ.け、 -づけ、 -づ.ける

    掛:
    か.かり、 かかり、 か.かる、 -か.かる、 か.け、 -か.け、 か.ける、 -か.ける、 -が.かり、 -がかり、 -が.かる、 -が.け

    At any rate, do not worry about it : )

    Edit: Since jisho is using the EDIC/KDIC, you might also want to read the official documentation at http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/kanjidic_doc.html To quote:

    CONTENTS & FORMAT

    b. readings (with '-' to indicate prefixes/suffixes, and '.' to indicate the portion of the reading that is okurigana). ON-yomi are generally in katakana and KUN-yomi in hiragana. An exception is the set of kokuji for measurements such as centimetres, where the reading is in katakana. There may be several classes of reading fields, with ordinary readings first, followed by members of the other classes, if any. The current other classes, and their tagging, are:

    i. where the kanji has special "nanori" (i.e. name) readings, these are preceded the marker "T1";

    ii. where the kanji is a radical, and the radical name is not already a reading, the radical name is preceded the marker "T2".
    (Other Tn classes may be created at a later date.)

  • Wow that was very detailed! Thanks for the answer :)

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