I'm having trouble understand the kanji that make up the word "Sensei"
  • I wanted to know what the kanji for sensei was so I looked it up to get this: 先生. So since I know that there are kun and on readings for kanji I decided it might help to look up these ones. Well, I see that 生 can be pronounced in around 18 ways in the kun reading and 2 in the on reading. This confuses me... I don't know which one is the one that is supposed to be pronounced or if it's all of them. Unless all of the readings say the same things, just spelled differently. I'd also like to know why under the English Meanings it has words in blue and black.
  • A kanji is not just a single word or idea, the meaning listed is the most common one but it can possibly take another meaning in another word, in another context.
    Regarding the different reading, it depends on the word, sometimes it's this one sometimes an other. You just learn it as you learn new words.
  • Type *生* in the 'words' section of Jisho.org and you should get a better idea of how a kanji change in pronounciation and meaning depending on the word you're looking at.
  • The blue and black coloring is just to make the page easier to read, it doesn't have anything to do with the meaning of the kanji.
  • Thanks for the help, I understand this much better now!
  • Save yourself half a lifetime and study kanji using either Heisig's "Remembering The Kanji" or the Anki SRS deck of KanjiDamage. :)

    Kanji an enormously complex system that's been changed, added to, removed from, and generally made hard for everyone to learn (including Japanese people). Either of these systems will help narrow down the practical stuff so you can spend more time studying and less time figuring what TO study.
  • You are funny. sensei is sensei, as far as I know the one and only genuine combination for those two Kanji. Big mistake trying to separate them:-)

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