あく手する ?
  • Hi all:

    As I mentioned in an earlier post (my first!), I am very new to Japanese. I've been studying it for four months, and am currently studying for the Kanji Kentei L10 test (the 80 first-grade kanji) using a book loaned to me by my teacher. I really love Denshi Jisho and am using it, in conjunction with the book pretty much every day.

    This book lists all the KKL10 kanji and their readings, and gives a number of word or phrase examples using each kanji. Unfortunately, I can't always figure out what sample word or phrase means. (My Japanese is so basic I even get confused about differentiating phrases from single words!)

    While studying the kanji 手, I have come across this example: あく手する。What does this mean? I can't find it in the dictionary. I assume する here is the verb する (to do/make/etc.), but I can't even be sure of that. (Only the 80 basic kanji are used in these phrases -- everything else is kana.)

    The one thing I can be sure of is that, whatever this means, a Japanese 6-year-old is supposed to be familiar with it. ;)

    Can anyone help me out? Thank you!
  • It should be 握手 あくしゅ (handshaking)
  • Early textbooks can be confusing when you first come across them as a foreign learner. To me 'あく手' still looks wrong, and you would never see it written that way in anything written for adults (which is why it's not in the dictionary), but that kind of thing happens all the time with books for children. The best approach is to search by hiragana, あくて or あくしゅ. Then you find that あくしゅ is the correct reading. The good thing is that even with kanji with multiple readings (like 上 for example) there are probably only going to be a maximum of two possibilities.
  • Thank you very much! This makes things much clearer.
  • Like Richard said, あく手 looks really odd, I didn't even understand until I entered the topic and saw the context (and I knew the word beforehand). When you run into words which mix kana and kanji, always write just kana into a dictionary (hopefully a textbook where a word is written in such an odd way, furigana is used as well). There are situations where it's correct to mix like this, but it's quite rare.

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