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    Question A Few Questions on Japanese Language...

    I've recently started to refresh myself on Japanese, and I noticed in my textbook on Kanji there are 2 readings; Onyomi and Kunyomi. What do these mean and what's the difference between the two of them?

    Also, what is the purpose of the particles "ni" and "o"? I've figured out the rest, I just get confused on those two.

    Thanks! ^_^
    ~Angella
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    Default Re: A Few Questions on Japanese Language...

    を (wo) is pretty easy - it designates direct objects.

    に (ni) is a bit harder, as it's used in multiple ways.

    • It can be used to indicate "to" similar to へ (e) though with subtle differences. I usually see that に tends to be focused on a place and へ tends to be focused on a direction, but in most cases they can be used interchangeably.
    • Similarly, it can be used to indicate position. (僕は、今、内にいます。- I am, right now, at home.)
    • It can be used to indicate an indirect object, often when used with を later in the sentence. (友達に本をあげました。 - I gave a book to a friend.)
    • It can be used to indicate the source of an action. (母にしかられた。 - I was scolded by my mother.)
    • It can be used to indicate where something is "applied to". This is a bit different than で (de) which is used to indicate where something is occurring. (ここに名前を書いて下さい。 - Please write your name here. (Here is being represented by ここに.))
    • It can be used with a verb stem to indicate purpose. This is often used with motion verbs (iku - to go, kuru - to come, kaeru - to go back/return). (ダウンタウンへ映画を見に行きました。 - I went downtown to see a movie. (見 (mi) is the verb stem of 見る (miru) "to see". )
    • In a similar way to position, it can be used to indicate time. (五月三日に生まれました。 - I was born on May 3rd.)
    • If used with a time duration then it indicates "for a period of time" or "per (duration)". (一週間に三十時間働きます。 - I work thirty hours per week.)


    As for your other question:

    • On-yomi is based on the Chinese readings of the kanji/hanzi. It isn't used when using okurigana (mixing Japanese kana and kanji in the same word like 働きます (hatarakimasu)). It's used primarily when putting multiple Kanji together for a word - with the exception of Japanese names. These readings are sometimes subject to Japanese pronunciation rules (e.g. the word for minute has an on-yomi of fun but when used in some combinations it can be pronounced bun or pun, which is related as those are variants on the ha-gyou kana pronunciations.).
    • Kun-yomi is based on the meaning of the kanji. These were created when hanzi was adopted for the kanji use, and takes into account the fact that Japanese words already existed for many words that could use kanji. Because this is the "Japanese-based" pronunciation of the kanji it is often used in combination with okurigana when used in writing.

    For example, the Japanese already had a word for east (higashi), so when the kanji for 'east' was adopted, the Japanese continued to pronounce it higashi. When used in compound words, it is pronounced using its on-yomi which is tou as in Toukyou for Tokyo.

    A fairly concise explanation can be found here.

    Hopefully this explains much of what you were hoping for.

    My 2 yen,

    Akiosama


    EDIT: I think I missed one other usage of に. When used with an adjectival noun (i.e., a -な "adjective") it makes the adjectival noun become an adverb, in much the way that -く does for -い adjectives. (静かにして下さい。 - Please do it quietly. (Quietly is represented by 静かに.))
    Last edited by Akiosama; 12-31-2013 at 12:33 PM.

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    Default Re: A Few Questions on Japanese Language...

    it great ^^, thank u 4 post

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