I’m having some problems with the on’yomi and the kun’yomi of Japanese kanji. I read the wiki site on this subject and they say that, basically, on’yomi is used for kanji that are part of two or more kanji that make one word and kun’yomi is used for kanji that appear on it’s own (not regarding exceptions).
Now my question is: if I’d want to learn the Japanese word for ‘hand’ (you know, the thing with the fingers), my dictionary tells me the kanji is 手, the on’yomi is ‘shu’ and the kun’yomi is ‘te’. According to the paragraph above, this kanji alone should be ‘te’. Would you advise to learn the translation of ‘hand’ (i.e. 手 + pronunciation ‘te’) or both readings of 手 + the fact that ‘te’ means hand?
Other example: the word ‘country’. Kanji: 国, on’yomi is koku, kun’yomi is kuni. Should I learn only ‘kuni’ for this kanji, or both readings? Personally, I would guess that learning only the kun’yomi would suffice, if I want to know the translation of ‘country’. And since on’yomi is used in kanji combinations, I’d encounter them some other time, and I’d learn them when that time comes.
What do you think?
Native: Nederlands; C2: Deutsch; C1: English;
B1: русский, français, 日本語;
A2: norsk, svenska; A1: português, italiano, español, čeština, polski