In a number of cases, multiple kanji were assigned to cover a single Japanese word. When reading Japanese, one primarily recognizes words multiple characters and okurigana and their readings, rather than individual characters, and only guess readings of characters when trying to "sound out" an unrecognized word.

The etymology of the characters follows one of the patterns above, but the present-day meaning is completely unrelated to this. Bookmark Donate Support Feedback. Edward Smith, U.

Kun readings may further have a separator to indicate which characters are okurigana, and which are considered readings of the character itself. It may be that palatalized consonants before vowels other than i developed in Japanese as a result of Chinese borrowings, as they are virtually unknown in words of native Japanese origin, but are common in Chinese.