Fun With Vocabulary

I never cease to be amazed at the way Japanese characters change pronunciation and meaning, depending on how they are used. The kanji 女 is pronounced on.na, and means ‘woman‘. The kanji 子 is pronounced ko, and means ‘child‘. When used together 女子 they are pronounced jo.shi (unless the reader pronounces them on.na.ko), and are sort of a group reference to ‘young women‘, but when combined as radicals of a single kanji 好 they are pronounced ko.me (この), which means…’good‘.

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