Kanji Challenge 30 (2) days of the week in kanji

This is the second chapter of KANJI CHALLENGE 30. Today we learn the kanji that are used for the days of the week, but also these kanji can be part of Jyukugo, so we are going to study them too, checking Onyomi and Kunyomi.

I recommend you to go through this with the video checking pronunciation, and at the end of the video, I ask you some questions if you have understood what we are going to study today. See if you can respond.

DÍAS DE LA SEMANA EN KANJI -RETO KANJI 30 (2) [Aprender Japonés]
with English subtitles

If you’re not sure about Onyomi, Kunyomi, and Jyukugo, check out the the post Kanji Challenge 30 (1).

How do they work Kunyomi and Onyomi

This Kanji, 月, is つき, moon. This Kanji, 光, ひかり, light. The two together, 月光 げっこう. So what does it mean?

Before knowing the answer, let’s take a look at how kanji works.

This kanji 月, when only this appears we read つき. Very easy. But when it comes together with others, for example with 光 ひかり, the sound of both of kanji change, it’s not つきひかり, it would be げっこう.

When kanji come together, we call it Jyukugo. And here you have two Kanji, therefore we call it Nimoji jyukugo. Moji is letter, Ni is two, therefore Nimoji Jyukugo.

When there is one kanji, the sound would be Kunyomi but in the case of Jyukugo it would normally be Onyomi.

Onyomi comes from Chinese language. But Chinese from a long time ago, two thousand years ago, something like that. At that time the people of China were called the people of Kan, therefore kanji means the letter of Kan.

But you have to be careful because from then on Chinese language has evolved, Japanese has also evolved, therefore Onyomi is based on Chinese but it does not necessarily coincide with the sound of Chinese now.

And now we are going to look at how Onyomi and Kunyomi work learning kanji for the days of the week.

Kanji for days of the week

We first look at Kunyomi.

月 つき, moon. 
火 ひ, fire. 
水 みず, water. 
木 き, tree. 
金 かね, metal or money. 
土 つち, soil.
日 ひ, sun.

And watch out ひ for fire and ひ for sun, the sounds are the same but you differentiate them with Kanji.

When Kanji is joined with another Kanji or another word, the sound changes, as I said, the sound turns onyomi.

So we are going to add ようび word, which means day of the week. By adding ようび, つき will be converted to げつ. All together would be 月(げつ)ようび, Monday.

Let’s see how the rest of these kanji changes by adding ようび.

月(げつ)ようび, Monday.
火(か)ようび Tuesday. 
水(すい)ようび Wednesday. 
木(もく)ようび Thursday. 
金(きん)ようび Friday. 
土(ど)ようび Saturday. 
日(にち)ようび Sunday.

Now Let’s add kanji on each one of the kanji for day of the week.

光 ひかり, light. 
事 こと, things. 
泳ぐ およぐ, swim, in this case is a verb. 
刀 かたな, sword. 
持つ もつ, take. Verb. 
足 あし, legs.
本 もと, some truth.

Now we put them together. 
月 つき + 光 ひかり = 月光 げっこう. 

火 ひ + 事 こと = 火事 かじ

水 みず + 泳ぐ = 水泳 すいえい
You have to remove the ぐ. 

木 き + 刀 かたな = 木刀 ぼくとう
もく turns ぼく, changes a little. 

金 かね + 持つ もつ = 金持 かねもち
Again removing つ. Also the last ち you can leave as hiragana 金持ち. In this case かね we keep as Kunyomi. 

土 つち + 足 あし = 土足 どそく

日 ひ + 本 もと = 日本 にっぽん

Or it could also be にほん.

Question time

Question 1.: what do these Jyukugo mean?

月光 火事 水泳 木刀 金持 土足 日本

Question 2. How do you read these phrases.

月 よ う び の よ る 、 月 が と て も き れ い で し た。Monday night the moon was beautiful.

水 よ う び に と て も 大 き な 火 事 が あ っ て 、 火 が な か な か 消 え ま せ ん で し た。There was a fire on Tuesday and it did not go out for long.

To know the answers to these questions, check out the video: DÍAS DE LA SEMANA EN KANJI -RETO KANJI 30 (2) [Aprender Japonés] with English subtitles

You have learned

In total of Challenge 1 and 2: you have learned 32 kanji. 13 Jyukugo.