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Tips on Reading Japanese Kanji for Kanji background students (Intermediate to Advanced Level)


1 Subject Tips on Reading Japanese Kanji for Kanji background students (Intermediate to Advanced Level)
2 Field Japanese language
3 Key words Chinese native speaker, Chinese characters, kanji compounds, 'on-yomi'
4 Unit 0.5
5 Lecturer TBA
6 Period July 13, 15, 20, 27,and 29, 2021
7 Time 8:30-10:00am (Japan Standard Time)
8 Lecture style Online (live virtual class)
9 Evaluation Criteria Excellent (S) 90 –100%; Very good (A) 80–89%; Good (B) 70–79%; Pass (C) 60–69%; Fail (D) 0–59%
10 Evaluation methods Attendance and Participation 55%, Assignments 20%, Review Quizzes 25%
11 Prerequisites
  • Only students who are registered for one of the five non-language GUC courses are allowed to apply.
  • Native speaker or equivalent knowledge of Chinese language, including the ability to understand Chinese characters.
  • Students who have been offered to take Level 4 or above as a result of the Center's level check test (
The level  is generally equivalent to JLPT N2.
* Even if a student has attained the prerequisite qualifications above, they should be fully aware of the aim of the course to be admitted to this program.
12 Contents Purpose:
This is a Japanese Kanji course for Native Chinese Speakers. As the course will focus on the method of reading two-kanji compound words (i.e. Kango)  in particular, students will learn the principles of Japanese Kanji pronunciations (‘On-yomi’ pronunciations) to be able to read Kanji vocabulary. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to read two-kanji compound words faster, more correctly, and without hesitation, including even the new combinations they may encounter in the future.

For Chinese speakers, knowledge of kanji serves as a significant advantage when learning Japanese. At the same time, however, knowledge of Chinese kanji also makes it more difficult to master the correct reading of Japanese kanji words. This course focuses on kanji compounds, read in so-called 'on-yomi (based on Chinese reading)' , which accounts for much of kanji compounds in Japanese. By doing various practice tasks, students will learn how to read it systematically. In addition, since the class will be comprehensively covering the reading of Japanese compounds, which are easy to misread for those who possess knowledge of Chinese, students will eventually be able to read even the compounds they encounter for the first time. The course will not just cover written kanji words. It will also have activities that will help students reconstruct and guess the meaning of kanji based on the sound phrases they hear.
As mentioned above, the class deals with how to read kanji, but its focus is not simply to introduce Japanese words or learn their reading.

*This is a combination of lecture and interactive class that simulates face-to-face sessions. In principle, therefore, the students are requested to have their camera on during the class.  Active discussion with your classmates is strongly encouraged.

Session1 Why is  '完売' not 'kampai', even though '乾杯' is 'kampai' ?
Session2 Why is  '発病' not 'happyoo', even though '発表' is 'happyoo' ?
Session3 Why is  '悪法' not 'appoo', even though '律法' is 'rippoo(with a small tsu)' ?
Session4 What is  'toppuu'?  Guess the meaning by applying the rule learnt so far
Session5 Summary & Application

Assignments: students are required to complete a worksheet provided everyday (1-2 pages). Students must expect to spend about one hour everyday for reviewing the day's lesson. 
13 Required readings Center's original materials
14 Reference readings N/A
15 Notes on Taking the Course N/A


UTokyo Global Unit Courses
International Exchange Group, Education and Student Support Department,
The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8652 JAPAN

Please send all inquiries regarding the courses to the following email address:

utokyo-guc.adm(at) *Please change (at) to @
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