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Re: [Lingo] 人・にん・じん

2012/2/2 s smith <>:
> Is there a rule for when a 熟語 containing the character 人 is pronounced にん
> vs. じん?  I've looked for a pattern but can't see it.

As in 人体 (じんたい) vs 人体 (にんてい)?   8-)

The closest I've seen to a rule is 広辞苑's meanings for the readings. For
にん it says "ひとがら。「人(にん)を見て法を説け」「人相・人体(にんてい)」"
and "ひとを数える語。「三人・一万人」".

The latter one is easy. That "人(にん)を見て法を説け" is interesting, as
Kenkusha's 新和英大辞典第5版 has it as an example of 人(ひと).

The major JE dictionaries restrict にん to counting people. I guess that's
saye, but obviously only part of it.


Jim Breen
Adjunct Snr Research Fellow, Clayton School of IT, Monash University
Webmaster: Hawthorn Rowing Club, Treasurer: Japanese Studies Centre
Graduate student: Language Technology Group, University of Melbourne

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