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when is 道 read as do or michi? (japanese)?

i know that 道 can be read as do or michi but does it make a difference when you read it the other way? what is the difference between the 2?

3 Answers

  • James
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you see 道 by itself, it is always read as "michi" (road, street, path, way).

    If you see it as part of a compound word, it the reading depends on the word (for example, 北海道 "Hokkaido" or 片道 "katamichi").

    There is no difference in meaning between the two because they simply two readings of the same word. "dou" is the on'yomi (Japanese reading of a kanji character based on the original Chinese pronunciation) and "michi" is the kun'yomi (native Japanese reading of a kanji character based on the original ancient Japanese word of that meaning.).

    There are 790 words that contain 道 and there is no rule (other than the above) to know when to use michi or dou, so we basically have to learn the differences case by case, unfortunately. However, "dou" seems to be much more common, and often deals with a "way" or a spiritual "path" rather than a physical road. some common "dou" words are:

    道具 (どうぐ, dōgu): tool

    道路 (どうろ, dōro): road

    鉄道 (てつどう, tetsudō): railway

    道徳 (どうとく, dōtoku): ethics

    報道 (ほうどう, hōdō): broadcast

    軌道 (きどう, kidō): orbit

    赤道 (せきどう, sekidō): equator

    食道 (しょくどう, shokudō): oesophagus

    水道 (すいどう, suidō): water supply

    道教 (どうきょう, dōkyō): Taoism

    道理 (どうり, dōri): rational

    柔道 (じゅうどう, jūdō): judo

    合気道 (あいきどう, aikidō): aikido

    書道 (しょどう, shodō): calligraphy

    武道 (ぶどう, budō): budo

    茶道 (さどう, sadō): tea ceremony

    花道 (かどう, kadō): flower arrangement

    Michi more often seems to deal with a physical "road" or "journey". some common "michi" words are:

    帰り道 [かえりみち: KAERIMICHI] (n) the way back or home, return trip.

    近道 [ちかみち: CHIKAMICHI] (n,vs) short way, shortcut.

    片道 [かたみち: KATAMICHI] (n,adj-no) one-way (trip).

    道すがら [みちすがら: MICHISUGARA] (adv) along the road, along the way

    道なき道 [みちなきみち: MICHINAKIMICHI] (exp) trackless path

    In sentences:

    道を訊く [みちをきく: MICHIWOKIKU] (exp,v5k) to ask the way

    道を分かる [みちをわかる: MICHIWAKARU] (exp,v5k) to know the way

  • 1 decade ago

    Stand alone noun: michi.

    If it's part of another word, it's do.


    MIchi de tatte iru. (I'm standing in the street).



    No difference just chinese-based pronucation. Like when we use words in english or use words that have latin roots.

    Like when you say someone is a Beginner or you call someone a Novice (Nova meaning New in Latin).

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

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