Compound words using kanji of opposite or “contrastive” meaning

白黒写真で撮ってね。」
 
= Shirokuro shashin de tottene.
 
= Take my picture in black and white, OK?
 
 

Hi everyone! Today’s guest teacher is Ushi-Sensei!  
She is a black-and-white cow but asks me to take her picture in black and white.  !nemui! 
 
****
Moo everyone! 🐮
 
I am going to give you a mini lesson on compound words with opposite or “contrastive” meaning kanji.
Unlike other lessons that Maggie makes, I will focus on how to read kanji and the meaning of kanji in this lesson.
I hope you can learn some of the kanji better in this lesson. 
 
★How to form: 
 
*  noun+ nounverb+ verb/ adjective + adjective
 
When you combine two contradicted kanji, it can mean “and / or”
 
Let’s see them one by one.
 
***
 
 :w: noun + noun 
 
* = おとこ = otoko = a man/men  + = おんな = onna = a woman/women 
 
男女 = だんじょ = dan jo = men and women 
 
* = うえ = ue  = top, up  +   = した = shita = down, under, bottom
 
上下 = じょうげ = jou ge = top and bottom 
 
* = おや = oya = parent(s) + = =ko = child/children
 
親子 = おやこ = oya ko = parent and child 
 
* = てん = ten = heaven, sky + = = chi = earth 
 
天地  = てんち = ten chi  = heaven and earth
 
* = おおやけ =  ooyake = public + = わたし/わたくし = watashi / watakushi = private. I (as a first pronoun) 
 
公私 = こうし = kou shi  = business and personal / public and private
 
* = みなみ = minami = south +   = きた = kita = north 
 
南北 = なんぼく = nan boku = north and south
 
* =  ひがし = higashi = east + 西 = にし = nishi = west 
 
東西 = とうざい = tou zai = east and west 
 
Note: The basic rule is you usually use  訓読み = くんよみ = kun yomi  kun-reading when the kanji is used on its own but you tend to use 音読み = おんよみ = on-yomi,  on-reading
with compound words. 
But of course, there are exceptions such as 白黒 ( = しろくろ = shiro kuro),  親子 ( = おやこ = oyako),etc. 
 
verb + verb (some of them have noun form.)
 
* 開く   = ひらく/あく= hiraku/ aku = to open (intransitive verb)
 
or ひらく/あける=hiraku / akeru = to open (transitive verb) 
 
+ 閉まる = しまる = shimaru = to  close (intransitive verb)
 
or  閉める= しめる = shimeru =  to shut, to close (transitive verb) 
 
 開閉 = かいへい = kai hei = opening and closing/ open and shut
 
*生きる = いきる = ikiru = to live + 死ぬ = しぬ = shinu = to die
 
(noun)  = せい = sei = life + = = shi = death
 
 生死 = せいし = sei shi = life and death / fortune 
 
Ex. 生死を共にする 
 
= せいしをともにする
 
= Seishi wo tomo ni suru 
 
= to share one’s fate (life) 
 
* 出る = でる = deru = to attend  + 欠ける = かける = kakeru  = to lack
 
 (or  出席(する) = しゅっせき(する) = shu sseki = attending + 欠席(する) = けっせき(する)= kesseki suru = to be absent (absence) 
 
→ 出欠 = しゅっけつ = shukketsu =  attendance or/and  absence / attendance
 
Ex. 出欠をとる
 
= しゅっけつをとる
 
= to take attendance 
 
* 有る = ある = aru / 有り = あり = ari = to exist, to have something + 無い= ない = nai = not to have / 無し = なし = nashi = not to exist, not to have, nothing 
 
有無 = うむ = u mu 
 
to have or not to have/ to exist or not exist
 
→ existence/ presence
 
* 抑える = おさえる = osaeru = to restrain, tone down + 揚げる = あげる = ageru= to raise, lift
 
抑揚 = よくよう = yoku you = contrast, intonation 
 
Ex. 彼の話し方には抑揚がない。
 
= かれのはなしかたにはよくようがない。
 
= kare no hanashi kata niwa yokuyou ga nai.
 
= The way he talks is monotonous. 
 
* 増える = ふえる = to increase + 減る= へる= heru = to decrease
 
増減 = ぞうげん = zou gen  =  increase and/or decrease
 
* 優れる = すぐれる= sugureru = to surpass, to be superior
 
 劣る = おとる = otoru = to be inferior 
 
 優劣 = ゆうれつ = yuu retsu = superior and inferior 
 
Ex. 優劣をつけるのは難しい。
 
ゆうれつをつけるのはむずかしい。
 
= Yuuretsu wo tsukeru nowa muzukashii.
 
= It is difficult to decide which one is better.
 
adjective + adjective  (some of them have noun form.)
 
* 強い= つよい = tsuyoi = strong + 弱い= よわい= yowai = weak
 
 強弱 = きょうじゃく = kyou jaku = accent,  strength, power
 
 
* 善い = よい = yoi = good, right + 悪い = わるい = warui = bad, wrong 
 
or  noun + noun  = ぜん = zen = good deed, goodness + = あく= aku = badness, wrongness
 
 善悪 = ぜんあく = zen aku = right and wrong, good and evil
 
Note: You also say 
 
善し悪し = よしあし = yoshi ashi = good and bad
 
( or 良し悪し = よしあし= yoshi ashi)
 
* 明るい = あかるい = akarui = bright + 暗い = くらい = kurai = dark
 
 → 明暗 = めいあん = mei an = light and dark / shade / clear contrast 
 
*長い = ながい = nagai = long + 短い = みじかい= mijikai = short
 
or noun + noun →長所= ちょうしょ= chousho = an advantage, strength  + 短所 = たんしょ= tansho = disadvantage, weakness
 
→ 長短 = ちょうたん = chou tan 
 
= length/strength and weakness / advantages and disadvantages
 
*大きい = おおきい = ookii = big, large + 小さい = ちいさい = chiisai = small
 
 大小 = だいしょう = dai shou = various size 
 
Ex. 大小、いろいろなサイズがあります。
 
= だいしょう、いろいろなサイズがあります。
 
= Daishou, iroirona saizu ga arimasu.
 
= There are many difference sizes, large and small.
 
*高い =  たかい = takai = high + 低い = ひくい = hikui = low
 
高低 = こうてい = kou tei  = high and low / height 
 
Ex. 高低差がある
 
= こうていさがある
 
= koutei sa ga aru 
 
= There is a difference in hight.
 
***
OK, let’s look at the picture above.
 
「白黒写真で撮ってね。」
 
= しろくろしゃしんでとってね。
 
= Shirokuro shashin de tottene.
 
= Take my picture in black and white, OK?
 
You might have noticed that English translation is “black and white” but the Japanese order is “white and black”. 
 
* 白い = しろい  = shiroi = white +  黒い  = くろい = kuroi = black
 
 白黒 = しろくろ= shiro kuro 
 
literal meaning =  white and black 
 
→ (ENG) black and white
 
 !onpu! Note that the following examples are in reverse order from their English equivalents. 
 
* = ひだり = hidari = left + = みぎ = migi = right 
 
→ 左右 = さゆう= sayuu 
 
literal meaning = left and right 
 
 →(ENG)  right and left
 
Ex. 道を渡るときは左右確認をしてしてください。
 
= みちをわたるときはさゆうかくにんをしてください。
 
= Michi wo wataru toki wa sayuu kakunin wo shite kudasai.
 
= Look both ways (left and right) when you cross the street.
 
 
* = まえ= mae = front , forward + 後ろ = うしろ= ushiro = back, behind
 
前後 = ぜんご= zengo 
 
literal meaning = front and back 
 
(ENG)  back and forth / before and after
 
* 遠い = とおい = tooi = far + 近い = ちかい = chikai = near, close
 
遠近 = えんきん = en kin
 
literal meaning = far and near
 
(ENG)  near and far
 
* 新しい  = あたらしい = atarashii = new + 旧い = ふるい = furui  = aged, old
 
新旧 = しんきゅう= shin kyuu 
 
literal meaning = new and old
 
(ENG)  old and new
 
* 濃い = こい = koi = dark (color) + 薄い= うすい = usui = light (color), pale 
 
濃淡 = のうたん= nou tan
 
literal meaning :dark and light 
 
(ENG)  light and dark
 
*貧しい = まずしい = mazushii = poor + = とみ = tomi = wealth
 
貧富 = ひんぷ= hin pu
 
literal meaning:  poor and rich
 
(ENG)  rich and poor
 
*寒い = さむい = samui = cold + 暖かい = あたかい= atatakai = warm 
 
寒暖 = かんだん 
 
literal meaning = cold and warm
 
(ENG)  hot and cold
 
*  行く= いく= iku = to go + 来る = くる= kuru = to come
 
行き来 = いきき = iki ki
 
literal meaning: going and coming
 
(ENG)   to come and go / coming and going
 
Ex. 2年間ずっと自分の国と日本の間を行き来している。
 
= にねんかんずっとじぶんのくとにほんのあいだをいききしている
 
= Ninen kan zutto jibun no kuni to nihon no aida wo ikiki shiteiru.
 
= I have been traveling back and forth between my country and Japan for two years.
 
 
*売る = うる = uru = to sell + 買う = かう = kau = to buy
 
売買 = ばいばい= bai bai
 
literal meaning: buying and selling
 
→ (ENG) selling and buying 
 
Ex. 株の売買
 
= かぶのばいばい
 
= kabu no baibai
 
= stock trading

 

You also say:
 
*(noun form) 売り = うり= uri = selling +  買い = かい = kai = buying 
 
 売り買いうりかい= uri kai
 
literal meaning : selling and buying
 
(ENG) buying and selling

 

* 飲む = のむ = to drink + 食べる= たべる = to eat
 
飲食 = いんしょく = in shoku 
 
literal meaning:  to drink and eat/ drinking and eating (drink and food)
 
(ENG)  eating and drinking / to eat and drink (food and drink) 
 
Ex. 飲食物  
 
= いんしょくぶつ
 
= inshokubutsu
 
= food and drink
 
* 発つ = たつ = to leave, to depart +  着く = つく = tsuku = to arrive 
 
発着 = はっちゃく = ha-cchaku 
 
literal meaning: departure and arrival 
 
(ENG)  arrival and departure 
 
Ex. 名古屋発着の便
 
= なごやはっちゃくのびん
 
= the flights that arrive at and depart from Nagoya

*苦しみ = くるしみ = kurushimi = pain +  楽しみ= たのしみ = tanoshimi = joy

苦楽 = くらく = ku raku 

Literal meaning: pain and joy

(ENG) joy and sorrow

 
* 紳士 = しんし = shinshi = gentleman + 淑女= しゅくじょ= shukujo = lady 
 
紳士淑女 = しんししゅくじょ = shinshi shukujo 
 
literal meaning: gentleman and ladies 
 
(ENG)  ladies and gentleman 
 
Ex. 紳士淑女の皆様、本日はお集まりいただきましてありがとうございます。(speech)
 
= しんししゅくじょのみなさま、ほんじつは、おあつまりいただきましてありがとうございます。
 
= Ladies and gentleman, thank you for coming today. 
 
 
Note: Though it is a very well-known phrase, you don’t actually hear this in Japanese speech. You only use it when you translate English speech.
You say 皆様 = minasama = everyone in Japanese.
 
* 新郎 = しんろう = groom  + 新婦 = しんぷ = shinpu = bride 
 
新郎新婦  = しんろうしんぷ = shinrou shinpu
 
literal meaning: groom and bride 
 
(ENG)  bride and groom
 
And these words are not kanji but they also reverse the order of meaning in English.
 
* あちら= achira = there (over there)  + こちら = kochira = here 
 
あちらこちら = achira kochira 
 
literal meaning:  there and here
 
(ENG)  here and there (many places) 
 
Note: You also say 
 
あちこち
 
= achi kochi 
(from あっちこっち = acchi kocchi) 
 
literal meaning = there and here
 
(ENG)  here and there ( many places) 
 
* あれ = are = that (that one)  + これ= kore = this (this one) 
 
あれこれ = あれこれ = are kore 
 
literal meaning: that and this
 
(ENG)   this and that
 
*   = ひがし = higashi = east + 西 = にし = nishi = west + = みなみ = minami  = south + = きた = kita = north
 
東西南北 = とうざいなんぼく = tou zai nan boku 
 
literal meaning = east, west, south and north
 
(ENG)  north, south, east and west
 
* There are some compound words which you can switch the order of kanji.
 
* = おうぼこ = ou / boko = to be dented +   = とつ/ でこ = totsu / deko = bump/forehead 
 
凹凸 = おうとつ = outotsu = unevenness, roughness  
 
凸凹 = でこぼこ= dekoboko =  unevenness, roughness 
 
Ex. 凹凸(おうとつ)がある。
 
= outotsu ga aru
 
= It’s uneven. / dented 
 
Ex. この道は凸凹(でこぼこ)している。
 
= Kono michi wa dekoboko shite iru.
 
= The street is bumpy.
 
* = おもて = omote = front + = うら = ura = back
 
表裏= おもてうら= omote ura = the front and back
 
裏表 = うらおもて = ura omote = inside out, the right. two faced 
 
Ex. 表裏/裏表のある人
 
= おもてうら/うらおもてのあるひと
 
= Omoteura / Uraomote no aru hito
 
= a two-faced person
 
Ex. Tシャツを裏表に着ていた。
 
= Tシャツをうらおもてにきていた。
 
= teeshatsu wo uraomote ni kite ita.
 
= I was wearing a T-shirt inside out.
 
*****
マギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei
 
うし先生、ありがとう!
 
= Ushi sensei, arigatou!
 
= Thank you, Ushi-sensei!
 
私の毛も白黒ですよ。
 
= Watashi no ke mo shirokuro desuyo.
 
= My fur is black and white, too!
 
 ****
 
 
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