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Japanese and Vietnamese Readings of Chinese Characters
found in the main text and notes

The Japanese and Vietnamese have borrowed a great deal from Chinese culture over a long period of time. One result is that Chinese words and Chinese names borrowed by these languages are conventionally read with native versions of the original Chinese pronunciation. The differences between readings in the three languages can be quite large due to (1) regional differences in the source of borrowing, (2) adaptation to the native phonology, and (3) changes in all three languages over the years.

The following table shows the modern Mandarin, Japanese, and Vietnamese pronunciations of some of the Chinese names and concepts that appear in 'Days of the Week in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese'.

  Characters in Chinese (simplified) Traditional characters (where different) Chinese pronunciation Japanese kanji (where different) Japanese pronunciation Vietnamese
'Seven luminaries' Chinese characters qī yào   shichiyō that dieu
'Seven Luminaries calendar' Chinese characters qī yào lì Chinese characters (Japanese) shichiyōreki that dieu lich that dieu lich
'28 constellations' Chinese characters   er4 shi2 ba1 xiù   nijuuhasshuku Nhi Thap Bat Tu
'Five Elements' Chinese characters   wǔ xíng   gogyō ngu hanh
  huǒ   ka hoa
Water   shui3   sui thuy
Wood   mu4   moku moc
Metal Chinese character   jīn   kin kim
Earth     do tho
Yang 'male principle' yáng
Yin 'female principle' yīn in
Lord's Day Chinese characters   zhǔ rì   shujitsu
'Great Peacock Exorcises the King' Chinese characters Da4 Kong3 Que4 Zhoù wáng Jīng Chinese characters (Japanese)    
Xiuyaojing Chinese characters Xiù yào Jīng Chinese characters (Japanese) Sukuyōkyō, Shukuyōkyō Tuc Dieu Kinh

Shi Yao

Chinese characters   Shǐ Yào   Shi yō Su Dao
Fan Ning Chinese characters Fan4 Níng Chinese characters (Japanese) Han Nei Pham Ninh
Yi Jing Chinese characters Yì Jing4 Chinese characters (Japanese) Gi Joo Nghia Tinh
Bu Kong Chinese characters   Kōng   Fu Kuu Bat Khong
Matteo Ricci Lì Ma3 Doù
Ri Ma Too
Mateo Ritchi
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