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同音語について質問: how do you avoid misunderstandings when it comes to homonyms?

I have a question for the Japanese speakers:
how do you avoid misunderstandings when it comes to homonyms? I mean for example, せいこう means "success" (成功), but at the same time it means "sex" (性交)
Or, for example, "しがいせん" can mean "street fighting" (市街戦) and also can mean "ultra-violet rays" (紫外線),
if someone said 『しがいせんを大好きだよ!』 - what would you think of?

P.S. i want this question to be answered only bythe native Japanese speakers, not by some smarty-pants-gaijins ;)

For learning: Japanese
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    That's kind of like asking English speakers how to distinguish in speech between wait and weight, tail and tale, or role and roll. For example, how would you interpret sentences like "I like their rolls/roles?"

    In my experience the chances of confusion or misunderstanding are no greater in Japanese than in English and homonyms hardly ever cause any problems in oral communication in Japanese. The only pairs that can be confusing that come to mind off the top of my head are: 科学/化学(かがく), and 私立/市立(しりつ). These words have unofficial extra readings (科学:かがく, 化学:ばけがく. 私立:わたくしりつ, 市立:いちりつ) and people sometimes use these to distinguish them in speech.

    I’m guessing you want to know if things are anything like they are in Chinese. As you might be well aware, homonyms often create confusion in spoken Chinese, as attested by the fact that a significant portion of Chinese jokes revolves around the exploitation of identically or similarly-sounding words. If that is your question I would say there is much less ambiguity resulting from homonyms in Japanese than in Chinese.

    In most cases, we can determine the meaning from the context.
    Let us consider the case of 成功 and 性交. When we use the word "succeed," it usually comes with something one has succeeded in. For example,
    and so on. It is clear that せいこう is not 性交 from the meaning. Sometimes the word 成功する is used with no particular object like
    In this case, 成功する means "make money" or "success in one's career." In this example, too, we can easily see that it's not 性交 since we cannot have sex alone.

    In the case of 「しがいせんを大好きだよ!」, it is a little bit unnatural from the beginning. If one likes to soak up the sun, we would say "紫外線を浴びるのが大好き". If one really likes "市街戦", the person should be talking about fighting before saying the word "市街戦". In any case, it is not so difficult to determine the meaning from the context.

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