What's the best way to figure out which pronunciations of the Kanji are to be used?
Sometimes you use the Chinese pronunciation, sometimes the Japanese one depending on if it's a compound word, etc.
Well like you said in that subtext below the question, you use different pronunciations depending on if it's in a compound or not. MOST OF THE TIME, if it's in a compound, you use the On Yomi (Chinese reading). If it's just alone or with hiragana on the tail end (IE ? or ???), then you use the Kun Yomi (Japanese reading). When it comes to names though, most of the time the Kanji are Ateji, which means that the readings won't be standard. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules, and unfortunately you'll be forced to make some mistakes and just memorize how to read certain compounds and especially names. Hopefully this helps, and sorry that there isn't any clear cut rule :
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