"I will swim today."
Just note that 水 (water) and 永 (long time; eternity) are slightly different kanji. The latter has a small dot above.
As someone has pointed out in a different comment section, 永 is the phonetic part of 泳. Both are read as エイ in their on'yomi.
I understand what you are trying to say, but the component on the right doesnt mean water at all (it means 'forever, perpetual') and is simply used as the phonetic component of the Chinese character.
Why is 'today' pronounced 'kyō' instead of 'imahi' like the kanji would normally indicate?
There are two different types of sayings for kanji. On'yomi and kun'yomi. On'yomi are the "imported" Chinese readings and the kun'yomi are native japanese readings. Ima AND hi are the kun'yomi readings. However, each means now and day. So it means today. On'yomi readings are usually used when there are two or more per "word". So since there are two kanji together to make now and day meaning today and therefore pronounced kyō.
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
This is actually a case of something called 当て字 (あてじ), in which the characters don't contribute their On'yomi or their Kun'yomi. The On'yomi here would be こん似ちor こんじつ. 明日 (あした) is another common example.
Time for you to look up 音読み & 訓読み. There is a rule of thumb, if it's only a string of kanji, it is often the onyomi reading, while if it's mixed with kana, it's often the kunyomi reading.
It is a godan verb and does not conjugate as such. The sentence is literally translated "I am swimming today" the intent of will is already implied because it is conjugated. 泳ぐ is the base form. Japanese does not have a future tense, so "will" is not really used. There are volitional forms, but they're suggestions more often than not, despite not being questions.
If you meant to ask "Why not wo (を) instead of wa (は)?", the answer is that を marks the object and there is no object in this sentence; you do not "swim something" the way you "read something" or "see something". "Today"/今日 is instead an adverbial (of time), and thus does not take を. It can take the topic marker は, if it is what is being talked about: "What wll you do today?" "I will swim today." If it is not the topic (the thing being talked about) it does not take は, and will then be completely without particle.
I was experimenting with things and it gave me "今日およぐ" as a possible correct answer. Could anyone explain how that version works?
泳ぐ(およぐ) is the informal frorm of 泳ぎます。は is often omitted in informal conversation.
Ha/wa is not necessary here. Maybe if you were saying today I will go swimming, but today is not the subject of the English sentence.
i would have thought thatthi would be "I am smimming today", not "will be"? shouldnt it be およきします for "will be?
"I am swimming today" would be "今日は泳いでいます。". As for "およきします", that's not really an existing form.
Japanese present tense and future tense is the same. It's kind of like how in english if you say "I bike" its more like you habitually bike. "Today I swim" is kind of implied to be future tense. As for "I am swimming", thats an action in progress so it would be "Oyoideiru/oyoideimasu".
But "I am swimming today" can also be an implied future, maybe even a bit more flexibly so than "I swim today." For instance, you could say, "I'm swimming tomorrow and the next day," and that only provides information about those two days. "I swim tomorrow and the next day" would be more likely if the swimming those two days was part of a pre-established pattern of swimming.