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Radicals ?

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Radicals ?

Postby kawada2998 » Sun 02.12.2006 7:54 am

Anyone know a site that explains radicals well? i understand them slightly but not enough, should i learn radicals and then kanji? or kanji then radicals ?
Help please :o
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RE: Radicals ?

Postby Mariya » Sun 02.12.2006 9:04 am

Try this one:

http://japanese.about.com/library/weekly/aa070101a.htm

There's about three pages worth of info there. ;)
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RE: Radicals ?

Postby Mukade » Mon 02.13.2006 12:46 am

I think that paying attention to the radicals and their meanings while you learn kanji can benefit you greatly later on.

When you only know a few hundred kanji, you probably won't have too many problems writing them from memory or keeping them seperate from one another.

But when you start knowing 1,000, 2,000 kanji, it starts getting difficult to remember how to write them all. You will find yourself mixing certain kanji up quite often, as well. Basically, writing the kanji over and over doesn't help once your personal dictionary grows beyond a certain point. If you want proof of this, just look at any Japanese person.

To this end, it often helps to organize the kanji in a slightly more visual way. One method is to take the radicals and attach their meaning to the meaning of the kanji via a mnemonic device or a story. Heisig and Henshall both do this in their books on remembering kanji.

Just as an example (this is the kanji currently appearing in my "Kanji Benkyou" window on the right-hand side of this page):

Question - 問 is comprised of gate 門 and mouth 口. So, if you know those two radicals, you can remember how to write it by saying something like "there's someone with their mouth at the gate asking a question.

I've found that this really helps with more complex kanji, kanji you don't write that often, or kanji that are very similiar.
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RE: Radicals ?

Postby AJBryant » Mon 02.13.2006 1:41 am

Personally, I've never really been into mnemonics for remembering kanji -- but some folks swear by them.

Chacon à son gout, as they say.

Tony
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RE: Radicals ?

Postby Machina Maw » Mon 02.13.2006 5:18 am

This probably isn't what you're looking for, but I've found it useful: an index which lists kanji by radical. Link
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RE: Radicals ?

Postby WacKostRacKo » Mon 02.13.2006 5:53 am

Mukade wrote:
If you want proof of this, just look at any Japanese person.


how can you tell by just looking? ;)
tanuki wrote:
How about:

外人: これはすしです。すしが好きです。
日本人: おお!日本語が上手ですね。
外人: Erm....what?


story of my life...
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RE: Radicals ?

Postby keatonatron » Mon 02.13.2006 7:21 am

Radicals are really helpful.

Like, the 5 ji's (and toku). They all have different kun-readings, but the the on-readings are generally the same (and the body of the kanji):

寺 The main part of the kanji, means temple
時 Add the kanji for sun/day, and you get time
持 Add a hand, and you get "hold"
待 Add the same radical as go (行) and you get the opposite of go-- "wait"
侍 Add a person, and you get samurai
特 Add... this special radical, and you get "special" :)

Now, if you can keep all those straight, you just learned 6 new (extremely useful) kanji!
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RE: Radicals ?

Postby kawada2998 » Mon 02.13.2006 9:39 am

thank's all of you, this really helps me, i will try out the links and ur advice, and i know that mnemonics are good, they help me greatly:D
Last edited by kawada2998 on Mon 02.13.2006 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Radicals ?

Postby Mukade » Mon 02.13.2006 9:47 pm

WacKostRacKo wrote:
Mukade wrote:
If you want proof of this, just look at any Japanese person.


how can you tell by just looking? ;)


Ask the next Japanese person you meet to write the word はつもうで, すもう, or the zodiac いぬ in kanji and then look at the expression on their face.

These are all kanji that Japanese people see every day, but still have difficulty writing. すもう actually recently appeared in a list of words Japanese people have difficulty writing. The other two are characters that I have taught to my high school and middle school students several times over in the last couple of years.

If their expression of bafflement isn't enough to let you know they can't write the character, then their expression of chagrin when their foreign teacher writes it for them on the board should clinch it.

Another good one to test your Japanese friends:
おてらのかねをつく (the difficult here will probably be つく)


Answers:
初詣
相撲

お寺の鐘を撞く
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RE: Radicals ?

Postby Mukade » Mon 02.13.2006 9:55 pm

AJBryant wrote:
Personally, I've never really been into mnemonics for remembering kanji -- but some folks swear by them.

Chacon a` son gout, as they say.

Tony


I think it'd probably be pretty cumbersome to use mnemonics for all the kanji. I tend to use them, as I said before, to help me remember characters I tend to have trouble with. I've found it to be far more effective than just writing the character over and over, since the stories tend to stick with you longer than rote memorization.

I don't know if anyone has proposed any other methods than these two to help remember kanji. And I'm thinking specifically of writing them from memory, since that's the hardest part. Reading them doesn't seem to present as much of a problem, and in that case reading itself is pretty effective practice.

Anyone else have some other success stories?
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RE: Radicals ?

Postby Infidel » Mon 02.13.2006 11:12 pm


I think it'd probably be pretty cumbersome to use mnemonics for all the kanji. I tend to use them, as I said before, to help me remember characters I tend to have trouble with.


That's why when I recommend Henshell's book, I tell the person I'm recomending it to to just use it for looking up hard to remember kanji. It is too combersome and time consuming to use it as a primary reference for learning the kanji, but it is a good book for kanji that just don't stick for some reason or another.
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