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Heisig's "drop" - direction??

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Heisig's "drop" - direction??

Postby caladwenaeariel » Mon 01.31.2011 1:18 am

I'm trying to get through RTK 1 and I'm confused about "a drop of". Which direction does it go in?

I don't know how to determine which way a drop would go when it's presented. The book doesn't specify for each kanji the directions of the strokes, it just clarifies the order. Here's an example of what I mean: which way do these "drops" go?

1- 千
2 - 丸
3 -寸
4 -博


(in order, those key words are thousand, round, measurement, Dr.)

Do the stroke's starting place depend on which part of the stroke is thickest, and the smaller strokes are just a blob, so for "blobs" you just go from up to down if you're using a pencil instead of a brush?

The way I thought I understood was that the "drop" stroke goes like this:
(drop stroke is the first one) right to left (and up to down)
(drop stroke is the last one) down to up/right to left??? doesn't seem right tho.
(drop stroke is the last one) up to down
(drop stroke is the ninth one and the last one) up to down, and up to down

I am getting confused and changing my opinion as I write. Please help me! :) I may be getting confused because of stylistic fonts. I just want to be able to write these in the correct direction.
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Re: Heisig's "drop" - direction??

Postby Dustin » Mon 01.31.2011 1:30 am

I have always written the drop primitive as up to down, doesn't matter which way it "slopes"

In fact JUST to be double sure I checked each kanji here

http://www.yamasa.cc/members/ocjs/kanji ... 3?OpenForm

Has full stroke order animation for most kanji :)

Most strokes are either up to down or left to right, it seems that (at least here ) up to down takes precedent.


I've finished RTK myself and found it an invaluable tool, good luck!
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Re: Heisig's "drop" - direction??

Postby caladwenaeariel » Mon 01.31.2011 2:07 am

SOOO USEFUL! Thanks. I can now breathe again with animated examples. I didn't think of it, but now I realize that would have helped me a lot.

Yes, Heisig is awesome....
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Re: Heisig's "drop" - direction??

Postby caladwenaeariel » Tue 02.01.2011 10:03 am

I went to the Yamasa site you recommended! I love it, it's very useful. But why are so many of the definitions different from Heisig's keywords??? I understand if he chose a keyword that needs to sort of... encompass a broad definition, but are these supposed to be related?

原 - meadow (heisig) vs. plan, original (Yamasa dictionary)
願 - petition (heisig) vs. wish (Yamasa dictionary)

why does heisig DO that? will I understand all this when I start learning kanji combinations and pronunciation?
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Re: Heisig's "drop" - direction??

Postby Dustin » Tue 02.01.2011 1:43 pm

caladwenaeariel wrote:I went to the Yamasa site you recommended! I love it, it's very useful. But why are so many of the definitions different from Heisig's keywords??? I understand if he chose a keyword that needs to sort of... encompass a broad definition, but are these supposed to be related?

原 - meadow (heisig) vs. plan, original (Yamasa dictionary)
願 - petition (heisig) vs. wish (Yamasa dictionary)

why does heisig DO that? will I understand all this when I start learning kanji combinations and pronunciation?


There are definitely some exceptions where geisig either uses a rare or abstract keyword, or a wrong one, in favor of making the system easier.

Don't worry cause MOST of them are pretty accurate, the important thing is just getting the index of cards since quite a few of the uses for kanji are unrelated to their base meanings!
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Re: Heisig's "drop" - direction??

Postby Hyperworm » Tue 02.01.2011 2:32 pm

The above's very true, but actually those two examples aren't that bad.

"meadow" is close enough for 原 (see e.g. 草原). "original" is a separate meaning of 原.
大辞泉@Yahoo! lists the senses of 原 as (translated by me here) :
  1. field. as in「原野/高原・湿原・草原・氷原・平原」
  2. (equivalently 源) source; wellspring. as in「原泉」
  3. origin of something; cause; beginning. as in「原案・原因・原稿・原作・原子・原始・原色・原則・原油・原理・原料/起原・語原・根原・病原」
  4. abbreviation of「原子 atom」or「原子力 nuclear power」. as in「原潜・原爆・原発」
That should illustrate that just one keyword isn't usually going to be enough to fully capture the meaning of a kanji, though.

願 is probably "petition" in that you can "petition" ("to make a request, especially formally") someone to do something, as in 「お願い致します!」. "wish" works too (星に願う, etc). For this one, Heisig might have found that the word "petition" evokes better imagery (for him?) than "wish", I guess?
fun translation snippets | need something translated?
BTC@1KMZXgoWiDshQis5Z7feCx8jaiP4QAB2ks
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Re: Heisig's "drop" - direction??

Postby caladwenaeariel » Tue 02.01.2011 2:40 pm

ah I seeee. Thank you.
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Re: Heisig's "drop" - direction??

Postby furrykef » Tue 02.01.2011 8:01 pm

And one thing you'll often find is that when you learn actual Japanese words, the kanji used don't match the meaning very well, sometimes not at all. Sometimes they won't match the alternative meanings you find in dictionaries either! The value in Heisig really comes in getting really, really familiar with the kanji shapes. That way, when you have to memorize a new word, usually you will only have to remember which kanji to use, not which kanji and how to write them. I do still encounter words for which I have to learn new kanji, but this is infrequently enough that it's not a bother to learn the new ones as I go along.
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Re: Heisig's "drop" - direction??

Postby caladwenaeariel » Thu 02.17.2011 8:42 am

how neat:)
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