Friday, July 19, 2013

Kanji Fun

I've been studying a little more kanji with Fukunari-sensei.  And like most Japanese, it's a lot of fun, so I thought I'd share a bit.  The lessons start out with some pictures and an invitation to guess what each character derived from those pictures means.  Your choices for the ten below in random order are: father, mother, previous, study, to be born, friend, every, school, what, and root.  Can you match them?  (answers at bottom):

Each kanji usually has several different ways it can be pronounced depending on context.  For example, one of these kanji can mean "root, origin," in which case it is pronounced "moto."  It can also mean "book," in which case it is pronounced, "hon."  More meaning and good times this way comes.


Answers (with the book's explanations of the pictures-enjoy):

1) to be born (umareru) or to live (ikiru): picture of a plant coming out from the earth→symbol of life→to be born
2) father (chichi):  picture of a hand holding an ax→father's role→father
3) mother (haha):  picture of a sitting woman
4)  foregoing (saki) or previous (saki):  symbol for "stop" +  symbol for  "person"→dead person, ancestors→they lived before us→precede, previous
5)  study (benkyousuru):  two hands on a roof + children→teachers and children do something hand in hand→to study
6)  book (hon) or root, origin (moto):  picture of a tree with roots
7) what (nani):  we ask what is inside to the person carrying the heavy baggage
8) friend (tomodachi):  two right hands→help each other→friends
9) school (gakko):  symbol for "tree" + symbol for "crossing" →place where students and teachers meet and study→school
10)  every (mai):  picture of a mother with a hairpin→mother gives birth one after another→every

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