Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Useful Terminology for Learning Kanji

In this post, we explain some Japanese terminology for learning basic Japanese and easily using our site.


Contents (A to Z)







Grade

Our site classifies kanji by grade 1 to 6. These are the same grades used by Japanese elementary school children when they learn kanji. Grade 1 kanji are basic and tend to be simple, and the kanji get more advanced as the number goes up.




 Grade 1 - 80 kanji 

*We use a red tag for grade 1 kanji lessons.
 

西




 Grade 3 - 200 kanji 

*We use a green tag for grade 3 kanji lessons.

暗 医 委 意 育 員 運 泳 央 横 界 開 感 漢 館 究 急 業 曲 決 研 使 詩 次 事 持 式 習 集 住 宿 昭 消 商 章 神 真 整 昔 全 相 送 想 対 待 談 着 注 帳 調 追 定 登 等 動 発 反 氷 表 福 物 平 勉 放 有 遊 予 陽 様 落 流 旅 両 列 練





 Grade 4 - 202 kanji 

*We use a purple tag for grade 4 kanji lessons.

案 以 衣 位 茨 印 英 栄 媛 塩 岡 億 加 果 貨 課 芽 賀 改 械 害 街 各 覚 潟 完 官 管 関 観 願 岐 希 季 旗 器 機 議 求 泣 給 挙 漁 共 協 鏡 競 極 熊 訓 軍 郡 群 径 景 芸 欠 結 建 健 験 固 功 香 候 康 佐 差 菜 最 埼 材 崎 昨 札 刷 察 参 産 散 残 氏 司 試 児 治 滋 辞 鹿 失 借 種 周 祝 順 初 松 笑 唱 焼 照 城 縄 臣 信 井 成 省 清 静 席 積 折 節 説 浅 戦 選 然 争 倉 巣 束 側 続 卒 孫 帯 隊 達 単 置 仲 沖 兆 低 底 的 典 伝 徒 努 灯 働 特 徳 栃 奈 梨 熱 念 敗 梅 博 阪 飯 飛 必 票 標 不 夫 付 府 阜 富 副 兵 別 辺 変 便 包 法 望 牧 末 満 未 民 無 約 勇 要 養 浴 利 陸 良 料 量 輪 類 令 冷 連 老 労 録

 Grade 5 - 193 kanji 

*We use a brown tag for grade 5 kanji lessons.
圧 囲 移 因 永 営 衛 易 益 液 演 応 往 桜 可 仮 価 河 過 快 解 格 確 額 刊 幹 慣 眼 紀 基 寄 規 喜 技 義 逆 久 旧 救 居 許 境 均 禁 句 型 経 潔 件 険 検 限 現 減 故 個 護 効 厚 耕 航 鉱 構 興 講 告 混 査 再 災 妻 採 際 在 財 罪 殺 雑 酸 賛 士 支 史 志 枝 師 資 飼 示 似 識 質 舎 謝 授 修 述 術 準 序 招 証 象 賞 条 状 常 情 織 職 制 性 政 勢 精 製 税 責 績 接 設 絶 祖 素 総 造 像 増 則 測 属 率 損 貸 態 団 断 築 貯 張 停 提 程 適 統 堂 銅 導 得 毒 独 任 燃 能 破 犯 判 版 比 肥 非 費 備 評 貧 布 婦 武 復 複 仏 粉 編 弁 保 墓 報 豊 防 貿 暴 脈 務 夢 迷 綿 輸 余 容 略 留 領 歴

 Grade 6 - 191 kanji 

*We use a black tag for grade 6 kanji lessons.
胃 異 遺 域 宇 映 延 沿 恩 我 灰 拡 革 閣 割 株 干 巻 看 簡 危 机 揮 貴 疑 吸 供 胸 郷 勤 筋 系 敬 警 劇 激 穴 券 絹 権 憲 源 厳 己 呼 誤 后 孝 皇 紅 降 鋼 刻 穀 骨 困 砂 座 済 裁 策 冊 蚕 至 姿 視 詞 誌 磁 射 捨 尺 若 樹 収 宗 就 衆 従 縦 縮 熟 純 処 署 諸 除 承 将 傷 障 蒸 針 仁 垂 推 寸 盛 聖 誠 舌 宣 専 泉 洗 染 銭 善 奏 窓 創 装 層 操 蔵 臓 存 尊 退 宅 担 探 誕 段 暖 値 宙 忠 著 庁 頂 腸 潮 賃 痛 敵 展 討 党 糖 届 難 乳 認 納 脳 派 拝 背 肺 俳 班 晩 否 批 秘 俵 腹 奮 並 陛 閉 片 補 暮 宝 訪 亡 忘 棒 枚 幕 密 盟 模 訳 郵 優 預 幼 欲 翌 乱 卵 覧 裏 律 臨 朗 論

Total: 1026 kanji (as of the year 2020)






 Hiragana (平仮名)   - Japanese syllabary characters

*We use a light blue tag for hiragana lessons.
Click here for the all Hiragana Playlist
Our Hiragana Page
Hiragana is used for sounds. Hiragana and katakana are sister character sets. They are each comprised of 46 characters plus derived type characters that are created using basic shapes. Each character normally represents one sound.
Hiragana is used in many situations such as particles, inflatable parts of words, etc.




*Tips for hiragana

If you master hiragana, it is possible to write all Japanese using them. However in Japanese, it may be difficult to understand because there are cases where there is no space between words, and there are many words with the same pronunciation but different meanings.

Example:
ははははははとわらった。
This is difficult to understand...

母はハハハと笑った。
The same sentence written with kanji is easily understood as "a mother laughed 'hahaha'".







Japanese (日本語) - Japanese Language

Japanese normally uses a combination of hiraganakatakana, and kanji.

Example:
私はパイナップルが好きです。
Kanji: 私, 好
Hiragana: は, が, きです
Katakana: パイナップル





 Katakana (片仮名)   - Japanese syllabary characters

*We use a yellow tag for katakana lessons.
Click here for the all Katakana Playlist
Our Katakana Page
Katakana is used for sounds. Hiragana and katakana are sister character sets. They are each comprised of 46 characters plus derived type characters that are created using basic shapes. Each character normally represents one sound.
All hiragana characters have equivalent katakana characters.
あ=ア、い=イ、う=ウ、え=エ、お=オ

Katakana is mainly used for foreign words, so it is less used than hiragana.

Examples:
computer: コンピューター
Bob: ボブ
lucky: ラッキー
pineapple: パイナップル



*Tips for katakana

If you already learned all pronunciation from hiragana, the equivalent katakana characters are pronounced the same way. Katakana characters are also modified the same way as hiragana:

Examples:
はひふへほ = ハヒフヘホ
ばびぶべぼ = バビブベボ
ぱぴぷぺぽ = パピプペポ
ぴゃぴゅぴょ = ピャピュピョ

Remember, you just need to learn 46 characters (until wawon) and you will have mastered all katakana! ;)






Kanji (漢字) - Japanese characters that are derived from ancient Chinese

(*in our site, kanji means Japanese kanji.)
Click here for our YouTube Page
Click here for our website

Many Kanji have multiple pronunciations, which can be classified as onyomi and kunyomi. Although it is said that the total number of kanji is very large, the number of kanji required in daily life (which we call joyo kanji) is 2136.





Kunyomi (訓読み) - Japanese reading

When Chinese characters came from China, Japanese language existed, but had no system of writing. Kunyomi was created by applying Japanese pronunciation to Chinese kanji characters that have the same meaning as Japanese. Due to this reason, there are cases where zero or multiple different kunyomi pronunciations exist for one kanji character. In Japanese dictionaries, drills, etc, they are mostly represented by hiragana (also in our kanji video lessons, too).

*Tips for kunyomi

In order to complete a word, you might need hiragana when it is verb, adjective, or adverb. These are basic forms, but derived forms also exist.

Example:
動く (うごく) - move; work (動 is kanji and く is hiragana)

大きい (おおきい) - large; big (大 is kanji and きい is hiragana)

優しく (やさしく) - gently (優 is kanji and しく is hiragana)






Onyomi (音読み) - Chinese reading

Onyomi is derived from the original Chinese pronunciation at the time that the characters came to Japan. There are cases where zero (very rarely) or multiple different onyomi pronunciations exist for one kanji character. This is due to the change of Chinese pronunciation over time, place, etc. In Japanese dictionaries, drills, etc, they are mostly represented by katakana (also our kanji video lessons, too).

*Tips for onyomi

1. If the last pronunciation sound is "ん", it tends to be onyomi.

Example:
運 (うん) - luck; fortune
千 (せん) - thousand, etc.


2. If kanji has only one pronunciation, it tends to be onyomi.
線 (せん) - line; wire; beam
駅 (えき) - station, etc.





Radical (部首) - A part of kanji used to classify kanji

Think of radicals as landmarks when categorizing similar kanji.

Example:
火 (): fire
This radical comes from the kanji character 火 (hi), which means fire.


燃、爆、煙, etc.

They all contain the 火 radical and mean something similar to fire.

燃える: burn (v)
爆発: explosion; detonation
煙: smoke; fume





Romaji (ローマ字) - Japanese that is written using the Roman alphabet

In our kanji video lessons, we introduce romaji so that people can type Japanese using an alphabetical keyboard (note that you may need to install Japanese romaji input on your computer). Therefore, even though some romaji words are famous in English, we sometimes represent them a different way.

1. When "n" is the last character

Sometimes Japanese input converters don't recognize that a word ends in "ん".

Example:
If you type "udon", which is the correct romaji, the Japanese converter will show うどn.
However, if you type "udonn" (with two "n"s), the Japanese converter will show うどん. This is the correct hiragana.

Note that some clever Japanese input conversion functions may recognize the single "n" and convert the input correctly.


2. When the next character is "n" or "y"

Japanese contains "nya" (にゃ), "nyu" (にゅ), "nyo" (にょ) sounds.

Example:
If you type "onyomi", which is the correct romaji, the Japanese converter will show おにょみ.
However, if you type "onnyomi" (with two "n"s), the Japanese converter will おんよみ or 音読み. This is the correct hiragana and kanji.

Note that some clever Japanese input conversion functions may recognize the single "n" and convert the input correctly.





Yojijukugo (四字熟語) - Four-character idiom

If you translate each kanji character in 四字熟語,

四 means four,
字 means character,
and 熟語 means idiom.

Yojijukugo are idioms that are always represented by four kanji characters.

Examples:
春夏秋冬 (しゅんかしゅうとう): four seasons; one year

春: spring
夏: summer
秋: fall
冬: winter



一日千秋 (いちにちせんしゅう): the feeling of a very long day; the feeling of waiting is remarkably strong

一: one
日: day
千: thousand
秋: fall



十人十色 (じゅうにんといろ): different people like different things; different strokes for different folks


十: ten
人: person
十: ten
色: color



https://youtu.be/Z_8vbiOOtG0

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