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True meaning of some RTK radicals ??

#1
Not only for curiosity, but also due to dissatisfaction with the primitive meanings I have tried, I would like to know the honest-to-goodness Chinese meaning for ?*. And maybe the true meanings for any other  radicals/components which differ from RTK's names. Every once in a while I see someone in the shared stories mention "The true meaning of X is ..." which I have found pretty helpful on occasion, and immensely interesting. For example, the left side of 壮 is not turtle, but "split wood / a tree's left half". 禺 means "long-tailed monkey".

For referencing ?*, I have been using "kanji", but it just makes me want to guess and write the full character 漢. Someone on that frame said it means "must not". Is that true? Someone, please spill unlimited, luscious etymological knowledge for Heisig's custom portions upon me. I desire the truth.

*Edit: Okay, so the character I am trying to reference is just showing up for me as question marks due to the extreme rarity. If you see a ? in the above sentences I am talking about the right side of 漢.
Edited: 2017-02-13, 11:51 pm
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#2
"The Complete Guide to Everyday Kanji" by Habein & Mathias, is good for this sort of thing if you can find a copy. They call that component (right side of 漢) "broiling game".
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#3
(2017-02-14, 1:31 am)Katsuo Wrote: "The Complete Guide to Everyday Kanji" by Habein & Mathias, is good for this sort of thing if you can find a copy. They call that component (right side of 漢) "broiling game".

Fascinating! Thanks. Is that like "wild game animals?" Or like, playing a... broiling game? Which sounds awesome and hairy-chested.

I'll look into that book. I'm assuming that there's real etymological accuracy to this stuff, and not made-up meanings, right? If so, that would make a great addition to my resources.



Also, how do you pronounce Heisig? Is it HEY sig or HI sig? I've genuinely wondered for years.
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#4
The meaning is "cooking wild animals".

The book is reputable, but etymologists often disagree with each other.

There was a thread on the subject of Heisig's name once. The consensus was "High-sig".
Edited: 2017-02-14, 6:10 am
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#5
So I looked it up in "A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters" by Kenneth Henshall.  Here's most of the entry for 漢:


Quote:Ironically one of the most obscure of the kanji... (the right side of 漢) is known to have acted phonetically to express the name of a river, specifically the Han River from which the Han Dynasty took its name.  However, as an element it is obscure.  It shows strong similarities to the early forms of "flaming arrow / yellow" (黄), possibly suggesting "Han River gleaming (in the sunset) like a flaming arrow."  However, some scholars have interpreted it as a "beast being roasted," though what connotations such a meaning might lend here are not clear.  It also shows strong similarities to "rare/few/violet" (the right side of 謹), which is itself of obscure origin and is indeed taken by some scholars to be a variant of (the right side of 漢).  However, variant or not, it is still not clear what meaning it might have lent.  Han China became a reference to China in general, and by association "belonging to China" and hence "Chinese man" and finally just "man" (a lesser meaning).
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#6
(2017-02-13, 11:46 pm)lugelen Wrote: Someone on that frame said it means "must not". Is that true?

No. They are confusing it with 莫.

Many components don't have "true meanings"; Chinese characters are far too chaotic for that.
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#7
Henceforth I will refer to Han China (in my head) as "the land of roast beast."
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#8
Excellent. Thanks for the information. I'd ask for the meanings of allll the other obscure shapes in RTK, but maybe I should just look into these books.

The "beast" example is the most evocative, so I'll probably go with that or something based on it.

Um... "wedding feast"? "The flowery-mouthed husband has prepared a succulent roast as he whispers his vows again." I don't really need the food part for the component elements, though. Oh well.
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#9
The book that I cited by Henshall has an updated version called "The Complete Guide to Japanese Kanji: Remembering and Understanding the 2,136 Standard Characters" by Christopher Seely & Kenneth G. Henshall, FYI.
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#10
I'll check it out!
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#11
Wiktionary normally has some brief notes for etimology. Not always. But I like brief things, I don't want to get distracted with pages of etimology. Wink
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#12
I loved kanjinetworks.com, but it closed last august. You can have a look at this github repo and, more relevantly, to this concrete pdf file to access the information previously available on the website.

Some additional resources are listed here (namakajiri.net). And finally, this list of the 214 traditional radicals (kanjialive.com) could be of some interest for the OP.
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#13
What a magnificent list of resources. Actually that monster pdf crashed my phone (!) so I'll need to check it out later on PC. I guess it literally is a concrete pdf file, just like you said. But it's much appreciated.
Edited: 2017-02-18, 7:02 am
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#14
In addiction, check this out https://github.com/mifunetoshiro/kanjium
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#15
If you want to know more about the history of the kanji, you can look in Japanese resources like 常用字解 or some of the similar dictionaries. My experience with looking up origins is that they are a poor way to memorize the characters. They can be interesting, and I flip through the books from time to time, but I don't think the history is very useful.
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#16
(2017-02-18, 7:48 pm)bertoni Wrote: If you want to know more about the history of the kanji, you can look in Japanese resources like 常用字解 or some of the similar dictionaries.  My experience with looking up origins is that they are a poor way to memorize the characters.  They can be interesting, and I flip through the books from time to time, but I don't think the history is very useful.

I agree, Heisig is far more useful for mnemonic purposes, but now that I'm well in, I enjoy learning about the etymology for the fun of it. Thanks to everyone for sharing resources.

(ETA: also, LOL "in addiction", I know it was probably a typo but still, not inappropriate...)
Edited: 2017-02-18, 9:52 pm
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#17
To be more forthcoming, since so many people are helping me out here, I'm slowly creating a Japanese smart phone app, mostly for myself. It will attempt to teach a number of things including kanji, and though I think it will have ways of viewing them in JLPT order and school grade order, my primary concern is to have a component order of my own choosing. It is similar in concept to RTK but not the same order at all.

To this end, I need to think about every little thing as a course designer. If ONLY I were to privately use it, I could certainly just pop RTK1 content in as needed. But if at any point I sold or distributed this app, well, I can't use "scarecrow", "greenhouse", freaking "sunglasses with one lens popped out", etc. I need to really think about the names of things fundamentally, and that involves a knowledge base informed by historical entomology.

So, even if I did make a custom primitive name like "wedding feast" up there which seems random, it can can at least be justified in part by character origins. It's "half" historical. And half mnemonic.

See, I'm afraid of going down the path of wanikani with silliness like "pile of my stuff", "triceratops", freaking "poop" when even Japanese major undergrads can immediately point out, "that isn't even remotely what that radical/component means". That would be embarrassing.

Of course, I would like to have my users just be able to change the titles and stories of things so that they don't have to use ANY of my original labels. But most folks wouldn't bother, I think, and for that I would like to strive for the most..... *professionally* imaginative terms possible. That requires research.


(Some might ask, "wait, yet ANOTHER app? Another system that does the same thing? Aren't there enough of those in the Japanese learning community?" Well, hey, making an app is nothing I really wanted to do, but in all the apps I've tried there are some desired features to the presentation/instruction/review of Japanese, particularly when it comes to the idiosyncrasies of kanji in the language, that I just. cannot. find. anywhere. To the point where it drives me batty and I don't want to study at all. So I've gotta make a new custom system myself.)

So again, thanks for the incredible links. They are more than I expected!
Edited: 2017-02-19, 12:49 am
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