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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Four Kanji Types (#4)

Semantic-Phonetic (Keisei Moji)


These are the largest, and unfortunately the most confusing characters to learn.  The silver lining is that learning these characters can give you deeper insights into kanji culture.

Example:

注(ちゅう/そそぐ )meaning pour, is a combination of water (on left), and continuous (on right).  Thus, water + continuos = pour.

The ちゅう reading comes from 主, which is derived from a pictograph of a candle on a long column (the meaning is master, because only a rich master could afford a candle on a long column).

Thus, 注 gets its phonetic element from 主, and gives a clue to to the etymology of this character.   It's great the way that a column of water  = pour.

Not easy.

Definitely interesting.

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