Before I add synonyms to the 214 radicals by hand to get their actual names/pronunciations, does anyone know of a script that automatically does that or something similar ?
I’ve searched the forums but didn’t find a fix.
(I’m not asking for opinions about radicals and how wanikani deals with it, thanks).
Dunno if such a script exists, but according to the list I worked out here, you’re gonna wind up with more than a few with no synonym.
WaniKani’s radicals are mnemonic aids first and kanji components second, and they’re not even within hailing distance of any kind of official radicals. My take is, if the official name of a radical helps you remember things, then use the official name, but otherwise stick with WaniKani’s name. For example, WaniKani’s “boil” radical used to be called “fish legs”, but it’s always been a variant of the “fire” radical, and since most of the kanji which use it have meanings related to fire or heat, it’s always been easier for me to think of it as “fire”. On the other hand, WaniKani’s “horns” radical is actually a variant of the “eight” radical, but knowing that doesn’t help me remember things at all, so it’s easier just to stick with “horns”.
Thank you for answering.
So the thing is, I’m really cool with what Wanikani teaches us and it helps remembering I’m 100% in this.
But when I talk with natives (e.g. my Japanese teacher) I look stupid when it comes to discussing kanjis.
“Yeah I know how this is written, it’s the boob radical, then the stick…”
And then the teacher is like : “the boob radical ???”
So I’d like to know how to pronounce them in Japanese and memorize it together with what Wanikani teaches.
I’ve done it a little by hand for the first levels but it’s tedious and time consuming.
That’s great, but you do realize that some are not part of the official radicals to begin with, right? Some are simply radicals that WK came up with. Yurt for example. So you’re going to have quite a mashup of official and unofficial radicals.
Like I said in another thread, there isn’t really any need to learn the names for radicals. When describing a kanji, I think it’s more natural to say things like “the X side is the same as in Y kanji”, or “the top is the same as the kanji for WORD”.
Given the number of radicals that contribute meanings to the kanji, it can be very useful.
Trying to remember “the bottom of 熱 is the same as the bottom of 烈” just feels like a circular mnemonic. On the other hand, remembering “the bottom of 熱 is fire” immediately gives you something to attach it to.
But knowing the name れんが won’t necessarily help that much. Japanese people do learn those in elementary school and then most people stop caring much about it. Kanji education after elementary school is much less hands-on and more like “here’s a list you better know by next week.”
I agree it’s easier, but in my (admittedly limited) experience, talking about radicals tends to get me a blank stare. With my tutors I just make a mistake, and they show me the actual kanji and the kanji I mistook it with, and say “it’s close! but not quite.” (even when it’s not close) I had to start using the “looks like X in Y” method in order to get more useful information out of them.
Again, I’m not asking for opinions about how useful it is or not.
I use them with natives when we discuss kanjis ( both my teacher and my friend) so that’s proving some of you wrong and even if I didn’t, I just wanna learn them anyway.
You could just try getting a Japanese dictionary and maybe try studying them from that. I’m sure in class you have a lot of moments where you mention radicals to your teachers, but it’s a lot less common in daily life. Still, knowing basics like てへん, りっしんべん etc. is somewhat useful.
Edit: Also I’d just like to mention I agree with you and wish WK would only use real radicals and teach the real names. I personally skip all the WK radicals and/or add my own synonyms
This is one of the things about Wanikani that I don’t like. It seems like a useful crutch to give to beginners at first, but it creates a lot of downstream problems and I wonder if it really balances out in the end. For example, Wanikani actually invents some radicals that don’t exist by combining various pieces of other radicals. The idea is to make something that’s easy for beginners to recognize, so I get the point, but what happens when you’re trying to self study and you come across a new kanji but you can’t look it up in the kanji dictionary because your searching for a nonexistent radical? Personally, I’m on team do it the way the natives do even if that makes it a little harder at first.
Definitely it’s different for people who learn Japanese as a secondary language than for native speakers. I learned from one of my Japanese teachers that this symbol “々” is actually called a “ノマ” because it looks like those two katakana characters squished together. This has come up in conversation with Japanese people a few times but to date no one has actually known until I told them.
I learnt Chinese before Japanese and diligently went through and learn all the Chinese radicals (and a bunch of 汉字). It’s definitely been helpful in learning kanji as has knowing to look to radicals for indicators of common meaning or similar pronunciation. WaniKani ‘radicals’ are different, but useful in their own right. WK would save a little heartache by calling they visual aids something other than ‘radicals’ but it’s no great shakes.
I used Skritter to learn Chines radicals, they have a Japanese version but I have no idea if they have an equivalent radicals course.
That’s more of a nickname than the official name. The official name is 同の字点 (どうのじてん), though you’re unlikely to see anyone using the official name either. The symbol is actually a simplified variant of the kanji 同.