"era" as a synonym for 代?

For the kanji 代, I keep getting it wrong by typing “era”. It has the meanings, “period” and “age”, which are similar to “era”, but they’re not quite the same. jisho.org doesn’t include “era” as a kanji meaning, but to make things confusing, 時代 includes the definition “era”.

So would you guys consider the meanings similar enough to warrant putting the synonym?

  • Yeah, they basically mean the same thing
  • No, they’re different enough to not be synonyms

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It’s not really debatable, era is one of the definitions of 代 as a suffix.

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Nice, don’t know how I missed that one.

I’ve actually often wondered if there’s any reason not to include the definition of a single-kanji vocab in the list of meanings for the kanji itself…

for example:
際 – does this kanji mean “side” “edge” or “brink”?
並 – does this kanji mean “ordinary”?

To me, I don’t see why not. But WK would mark you wrong if you answered these for the kanji review. There are a lot of these!

There are some cases that might mislead you about the meaning of the kanji if you learn the vocab meaning instead. Image if you learned the kanji 生 as “raw” instead of “life”. It would probably make learning words with that kanji harder. But this might be an extreme case so I don’t know if it matters in general.

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I wonder how a native speaker like @mamimumason would react about these – like if someone asked you the inherent meaning of the character 生, would you say that “raw” was an appropriate answer?

Maybe in the eyes of WK, “raw” is incorrect as the character’s inherent meaning because it is culturally understood that the character means “life,” despite it being also used to write the word “raw.”

That’s not a WaniKani thing. jisho.org also does not include “raw” as a definition of the kanji 生.

I believe that it is mostly based on the words that this kanji is corresponding with. Majority of the words that contain 生 are words like 生きる or 人生 or 生活, which all point to some aspect of “life” or “living”. Even 生まれる.
The association with the meaning “raw” really only ever comes up when it stands next to an ingredient, like fish or vegetables or beer. But even then, the reference is more so of “fresh”, rather than “raw”, though the meaning is translated as “raw”. Beer, for example, 生ビール is not raw, but rather draft beer, which is considered “fresher” than canned or bottled beer, but not “raw”. Overall, “fresh” is another aspect of “life” as it is “natural”.

But that’s just how I view it.

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If you say “inherent” meaning, then I wouldn’t say the “raw” was an appropriate answer.
The inherent answer of 生 is definitely life, to be born, to live or something like that.
生 as in raw was derivative meaning from the inherent meaning.
Like raw egg is not cooked fresh egg…it’s dead but very close to a living egg…or raw fish is not cooked fresh fish…sometimes it’s still alive when it’s served…
Does it make sense?

So, I agree with @LeadYakuza. I like his handle-name too, btw. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not exactly sure how the meaning of the kanji is chosen for wanikani though.
I guess it’s @koichi question. :slight_smile:


I’ve also slipped up with this using “live” as in 生放送 and “draught” as in 生ビール

I personally think as long as you know one meaning and that’s close enough it’s fine. Often the example sentences for vocab also use a completely different meaning that doesn’t appear in WK or Jisho.

When I started studying for the Kanji Kentei, I noticed some of the books I bought to prepare list meanings for the kanji. I think it’s a lot looser and more up to interpretation than we usually think of it. I don’t think the meanings are part of the government’s official materials for teaching the kanji, the way readings and other elements are standardized. As such, you can imagine that the English meanings are up for interpretation as well.

Yeah, I added it by hand.

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