I don't think they should be called "radicals"

I don’t think you should call them radicals. Might I suggest “eggs”.

Here’s the reason: The word “radical” is already used in Japanese, and it refers to a specific set of components, I think something like seventy of them. They have specific names too. I know you guys are native speakers, and know this, but for us JSL folks, it can get a bit confusing. Especially if people come on already knowing something about Japanese.

Perhaps it’s too baked in now, but it’s a serious bit of feedback, anyway.


I would lean toward something like “components” or “parts”, but it’s undeniable that many beginners end up getting confused by the usage of “radicals” in some way.


People would go, “Why aren’t they called radicals if they’re similar to the ones in the official list?”


Complete beginners don’t even know about that list.

And it would only get brought in conversations about dictionaries or Kanken.

Unlike now where we get a few threads a month about the “fake radicals.”


I also tend to think of them as “parts”, though “components” might work better in a system like this since it might be less confusing.


This is unfortunately most likely the case.


What happened to your account? :eyes:


I was suggesting “eggs” simply because it fits with their turtle theme (and they could call starting a new component “cracking an egg”), but honestly, I’m good with whatever. I just don’t think “radicals” specifically is helpful.


I agree. It would probably reduce the amount of posts addressing radicals significantly. But it’s likely that any moves to change that convention might prove to be problematic because any minor changes tend to always cause a negative reaction among users on the forum.


Unfortunately, that is always the case. That can be mitigated, though. I read a story about how Yahoo (or some similar site) changed the background color of their site, and everyone complained. They changed it back, apologized, and then changed it by exactly one shade per day until it changed to white. No one noticed.

I don’t know how that would happen here, but I really do think it would be a good place to get to eventually. Sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.

(I’ve been in computer engineering for twenty five years. I’ve seen it all. Sometimes you do what’s popular, and sometimes you do what’s right. It’s all in how you frame it.)


Maybe some people will be irrationally upset at the name change, and others will only become aware of their confusion upon the point being made, and thus get mad as well… But the current users are just a tiny fraction of all future users.


I’d appreciate it if there was a clearer distinction between what is a real radical and what is a mere commonly repeating shape. I actually have had native speakers talk to me about radicals, use their names, and ask me if I knew them or could write them (usually this happens when they see me practicing kanji). Maybe most people won’t have this experience, but I feel intimidated from sharing what I know, knowing that most radicals I know, aren’t really radicals. With that said, I do think they are helpful in the learning process.


Day 1: radicals
Day 2: radicels
Day 3: radicegs
Day 4: radiceggs
Day 5: adiceggs
Day 6: adceggs
Day 7: adeggs
Day 8: deggs
Day 9: eggs

And done! I’m sure no one will notice.


I guess if you don’t know about the “real radicals” there’s no harm in saying you just don’t know those. They aren’t actually necessary to know.

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They are when my teacher tries to give me hints on how to write kanji by saying the name of the radical I’m struggling to remember, lol.

rtk calls them “primitives”


The biggest thing, to me, is that it’s awfully confusing trying to find a kanji in a kanji dictionary by 部首 if you have misleading information about what counts as a “radical” and what doesn’t.

let’s just call them “a groupment of lines that make it so kanji isn’t just a bunch of lines but a bunch of things with lines grouped together”… no ?

Ok then let’s just keep it as radical, it works, even if they’re not the real deal, in the end you’ll know kanji and stuff as well as if you had another name for those

That’s a bit of a strawman. It’s not a choice between a large, confusing, run on string of words and “radicals”. There is a middle.


This is like, the definition of “non issue”.
Radical works, and by definition too.

No clue what a JSL folk is, but at the end of the day, this website is for english speakers. If your native language has radicals, how could it be so difficult to just say “so, not actual radicals, got it” and be done with it?


Japanese as a Second Language.