Radical Question 杯

So, the way you’d look up kanji in a regular paper dictionary is that you’d look it up by the primary radical first, and then by the total number of strokes in the kanji (or in some dictionaries, the total number of strokes without the primary radical). Online search-by-radical dictionaries let you include more restrictions in the search terms, but at some point you’re still gonna be counting strokes.

In this case, you’d select the 木 radical, and then search through all the eight-stroke kanji until you spot the right one.

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The de facto standard are the Kangxi radicals. There are no characters that exist that don’t have one of those 214 radicals. Also, the majority of the radicals are the semantic component of phono-semantic compounds, which are the vast majority of characters. You would find the character under 木, and then by the number of strokes, as another post mentioned.

Probably the simplest thing these days is that most apps and electronic dictionaries are equipped with a draw function. If you’re ever in doubt, Google Translate is always good as it is stroke order agnostic.

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Would you look at that… I did exactly what you said and searched 木 and filtered by 8 strokes and it was there!

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That’s what I’m starting to find out after doing some reading from @Leebo’s answer. Seems like there are the standard 214 Kangxi radicals and every kanji contains only 1. It’s like a whole new side of kanji I knew nothing about. Very exciting! :smiley:

Well, more precisely, each kanji is defined by only one, but they can contain more. For example, 聞 contains both 門 and 耳, but it’s 耳 which is the defining radical.

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If you get used to the radical names that Wanikani uses, this site is really helpful to find kanji by their WK radical names, even for kanji that are not taught in WaniKani:

image

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It’s also very responsive. Can’t recommend it enough.
Original thread:

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Yes, or rather than contains, it is that each Kanji is only indexed under one.

Honestly, I’m not really a fan of this site’s usage of the word “radical” for this exact reason. Because it is confusing. And, if you say the word 部首 to Japanese people, they will only understand it as this.

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How do you know what the defining radical is if there is more then 1?

Holy smokes that’s great! Almost seems like cheating it works so well :wink: :+1:

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The majority of the radicals are the semantic component of a Kanji, in this case 耳 is the semantic and 門 is the phonetic. If you know the kind of character you’re looking at, you can usually identify where the Semantic component, and thus the radical is. But failing that, left or top are usually good first guesses as they are most common.

If a character is a radical, it will be under itself, and not something smaller. The small remainder can be either the phonetic component or something arbitrary. 三 is listed under 一 and 六 is listed under 八

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To add to the post above, radicals come in typical positions in kanji, which look something like this:

radical-types

You’ll get a feel for it after a while. There’s some exceptions, though - 聞, to my surprise, is one of them (I was expecting that 門 was going to be the radical). At a pinch, Jisho will tell you what the radical is - to use my previous example, underneath the kanji, there’s a line saying “Radical: ear 耳”

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Thank you @Belthazar & @Syphus so much for taking the time and further explaining this to me! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :raised_hands: Feels good learn about all of that and understand it! :sob:

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聞 can in fact be read as もん, but the only modern word I can think of that uses it is 聴聞. 問 is also 口, I think those are the only two, not counting stuff like 們.

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The Kanji Study app says that it is broken down into the ground + slide + stick radicals.

Can you post a screenshot? I don’t see that at all. :upside_down_face:

Once you’re on the page for 杯 there is a 部首 section, and if you click it you get this

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Weird. I don’t have the 部首 section.

Just out of curiosity, are you using an iPhone? I know there’s an iOS version, but the creator has stated that he made it first, then switched over to Android to make that version and then left the iOS version behind and has no plans to bring them up to contain the same features.

If you’re on Android… I dunno. I guess, what version are you using?

(I realize this is probably possible to know from looking at your screenshot, but I don’t know anything about that kind of stuff).

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On android at least you have to activate it in the settings. On that screen, tap the three dots in the top right and chose settings. Then in the Details section check Radicals.

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