The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

Not really, sadly. In Mandarin, the old/literary kanji is 犬. 狗 is what we all use today.

The left-to-right rule is for components, usually units that you can easily isolate and which have a specific meaning. In other words, they’re usually for things that are listed as usual radicals in actual dictionaries. Also, the kanji concerned has to have a clear lefthand component and righthand component (or three vertical side-by-side components), which is not the case here.

止 is a kanji in its own right, as you probably know. It’s used to mean ‘stop’ now, but traditionally, it was the shape of a foot. The bottom half of 歩 is the same thing, but stylised and transformed differently. It’s two feet, like footprints on the sand, hence the act of walking, or the footsteps themselves. Here are some older forms:

Since we have two components here in a top-and-bottom arrangement, we write the top half first. As for everything else you mentioned… central vertical strokes that end in a flick or otherwise link to other strokes tend to be written first and help to centre the kanji. They’re written last when they’re long and go right through the entire kanji without needing to link up to anything else, like in 中. And no, little things don’t always come after big slides, especially if the slide doesn’t link back to those little things. You’ll notice that when dots/dashes are written last, they’re usually preceded by a stroke ending in a flick, like in 心.The kanji flows much better that way.


On this stroke subject - Why is the 夂 in 修 three strokes but two in 客?

How could it be 2? Isn’t the difference usually between 攵 (4 strokes) and 夂 (3 strokes)? I don’t remember the history off the top of my head, but they’re not the same element, despite looking similar.


Googling suggests that 夂 is two legs (𠂊) followed by something from behind (㇏), to mean “come from behind”, while 攵 is a variant of 攴, which is a right hand (又) holding a stick (ト).


I’m sorry. I subtracted one from the explanation for no good reason. Thankfully you’re smart.

Not the same component, eh? I didn’t think of looking it up somewhere else since WK said it was the same radical. Good to know! : p

Also leebo why are you level 3 you even have a lifetime subscription

Yeah, mostly because WaniKani’s goal is recognition rather than reproduction.

He’s doing a challenge mode run. The question is why that stalled.


There are a handful of times where WaniKani takes the approach of “it’s close enough for recognition, so there’s no reason to make this 2 separate radical items”.

A similar thing happens with the left side radical in 神 and the left side radical in 初. The latter has one more stroke, because it has a different origin. The on in 神 comes from 示 while the one in 初 comes from 衣. But if you’re just worried about being able to tell which kanji is which, there’s never a situation where two kanji have the same right side elements and are only distinguished by that one extra stroke. So they fudge it for convenience.

It seems like you are trying to learn how to write as well, and so relying on WK radicals is not the best way to approach that.

Because I don’t do enough reviews to level up.

Isn’t that the perfect situation to have a lifetime subscription though? There’s no rush.

Seriously though, this lifetime sub was gifted to me after I had already gone through WaniKani from 1 to 60 two times, and so the fact that I’m at 3 at the moment isn’t a reflection of my progress on the site.


Currently my approach is to learn the stroke order of the simpler kanji that tend to be used as radicals and, well, use that knowledge to guess the combo ones. That’s what I’m supposed to do, right?

Why would you do it twice? Did you want to learn the new mnemonics they made in 2018(ish)?

Because I felt like I would get some benefit out of reviewing the stuff again?

The actual catalyst for resetting initially was stupid (I was just tired of one specific user implying that I believed my level 60 user badge made me right on its own, which was just… eh…) but once I had reset, I was like “eh, why not go through again at a more relaxed pace”.

I mean, there’s no single way to learn how to write. It’s just that some of the design choices with WK inhibit learning writing, as you’ve noticed.


Do you have the stroke order script? I think it only works on lessons for me, but I found it helpful when getting a handle on practicing enough to search the dictionary by writing.

Admittedly now if I can’t write it well enough to search, I use google translate’s live photo feature to transcribe it.


It’s something you can do, that’s for sure. Certain little things tend to always be written the same way, so that can help. However, sometimes, you’ll have to look things up, or in any case, the most obvious stroke order isn’t the correct one. For example, in Chinese, 升 has a particular stroke order, and 飛 just reuses it for the relevant part. In Japanese though, 升’s stroke order is the order we’d use for its 行書 form in Chinese, while the stroke order for 飛 involves writing the final stroke of the 升 bit before the rest.


Is (やま)い not a valid alternate spelling for (やまい)? Jisho doesn’t list it, even though Jisho usually lists even the most uncommon/archaic of readings (other than very slangy ones I guess?)

(やまい) just feels wrong to me for some reason, so I looked up (やま)い to see if it exists - and “病い” actually turns up 512,000 results on Google :thinking:

Kojien doesn’t list it.

I imagine it’s just people using it because it “feels right” to them like you’re describing?

As far as I’m aware, there’s no 病う or something that would represent this okurigana version made into a stem.

As a verb, there is 病む, but not 病う.


I suppose you’re probably right, that certainly does make sense.

Interestingly “病う” actually does turn up 75,500 results on Google though - and although it seems like some of these results are because of the word after 病 starting with う (while virtually all the results for 病い are people just writing 病い), most of the ones I’m looking at are actually people just writing 病う.

There’s even threads of people asking for the 読み方 of 病う (with some of the answers being うれう, やまう, やまふ) - the plot thickens… :thinking:

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For うれう I only found 憂ふ on Jisho.

But to support what @Leebo mentioned, there are compounds with 病み:
病み上がり - recuperation
病み付く - to fall ill, to catch an illness

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Yeah, 病む is the only common/standard 病-verb today, that much is for sure at least :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
When I hover over うれう with Yomichan (JMdict+) the one to the right here pops up first:
Is that…a ふ with the furigana う…? Furigana on a hiragana? :thinking: Never thought I’d see the day

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Ah, the upper stroke is at a different angle! That might be…a forgotten kanji! :smiley:

I’ve even seen kanji as furigana in manga before. :stuck_out_tongue:

In this case, 憂ふ is a historical spelling. Prior to the kana reforms that were made after world war 2, the う sound was sometimes written as ふ.


I can clearly tell the practical use for 入所/ 入団/ 入学/ 入社, but how is 入場 used?

入場 literally means “admission”, for instance:
入場券 - admission ticket
入場料 - admission fee
入場門 - admission/entrance gate