31 March 2012

Kanji Lesson 16

Years old, Talent, Genius
This kanji is a picture of a hand, showing only the thumb, index, and middle finger. These three fingers are the fingers of precision/dexterity, while the other two (ring & little finger) are the fingers of power/stability. A common example is the activity of writing. We would normally use the thumb, index, and middle finger to hold the pen/pencil, and the ring & little finger to stabilize the hand and hold the paper still. These fingers of dexterity represent the meaning of aptitude/talent, which will usually be discovered as one matures in age.
  • 一才 (いっさい) One year old
  • 天才 (てんさい) A Genius

Bow (archery, violin)
This kanji is a picture of an archery bow with exaggerated curves.

Consists of the water radical () and the gas/vapor radical (气) to represent water vapor (steam).

  • 汽車 (きしゃ) Steam train

This kanji is a part of a picture of a horse, showing only its mane, legs, and tail.
  • 出馬 (しゅつば) Running for election

Few, Little
Consists of the kanji "small" (小) and a curve below which represents a container (a plate/bowl). With a small container, we can only get a few (foods, water, etc).
  • 少年 (しょうねん) Boys, Juveniles
  • 少女 (しょうじょ) Young lady, Little girl
  • 少々 (しょうしょう) Just a minute, Small quantity
  • 青少年 (せいしょうねん) Youth, Young person

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