The Radical: 言


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Meaning
word, speech    言

Explanation Sound waves above the opened mouth symbolize the spoken word.

Used in these Kanji:
JLPT 3Joyo 2
report, record, account, chronicle
KI
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: self (Following the winding path I find myself.)
The words themselves make the report/record.

Vocabulary
JLPT 4Joyo 2
measure
hakaru, KEI
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: ten
To put the words in groups of tens for measuring.

Vocabulary
JLPT 5Joyo 2
talk, tell, speak
kataru, GO
Left: word, speech (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: I, me 吾 (five and mouth )
Words out of five mouths mean to speak.

Vocabulary
JLPT 5Joyo 2
read
yomu, DOKU, TOKU
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: to sell (A samurai  with two legs  is behind a sales desk  when: selling.)
Words are sold, for being read.

Vocabulary
JLPT 5Joyo 2
speak, talk, conversation
hanashi, hanasu, WA
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: tongue
When words are formed by the tongue, that is speaking.

Vocabulary
JLPT 5Joyo 2
word, speak, say
koto, iu, GEN, GON

Sound waves above an opened mouth symbolize spoken words.

Vocabulary
JLPT 3Joyo 3
poetry
SHI
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: temple (from earth and built with skillful hands )
The words at the temple are poems.

Vocabulary
調
JLPT 3Joyo 3
investigate, search, adjust, tone
shiraberu, totonoeru, CHŌ
Left: word , right: around, circumference (Also enclosed luck affects the surrounding) [ = A samurai with a full mouth is happy ]
The words are doing the rounds that there will be an investigation.

Vocabulary
JLPT 3Joyo 4
lesson, section
KA
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: fruit, result (=The "rice field" at the tree )
(Memorized) words are the fruits of this lesson.

Vocabulary
JLPT 3Joyo 4
discussion, consultation, consideration, deliberation
GI
Left: word , right: morality, justice (If the sheep is killed by me - is this justice?) [I, me = with my hand at the halberd ]
Words of morality are part of a discussion.

Vocabulary
JLPT 4Joyo 4
test, try, experiment, attempt
kokoromiru, tamesu, SHI
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: ceremony (The craftsman makes a sabre for ceremony.)
The words for the ceremony need to be tested.

Vocabulary
JLPT 3Joyo 4
trust, believe, convince
SHIN
Left: person /, right: word (sound waves out of a mouth )
This person and his words can be trusted.

Vocabulary
JLPT 4Joyo 4
explain, theory, opinion, preach
toku, SETSU
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: out of , older brother (= A big mouth on legs )
Words from my elder brother explain it.

Vocabulary
JLPT 3Joyo 3
conversation, discussion, talk
DAN
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: flame (= 2x fire )
Words like flames make a conversation (or discussion.)

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 5
permit, forgive, approve
yurusu, moto, KYO
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: noon (The vertical pestle hits the center of the mortar --> center of the day)
Words at noon are permitted.

Vocabulary
JLPT 3Joyo 4
KUN-Reading, pronounce, lesson, teach
KUN
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: river
Words like a river: the KUN reading.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 5
saveguard, defence, protect, defend, guard
GO
Left: word , right: (only as a radical) seize, snare (a plant weave to lure a bird underneath and grab it by hand )
(A convincing argument:) Words that seize/capture can protect you.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 5
lecture

Left: word (sound waves out of mouth ), right: to pile up (originally two baskets, the lower one turned upside down.)
Words piled up are a lecture.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 5
knowledge, consciousness (in buddist sense), thinking
SHIKI
From left: Word , sound (Stand up into the day with music [of the clock radio?]) and halberd
His words on the sound of the halberd prove his knowledge.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 5
apologize, thanks
ayamaru, SHA
Left: word , right: to shoot (The body [is in a lateral position] and has a skillful hand , when shooting)
The words after the shot were apologies.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 5
proof
SHŌ
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: correct
Words that are correct serve as a proof.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 5
establish, organize, provide, arrange
keru, SETSU
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: weapon 几 (battle axe) in a hand
With words and a weapon in the hand to establish sth.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 5
criticism, estimation, comment
HYŌ
Left: word , right: flat/plain (image of a scales)
Words should be balanced when they contain criticism.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 6
warn, police, guard, admonish
KEI
Top: respect (A plant speaking a sentence can strike with respect.) [sentence = wrapped in the mouth ], below: word
With respectful words the police is warning.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 6
error, mistake, mis-
ayamaru, GO
Left: word , right: Wu-dynasty, to give (Person leaning back in a relaxing armchair, because he gave sth.)
The words of the Wu dynasty are erroneous.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 6
word, phrases, part of speech
kotoba, SHI
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: administration (... where sb. is sitting in a corner⌝ throwing a sheet of paper in the wastebasket )
Words of the administration are (nothing but) words.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 6
magazine, journal, document, record
SHI
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: samurai and heart
Words about the samurai's heart are in magazines.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 6
various, several, many
moro, SHO
Left: word , right: person (The old man shows in the sun his whole person.)
The words of that person can mean various things.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 6
truthful, sincerity, good faith, admonish
makoto, SEI
Left: word , right: to achieve/become (In the direction of the halberds we will achieve.)
Words become truth.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 6
attack, assault, defeat, chastise
utsu,
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: skillful hand
With words and skillful hands, you can attack.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 6
recognize, appreciate
mitomeru, NIN
Left: word , right: to endure (a blade in the heart is endured.) [blade = knife with marked blade]
Such words should be endured to gain recognition.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 6
visit, to call on, inquire
otozureru, tazuneru,
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: direction/side
Words into your direction shall: "visit" you.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 6
translate, meaning
wake, YAKU
Left: word , right: measure of length (from the body one foot offset = 1 Shaku = 30.3 cm)
When words are offset by a certain measure (=1 Shaku) this is their translation.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 6
debate, argument, opinion, discourse
RON
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: (Chinese only) line up (lid on a bundle of bamboo writing tablets )
Words are well lined-up in a debate.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
poem, recitation, compose, recite
yomu, EI
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: long time, eternal (I emphasize water is there eternally.)
Words that exist eternally are: the poems.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
audience (with high person)
ETSU
Left: word , right: variation of easy/simple (sun and rays , with a sitting person instead of two rays
When words come from a sun shining down to you (= a small sitting person), you are at an audience.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
relevant, correspond, as above-stated, the said
GAI
Left: word , right: zodiac boar =var. of pig /
The words that also this kanji: is a pig, are (as said) relevant.

Vocabulary
JLPT 2Joyo 7
pack, fill, stuff, full
tsumu/maru/meru, KITSU
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: good luck/fortune (= A samurai with a full mouth is happy.)
With words of good luck he is packed.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
respectful, humble, reverently, circumspect, discreet
tsutsushimu, KIN
Left: word , right: blooming flower (plant with 2 blossoms ロロ at growing plant )
Words should be like blooming plants: respectful!

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
humble, modest, self-effacing
herikudaru, KEN
Left: word , right: combine, concurrently (A hand ナ/ヨ holds two rice plants combined & concurrently.)
Words combined with modesty.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
proud, boast, pride, triumphantly
hokoru, KO
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: 夸 (This is similar to: jaw, chin (= Under the eyes ロロ on the head is the jaw )
When your words come from such a fat jaw , you are proud and boast.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
prison
GOKU
From left: wild animal (dog on hind legs), word , dog
(The wild animal stands for the criminal and the tame dog is the good citizen:) A wild animal is tamed with words into a dog, when being in prison.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
lie, deceive, cheat
SA
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: while, during (image of a saw ; cf. where a person used it to make sth.)
Words, that were "fabricated", are the lies.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
consult with, counsel, inquire
hakaru, SHI
Left: word , right: next (ice is lacking , what comes next?), mouth
Words from the next (person's) mouth to consult with.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
court of justice, sue, accuse
SHŌ
Left: word , right: public (Eight noses form the public.)
The words are public at the court.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
Imperial edict
mikotonori, SHŌ
Left: word , right: call /summon (.. with sword and mouth )
Words for summoning: That is the imperial edict.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
detailed, accurate, minute
kuwashii, SHŌ
Left: word (sound waves out of mouth ), right: sheep (The horned animal with a backbone and laterally protruding (by thick wool ) is the: sheep)
Words as protrudingly as the thick wool of a sheep are detailed.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
hand over, give, devolve, defer, convey
yuzuru,
Left: word , right: six , well , clothes
With these words, six wells and clothes were handed over.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
diagnose, medical examination, diagnostics, checkup
miru, SHIN
Left: word , right: skin rash 㐱 (person with eczema ) [cf. 疹 = しん = measles]
Words tell the person with eczema his: diagnosis of the medical examination.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
oath, pledge, swear, vow
chikau, SEI
Top: to break (A hand with an axe can make things break.), bottom: word
(The ritual of an ancient warrior tribe?) Put your hand on the axe and speak the words: This is my oath.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
request, ask, solicit, undertake
kou, ukeru, SEI, SHIN
Left: word (sound waves out of a mouth ), right: young, blue (Growing plants appear in the moonshine as blue and young)
The words of the youth are (nothing but) requests.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
trustworthy, entrust, consign
TAKU
Left: word (sound waves out of mouth ), right: 乇 (= plant with roots)
A word that is firmly rooted is trustworthy.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
consent, agree, assent
DAKU
Left: word , right: young (The plant that is taken by hand into the mouth is young) [.. because old things are too hard for me]
(The youth is our future:) To the words of the youth can be agreed.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 6
birth, nativity, be born
TAN
Left: word , right: delay, extend (Movement is correct (= is needed) to extend.)
(A birth is painful and she screams with long words: Thiiiis is soooooo painful!) Words are extended at the: birth. OR: The description (= the word) for that one (= the family) spreads (= become more) is: "birthday".

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
revise, correct, decide, amend, rectify
TEI
Left: word (sound waves out of mouth ), right: city block
With words it was demanded that the nail should be revised and amended.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
copy, transcribe

Left + top: imperial WE (A body / out of the heaven : that's Us), below: word
Our imperial word is copied (= widely distributed).

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
punishment, penalty, fine
BATSU, BACHI
Top: var. of eye , below: word , knife
Use a (deprecating) stare, words and knifes for: punishing.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
(musical) notation, score (music), genealogy
FU
Left: word , right: generally (Lining up in the sun is done generally) [to line up = 2x standing in a line]
"Words" that are lined up on a written page : This is a musical notation.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
conspire, plot, scheme, strategy, stratagem
hakaru, hakarigoto, BŌ, MU
Left: word (sound waves out of mouth ), right: a certain (Sweets from the tree for a certain person) [sweet = = a mouth with sth. in]
The words that sweets are in that tree are a conspiracy.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
instruct, admonish, persuade
satosu, YU
Left: word , right: (Chinese only:) transport (Cut something off the body / with the knife , put a lid on and ready for the transport.) [cf. transport ]
Words transport instructions and admonishments.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
invite, ask, induce, tempt, lead
sasou,
Left: word , right: excellent (= A rice plant plump like a 'pregnancy belly' is excellent.)
Words with excellence are inviting.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
praise, honor, fame, reputation, credit
homare, YO
Top: 兴 (light , low table ), bottom: word (sound waves out of a mouth )
The light on the table illuminates: the words of praise.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
noh-chant, recitation
utai, utau,
Left: word , right: var. of shake/swing/rock (Two hand , reach out for a swinging/shaking can .)
Words are swinging in Noh chant.

Vocabulary
JLPT 1Joyo 7
accuse, sue, appeal
uttaeru, SO
Left: word , right: repel/refuse (With the axe an emphasised repelling.)
Use words to repell sth. in a accusation or court trial.

Vocabulary
JLPT -Joyo 7
harmony, calm, joke, jest
KAI
Left: word , right: all/everyone (I compare , but the rays of the sun make it white : all & everything!)
Words for all of us are: jokes in harmony.

Vocabulary
JLPT -Joyo 7
visit a temple
deru, KEI
Left: word , right: tasty, purpose (He is sitting in the sun and enjoys the tasty.)
Words that are tasty are spoken when visiting a temple.

Vocabulary
JLPT -Joyo 7
discussion, search, inquire
SEN
Left: word , right: all, complete (Under the roof the king owns all.)
Words should be complete in a discussion or inquiry.

Vocabulary
JLPT -Joyo 7
who (question word)
dare,
Left: word (sound waves out of mouth ), right: bird
(You can't see the speaker, so you can only guess who spoke:) Words like from 'birds', but by whom?

Vocabulary
JLPT -Joyo 7
resign, abandon, give up
akirameru, TEI
Left: word , right: emperor (Stand up and cover with cloth , because he comes: the emperor!)
(An emperor did not speak to the people - Exception: surrender declaration of 15.8.1945 with the renunciation of the throne) The words from the emperor are a resignation.

Vocabulary
JLPT -Joyo 7
riddle, puzzle, enigma
nazo,
Left: word , right: astray, illusion (Who moves [from a center] into eight directions is astrayed and perplex.)
The words are astraying in a riddle.

Vocabulary
JLPT -Joyo 7
obituary, news of so.'s death
FU
Left: word (sound waves out of mouth ), right: divine
Words are predictable (= divinable) in an obituary.

Vocabulary

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