Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kanji Beginner: Sun and Moon

In today's installment of Kanji Beginner, we'll take a look at two very useful kanji.

Our first one is "hi"/"nichi" (there are other pronunciations possible, but these are two of the basics):

The idea is of the sun (originally it was a circle with a dot in the middle, but over a very long period of time it straightened out into this shape). It's used in practice most of the time to mean "day". One cycle of the sun equals one day.

Our second one is "gatsu" or "tsuki" (again, other pronunciations possible):

Originally this was a moon rising behind clouds, if I recall correctly. Said as "gatsu" it means "month", which makes sense if you think about it: one month is one full cycle of the moon. Said as "tsuki", it's the moon we see in the sky.

If you remember the numbers from our last lesson you can now start reading dates. :)



Highlight here for answers: January 2, March 1

(Want to learn more? Check out the Language section of the TKL bookstore.)

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