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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to the Japanese Kanji video series.
In this lesson, you'll learn the "hand" radical.
Take a look at these kanji characters. Can you guess what they mean?
By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to grasp the meaning behind these kanji characters.
手, 打, 持, 指
First off, can you spot the radical in all of these kanji characters?
It's this part here.
This particular radical is called...
て meaning "hand."
When it's used on the left side as in the other three examples, it's specifically called てへん, because へん means "left-position" radical.
The "hand" radical is used in some of the most common kanji characters. Let's take a look at it in more detail.
The "hand" radical stands for exactly that, "the hand."
As you can see, the "hand" radical is also a kanji character on its own.
When this radical appears as a part of another kanji, like in these examples, the appearance changes slightly. When it's a component like this, it adds the meaning of "hand" to the entire kanji character.
打, 持, 指
From left to right, the first kanji means "to hit, to pound, dozen," the second means "to pick up, to hold, to own" the third character means "finger, to point to, to indicate."
1. 打
The first kanji has the "hand" radical, paired with this second character. This character looks a bit like a table. 丁
You could think of this in this way: when paired together, the "hand" radical and this character 丁, you can imagine that you're making a table by "driving" the nails in with a hammer. So this kanji character means "to hit, to pound, or dozen."
2. 持
The second kanji has the "hand" radical paired with 寺, meaning "temple." An easy way to remember this is imagining a man of the temple, or monk, who always "holds" a rosary in his hands.
So this kanji means "to pick up, to hold, to own."
3. 指
The last kanji that has the "hand" radical means "finger, to point to, to indicate."
For more ways to remember these characters and many more kanji examples that include the "hand" radical, go to JapanesePod101.com and check the Lesson Notes PDF. OK. Let's move on!
Common positions
As there are lots of commonly used kanji with the "hand" radical used on the left side, we are focusing on it's left-position in this lesson.
As seen in the original examples for "to hit, to pound, dozen," "to pick up, to hold, to own," and "finger, to point to, to indicate."
However, there is also another case where 手 is used as a part of a kanji, as in 掌
meaning "palm."
When the "hand" radical is part of another kanji character, it's appearance is distorted a little.
Okay. Now let's learn how to write this radical.
Stroke Order
Writing the "hand" radical is very simple, there are only four strokes. When the radical is on its own, it looks like this:
Our first stroke starts at the top, comes down a little, and then is a short stroke from right to left.
Our second stroke is almost a straight line, just below our first stroke, from left to right.
Our third stroke is again a straight line, just below our second stroke, same as the second stroke from left to right.
Finally, we make one long stroke, starting from the bottom of our first stroke, all the way down through the others, and ending with a little upwards tick to the left.
When this radical is a part of another kanji, it usually takes on the left-position, and it's squished vertically.
When it's part of another kanji, we only need three strokes.
First, we make a short horizontal stroke from left to right.
Then we make a long vertical stroke, going through our first stroke and ending with a little tick upwards.
Our final stroke is just below our first one. It's another small stroke, but this time it's diagonal, going from left to right and up a little.
And that's it! You're done!
Common Readings
When the "hand" radical is on its own, the kanji can be read as...
In the case of the original examples, common readings are...
for the kanji meaning "to hit, to pound, dozen."
for the "to pick up, to hold, to own" kanji, we have
for the "finger, to point to, to indicate" kanji.
Lesson Review
In this lesson, you learned about the "hand" radical.
You also learned the kanji characters for "to hit, to pound, dozen," "to pick up, to hold, to own," and "finger, to point to, to indicate" in which this radical appears.
It's most commonly found in the left-position, making it appear like this 扌.
And it's written with four strokes - a short, horizontal stroke on top, two longer horizontal strokes below, and a final vertical stroke starting from below the first stroke and going all the way through the others.
In the next lesson, you'll learn about another common radical used in some of the most common and basic kanji characters, the "wood" radical.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!


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