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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to the Japanese Kanji video series.
In this lesson, you'll learn the "fire" 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.
火, 災, 炎, 炭
First off, can you spot the radical in all of these kanji characters?
It's this part here.
This particular radical is called...
ひ or ひへん.
When it's used on the left side, it's called specifically ひへん because へん means "left-position" radical.
The "fire" radical is used in some of the most common kanji characters. Let's take a look at it in more detail.
On its own, the "fire" radical looks like this.
We mentioned before that some radicals can be kanji on their own.
This radical is one such example.
The meaning behind this particular kanji is "fire."
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 "fire" to the entire kanji character.
火, 災, 炎, 炭
From left to right, the first kanji means "fire," the second means "disaster, calamity, evil" the third character means "inflammation, flame, blaze" and fourth character means "charcoal, coal."
2. 災
The second kanji has the "fire" radical, paired with this second character.
This other character almost looks like the lines from an earthquake. One way to memorize this character is by imagining that a fire can most likely burst out after an earthquake which would end up as a disaster. This kanji character means "disaster, calamity, evil."
3. 炎
The third kanji has the "fire" radical twice.
You could think of it as the dancing flame of a campfire. This kanji means "inflammation, flame, blaze."
4. 炭
The last kanji has the "fire" radical means "charcoal, coal."
For more ways to remember these characters and many more kanji examples that include the "fire" radical, go to JapanesePod101.com and check the Lesson Notes PDF. OK. Let's move on!
Common positions
The "fire" radical has more than one common positions. If it sits in the bottom-position it connects with another radical above it and shrinks in size.
As seen in the original examples for "disaster, calamity, evil," "inflammation, flame, blaze" and "charcoal, coal."
There is another case where the "fire" radical is used in the bottom-position. Its shape changes, as seen in these examples 点 and 煮 meaning "point, mark, speck" and "to boil, to cook."
The part of 灬 is a variation of the "fire" radical.
It can also be in the left-position, like in this example meaning "to cook, to boil, to burn" where it's squished vertically. 炊
Okay. Now let's learn how to write this radical.
Stroke Order
The "fire" radical is very simple. There are only four strokes.
When the radical is on its own, it looks like this:
The first stroke is a short, vertical stroke on the left.
Then, we make a short diagonal stroke on the right, around the same height as the first stroke.
The third stroke is a long vertical sloping stroke, left down from the middle.
The fourth and final stroke starts at the middle of vertical stroke and goes diagonally down to the right.
When this radical is a part of another kanji, it's squished vertically or shrinks in size.
Like in these examples...
炊, 炎
And that's it! You're done!
Common Readings
When the "fire" radical is on its own, the kanji can be read as...
And when the "fire" radical is a part of another kanji...
for the "disaster, calamity, evil" kanji.
for the "inflammation, flame, blaze" kanji. And...
for the "charcoal, coal" kanji.
Lesson Review
In this lesson, you learned about the 'fire' radical.
You also learned the kanji characters for "disaster, calamity, evil" "inflammation, flame, blaze" and "charcoal, coal" in which this radical appears.
It's most commonly found in the left- and bottom-positions, making it appear like this.
And it's written with four strokes, starting with a short, vertical stroke on the left, a diagonal stroke on the right, then a vertical, sloping stroke, left down from the middle, and a final stroke starts at the middle of vertical stroke and goes diagonally down to the right.
In the next lesson, you'll learn about another common radical used in some of the most common and basic kanji characters, the "mountain" radical.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!


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