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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to the Japanese Kanji video series.
In this lesson, you'll learn the "human legs" radical.
Take a look at these kanji characters. Can you guess what they mean?
(pause for 4 seconds)
By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to grasp the meaning behind these kanji characters.
First off, can you spot the radical that's common in all of these kanji characters?
(pause for 4 seconds)
It's this part here. It looks like a pair of legs.
This particular radical is called...
にんにょう or ひとあし
It's the "human legs" radical and it's used in some of the most common of all kanji. Let's take a look at it in more detail.
In some of the previous lessons, you learned that some radicals are kanji characters on their own.
This is the first radical we've encountered that *isn't* a kanji character in itself. This basically means that you'll only encounter it as a component in *other* kanji characters.
The meaning behind *this* particular radical, is "legs," particularly those of a person.
Unlike the previous radicals that we've learned, the meaning of the "human legs" radical is less literal. It generally alludes *more* to the sense of structural support that our legs provide us with.
From left to right, the first kanji means "origin" or "foundation," the second means "light" or "to shine," and the third character means "to see."
If you think of these kanji characters from the viewpoint of "support," the meaning of each character makes much more sense.
The first kanji has the "human legs" radical at the bottom, which is connected to a wide horizontal line, with a smaller, parallel horizontal line on top. The wide horizontal line represents the body, and the smaller horizontal line represents the head. Notice how the legs are connected and are *supporting* the body.
The legs that are supporting the body and head, represent the "foundation" or "basis," which is the meaning of this kanji character.
The second kanji has the legs on the bottom once again, with what appears to be a fire burning on top. Fire evokes "light," so the meaning of this kanji is "light." And the *foundation* or *origin* of the emitting rays, refers to the point source. Light emanating from a source means that it's "shining," so this kanji can also mean "to shine."
The final kanji has "human legs" on the bottom, supporting the character for "eye." An eye that is *mobile* is one that can see. So this kanji character means "to see."
Common positions
The "human legs" radical will *always* be at the bottom position where it's supporting something.
Just remember where your legs are on your body and you won't forget it!
*Where* are your legs?
On the bottom!
Okay. Now let's learn how to write this radical.
Stroke Order
The "human legs" radical only has two strokes.
The first stroke, starts near the center and curves from right to the bottom left.
The second stroke, also starts near the center, but it goes straight down, and then flattens out at the floor, only to flick upwards slightly.
The beginning of each stroke usually connects to another radical, so keep that in mind.
And that's it! You're done!
Common Readings
The "human legs" radical isn't a kanji on its own, so you'll only see it as a *part* of another kanji.
In the case of the original examples, common readings are...
for the "origin" or "foundation" kanji 元.
for the kanji meaning "to shine" 光. And...
for the kanji meaning "to see" 見.
Lesson Review
In this lesson, you learned about the "human legs" radical.
The idea behind the "human legs" radical, is "support."
This radical isn't a kanji character on its own, so you'll only see it in other kanji characters, such as the "foundation," "shine," and "see" kanji characters that you learned in this lesson.
You'll always find this radical in the bottom position.
And it's written with two vertical strokes, one curved stroke, and one that flattens out and flicks upwards slightly.
In the next lesson, you'll learn about another common radical used in some of the most common and basic kanji characters, the "ten" radical.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!


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