Kanji elements/radicals

Asked 7 years ago

Not quite there with this sites lessons, but that's just because I do not alway's have access to a computer, but came across something I hope others can clear up.

I just got "KonjiPicto Graphix" to start memorizing kanji. In the front are building blocks of kanji that it refers to as elements (another site calls radicals). The one labeled for water is 3 marks (if you lookup waterfall, it's on the far left of the kanji). What I find odd is the kanji for water is completly differant. Is this a norm, and can anyone explain why?

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

1 Answer


Hi Xeneth-san,

I don't think there is any good explanation why the kanji 水 looks completely different from さんずい (water element);;  I am a native speaker of Japanese,  and I've never wondered why they look different.  I think most Japanese people just take it for granted that 水 means water and さんずい also means water. 

Sorry!  It always happens that you cannot find any rational explanation for something when you learn a foreign language.  Still, it's always good to ask a question.  Thank you for your question!  I hope I can be more helpful with your next question.

Answered 7 years ago