Principles and Strategy
For writing the module for learning KangXi radicals, several sources were used:
|Unicode||The Unihan table v4.1.0 provided information about the English radical names, about stroke counts, and also about Mandarin pronunciation. A lot of manual work was still necessary in order to find radical variants, and to link information from several tables. For the U+2E80 area, the data base provides no stroke counts, so I had to count them myself. The frequency count was also extracted from this table.|
|Chinese Department Heidelberg||From this list, inspiration was taken to find German names for the radicals, since translating English Unicode radical names to German was sometimes difficult. Furthermore, this list was consulted for comparing Mandarin pronunciation and for radical variants.|
|Wikipedia||This was also used for comparing radical variants and Mandarin pronunciation.|
|Japanese List of Radicals||From this list the Japanese radical names were taken. Hepburn and Nihon-shiki romanization were automatically generated from this.|
|This was consulted for clarification when the n Internet sources could not agree on the Mandarin pronunciation. Furthermore, clear and concise German glosses were searched here, too.|
|Bushu -- Radikale||This list was used to check the conversion of Hiragana to Romaji. Moreover, this was compared for radical variants, too.|
|de.Wikipedia||This page also inspired some translations of radical names into German.|
To prevent irritation: I know that radicals are pronounced differently in different contexts and that they have considerable semantic variation, too. Therefore, one single gloss and pronunciation cannot be exhaustive. I'm currently working at extending the tool for presenting variants. Anyway, I wanted to create a tool for getting started quickly, and so the appearance variation was most important to enable dictionary lookups. And for talking about a radical, one gloss is probably enough at the beginning.
The following radicals were assigned variants because they occured in several lists, although Unicode does not list them als variants.
- ‘Mother’ as a variant of ‘do not’ : ‘mother’ has an additional stroke in Unicode, but looks quite different, so that you need to know in order to find it in a lexicon. Several lists called that radical ‘mother’ and listed the ‘mother’ variant as the main entry, so I included it as a variant.
- ‘choke’ as a variant of ‘not’ . Same here: some lists have the former as the main entry for the radical although Unicode counts an additional stroke.
- ‘Civilian’ was assigned to ‘clan’ for the same reason.
- ‘Repeat’ was assigned to ‘ice’ (cf. ‘winter’ )
- ‘Ram’ and ‘ewe’ are variants of ‘sheep’ .
- A variant each of ‘eye’ and of ‘net’ are indistinguishable, and were assigned to the radical ‘net’ .