Chinese radicals are the root of the Chinese character. In modern Chinese, we have about 200 radicals. 40 basic radicals are introduced In the Integrated Chinese textbook volume 1. We added another 10 more. We will introduce 50 Chinese radicals from lesson 1-20 (volume 1 and 2), about 2-4 radicals in each lesson. In each infographic, we introduce a couple of radicals that are used in some of the vocabulary from that lesson. The complete set can be found at our shop.
Integrated Chinese Lesson 1 Radicals
In lesson 1, we talk about 3 radicals:
- 人/亻person (rén),
- 口 mouth (kǒu), and
- 子 son (zǐ).
1. 人/亻person (rén) radical is most commonly seen in the left side of a character. We call the radical 亻 “人字旁 rén zì páng,” which literal means “a person on the side.”
There are two characters that have 人/亻person (rén) as their radical in this lesson, 你 and 什.
2. 口 mouth (kǒu) is one of the most common radical.There are four characters, 叫, 呢, 吗, and 名, that have 口 mouth (kǒu) as their radical. The radical is usually on the left side of the character, but it can also be on the bottom, top, or right side of the word.
3. 子 son (zǐ) as a radical only appears four times in volume 1. Those words are 子 by itself, 学, 字 and 孩.
Integrated Chinese lesson 1 radical infographic
Integrated Chinese Lesson 12 Radicals
Another two common radicals we are going to introduce in lesson 12 are “食飠饣, shí, eat” and “艸艹, cǎo, grass.”
The radical “食飠饣, shí, eat” can be found in many characters that’s eating-related. For example, in lesson 12, there are four characters that have this radical and also all appear on the left side of the character.
“饭馆” which means restaurant,
“饺” which means dumplings, and
“饿” which means hungry.
Another word also has the same radical is “餐,” which means “meal, dish.” The radical is at the bottom.
The radical “艸艹, cǎo, grass” often appears at the top of the character. In that case, we call it “草字头 cǎozì tóu.” It means a character that has “艹 cǎo” as the head of the character. In this lesson, 菜 and 茶 have “艸艹, cǎo, grass” as the radical. Did you notice that they both are related to grass?