Friday, May 14, 2010

今日の漢字: Kanji: 連 (れん、ren)

Exploring 連 (ren) today. It's about continuity, carrying along. Pretty soon in shuuji we'll start learning renmen 連綿, the style of connecting hiragana written with kofude into continuous lines. (綿 is actually わた, cotton.) The 部首 (radicals) are しんにゅう (shinnyuu) again and 車, kuruma, a vehicle, so a (continuously) moving vehicle. Ren. Lots of compounds involving 連 are about alliance or continuity:
- 連濁 れんだく rendaku, voicing the initial consonant of a word when it's used in a compound

- 連合 れんごう rengou, an alliance or union

- 連続 れんぞく renzoku, continuously, consecutively (続 being 続ける つずける tsuzukeru, to continue doing) (変: although this is adverbial and ends in く, the く seems integral to the 音読み reading, so I assume usage would be 連続に.)

- 関連 かんれん kanren, relevance/connection, both kanji reinforcing

- 連絡 れんらく renraku, contacting (連絡する)

- 国連 こくれん kokuren, the United Nations (国 being a country)
連 seems usually to be read as れん (ren), but it also can be つら (tsura), as in 連ねる (to link or join) and 連れる (つれる、to take/lead someone). The つら uses are sometimes doubled by the kanji 列, also レン, as in 列なる, つらなる, to extend / stretch out. Hmm.

面白い: Per Kotoba, 連 also was a title of high nobility, むらじ (muraji).

Next up will be 残, as in both 残業 and 残念. 面白い漢字だね。

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