Saturday, May 15, 2010

今日の漢字: 残 (ザン、のこ・る、そこな・う) ZAN.

今週の水曜日に日本語の先生に会えなちゃった。会社で残業しなくちゃいけなかったんだ。本当に残念だったよ。それじゃあ、「残」の漢字をちょっと勉強しよう。This week I missed my Japanese lesson because I had to work late (残業). That was disappointing (残念), but it did lead me to notice that both overtime and disappointing use the kanji, 残 (ザン). Hmm.
音読み: ザン、サン (ZAN, SAN)
訓読み: のこ・る、のこ・す、そぞな・う (noko・ru, noko・su, sozona・u)
Kotoba says 残 means remainder/leftover/balance, so 残業 (zangyou) makes sense as "work-beyond-work". 残念 (zannen) as regret/disappointment is less clear, since 念 seems not to have particularly negative connotations.

Henshall's explanation of this is really compelling: that "muchness/overness" either is a borrowed meaning (though from what, he doesn't say) or derives from an earlier sense of cruelty/brutality/excess. The hen radical is bare bone / death, as in shi・nu (死). In the tsukuri there's clearly a halberd (as in, eg, na・ru 成), which Henshall says is doubled for emphasis. So, says Henshall, cutting to the bone, cutting beyond the extent necessary for death—with, um, a halberd. That's certainly my experience of 残業.

So, 残 has several 訓読み forms, inluding -る and -す:

- 残・る, nokoru, to stay behind or to remain
- 残・す, nokosu, to leave behind
- 残らず, nokorazu, completely/without exception

Aligns with, eg, 渡る/渡す—る performing action on oneself vs す on something/someone else. So could we say 夕食を食べた後で、食べなかった料理が少なかった? Also need to look into that -らず adverbial form; is there a pattern?

Kotoba also lists a 訓読み of そこな・う; 字引によると, the meaning is to injure/mar/spoil, or to fail to do something, but その言葉の漢字は違う。The kanji is different. (Also, per dictionary entry, the kanji used in that sokonau is not そこな・う but そこ・なう. A borrowed meaning?)

A few more compounds / other uses of 残:
- 残酷, zankoku, cruelty/harshness
- 残らず, nokorazu, completely, without exception
- 名残り, nanokori, remains or vestiges
- 生き残り, ikinokori, survivor
- 残金, zankin, remaining cash
Interesting that it carries not only the sense of excess, but also the sense of leaving excess behind—or, a separation between an amount that's active/relevant and a smaller amount that's not. In the shipwreck most passengers die, but there are a few 生き残り. The ancient civilization is no more, but local people still find 名残り.

PS: There does seem to be a pattern with -らず, so I'll look into that next. 残業 very much. :-D

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