View Full Version : Is there a symbol for this?

01-02-2008, 08:03 PM
hey there
this may seem like a strange request, but is there a single japanese symbol for something along the lines of "perseverance", or of meaning similar to that.
thanks in advance

01-03-2008, 02:31 PM
Hello. ^^

First off, the "symbols" you're referring to are called "kanji". ^^;

Second: I did find something, thanks to Jeffrey's Japanese <-> English Dictionary (http://df.lth.se/cgi-bin/j-e/sjis/dict/tty). There's this: 根 (it's read as "kon"...which sounds like "cone").

Mind you, I'm not sure how commonly used that word is, but there you go. Hope it helps. =)

01-04-2008, 06:33 AM
A single symbol, or can it be a word?
Off the top of my head,
are some candidates. 根 by itself means root, but 「根性」 means spiritual strength, so that can be another.

01-04-2008, 11:19 AM
Actually Datenshi, according to Jeffrey's, 根 has several definitions. ^^;

(n) (1) stick-to-itiveness; perseverance; persistence; (2) radical (esp. one that tends to ionize easily); (3) (math) root; (4) (Buddh) indriya (faculty of the body having a specific function, i.e. the sensory organs)

01-04-2008, 08:37 PM
This is why I'm wary of dictionaries, especially random Internet ones that sort of mechanically shuck out an answer. This may be a concept that is hard to grasp, but what the kanji signifies and what it's used to mean in real life are entirely different things. Remember that kanji is originally Chinese, and therefore there is a gap between the properties associated with it (from what it originally meant in Chinese) and what it's actually used for in the Japanese language.

It's somewhat similar to Latin and English or French today. "Lumen" supposedly means "light" in Latin, and there are very similar equivalents in English which appear to share the same roots (light, luminesence, illumination) but if you use the Latin word instead of the English one people won't know what the hell you're talking about.

In this case 根 does have the definition of perseverance, but it's not so much a defenition that the word itself holds within itself as a quality associated with it (possibly because the idea of roots firm in the ground relates to a person who perseveres) that becomes apparent only when it's fixed to another word, in this case, as I said, words like 根性 or 根気 (「性」="personality" 「気」="will", so the words would translate to "a persevering personality" "the will to persevere", respectively). You have to be wary of cases such as these when using a dictionary. The defenition you gave is not wrong, but rather simply inappropriate in this specific case.

01-04-2008, 10:02 PM
I'm amazed that bri_hime didn't recognise you Datenshi...

01-05-2008, 06:43 AM
I love a good kanji debate. :)

to the OP: can you give us a little bit more info on the kind of meaning/feeling you are trying to give? It might help us get the right kanji for you.

01-05-2008, 07:06 PM
I'm amazed that bri_hime didn't recognise you Datenshi...Oh I know who he is (and the amount of knowledge he has). I just wanted to bring that to his attention to see what he had to say. ^^

I always wondered why Jeffrey's had so many darn uses for a word listed (and why a lot of people [who I know have a higher grasp of Japanese than I do] didn't use that site too much).

Datenshi's explanation makes sense, and I appreciate his response. =)

PS: Datenshi...umm, are you a guy? 'Cuz I kinda said "he" in this post. xD

01-11-2008, 05:12 AM
Yeah, I am, indeed, a guy. It's funny now that I think of it, the gender of my online persona has never been called into question before, despite the ambiguity of my handle name. But then, chances are people didn't care enough to bring it up.

Well, you're welcome,then :D

It might be interesting to know that most Japanese electronic dictionaries comes equipped with, along with your standard household Japanese-Japanese dictionary, a Kanji (Chinese)-Japanese dictionary (漢和辞典) to look up character usages in just such instances.