Here’s a sentence from my homework:
I don’t know why they chose to write 分かります in hiragana.
The sentence included furigana for 中 and for 一番, but you were on your own with everything else. I already know both of those words, so the furigana didn’t help much.
Now, 表で見ると (looking at the table) was part of the vocabulary for the chapter, so that was no problem, and 電気製品 (electrical appliances) had popped up with furigana earlier, so that was also no problem.
What was a problem, however, was 満足.
Um…well…the second character is 足, which means leg. Not a lot of help in the particular sentence, so I had to figure out the first character, which is what led me to http://kanji.sljfaq.org/radicals.html, which I have now added to the Great Website List.
It lets you use the mouse to write a Kanji. I tried that, but my mutant scribbles were too terrible for the site to decipher, so I switched to hunting by radicals. This was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. You get a visual list of radicals. You click on one and kanji using it miraculously appear.
That didn’t help me out.
But there is also a multiradical search. When you click on a radical, all the radicals that can’t be used with that one are grayed out, and kanji using the radical you’ve clicked on miraculously appear.
But, there are obviously a lot of choices there, so you can click on a second radical to narrow the options.
As it turns out, the kanji I want is the first one on the second row, so I could stop here, but let’s go ahead and add another radical just to see what happens.
And, there it is! Now, at this point I can see it, but I still don’t know what it is. The site has you covered there, too. Just click on the kanji of your choice, and you go to its JDIC entry, like so:
And now I have readings and a meaning and access to more information.
So, as it turns out, I eventually get to the point where I know that 満足する means to be satisfied. So:
表で見ると – according to the table
中国人は – Chinese people
買った物の – purchased thing
中で – inside
電気製品に – electric appliances
一番 – the best
満足している – is satisfied
ことがわかります –can be seen [表で診るとー何何ーことが分かる is a set structure for information obtained from a table. You can also use グラフ for graph instead of table if appropriate.]
All right, then.
According to the table, the purchase that Chinese people are most satisfied with is electrical appliances.
Hooray? This is why we love this language!