As a novice learner, I'm finding understanding the relationship between radicals, components, kanji and words difficult.
For example, this post on tofugu.com says that:
The kanji is 町, which means "town." As you can see in the image above, 町 is made up of two radicals:
- 田 (rice paddy)
- 丁 (street)
To learn this kanji using the radicals mnemonic method, you need to know the names of these two radicals first.
However, this seems to clash with the notion that every single kanji only has one radical and one radical only. For example, if I search for the kanji 町 on jisho.org it says that the radical is 田 while the parts are 一, 亅 and 田.
The confusing thing to me is that I found as many sources to corroborate one version as I found sources to corroborate the other.
I came up with a series of statements to clarify to myself the relationship between radicals, components, kanji and words:
- Every radical is a kanji but not every kanji is a radical.
- A radical is simply a kanji that is used to create other kanji.
- Every kanji only has one radical.
- Kanji can have multiple components/parts that are kanji by themselves.
- People use the terms 'radical' and 'parts' interchangeably, though this is not 100% correct.
- Every kanji in itself is also a word but not every word is just a kanji (most are not).
Is my interpretation correct?