Radical , from Latin radix, is that pertaining or relative to the root. This noun (root) is used to name the plant organ that absorbs the materials necessary for development and, by extension, to everything that is the origin, cause, basis or support of anything.
As an adjective, radical is the supporter of extreme reforms or who is blunt or uncompromising . For example: "Mohammed Al bin Sabiri is considered by the United States as a radical Islamist who could generate new problems in the Middle East", "We need a coach willing to make radical decisions to move the team forward.", "A radical anarchist threw a bomb against the president's car".
In the politics , he radicalism It is a reformist doctrine that seeks change. This trend emerged as a center-left variant within the liberalism . Supporters of this doctrine are known as radicals: "The radical candidate said he will not nationalize the rail service", “A radical act brought together 10,000 people in front of the Government House”, “The Radical Party is very deteriorated in this city”.
For the chemistry , a radical is an organic or inorganic species that is unstable and has a high reactive power. Radicals can be synthesized in a laboratory, although they have a brief existence.
In the field of math , radical is the sign that indicates the operation of extracting roots, while, for the grammar , the radicals are the phonemes that share words of the same family (at- in attention, attentive, attentively, etc.).
The radical in Chinese writing
The characters Chinese, known as hanzi and also used in Japanese and Korean, they stand out for their great complexity, since many of them exceed ten and a half strokes, which must always be drawn in the same order and each in a certain direction, without exception. In addition, although the cultured language uses about 10,000 and in the popular language about 3,000 are used, there is a record of more than 50,000 hanzi.
These numbers make our alphabet It seems insignificant, but you should not intimidate anyone who wants to embark on the study of this wonderful language, since all Chinese characters are formed from just 214, which are called radicals.
Knowing each radical is necessary to successfully achieve the difficult task of memorization, but also to intuit the meaning of the characters we have not seen before. In addition, radicals are used to order Chinese words in dictionaries.
The classification and order of radicals is based on their number of strokes, which can be as low as 1 and as high as 17; unlike our writing, which allows each individual to draw the letters with total freedom, the Chinese characters demand compliance with the order and direction of each stroke, and not satisfying these rules is usually attributed to lack of intelligence.
It is worth mentioning that it is not always easy to distinguish a radical within a Chinese character; although sometimes they retain their basic shape and simply reduce their size to fit the rest of the strokes, sometimes the connection they maintain with their appearance The original is almost imperceptible, unless, of course, the necessary preparation is available at the academic level.
The function of the radical within a Chinese character is usually semantic; To complement it, there is usually an element that provides the pronunciation. This does not mean, on the other hand, that knowing the meaning of the radical and associating it with that of the phonetic component makes it easy to deduce the meaning of a word; On the other hand, many times the pronunciation of a hanzi has no relation to the characters that make it up.