Archive for the ‘Wikipedia’ Category

Dump summary

2007 June 18

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Wikipedia Dump: Einstein

2007 June 18

Albert Einstein

After going far back in time with Aristotle, I hunted words from the article of a more recent thinker, Einstein (2007-04-05). I got 68 kanji and 257 words.

Here are 5 selected new words from the article:

  • 学術 (gakujutsu, science)
  • 特殊 (tokushu, special); this is the “toku” used in tokusatsu.
  • 相対 (soutai, relative); tokushu and soutai is used in 特殊相対性理論 (tokushu soutai-sei riron, special theory of relativity)
  • 爆弾 (bakudan, bomb)
  • 核兵器 (kakuheiki, nuclear weapon)

Here are the kanji:


And all the words:


Kenapa aku (dulu) tidak mau jadi dokter

2007 May 5

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Dump summary

2007 April 14

My previous word dump was 24 days ago. For the current series of word dump (this, this, this, this, this, and this), I collected 129 new kanji and 625 new words. That makes my total kanji count 1645 and word count 8311.

For songs, I’m starting to get the hang of it. It’s now not rare to find songs lyrics which I can completely read. But for Wikipedia articles, it’s still no good. Here’s the Wikipedia article on Einstein viewed with my eyes. There are still lots of red (unknown) kanji.

Wikipedia dump: Aristotle

2007 April 14


What better way to continue from Newton and Galileo than to hunt words from Aristotle (2007-03-13) itself? I got 47 kanji and 132 words.

Here are the kanji:


And the words:


Am I learning Japanese or Biology?

2007 March 25

One essential aspect of learning a language is learning its vocabulary. In my Japanese study, this tranlates into learning kanji which are the building block of many words.

Most kanji are for things I am familiar with. Some examples are 人 (hito, person), 玉 (tama, ball), and 火 (hi, fire). Many are for common animals like 虫 (mushi, insect), 亀 (kame, turtle), and 猫 (neko, cat). Unexpectedly, I quite oftenly encounter kanji for an animal or plant that I have no knowledge about.

An example is 藤 (fuji, tou) which is the kanji for the plant genus Wisteria. It is found on many people’s name, such as 藤本美貴 (Fujimoto Miki), 後藤真希 (Gotou Maki), and 工藤新一 (Kudou Shin’ichi).

Using KANJIDIC or EDICT, I only get a brief description like “wisteria”. That is useless for someone with a shallow knowledge such as me, but enough as a pointer to get more information elsewhere. If I’m not online, my next stop is Stardict, which gives more detail such as “a climbing plant with purple or white flowers”. At least I could know that “Wisteria” is a plant, not something else like “hysteria”. My final stop is of course Wikipedia, which gives detailed descriptions and more importantly, images!

I’ll share some of the new living things I’ve discovered… Do you know them?



In Japanese, it is フジ (藤, fuji). And no, Mount Fuji is written differently. It is native to Japan and other countries including eastern US. It can climb by twisting itself along any available support. As I have written above, it is used on many people’s name. Anyone knows its Indonesian name?



In Japanese, it is セミ (蝉, semi). I found it on Berryz Koubou‘s song titled “Semi”. It is a family of insect that makes a lot of noise (but it’s different from Cricket). According to Wikipedia Indonesia, the Indonesian name is Tonggeret (never heard it before).



In Japanese, it is キク (菊, kiku). I found it on an author’s name (菊池, Kikuchi) at the digital library Aozora Bunko. In Japan, this plant is a symbol of death and are only used for funerals (which means, don’t give it to your Japanese girlfriend). 菊花紋章 (kikukamonshou) is the name given to the position of Japanese emperor. By the way, I recently went to Moro department store and found a Chrysanthemum product. It is a Chinese product and how happy I was to see the character 菊 written on the box :). The Indonesian name is Seruni (never heard it before too).

Manchurian Violet

Manchurian Violet, Viola mandshurica

In Japanese, it is スミレ (菫, sumire). I also found it on a writer’s name (薄田泣菫, Sasakida Kyuukin, and please don’t ask me what “sasaki” means). Is it also “Violet” in Indonesia?

Japanese Royal Fern

Japanese Royal Fern, Osmunda japonica

In Japanese, it is ゼンマイ (薇, zenmai). I knew what a fern is, but I was curious whether this fern has a striking difference (nothing striking to a layman like me). Strangely, it is the kanji used in Rose (薔薇, bara), which is where I found it. In Indonesia, ferns are called paku or pakis.

If you want to be able to read people’s name, you’ll be sure to encounter lots of these exotic kanji. It’s almost like they’re forcing us to be a botanist or zoologist. You’ll also find these kanji in songs and literatures (e.g., novels), because writers want to look cool by using obscure characters.

As a closing, note that I use katakana to write the name of the plants and animal above. This is a modern practice, which originates from the scientific community. Even in the Japanese Wikipedia, the article for dog is titled イヌ (inu) despite its kanji 犬 being taught in grade 1 elementary school. It is probably a sensible decision, considering that there are countless living things on Earth.

Dump summary

2007 March 21

My previous dump was on 2007-03-03, 18 days ago. During the period, I learned 202 kanji and 733 words. So, now my kanji count is 1516 and my word count is 7687.

But well, even that amount still sucks. Look at these marked Wikipedia articles: Aristotle, microbiology, Linux. The red kanji are the ones I haven’t learned (still damn lots of them!).

Gotta catch ’em all?

Anyway, the posts for this dump batch are this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this. If you’re from the main page, they’re the n consecutive blogs below this one :).

Wikipedia dump: Galileo

2007 March 21

Galileo Galilei

Another major accomplishment! I managed to learn the kanji and words from the Japanese Wikipedia article on Galileo (timestamped 2007-02-19 12:36).

Here are the 96 new kanji:


And 205 words:


Wikipedia dump: Isaac Newton

2007 March 3

Sir Isaac Newton

On previous Wikipedia dumps, I only hunted for new words with known kanji. For this time around, I also studied any new kanji that stands in the way!

Anyway, I managed to study all kanji in the Wikipedia page of Isaac Newton (timestamped 2006-12-5 08:25). Being able to read from top to bottom without occasional dictionary checks is very satisfying!

There are 83 new kanji:


And 162 words: