The Japanese word kata 片 means "a fragment," "a piece of" and can be found as a component of many common, useful phrases.
For example, katate 片手 means "one hand" or "one handed." "single-handed".
A very common word using 片 is katatsukeru 片付ける. tsukeru 付ける means "to affix, join, apply, fasten," so, together with the "fragment" meaning of 片, the compound katatsukeru, or, literally, "join fragments," means to "tidy up," "be on top of (one's work)," "put in order," etc. Think "keep it together."
Katappashi kara 片っ端から means literally "from one edge/side" and, with its unspoken continuation of "to the other edge/side," has the dictionary meaning of "absolutely every little bit," "from A to Z."
側 or kawa means "side." Added to kata its k is softened to g, to make katagawa 片側 or "one side(d)." katagawa 片側 is used in the same way as its English counterpart in regard to one side of the street, for example, or a one-sided argument. Add the character 性 which has the same meaning as the English affix "-ness" to make 片側性 katagawasei, or unilateralism.
面 or men means "surface" or "side" as in the two sides of a record (as opposed to the two sides of a road, for example, which is 側 kawa). Added to 片 it refers to one side: 片面 katamen, e.g. 片面ディスク katamendisuku, or single-sided disk.
Those are a few applications of 片. Hope you can put the pieces together, get on top of it, and find more than just one way of using it.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010