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Kanji Information Sheet for 言  ( PDF version of this Kanji PDF version )

stroke order illustration  
Bushu (Radical) Info: 言 (ことば) – say
Henshall Mnemonic: mouth speaks three and a bit words
Levels: JLPT N4 | JLPT 4 (old) | Grade 2
Frequency: #83 of the 2500 most used kanji in newspapers

Common Words and/or Phrases Using this Kanji:

Click any individual kanji to view a similar information sheet for it.
Click [K] to look up the word's individual character(s) at WWWJDIC.
Click [D] to look up the word at WWWJDIC (definition is the same but other useful features exist).

Click [Jisho] to look up the word at

JLPT N5 Words

  • う   [いう]
    (v5u) to say   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ことば]
    (n) word(s); language; speech   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N3 Words

  •   [ひとこと]
    (n) single word   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • う   [ゆう]
    (v5u) to say   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • わば   [いわば]
    (adv) so to speak; so to call it; as it were   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんご]
    (n) language   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [でんごん]
    (n,vs) verbal message; rumor; word   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N2 Words

  • す   [いいだす]
    (v5s) to start talking; to speak; to tell; to propose; to suggest; to break the ice   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • ける   [いいつける]
    (v1) to tell; to tell on (someone); to order; to charge; to direct   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • ける   [ことづける]
    (v1) to send word; to send a message   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • い   [ことばづかい]
    (n) speech; expression; wording   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ひとりごと]
    (n) a soliloquy; a monologue; speaking to oneself   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ほうげん]
    (n) dialect   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N1 Words

  •   [じょげん]
    (n) advice; suggestion   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんげん]
    (n,vs) declaration; proclamation; announcement   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [はつげん]
    (n) utterance; speech; proposal   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [だんげん]
    (n,vs) assertion; declaration; affirmation   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [いいわけ]
    (n,vs) (1) excuse; (2) explanation   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [よげん]
    (n) prediction; promise; prognostication   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんろん]
    (n) discussion   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [しょうげん]
    (n,vs) evidence; testimony   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [むごん]
    (n) silence   [K] [D] [Jisho]

Other Popular Words Not Classified by JLPT

  •   [くげん]
    (n) candid (frank) advice; exhortation   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [こうげん]
    (n) declaration; profession   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [いちごん]
    (n) single word   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • る   [いいきる]
    (v5r) to declare; to assert; to state definitively   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ゆいごん]
    (n) will; testament; last request   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • し   [いいわたし]
    (n) sentence; judgment; pronouncement; order; command   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • す   [いいわたす]
    (v5s) to announce; to tell; to sentence; to order   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • す   [いいあらわす]
    (v5s) to express   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ていげん]
    (n) proposal; motion   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • わす   [いいあらわす]
    (v5s) to express   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [はつげんけん]
    (n) right to speak   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [いいぶん]
    (n) one's say; one's point; complaint; excuse   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • す   [いいかえす]
    (v5s) to repeat; to talk back; to answer back   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [いいかた]
    (n) speaking style   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ねごと]
    (n) talking in sleep; nonsense   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • うまでもない   [いうまでもない]
    (adj,exp) it goes without saying; there is no need to say so, but of course; it is needless to say; it need scarcely be said   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [かきことば]
    (n) the written word; the written language   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [めいげん]
    (n) declaration; statement   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [きょうげん]
    (n) play; drama; make-believe   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんきゅう]
    (n,vs) reference   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • い   [ものいい]
    (n) manner of speaking; objection; way of speaking; rumor; quarrel; protest   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんしつ]
    (n) commitment; pledge or promise   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんどう]
    (n) speech and conduct   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんめい]
    (n) declaration; statement; assertion   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [あいことば]
    (n) password; watchword   [K] [D] [Jisho]
Find more details for at, Yookoso! or WWWJDIC


The sofware used to generate this kanji information uses the EDICT and KANJIDIC files. These files are the property of the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group at Monash University and are used in conformance with the Group's license.

NOTE: I converted the sources just mentioned years ago and have never really updated so there may be some missing or incorrect information that has been addressed in the original sources but not here.

The first Stroke Order image used on this page is courtesy of Ulrich Apel's excellent open source KanjiVG project. The second image is from the folks at the excellent Jisho Japanese-English dictionary site and it too is based on KanjiVG.

Classifying the kanji and popular vocabulary by the new JLPT levels was done by consulting Jonathan Waller‘s JLPT Resources page, renshuu, Wictionary, and Nihongo Ichiban.

The Henshall Mnemonics are the copyright of Tuttle Publishing and are the result of the hard work by Professor Henshall. See the list I used here.

If you are curious about the lexicography shown in the word definitions, visit the WWWJDIC abbreviations and codes guide and the JMdict/Edict Lexicographical details page.