Two small things for today I found a while ago. I divided this into two entries because I’d like to make an entry for each word to make searching easier.

The first is the verb 戦う(tatakau), which means “to fight”. At first, it doesn’t seem to be composed of anything. as if it were a stand-alone verb. But, if we look it up in a dictionary, we find that is indeed derives from another verb. 叩く(tataku)+合う(au)=(apply the appropriate conjugation)=tataki+au=tatakiau=tatakau. The last sound change is just a contraction, we’ll find similar changes time and again.

The first verb, tataku, clearly means “hit”,”punch”,”strike”, how does au fit in the picture? au is a versatile verb with a basic meaning of “meet,” that is often used as an auxiliary verb added to a main verb to express “each other.” So, tatakau literally comes from “hit each other.” Perhaps I should mention that although 会う(au) and 合う(au), which mean “meet” and “fit”, “come together” respectively, are obviously the same word albeit written with different characters.

Don’t judge a (Japanese) word by its kanji. The same goes for はなす(話・離). Can you see it?