While the word 「てき」 usually means “enemy”, that’s not the word we’re talking about today. The word I’m going to talk about uses a completely different Kanji from the 「敵」 meaning “enemy” and is in fact a very useful and helpful ally.
If you’ve studied Japanese for a while, you’re bound to have encountered the 「的」 kanji. While this kanji by itself is read as 「まと」 and means a “target”, its usefulness really shines as a noun suffix. This kanji can be attached to countless number of nouns to easily change them to a na-adjective. In this case, you read the kanji as 「てき」 and you’ll see it all over the place: 一般的、圧倒的、感動的、習慣的、技術的、基本的、and on and on.
Let’s take the word 「感動」 meaning “deep emotion” and say we want to say the following sentence.
That movie was very moving.
Unfortunately, since 「感動」 is a noun, we can’t just say, 「あの映画はとても感動」 because the movie is not a deep emotion. So you’re going to have to say something complicated like the following:
あの映画を見て、感動した。- I saw that movie and I was moved.
But wait! We can just use 「的」 to make 「感動」 into an adjective!
あの映画は感動的だった。- That movie was very moving.
あれは感動的な映画だった。- That was a very moving movie.
それは技術的に無理です。 – That’s technically impossible.
朝ご飯は習慣的に毎朝食べます。 – I customarily eat breakfast every morning.
In fact, without 「的」 there are just so many things that can’t be expressed. I would definitely put this kanji on my top ten 50 list.
アメリカでは、車で通勤するのが一般的だ。 – In America, people generally commute by car.
客観的な視点から考えたほうがいい。 – It’s better to think of it from a objective viewpoint.