Topsy-turvy… Yeah. Sounds dumb. IDK maybe there’s proper term for this. What I
mean is a pair of words consisting of the same 2 kanji (with the same
readings, mostly), only in a different order, like this:
日本 「にほん」 Japan
本日 「ほんじつ」 today
花火 「はなび」 fireworks
火花 「ひばな」 spark
一万 「いちまん」 ten thousands
万一 「まんいち」 unlikely event, one in 10.000 chance
会社 「かいしゃ」 company
社会 「しゃかい」 society
女子 「じょし」 girl
子女 「しじょ」 sons and daughters
父親 「ちちおや」 father
親父 「おやじ」 one’s father, old man
途中 「とちゅう」 on the way, midway
中途 「ちゅうと」 in the middle, half-way
階段 「かいだん」 stairs
段階 「だんかい」 level, phase
会議 「かいぎ」 conference, meeting
議会 「ぎかい」 congress, parliament
現実 「げんじつ」 reality, true fact
実現 「じつげん」 realization, materialization
海上 「かいじょう」 marine, by/at/on sea
上海 「しゃんはい」 Shanghai
苦痛 「くつう」 pain, agony
関連 「かんれん」 relation,
連関 「れんかん」 relation,
形象 「けいしょう」 shape, figure
象形 「しょうけい」 hieroglyphics
I really, really love this post concept, so I thought I’d add a few entries.
日中「にっちゅう or ひなか｣ sino-japanaese (only 1st reading), middle of the day
中日 「ちゅうにち」China and Japan
奥山「おくやま」remote mountain, mountain recesses
山奥「やまおく」deep in the mountains, mountain recesses (these two are pretty similar, actually)
土塊「どかい」clump of soil/earth, clod
塊土「かいど」lump of earth
保安「ほあん」peace preservation, security (if read ほうあん can refer to the Houan era)
安保「あんぽ」US-Japan Security Treaty
黒白「くろしろ」black and white, right and wrong
my favorite thing i’ve learned in college is that way back in ancient china there was this poet/philosopher guy who wrote this whole pretentious poem about how enlightened he was that was like “the eight winds cannot move me” blahblahblah and he was really proud of it so he sent it to his friend who lived across the lake and then his friend sends it back and just writes “FART” (or the ancient Chinese equivalent) on it and he was SO MAD he travels across the lake to chew his friend out and when he gets there his friend says “wow. the eight winds cannot move you, but one fart sends you across the lake”
i googled this bc i desperately wanted this to be real, and guess what…it is.
the dude’s name was su dongpo (also known as su shi). his original poem went like this:
(Humbly bowed my head below all skies
Minutest lights shine through my deepest bounds
Immovable by strong winds from eight sides
Upon purplish gold lotus I seated straightly by the low mound) (x)
on which his friend wrote “放屁” (fart, literally), and you know the rest.
(here’s a chinese source for the skeptics)
can you imagine having your brutal murder described in detail to future generations
this is my new favourite story from history
Just an addition: “fart” also is slang for “bullshit” in Chinese, so his friend was basically writing “BS” on the dude’s ego poem
FUTURE IN MANDARIN
When we are quite certain that something is going to happen, we use 要 yào.
When we wanna express the chance (potential, probability), we use 会 huì.
This is a correction of a visual that I posted some time ago, where I translated 我要去 as I WILL GO, which isn’t as accurate as this translation. Sorry for slightly misguiding you.
Screenshot of a tweet that reads, “In case of volcanic eruption, you will hear mermaids. Do not ignore the mermaids; they are there for your safety.”
Underneath it, a quoted tweet: “Perils of Google Translate no 44a. People seeking greater warning of volcanic eruptions want sirens, not mermaids.”
My life in Taiwan was like this…
feeling this lately…
yoko meshi [yoh-koh mesh-ee] (noun)
“As an untranslatable, this one ranks high on my list of favorites. I could not improve on the background given by commentator Boye Lafayette de Mente about this beautiful word, yoko meshi. Taken literally, meshi means ‘boiled rice’ and yoko means ‘horizontal,’ so combined you get ‘a meal eaten sideways.’This is how the Japanese define the peculiar stress induced by speaking a foreign language: yoko is a humorous reference to the fact that Japanese is normally written vertically, whereas most foreign languages are written horizontally. How do English-speakers describe the headache of communicating in an alien tongue? I don’t think we can, at least not with as much ease.”
ぐるぐる – guru guru – round and around, spinning
I’m not totally sure what’s going on because I have been doing almost no active study and only a bit of passive study (reading a few manga I’d already read before, talking to a friend for 5-10 minutes a day or less, going to tutoring sessions once a month or so, watching anime with subtitles), but my Japanese seems to have leveled up while I wasn’t paying attention. Which is hard to describe, but I’m just noticing it’s significantly easier to comprehend things, I’m relying less on using rikai or google translate for online navigation, if I see (smaller) blocks of Japanese, I’m much more likely to say “eh, it’ll take ten minutes to ‘read’” and do it than go “maybe later when I have more time”. It seems insignificant when I write it down, but internally it’s felt like I went through a magical transformation sequence.
Still require a lot more work on vocab, but I’ve been …not wanting to deal with any SRS, so not sure how that’ll go. I did finally get the Kindle Paperwhite to access a J-E dictionary without jumping through excessive hoops (when I did it that way it was overwritten when the Kindle updated), but I keep getting bored with HP when I have to read it slowly.
JLPT in the US finally has a testing center where I live this year, so I am for sure going to attempt the N3, though, vocab or no.
I HATE JLPT THEY’RE LIKE “YO TELL ME HOW TO WRITE ‘BASHO’ IN KANJI” AND I’M LIKE SURE DUDE NO PROB THAT’S SUCH A COMMON WORD
AND THEN THE ALTERNATIVES LOOK LIKE THIS
OK FINE JLPT YOU’RE SUCH AN ASSBUTT
Not sure if anyone else has run into this before, but I set up my Amazon.com account to link to my Amazon.co.jp account a while back and put a Tenso address in to buy ebooks. I hadn’t really bought many books, just a couple of cheap children’s picture books, since my reading wasn’t really good enough to get through a novel without a dictionary, and I didn’t really realize that I could get a J-J or J-E dictionary on the Kindle app until today. So I bought the first HP off Pottermore in Japanese, but I linked Pottermore to my Amazon account to send it to the Kindle, and apparently that was a mistake. Well either that or buying a dictionary off the Amazon app store was, I’m not sure which part raised flags on my account.
Either way, shortly after the purchases, I got an email from Amazon telling me they needed to see government proof of my residence in Japan in order to continue buying Japanese ebooks. I’m pretty sure they can’t do anything about me buying HP off Pottermore, since those options are available in the Pottermore store seemingly regardless of region. But given I can’t provide proof of living in Japan, I’ve set my address on Amazon back to the US and won’t be able to get ebooks off there in the future unless I move, it looks like.
On the bright side, having an inline dictionary is pretty awesome. I think what’s actually most useful for me is really the pronunciation help– sometimes I can get the gist of the word via kanji, but if I don’t know how to say it it’ll never really be part of my vocabulary. So the inline dictionary often can help out there without breaking up ‘flow’ too much. Looking up anything via radicals takes so much time, it’s impossible to really read that way, and while the dictionary does still make for more pausing than strictly extensive reading, it’s easier to just check quickly and return to the text.