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
Something that’s obnoxiously difficult for me is pacing myself, apparently. I always am inclined to try to cram as much as possible into the longest ‘marathon’ session possible, and then I don’t touch it for days/weeks/months. It does mean progress, sort of, but it’s ironically less than if I just do a little every day, because a low-intensity daily repetition often means more than a high-intensity session every once in a while in terms of memory retention.
Still haven’t quite got the hang of doing less per day to keep from burning out, though. I’m still only in Step 8 of Core 2000 for iKnow, because I kind of haven’t been doing much with it lately aside from very slowly working through my immense backlog of completed course reviews– I finally am down to 0 on that, and I’m going to try to keep it low while also getting back into new vocab.
Also haven’t really been reading lately. Basically life went sideways for a bit, and I’m starting a new job on Monday, and there’s a lot of other things I’m working on, so languages have been taking a backseat.
I did start using Skritter, though, after hemming and hawing about it for a long time since you have to get the subscription. Mostly I like it, though sometimes it doesn’t seem to want to recognize my stroke even if I do it correctly, which I can’t figure out why not. And I finally got a better podcast subscription app for my iPod, so I’ve been listening to Jpod101 lessons again (auto skipping 20-30 seconds in is brilliant, so I don’t have to listen to the intros all the time).
Anyway, I just haven’t updated in a while, and I may not update for some time again since I’m not really sure how the new job is going to affect my schedule, and I still have some outstanding things that need to get done asap before I can return to my regularly scheduled slow crawl to fluency. But I do want to get back to that, because I’m finding myself a little disturbed by how difficult it is to speak again, and I also just need to do more reading because I want to pick up something easy like manga to read without thinking “Ugh, this is going to take longer than I’d like” so much.
Finally made rice wet enough that I could make onigiri in the morning after putting it in the fridge overnight. (Katsuo fumi furikake, because that’s what I had closest.)
From a while ago, but these turned out really well, actually, so I definitely will do this sort of thing again. I also ended up getting a tuna-mayo onigiri a bit later, ahah, though it was from a Korean store and thus… not exactly what I was expecting. Still tasty?
For whatever reason, I’ve been posting more at HTLAL lately than here. I’m not really sure why.
Last week I got really into doing Russian practice again. I have a funny tendency when I’m stressed out (usually because I’m already too busy, for extra irony), I tend to pick up throwaway hobbies that I get really excited about for a day or two or a week, and then drop later in favor of the long-term ones. It’s not the first time I got into Russian– I’d tried to learn the alphabet before, with … partial luck. This time seems a little easier, though I’m still pretty baffled by Russian spelling/pronunciation rules. It’s the first language I’ve tried to seriously learn that I haven’t grown up with, so I’m not familiar with the phonemes, which doesn’t help. Memrise seems to work much better for me with Russian, though, than it does for Japanese. I hate it for Japanese. Either way, I think my Russian adventure is done for now… until next time.
Speaking of Japanese and HTLAL, during one of my posts there, someone prompted the idea that I should look into taking the N3 this year, and I really considered it. Registration opened up a week or two ago, and I could probably at least make a reasonable attempt at it, but it’s costly since they don’t hold one in my city or anywhere in driving distance. And I’m again thinking… there’s not really any point for me, is there.
Originally it was a motivator for me– an objective, if arbitrary, goalpost I could aim for that would theoretically mean something to other people and mark my progress. But I’ve realized it’s not much of a motivator for me now. What I’m finding is that getting a good score on the test would mean nothing to me personally, unless maybe it was a 100% (or close to) just because that would be damn impressive on a test that has such a low passing rate already? I can tell I wouldn’t be excited about it, so really the test is either going to make me feel terrible about myself (i.e. if I fail), or pretty much the same about myself. The thrill I’d have felt about it if I’d passed straight out of college would not be there for me now, because I think I have a more of a boost these days just reading something I couldn’t a couple months ago, or realizing I had a conversation in Japanese.
This is not to say I think the JLPT is totally worthless and you shouldn’t take it, because I think that’s up to each individual person’s situation to dictate. Some people are way more motivated by test scores than I am, or need to get a job in Japan or something, so it could definitely be worth it for other people. But for me right now, at least, I don’t need or want to aim for it myself because it’s becoming more distracting than useful to me. Which is good, since that’s a couple hundred dollars saved (in plane tickets and things), at least right now.
Though also I’m having a bit of an internal conflict, because I’m more and more frustrated with my complete lack of Mandarin, and the idea of waiting another year or two to feel totally okay with my Japanese and then spending another 3-6 years on Mandarin to get it up to adequately conversational sounds awful. I don’t want to be nearly-40 before I can actually speak to my mom in Mandarin. Also so much language-study is already kind of making me a total recluse, and I’d like to have more of a social life before I am 40 either. But it’s one of those awkward things where okay, so where do I get the time from, then. So I’m working on a plan of attack for that, which may involve cutting back on Japanese more. Meanwhile I’m just going to keep my primary focus as Japanese for now and see how much Mandarin I can work in.
Ahh, actually that wasn’t me who studied at KCP. I’ve never done study abroad, so I’m afraid I can’t really help you with your questions, sorry, but perhaps someone else can answer you?
[translation-ish– disclaimer: translation is hard, and I am not good at it so I usually just kind of try to get the gist and call it good– if you want to let me know of better ways to translate something, feel free?]
Yukito: This is my house! (My grandmother changed your clothes.)
Sakura’s thought bubble: Oh, right… my brother said Yukito is living with his grandfather and grandmother.
Whenever I rewatch or reread this scene, it cracks me up, because (spoilers?) his grandparents don’t exist. But he doesn’t know this, so I wonder what he thinks happens, really. Does Yue take over and do things and he just assumes his grandparents did them when he wasn’t around? Because that is a fantastic image. But basically it means his “It’s okay, my grandmother changed you (so I wasn’t being a creep, I swear)” is actually totally untrue, because there are only two options there: him or Yue.
I started re-reading these because they’re easy, which is why I read vol 1, though then I remembered I only skimmed the last four volumes, so I’m going back to actually read those too. Reading the first one was interesting, though, since when I ‘read’ it it was taking me hours to get through a few manga pages just sounding out the hiragana and katakana, and I only understood like… half of it? And now I understand most of it, though Kero’s Kansai-ben and Touya’s … guy-talk (seriously, what do you call that way of speech?) still throw me sometimes.
Bonus terrible doodle:
Went to the Pacific Northwest for a week. Normally I’m landlocked in an area with low Japanese population and have to pay exorbitant amounts of money to get anything shipped. So I went to a couple bookstores in Oregon (Powells) and Washington (Kinokuniya), while I was there, and got some awesome deals.
Gals!, the first book of Earthsea, and the two 国語 books were from Powells, for a steal of $18 total. The others were from Kinokuniya. 日本人の知らない日本語 has been on my wishlist on White Rabbit for a while, but I don’t know that I’m quite ready to read them, so I didn’t want to pay the shipping for it. Apparently vol 4 is also new, too. The store clerk commented on it since she’d read the first three, but didn’t know 4 was out already. They had a workbook in the same set that didn’t seem wholly worth it to me, and one that I might get sometime, but not sure how useful it is to me so much as entertaining as an English-speaker, since it was about the things Japanese people mess up when using English (saying things like “I like street walking” not realizing the double meaning to that phrase, etc).
Aside from Gals! which actually was vol. 1, FMA and Hourou Musuko were not the volumes I wanted (I need FMA #2 and wanted to start from #1 of Hourou Musuko), but I figure I have to get them eventually, so at least picked up a couple of each.
I’m ridiculously excited about Earthsea, though, you have no idea.
A lot of people find mnemonics helpful– things like the Remembering the Kanji or memory palace methodology where you come up with little stories for things to remember whatever you need to remember. Usually that doesn’t work well with me, because I find unless something sort of naturally comes to me, trying to purposely come up with a story results in me remembering the moment I thought to come up with the story, and nothing about what it was supposed to help me remember. Also it is just far too time-consuming, because I end up spending hours trying to come up with stories I’m going to either forget or that will make me forget what I’m trying to remember.
Mostly, I rely on my vague synaesthetic connections, which are some weird mix of colors and sensations I can’t describe very well, so they’re pretty useless to other people.
Occasionally, though, my brain actually does come up with silly mnemonics spontaneously on its own. Such is the case for 浅い【あさい】(asai), which means “shallow”. I’ve come to associate it with the açaí berry, pretty obviously for the similar pronunciation. I have no idea why that works for me, since there’s not really any actual link aside from pronunciation, and I don’t have a story to go with it to make it link. But somehow I’ve formed what seems to be a permanent link between the two that helps me remember the word.