かんじ - The Pretty Stuff

Soo, my major complaint about カタカナ being not-pretty has been consumed by the presence of かんじ。 Which is, naturally, very pretty to look at. Today at にほんごのひるごはん、Lin-さん、スミスさん and I worked on the vocab list and some ways to memorize the massive amounts of new words.

Long story short with ちゅうごくごさん (Mr. Chinese - yes I really meant that in a loving way ^.^ ) there, we (mainly him) were able to break the larger words apart into sources, which then fell into connections between words, which led to association, and now I can't not think of some words without thinking of others. But it's all good - I can remember some of this stuff now.

For an example (as I don't have much time as it's close to Atsu-Atsu!) I'll use meals. Because it's easy and fast and fun (in my opinion).

あさごはん means breakfast
ひるごはん means lunch
ぼんごはん means dinner

For breakfast...
あさ means morning + the root of ごはん meaning meal
Your morning meal better be known as your breakfast!

For lunch...
ひ is a root word for sun + る + ごはん
And you get your sun meal, or your day meal. Lunch is during the midday period, typically when the sun's highest. (Or at least it normally is...)

For dinner...
ばん which is used repetitively in relation to night (i.e. こんばんは) + ごはん
Night meal, you get where dinner comes from.

In addition to this strategy of breaking things apart, I've also used pictographs and word relations to aid memorization - which I already posted about for ひらがな。

カッパ out!


カタカナ ポースト


I feel as if I've been slacking slightly in the real post department, so I figure that I might as well sit down and make a real post.

I was so incredibly excited to get into にほんごいちねんせい that I actually didn't mind the fact that I'd only signed up for a total of 11 credits before the end of my second semester. I'd been interested in Japanese since Middle school, though my parents wanted me to take Spanish. I hated Spanish, and I had no interest in it. It helps a lot when you get stuck with the worst teacher your first year, of course. When I went into High school, I was excited because they had a Japanese program. That they abolished by the time that I got there... I wasn't happy, and had to continue Spanish. I vowed to never take Spanish again after High school, with such vehemence that I actually refused to take a language my first semester because I couldn't get into にほんごいちねんせい. Sometimes, I'm probably a little too hard-headed.

にほんごいちねんせい has proved itself to be a great challenge, but it's one that I want to meet head-on! I spent far too much time studying the first day after class in comparison with my other classes, and still spend far more time on にほんごいちねんせい than any of my other classes. I mean, I spend my lunches with my にほんごいちねんせい classmates discussing Japanese and being crazy, I spend time working in groups outside of class, ASCIT lab practice, reading, writing, actual class time. A lot of people think that I'm downright insane to invest so much time into anything - but it's something that I want to do, even if I'm not the best at it.

The hardest thing that I've encountered so far this year in にほんごいちねんせい has been カタカナ。 It's hard to learn a second writing style just after ひらがな、and it's strange to say that I've learned two alphabets (essentially) in a hand-full of weeks. But I am getting more comfortable with it. It isn't as pretty as ひらがな、but I can do fun things like say ポースト。 That makes everything worthwhile, honest. ^.~=

I think what's been the most rewarding thing about にほんごいちねんせい so far is being able to pick up some things from some of the Japanese manga I have. Not that they aren't memorized for meaning as they stand, but to actually be able to read panels and understand them without having to reference a dictionary or a translation source is absolutely amazing. I can't wait to learn more so that I can read more on my own. My personal goal is to translate one of the original doujinshis that I don't have an English translation for. I'll probably still have to reference a dictionary to an extent, but not for grammar hopefully! (after all, is youkai in hiragana, katana, or kanji?)

カッパ out! ^.~=


So, I should really be reviewing カタカナ, but I'm so easily distracted it's not working. The news has finally come out that Minekura-sensei, manga-ka of my most obviously favorite series, Saiyuki, is out of the hospital and doing well! Well enough that she's releasing the next chapter of Saiyuki Reload into Zero-SUM magazine next month (which is really the November issue, but Zero-SUM's just fun like that).

In celebration, I decided to go hunting around again for better quality shots of the newest Saiyuki movie: Burial Arc. This OVA is absolutely gorgeous in appearance, and it covers in more detail Sanzo-sama and Ukoku-sama's pasts, interwoven and twisted as they may be.

To show just how positively stunning the art is, I've included a link to the opening animation and song. Be forewarned! Burial is a little bloody (... understatement of the year), but it's so pretty!

Sadly, they only give Ukoku the briefest glimpse in the OVA opening. He appears next to the red moon (black hair, glasses) while Koumyou-Sanzo-sama is in front of it.

カッパ out!


Hirgana Mind Games

Well, I've told a lot of people that the way I helped myself memorize ひらがな was a little odd. I decided that it was odd enough, and worked well enough for me, that I might as well share some of it.

ゆ is a fish!

ひ looks like an upside down flame. (There is a Kanji pronounced 'hi' that means fire)

へ is a mountain!

べ is a mountain with two birds flying over it!

ぺ is a mountain with the sun setting behind it

ぶ looka like a specter, or a ghost if you prefer. That just might be waving its arms around and trying to scare you.

み amuses me to no end, because it looks similar to a cursive 'j' with a slash through it

ぬ is 'brand new' and complicated

め is plainer than ぬ

I do wonder what's going to come of カタカナ memorizations...

Kappa's insanity, signing off!


にほんごいちねんせえ: Japanese Lunches


I keep forgetting to tell people after or before class that there's a group of us that meet Tuesdays and Thursdays directly after ごぜんじゅういちです。 So far, we've gone to Newcomb for lunch and sit in the far right room from when you walk in, in the booths in the far back on the right. (Of course, that might change depending on everyone's mood) We work on integrating にほんご into our lunches with things as simple as いてだきます and ごちそおさまですて, as well as practicing speech. It's fun, it's low-stress, and it helps with conversation and understanding.

I know that it's during the same time as にほんごいちねんせえ for another class, but that doesn't mean that you can't organize another time, place, or date with other ともだち and classmates. It's really helped me, and I think it's a great way to help cement in new grammar and sentence structures.

And, of course, we welcome anyone else (higher Japanese level speakers or none-Japanese speakers) to join us as well.

Feel free to join us one day!



わたしは Kappa です。Virginia だいがくのがくせえです。わたしはりゅうがくせえじゃありません。わたしはアメリカじんです。わたしのせんもんはかんきょおかがくです。いま、にほんごいちねんせえです。  


A Kappa Explanation

I'm sure by now some people are confused as to the images I've chosen and the video clip below. The clip below, in case you can't read the rather blurred kanji, is from the anime Gensomaden Saiyuki by Kazuya Minekura. The opening isn't as full of pretty fluorishes and whatnot like the actual episodes are.

Why am I explaining this, you may ask. Well, it all has to do with the kappa nickname that I tend to use - in case you didn't figure the kappa part out by now from the signature on the left. Kappa was the term incorrectly assigned to the Saiyuki character in the original Journey to the West series, Sha Gojyo. Gojyo was a sand demon in the original Buddhist myth about a Sanzo priest traveling to India to meet the Buddha. A kappa, however, is a water demon whose favorite food is cucmbers and who carry water dishes on their heads. This is not Minekura's Gojyo, either.

Still lost? That's good - I'm not there yet. In Kazuya Minekura's version, which is far more of an action and personal discovery piece where the four main characters (five if you count Hakuryuu the dragon who can turn into a Jeep) are trying to prevent Gyumaoh, the Demon King, from being reborn, than a religious treatise (though there are a lot of philosophical aspects and debates buried within it), Sha Gojyo is actually half kappa. You can tell he's not human or demon from his red hair and red eyes. I bet now you know who he is in the clip below.

I got the nickname Kappa from Minekura-san's Gensomaden Saiyuki series, prescribed by a group of friends that seems to perpetuate it regardless of who I'm around - it's actually migrated with me past highschool. Gojyo's personality has some rugged edges, though he's really a big brother type beyond that. He's also the fair bit of a romantic, once you get past the playboy aspect. While there are plenty of differences between myself and Gojyo (mainly the whole he's a guy and I'm not aspect), the name persists.

So, longer than anyone cares, this is your kappa signing off.

Gensomaden Saiyuki