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#4737 - 07/30/00 03:20 PM japanese english english japanese
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
there was some interest in japanese and its connectons with english in other threads.
so i decided to start a thread where all such conversations could take place in one forum.
japanese is a language that absorbs foreign words with ease. but it often adds its own edge to the words it borrows.
english also borrows a lot of japanese words, more than seems obvious at first. of course these words are changed to suit english toungues and prejudices.
let's discuss it all here.


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#4738 - 07/30/00 09:31 PM Re: japanese english english japanese
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
kamikaze; tsunami; obi; bonsai.

And of course, all the brand names.


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#4739 - 07/31/00 03:46 AM Re: japanese english english japanese
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
I would like to share a line I read somewhere - which I will never forget.
"The symbol of a true oriental artist is the Fujiyama - calm without, fire within."
I think this is so beautiful!


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#4740 - 07/31/00 10:22 AM Re: japanese english english japanese
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200

tsunami seems a strange word to borrow when english has a perfectly good one already: tidal wave. tsu means harbour according to a dictionary i once checked. nami is wave.
the mt fuji phrase does sound very japanese.
when i was first here i noticed mountains were called "san". not knowing any japanese at all, i assumed it was the same respectful title as given to people (as in "sakezuki lusy san"). i was very disappointed to discover it was just another reading of "yama", mountain.
most kanji have more than one reading. in this case yama is the japanese reading and san the chinese one.
another time i went skiing with a friend and noticed on the car navigation the kanji for "waterless mountain". pretty pleased that i recognised the kanji i read them to him, all in chinese reading: "suimusan". of course i was wrong on all counts! it should be "mizunashiyama", which probably has a better rhythm.
so while westerners often say "fujiyama", this puzzles japanese who would only ever say "fujisan"
(which is also the name of a really nice beer from asahi!)


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#4741 - 07/31/00 11:45 AM Re: tsunami
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
tsunami is a much more definitive word for a huge sea wave caused by a great disturbance under an ocean, as a strong earthquake or volcanic eruption. which is to say, there is nothing "tidal" in this definition; calling this phenomenon a tidal wave is somewhat of a misnomer.


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#4742 - 07/31/00 08:35 PM Re: tsunami
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
>>tsunami is a much more definitive word....


Thus spake tsuwm


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#4743 - 07/31/00 09:18 PM Re: tsunami
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
And one must never forget bushusuru.

George Bush went to Takeshita and the bears just ate him up!

_________________________
TEd

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#4744 - 07/31/00 10:47 PM Re: tsunami
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
>Thus spake tsuwm

why, tsuitainly! nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!


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#4745 - 08/01/00 05:15 AM Re: tsunami
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
i guess tidal wave is a misnomer, but why did people pick that particular misnomer to be changed to a japanese word?

tidal wave is a perfectly good word for a big wave,
just as sunrise is a perfectly good word for the earth turning to reveal the sun.
so i wonder why tidal wave was discarded and who chose tsunami, which literally means harbour wave, in its place?


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#4746 - 08/01/00 06:37 AM Re: tsunami
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
>>>>tsunami is a much more definitive word....

Thus spake tsuwm


And thus spake the mighty AnnaStrophic! Good one! Though I
don't suppose Tsuwm has quite the same effect as what he's
named after.




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