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#4767 - 08/13/00 07:12 AM Re: okay
Bridget Offline
addict

Registered: 06/27/00
Posts: 444
Loc: Sydney Australia
>moshi moshi<

Which is used in a standalone way to answer the telephone and (as far as I know) for nothing else.
But 'moshi' on its own means 'if' and I knew various Japanese who delighted in picking up the phone and announcing into it 'if if'...


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#4768 - 08/13/00 07:16 AM Re: tsunami
Bridget Offline
addict

Registered: 06/27/00
Posts: 444
Loc: Sydney Australia
>hurricanes and tornadoes in the U.S.<

While we're on the subject of weather, what distinguishes a huricane from a tornado from a typhoon from a cyclone?

(and BTW typhoon is another Chinese word - big wind)


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#4769 - 08/13/00 07:20 AM english japanese english
Bridget Offline
addict

Registered: 06/27/00
Posts: 444
Loc: Sydney Australia
'Walkman'

I believe the word was coined by a Japanese engineer at Sony. From two English words, obviously. It has now come back into the English language, with a meaning you would be hard pressed to establish from its constituent parts. Now that's what I call cross-fertilisation!


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#4770 - 08/13/00 01:12 PM Re: tsunami
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10522
Loc: this too shall pass
without getting into the meteorological finepoints (which you could look up :), cyclone is the generic term for the wind pattern, typhoon and hurricane are regional names for tropical cyclones, and tornadoes are land-based.


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#4771 - 08/14/00 09:13 AM Re: tsunami
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
Bridget,
i tried finding out about tsunami but no one seems to know. often these kanji have ancient origins that don't necessarily mean in compounds what they mean by themselves.

another example is your typhoon, which doesn't mean big wind. the "tai" is the same tai as in sen"dai" and "tai"wan.
just why this kanji, connected with wind means typhoon, i will try to find out.


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#4772 - 08/14/00 09:18 AM Re: okay
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
i've got a feeling the "if if" thing was a joke. moshi moshi comes from "moushimasu", an old way of saying "shaberimasu", like "i'm talking". the same moushi comes up in "moushiwakenai", which you probably heard a few times.
on a sillier note did you ever notice that if you answer the phone "washing machine!" in japan, no one notices?


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#4773 - 08/14/00 09:27 AM Re: english japanese english
johnjohn Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 167
Loc: Australia
<<It has now come back into the English language, with a meaning you would be hard pressed to establish from its constituent parts.>>

Walkman is a registered trade mark of the Sony Corp - its a bit naughty to use it when you mean "portable personal stereo". Not quite as elegant I agree. Sorry, didnt mean to be a trademark-Nazi, but I don't think that Walkman has yet gone the way of refrigerator, cellophane, etc, and become generic.


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#4774 - 08/14/00 09:32 AM Re: english japanese english
johnjohn Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 167
Loc: Australia
Thanks Ted and Avy for the Hindi v Hindustani point


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#4775 - 08/14/00 11:43 AM typhoon
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
the best i could do was this:
http://www.bibliomania.com/Reference/HobsonJobson/data/947.html#typhoon
chinese and japanese often use "ateji", kanji that follow the sound rather than the meaning.


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#4776 - 08/15/00 07:28 AM Re: okay
paulb Offline
addict

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
<on a sillier note did you ever notice that if you answer the phone "washing machine!" in japan, no one notices?>

William, since people seem to have stopped listening anyway, my guess is that you could answer "washing machine" in any country and no one would notice.

By the way, did you hear the one about the phone being answered with: "Hello! This is the fridge; the answering machine is on holidays."


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