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#4767 - 08/13/00 11:12 AM Re: okay  
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Bridget Offline
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>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'...


#4768 - 08/13/00 11:16 AM Re: tsunami  
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Bridget Offline
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>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)


#4769 - 08/13/00 11:20 AM english japanese english  
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Bridget Offline
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'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!


#4770 - 08/13/00 05:12 PM Re: tsunami  
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tsuwm Offline
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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.


#4771 - 08/14/00 01:13 PM Re: tsunami  
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william Offline
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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.


#4772 - 08/14/00 01:18 PM Re: okay  
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william Offline
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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?


#4773 - 08/14/00 01:27 PM Re: english japanese english  
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johnjohn Offline
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<<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.


#4774 - 08/14/00 01:32 PM Re: english japanese english  
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johnjohn Offline
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Thanks Ted and Avy for the Hindi v Hindustani point


#4775 - 08/14/00 03:43 PM typhoon  
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william Offline
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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.


#4776 - 08/15/00 11:28 AM Re: okay  
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paulb Offline
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<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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