February 6th, 2006

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09:56 pm - Sumimasen, anata wa nihonjin desu ne?
A Japanese foreign exchange student with halting English came into the coffee shop tonight, and as she ordered her coffee behind me my first thought wasn't that someone was speaking with a Japanese accent, it was that someone was speaking Japanese. Interesting. It makes sense when you think about it, though, since a Japanese "accent" isn't really an accent per se - it's more of a filter; there are only fifty four or so distinct syllables possible in spoken Japanese (the kana writing system is one character per syllable!), so a native Japanese person speaking any foreign language as a novice is pretty much going to make it sound "just like Japanese", as opposed to simply mangled.

In semi-related news, I'm finally getting to the point where some simple concepts and sentences actually roll off my tongue naturally and without having to pause and laboriously piece them together in my mind before I speak them. Unsurprisingly, "Sumimasen - sore wa eigo de nan to iimasu ka?" (Excuse me - what do you call that thing there in English?) is among the first of them. But it's getting better, and that pleases me. Japanese just sounds so damn good when you can roll it out competently; there's a cadence and precision to it that makes it the best language for impressive-sounding declamations ever, in my opinion. =)

I still hate the written symbology, though. I don't care what anybody says, not putting spaces in between your damn words is just idiotic. (readingwrittenjapaneseissortoflikethis,onlywithaboutfivetosixtimesasmanysymbols,fourseparatesetsofsymbols,andquirkysometimesbutnotalwaysruleslikesometimesthecharacterfortsumeanstsubutsometimesitmeansthenextsyllablebeginswithadoubleconsonantsound.)

Current Mood: gaijin desu
Current Music: The Vapors - Turning Japanese

(8 comments | Leave a comment)


From: (Anonymous)
Date: February 7th, 2006 - 04:14 am

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: February 7th, 2006 - 06:42 am

From: jesebel
Date: February 7th, 2006 - 12:49 pm
I echo your sentiment!!! Jim, you whore!

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: February 8th, 2006 - 03:46 am
You just wanted to call me a whore.

From: treyh37
Date: February 8th, 2006 - 02:02 am
wish i'd kept up with my japanese, 2 years in high school and i've forgotten most of it :(

still its true the language sounds kinda poetic with the way it flows together.

i also hate how some of the writing and speaking can make very different words (or nonsense) if dont say/write them correctly

[User Picture] From: lauracroft
Date: February 8th, 2006 - 03:43 am

unbiased answer

Basic psychology shows proves how the mind takes visual imagry and creates patterns. Without beginnings and ends, there can be no patterns so no matter what anybody says, it goes against what would make it easy for the human brain to comprehend.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: February 8th, 2006 - 03:45 am

Re: unbiased answer

:: blinks ::

Are you talking about the same thing anybody else is talking about?

[User Picture] From: freakout
Date: February 8th, 2006 - 09:30 pm
You! You're the culprit! Your gigantic long group of words is making my friends page looked all messed up. I have to scroll back and forth because of you!

[User Picture] From: goldfischegirl
Date: March 10th, 2006 - 09:31 pm
hi hi
hi hi hi

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