A promising start, but please don’t expect this service every day!
So today I ‘hired’ two Japanese ladies to try and find out a more accurate number of words in the Japanese language for me – although, to be honest, how you can possibly count or even categorise what constitutes a word or words is a whole other debate! Anyway, I’ll hopefully get back to you with an update.
And I said I would reveal to you book number 3, so here it is:
I confess that I did have to look up the word ‘scrutable’, and even writing it now it appears with a wiggly red line under it! Nonexistent in Oxford, Cambridge, McMillian and Collins dictionaries, I am therefore not so ashamed at my lack of knowledge of this word. However, in Merriam-Webster, I finally find it. It means ‘comprehensible’, or ‘able to be deciphered’, and yes, how easy is it to decipher the Japanese with their sotozura and uchizura (inner and outer face)? So, that is your word of the day. See how many times you can get it into a conversation!
And for today’s snippet I refer you to the author Kawata’s interesting insight about the Japanese and English languages. As an English speaker and a Japanese learner I wonder if I will ever be able to read and write more than just my name and address! And although kanji are intriguing, I do find the logic behind them both fascinating and a little far-fetched at times. I believe that there must have been some powerful hallucinogenics going around when, for example ‘arrow’ + ‘bean’ was made to mean ‘short’. Anyway, I have digressed. Kawata’s belief that Japanese is a visual language and English an oral one, I can easily see. The Japanese are comfortable in silence, and have been educated in a system of ‘listen and write’, compared with the English way of ‘discuss and debate’. I personally am not a good speaker, and I much prefer to write, so surely that should mean I should be progressing a little better with my Japanese than I actually am, shouldn’t it?!
Anyway, I leave you for today to comment away. (I’m a much better poet, although I try not to show it, but I do like to rhyme…from time to time!)