August 15th, 2013


Japanese Diary 10

I enjoy maps, and this link has many interesting ones. (Did you know that the most common surname in France is Collapse ), for example?) The map of Pangea with current international borders is cool, too - and appears to show that the Mediterranean is, just as the Romans claimed, the centre of the world. Names are not always so literal, however. I think my favourite is this map of Europe, with the literal Chinese meanings of the country names:


Ireland wins the surreality contest with "Love your orchid", but you'll notice that some of the others make a lot of sense - for Western values of "sense" - e.g. "Ice Island". This is very much my experience with learning kanji. Some are obvious, others... not so much.

The kanji have been the least of my problems recently. I've been having far more difficulty grokking basic verbs: iru, aru, suru, kuru, iku, ikiru, aruku, akeru, ageru, etc., which have begun to swim before my dull gaze when I stare at them too long. I think I've managed to clear that absurdly low barrier now, but it reminds me how out of practice I am at plain old memorization.