Japanese language - fascination with books

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just some guy, you know?
Jun 23, 2020
Denver, CO
I'm learning Japanese right now, and am slogging through their vocabulary. One of the things I've noticed is how important books are in their language.

Let's start with the kanji for Japan: 日本 Those are the symbols for sun and book. You've heard of Japan being the land of the rising sun? Nihon is literally translated to book of the sun.

Other words that include book:

本当 book-correct: Truth, reality
本き book-energy: Serious
ー本き one book energy: one track mind

Anyway, I thought you might find this interesting.
My son was teaching himself Japanese for a couple of years when he was small, we were finding Japanese written all over the house. It's such a beautiful, poetic language.
All my kids had to (and still) learn it through school. My son has taken to Japanese comics (Manga, I think it's called) all the time (more than computer games). They're subtitled, but it's interesting how he's gravitated to them.
All of mine too, Rachel! We've shelves of manga graphic novels. My daughter did a wonderful online drawing course recently focusing on the work of Miyazaki. It was super.
I'm learning Japanese because my younger daughter wants to go to college in Japan next year. She's a couple years of study ahead of me, and regularly has full conversations with strangers. I'm extra proud of her for the initiative of learning this on her own, without schools. We've provided her with the tools, but this is meaningless if the kids don't have the drive.
Japanese has two words for everything, literally. There's the word ported over from China with the kanji, and the word the Japanese were using before the kanji showed up. The way this usually works is that the first is used when compounding a character with others to make a word, whereas the other is used when the word is all by itself, or with a sprinkling of sounds after it. They call it On'yomi and Kun'yomi.

The sprinkling of sounds is done the same way we apply suffixes like -ly or -ish. If something ends with an oo sound, it's probably a verb. Sticking an ee on the end of a word makes it an adjective.

Explaining things helps me learn them. :)
I ended up learning some after I told my son he could have a year off before university as long as he
A. Did some charity work.
B Learned a language and I'd learn it with him. I'd confidently assumed Italian, Portuguese...
He chose Japanese. I guess I'm lucky it wasn't even trickier; I believe Korean is a nightmare to learn.
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August Flash Club - Closing Soon!

Amusement My new look!