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Old 12-05-2017, 05:16 PM   #476
Jerichi
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I don't have my kanji etymology reference on me at the moment but my understanding is that all cardinal direction kanji have a similar origin with regards to borrowing, though that's not a particularly unique quality among abstract yet basic kanji.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:03 PM   #477
Talon87
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I just think it's interesting/strange when more basic concepts' characters are either built upon (or, in this case, are outright thieves of) less basic concepts' characters. For example ...
日 = sun
勿 = must not; may not

Okay, fine ... that second one's not exactly "common" but whatever, let's roll with it.

易 = divination, fortune-telling

Okaaay ... we're getting more complex here, but that's good! The more complex the concept, the more complex the character.

場 = place

...
Or like ...
氏 = clan

Okay, cool.

氐 = Di (ancient Chinese ethnic group)

O-kaaaaaay ...

⺅= radical form of 人 person

Well sure ...!

低 = short, low

orz

(Even if we take this as a jab at the Di people, it still doesn't change the fact that either we wrote out of existence an earlier character signifying "short; low" or else we gave the Di people their own character before we even came up with one for a fundamental adjective.)
Usually it works the other way around, for which I am grateful. Especially best is when a story is told within, as is the case with characters like 歯, 喜, 薬, and 投. But even if there's not a clear story, even if it's just a case of grabbing a radical for the sake of its reading, it usually makes more sense when more advanced concepts build upon more basic ones. Why do 穴 and 工 come before 空? Why does 各 come before 落? Usually things are fairly evenly matched (like 農 preceding 濃 or 童 preceding 瞳, where honestly I can see the temporal order going either way). Often times the simpler concept wins out, as with 言 getting to be the base of so many other characters. But it's just when the more esoteric or rare-to-hear concepts get the basic radicals for characters that I'm like ... "What!?"

Not saying it's bad. It's just interesting, is all. Will be interesting to learn the stories behind these various, seeming peculiarities.
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Old 12-29-2017, 02:19 PM   #478
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カチューシャ (n) (named after a character in Tolstoy's novel "Resurrection") Alice band (rus: Katyusha); horseshoe-shaped hairband made of metal or plastic (often covered with cloth)



Kachuusha.
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:53 PM   #479
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おもむろに 《徐ろに; 徐に》 (adv) (1) (uk) suddenly; abruptly; (2) (uk) (original meaning) deliberately; slowly; gently



Perhaps what ESL learners feel towards a word like "terrific."
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:53 PM   #480
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Most people assume that "peruse" means "to skim through casually" but it actually means "to examine very carefully".
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:48 PM   #481
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N2 results are available to those who took the test in Japan and the United States.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Took the 2017 JLPT N2 today. Perhaps more details later.
Whoops. Well, in brief: I was very confident that I failed. When I took the N3, I was 50/50 on whether I had passed or failed. When I took the N2, I was more like 5/95 or 10/90. Very, very confident I had failed. Primary reasons being:
  • I had not made the kanji goals. I knew how to write 771 characters and knew how to read approx. 150-200 more, but you're supposed to know ~1100 characters when you sit the test and in addition a lot of the characters I know right now are N1's, meaning I'm missing a lot of N2's. (For example, as of this post I can both read and write 繭, 龍, and 紫 but I can neither read nor write 述 or 担.)
  • I bombed the listening section. I guessed on well over half the questions.
My results are in, and I managed to eke out a passing grade. But when I say "eke out," I mean it: my scores reflect that I not only barely passed but that I have a lot of work ahead of me to get to the point where I would score on the N2 the way that I scored on last year's N3. Of course, if employers don't care about the nitty gritty details of my scores then I have no reason to re-sit the exam this coming December: I'm done with the JLPT until years from now when I sit the N1. But at the end of the day it's not about scores or certificates: it's about how well you truly understand the language. And right now, as of the writing of this post, I feel like I have little to boast about regarding my passing the N2. This isn't faux modesty or humble bragging. This is me sincerely saying, I think I got lucky; and I think before I can consider myself anywhere near an N2, I have an additional ~300 characters to learn, I need to complete my review of my third-year college material, and I need to pick up the N2-advised grammar that I haven't even gotten around to yet because I ran out of time in 2017.

My metric has always been this: "an N2 is someone who can read a light novel with minimal dictionary use; an N1, someone who can do the same with the newspaper." Right now, I still fall short of that N2 metric. But my plan had always been for 2018 to be the year where I really start to change that, and while I've lost a lot of time over the past four weeks, I made a lot of progress in mid-December and hope to make much more progress this coming month.

Still, it's wonderful to have passed -- even if I have to work to fill the shoes, at least I have the shoes. It will be nice to be able to honestly place on my resume that I am N2-certified.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:35 AM   #482
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這 connotes crawling in Japanese but "this" in Chinese. (Contrast with Japanese 之 and 此 for "this".) In either case, it originally meant "to meet" in Chinese, so in both languages it has drifted away from its original meaning. It's a really simple character, consisting of only two radicals and both very basic ones ... yet it's beyond Joyo prescriptions and is attached to a verb that, honestly, while basic in a human experience sense you still won't see used in conversation every day.

Bonus: just realized, I can't think of any verbs off the top of my head that end in ふ. Looking into it, two things. First, it appears that there are few to no verbs in modern Japanese ending in ふ. Second, it appears that a great number of verbs ending in う historically ended in ふ. :o You're probably familiar with the terms ichidan for る verbs and godan for う verbs. Well, apparently once upon a time we had nidan and yodan distinctions -- in the time of Heian-kyo -- and all of the verbs that were previously yodans and today end in う ... back then ended in ふ! Anyway, 這う is one such verb -- it was previously 這ふ, in ancient times. The more you know™!
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:05 AM   #483
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Spreading the word in case we happen to have any U.S. federal employees here, present or future, who are also interested in studying abroad in Japan for a year:
The Mansfield Fellowship Program provides up to ten federal employees with one year of professional development and networking opportunities in Japan. It was established by the U.S. Congress in 1994 to build a corps of U.S. federal government employees with proficiency in the Japanese language and practical, firsthand knowledge about Japan and its government.

The Mansfield Fellowship Program includes seven weeks of language training in Ishikawa Prefecture and ten months of professional assignments in the Government of Japan. During the one-year program, Fellows will develop an in-depth understanding of Japan’s government and its policymaking process and create networks of contacts with their counterparts in the Japanese government, business, professional, and academic communities.

Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis to mid-career government employees with a professional interest in Japan. Successful candidates will join a diverse pool of Mansfield Fellows who currently serve in senior positions with the U.S. government.
An old friend showed me this and thought I would share. I don't think we do have any active members currently who work for the federal government, let alone are advanced enough in their careers to be considered "mid-career" or in "senior positions", but things can always change (new members show up, old members get new jobs), and I figured I'd spread awareness that this is an actual thing for those who are interested. There may even be similar programs in other countries, so be sure to investigate if you work outside the USA but would have otherwise qualified.
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