Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Thursday!

Learning Japanese struck me as a good way to expand my mind. Hopefully the software is making the old gray matter develop faster than my waistline. And, admittedly, it could be practical since the parent company of my employer is in Japan.

Perhaps I can be of use on a business trip someday. You never know. In the meantime my quest for knowledge caters to my love of language, which brings me to this list of favorite Japanese words. I’ll spell them in Romaji, the phonetic Anglicized version of the words.

1. Green – midori is pronounced me-doe-dee; say it, it’s fun, and the kanji character is lovely

2. Cat – neko has allowed me to practice sentences while jabbering at my oblivious pets

3. Car – kuruma is the first Kanji I learned to recognize and makes me feel good for having done so

4. Blue – ao sounds like I stubbed my toe badly enough to exclaim my pain in two syllables

5. Police officer - kesatskan gave me trouble at first but I like how it rolls off the tongue with practice

6. Library – toshokan are places I’ve often found refuge as well as good reads

7. Science – rika which starts with a "d" sound reminds me of the word for beaker, making it easy to recall and bringing my favorite Muppet to mind, that long-suffering lab assistant named for the test tubes

8. Paper – kami is pronounced like the name of a beloved drummer for a Japanese “visual kei” band before his tragic demise

9. Blond – this word I won’t try to transcribe sounds like it uses the word for metal as a base; though I’m not knowledgeable enough to say for sure if that’s true, it sounds cool

10. How to say a thing is the “most” (oldest, largest) – ichiban is part of the name for my favorite Japanese beer, Kirin Ichiban

11. Egg – tamago is a word I’ve long known from sushi dining

12. Fish – sakana has a nice ring to it and is part of one of the earliest phrases I learned (the cat watches the fish)

13. Actually a phrase, asking someone to repeat a statement you didn’t hear properly is simply fun to say

Anyone who wants to correct any words I might have butchered, feel free. I’m always happy to learn. Maybe someday I can draw up a list of favorites that are all phrases!


  1. I didn't want to be "that guy" that points out "minor" spelling mistakes (I'm assuming that's what it is), but since you asked so nicely: you typed "kuduma" when it's actually "kuruma."

    I hadn't heard of some of those words before, and had forgotten one or two of them, so it was interesting to see.

    And, it's interesting how the word for paper, kami, is the same as the word for god. Languages are weird sometimes.

  2. Why am I so not surprised that kami is on your list :) Fun, Darla! Thanks!

  3. We have a restaurant here, Ichiban Sushi. Now I know what it means. Thanks, Darla for the info, and my, what a surprise you have the work 'kami' on your list.

  4. Thanks for the friendly corrections, Lucius! I'm thrilled that you may have learned from me as you've been an inspiration with your official studies while I play with software. ~blush~

    It tickles me that you caught me on the "Kami" inclusion, Nikki and Tess. What can I say? And Ichiban Sushi sounds like


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