November 27th, 2011

yoshitoshi: yorimasa

(no subject)

If I had read my Power Japanese books when I got them ie twenty plus years ago before I went to Japan, I'd know a heck of a lot more Japanese than I do now. Or maybe not. The problem with me and studying is that I get so anxious about not remembering what I'm studying that I remember very little. Certainly I hadn't learned, 20+ years ago, that what makes vocab stick is coming across it many many times.

So here I am reading Kanji Idioms again, or for the first time, whichever, and it's interesting to see what happens. There's Japanese text, English transliteration, and below that the explanation. Most of the four-character phrases are unfamiliar, just from the Japanese, but I can hazard a guess from the kanji themselves. Going from the English, half is gibberish that could mean anything-- kushin-santan, shinshutsu-kibotsu, or junshin-muku (which I *do* know to read but not to say.) Others my mind wants to find a meaning for, but not the correct one: tantou-chokunyuu ('the person in charge intervenes directly') or shiri-metsuretsu ('total destruction of the buttocks'). And then, bang! there are words: shoushin-shoumei, jigou-jitoku, ikken-rakuchaku. And those, I can tell you even after twenty years, I learned from jidai-geki TV shows. (Mind, daikon-yakusha, a ham actor, or shokubutsu-ningen, a human vegetable, I learned elsewhere. But do not underestimate the value of TV.)
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