What is interesting about the Japanese Language?
My notes from a short speech at local Toastmasters/Speechcraft group. Topic: “The most interesting things about the Japanese language to me”.
- Why to learn such a different language? It makes you start thinking on own culture and language. language learning includes culture.
- There are multiple levels of niceness. (先生 enters room and says “お早う”. One student replies “お早う”. Other students are buffled.)
- There are words that are exclusively used by men/women, i.e. かない/つま. お肉/肉. おすし/すし.
- While many words are taken from English or German spelling is different: hamburger vs. ハンバーガー
- Different counter words are used, depending on counted objects:
- long/round things like banana, umbrella
- flat things like sheets of paper
- fun topic of categorizing things like phonecalls: long/round
- adjectives can directly contain 'past time': cold (寒い) and 'was cold'(寒かった) are single words
- When learning: first speaking, later reading and writing get more important
- Interesting things: meeting situations when canonical thought to describe it is Japanese
step by step
“step by step”, “piece by piece” → すこしずつ(少しずつ)、一歩一歩 for example, 「私は日本語の勉強を少しずつがんばっていきたいです。」
“日本人の知らない日本語” is very popular book in Japan.
ぼちぼち is a dialect that means step by step, not often used. 少しずつ、焦らずに、のんびり という意味です。 ぼちぼち日本語を習っています。→少しずつ日本語を習っています。