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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

attention ashacat and others:

Via misia and perigee:

A Japanese TV show clip of archery tricks.



Korean, actually.

But I concur: awesome.
Indeed. If the writing has circles and lots of things at right angles, it's Korean. (If all of the characters are square-looking, and lots of them are complicated, it's Chinese. If the square things are mixed in with two or three other things that look different, it's Japanese, the language that apparently needs four systems of writing to get by in life.)

Or, aurally, Korean is the language that sounds like it ought to be Japanese, only I can't understand a blessed word.
I recall hearing once that Korean is probably the world's most sensible writing system. I've always been vaguely curious about it, but never learned any.
Somewhere I have a cool language atlas that I believe includes a breakdown of Korean writing. But I'm too lazy to dig it up at present.
Koreans learning Japanese sounds sort of...nasalized, as if they all had some odd headcold. And they make *really* funny pronunciation errors - because they don't make them where a lot of IndoEuropean speakers do, in the vowels - just in the consonants, where the Japanese very rarely make errors (because when you do *that*, it makes the words unintelligible, or more likely completely change meaning) - "Watasi wa kangoku jin desu" is common, as opposed to "Watashi wa kankoku-jin desu" (hI am a "jail person" vs. I am Korean).

Korean sounds like Mandarin that I don't quite understand, to me. (I'm a more-or-less native speaker of Japanese, English is my second (and best) language, and I have a bunch of time tutoring/teaching Japanese, including to Korean speakers.)

Now I *really* want to sit down and talk in person while partaking of nummy quaffables. Korean cinnamon "tea", maybe.

I'm not sure that Korean has *more* phonemes (although you may be right), but Koreans tend to...in Japanese, each mora has a very specific pronunciation compared to the way Koreans appear to classify them. (I'm not putting this well...perhaps it's a sign that I should head bedward.)

English speakers say "keru" when they mean "kiru" (or "karu", or "kuru", or "koru", all of which have different meanings in Japanese), while Koreans would be more likely to say "geru". For some reason, the Korean style of mispronouncing Japanese is funnier.
English speakers tend to turn half their vowels into schwas if not carefully monitored; they specifically warned us, in my first-year class, to be careful when complimenting a Japanese woman on her cute kid, lest you call said kid scary instead. ("kawaii" vs. "kowai")

Does Korean distinguish k and g as separate phonemes? Not all languages do, and I can see it leading very quickly to difficulties of that sort. Or it could be the Korean equivalent of a lazy schwa.

I think Japanese and Korean sound similar to me on a rhythmic level, more than anything else -- and that's where I distinguish them from, say, Mandarin.

In continuing language geekery, I find it funny that I, and everyone else I know who studied Spanish and then went to Japanese, have a tendency to try and conflate the two. They're phonetically very similar, and it wasn't uncommon for us to produce such bastardized utterances as "watashi wa necesito . . . god damn it." Fortunately Matsumura-sensei, my first-year teacher, also spoke Spanish, and was merciful on us for those mistakes.
"watashi wa necesito . . . god damn it."


I have an unfortunate tendency to use Spanish in my German, and I don't have any phonological excuse.

My god, that's creepy.

I started with Japanese, then years later tried learning Spanish--and they kept getting in the way with each other, a problem I hadn't had with French or Chinese. Not that I speak either of those well, it's just that I'm not likely to try speaking both of them at once.
Oh, the schwa-ification of English speakers makes me *bonky*. (In fact, it's one of the things that marks my own fluent English as "not quite run of the mill native speaker" - I have a bit of resistance to murky vowels.) English speakers also inflect Japanese really oddly, and give it a cadence that doesn't belong.

To me, probably because I speak Japanese but not Korean, the latter comes across to me as very staccato and full of strange (to Japanese) sounds. My muddle between Korean and Chinese happens in that sort of machine-gun cadence and in the fact that Korean (like Japanese) borrows a lot from Chinese.

Korean divides its phonemes differently than many other languages. There's a slipperiness to p/f/b, and g/k, in Korean that contributes a *lot* to mispronunciations when Koreans speak Japanese. (In Japanese, these are *very* distinct consonants, with very strict rules on when they are changed, if at all.)

I've never mashed Japanese and Spanish, but I did have some memorable mixups between French and Spanish. On one memorable occasion, after I'd done 3 months on a job in Tahiti, I was at the airport in Papeete waiting for my flight back to the U.S. Waiting in the same lounge was a man from Argentina. I attempted to say, "I speak a little Spanish", and it came out "yo parlo...AAAAAAAAAAAGH!"
Gotta love coming out with something that isn't a word in either language. (My Latin teacher once asked if the vocabulary word I'd put down on a test was Spanish; I had to explain that I'd pasted the "e" from escribir onto scribere, the word I actually wanted.)
*laugh* I tried to claim I reinvented Italian(ish) by saying "parlo".
What's the gist of it? Me, I know precisely zero Korean. I don't even know "yes" or "no" or "where's the bathroom?"

Re: P.S.

The yes/no thing is true in other languages I've studied -- not that I can remember which ones at the moment, my language studies being of the "fickle dilettante" sort. <g> But I think Japanese is one of them.

(My list, for what it's worth, consists of Spanish at what my university has been tricked into believing is reading proficiency; Latin sufficient to translate poetry; Old Norse the same, when given occasional assistance; Irish Gaelic for a year that mostly didn't stick with me; Japanese for two years five years apart, that comes and goes; Finnish for two weeks before I realize the class wasn't going to get me to where I wanted to be, which was reading proficiency in a short time frame; and a one-week flirtation with Navajo before the professor had to take a medical leave of absence.)
BAH I'd like to see them do that without the compound bow and the dodads that help with aiming. Just a regular recurve or longbow. Then I'd be impressed.
One of those guys is using an Olympic recurve.
I'm rather amused by the commenters defense of MythBusters.
Woo Hoo!

'nuff said.
Very neat videos.

My real issue with the Mythbusters attempts to "bust" the whole Robin Hood thing was they ended up putting so many requirements on it to make it ridiculous. In the end, they were basically trying to bust the movie myth yet not presenting it that way.

I was glad they revisited it once, so they weren't trying to split a dowel instead of an arrow or simply attempting to cram the arrow down the length of the dowel, having no clue how an arrow flies. In the end, however, even bringing in an expert didn't get the "myth" the treatment it deserved.