Word Bites — Is Japan “Nihon” or “Nippon”? Or both?

Described by the West as "The Land of the Rising Sun", the country of Japan is known to us English speakers as, well, Japan. In Japanese, this name is written as the kanji ζ—₯本, but carry two commonly used pronunciations, "Nihon" and "Nippon". We see and hear both forms across Japanese media and maybe some … Continue reading Word Bites — Is Japan “Nihon” or “Nippon”? Or both?

Speaking Japanese — The Interchangeability of /s/ and /h/

It is said that, before the Second World War, there were curious differences in the writings on signboards of pawnshops, which seemed to differ based on the prefecture one was in. If you were in Tokyo, you might see γ€Œγ—γ‘γ‚„γ€ (shichiya). But if you were in the Kansai region, particularly Osaka, you might see γ€Œγ²γ‘γ‚„γ€ … Continue reading Speaking Japanese — The Interchangeability of /s/ and /h/

Speaking Japanese — Understanding Aidzuchi

Verbal communication brings out a lot of colour in a language, way beyond the confines of the materials upon which the language is recorded in. Everyday expressions, slang terms, and other kinds of word variants can be picked up through speaking and listening in a conversational context. Very often, when listening to Japanese conversations, or … Continue reading Speaking Japanese — Understanding Aidzuchi

Speaking Japanese — What Exactly is Rendaku?

When learning Japanese, you would have encountered several patterns in speech. For example, while a person in Japanese is δΊΊ (ひと, hito), the plural may be δΊΊγ€… (ひとびと, hitobito). In a rather similar fashion, time is ζ™‚ (とき, toki), while sometimes is ζ™‚γ€… (ときどき, tokidoki). You may be asking, what is the pattern here? Notice … Continue reading Speaking Japanese — What Exactly is Rendaku?