Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Fun with Transliteration
One of the things I like most about studying Japanese is that there is a significant role being played by transliterated words from other languages, particularly English. And because there is a whole alphabet devoted to these words (katakana, the more stark and angular of the three character sets) it's easy to pick these words out. However, there can be subtle distinctions between words, particularly when vowels are lengthened. For example, when reviewing a little bit this morning, I came upon, ハロウィーン [+ party]: ha-ro-wi-i-n. I'm pretty sure, in retrospect, that it's "Halloween", but I can't swear it's not "heroin".