Day: April 26, 2017

Roots and stamina

Prompted to reflect on Roots and writing a blog about Japanese learning, I naturally had a look at how to say “root” in Japanese. The interesting thing is that the character to say «root» (根・こん) also means “perseverance”, “stamina”, “mental energy”. So, reflecting on roots being the source of our stamina and energy, I looked up to find inspiration in the air and… I saw it. The onion I bought two weeks ago and forgot on the lower shelf, with no water and almost no light, was growing little roots and magnificent leaves, proud like a tropical palm tree on a sunny beach, between the spaghetti packs and the canned cat food. Now, I’m almost tempted to take the onion on the lower shelf as my role model. Even in the most precarious situation, the onion remembered that roots, as tiny as they may be, give perseverance, stamina and energy and it achieved what it wanted to achieve, it grew to become something better, it didn’t care about the lack of resources, about having no …

どちらかが彼女を殺した~第2章~2

My reading notes for the second part of chapter 2. 練馬区・ねりまく is a special ward in Tokyo. Now, I have always wondered what was exactly a 交番・こうばん. It seems to be a small neighborhood police station. In the novel, two police officers 警官・けいかん come from the nearest 交番 to secure the area while the detectives 刑事・けいじ will later come from the police station of Nerima: 練馬警察署・ねりまけいさつしょ. Sometimes, I just learn words without really know their meaning. So I was dummingly learning 交番 = police station, 警察署 = police station. Now I think I know the difference, at least, one difference. 差し支える・さしつかえる to interfere, to hinder 差し支えなければ・さしつかえなければ if you don’t mind, if you don’t mind my asking 所属・しょぞく attached to, belong to 急遽・きゅうきょ hurriedly, in a hurry 殆ど・ほとんど nearly, pratically, mostly. (Many words that are usually written in hiragana appear in kanji in novels) 全く・まったく an another example of usually in hiragana words written in kanji. 迂闊・うかつ careless, studid, thoughtless 顔を歪める・かおをゆがめる make a grimace 立ち直る・たちなおる to regain one’s footing, to get back on one’s feet おだて flattery 隙間・すきま gasp, opening 特殊・とくしゅ special, paticular, peculiar, unique 感電死・かんでんし electrocution 咄嗟・とつさ moment, instant 遺体・いたい corpse, remains 解剖・かいぼう dissection, …

A photo of the book cover of 星の王子さま, the Japanese version of Le Petit Prince

星の王子さま~2

My reading notes for the second part of Le Petit Prince in japanese. (p11 to 16). The narrator meets the Little Prince for the first time and draws several sheep. (Notes for the first part) 砂漠・さばく desert 不時着・ふじちゃく emergency landing (不時・ふじ means emergency, unexpectedness) 整備士・せいびし mechanic (person). 整備・せいび means maintenance, servicing, outfitting and it is one of those words I have difficulties to remember because I don’t know exactly in which context they are used and because they have so much synonyms. Thanks to 整備士 I can somehow figure out this word better… やりとげる・遣り遂げる to accomplish 覚悟・かくご resolution, readiness, preparedness かなた・彼方 means other side, there, across. It certainly emphasis here that the narrator is far from everything 眠りにつく・ねむりにつく to fall asleep 大海原・おおうなばら the ocean ただなか・只中 the middle いかだ・筏 a raft 漂流・ひょうりゅう drifting, drift 変わる・かわる here, it means certainly «to be uncommon, unusual». French says : « une drôle de petite voix », a funny little voice. ヒツジ・羊・ひつじ sheep In French, the little prince says « s’il vous plaît… dessine-moi un mouton ! » which is cute because, being a child, he mixes up polite and …

About those “boring hobbies”

At school, I remember we sometimes had to fill forms about where we lived, what our parents were doing and so on. I had difficulties in filling two fields: what I want to do when I grow up and what are my hobbies. Because at school, my hobby was: reading books. And later, my hobbies were: reading books and learning languages. But reading books was boring, it was not a hobby, it was what we did at school. A hobby had to be something fun, something one does outside the school, something that sounds thrilling like sport, travel, music. Most children would write down their extracurricular activity like judo or violin… but I had none, I never have had. When I later complained to my mother that she should have sent me to the piano class she replied that I was the one who didn’t want to go. Well, sure, I loved to stay at home with my books. This was the world that suited me, in which I felt comfortable, and in fact, in …