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Garden-Variety Banking: Part 3

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I don’t know much about banking, but I do know that a bank should inspire trust and confidence. The name of the bank has to be serious, a trustworthy brand in and of itself. My first bank account was at Annapolis Bank and Trust, where they put “trust” right in the name. Other banks go by the names of First Capital Bank, Enterprise National Bank, Premier Service Bank, Tomato Bank.

Tomato Bank?!

Yes, indeed. That’s what you find on Sawtelle Boulevard, a Los Angeles street filled with Japanese businesses:

On 宏基銀行

No matter how silly the name may seem, bankers at Tomato Bank must consider the same serious matters as any garden-variety banker from, say, Zucchini Bank. And if the Tomato Bankers know any Japanese, they must bandy about words such as the following:

残高 (zandaka: (bank) balance; remainder)     to remain + high

The use of (taka(i): high) here intrigues me. Is the assumption that the balance is high?

残額 (zangaku: remaining amount; balance (of an account))
     to remain + amount (of money)
残金 (zankin: remaining money)     to remain + money

Sample Sentences About Banking …

払い残り (harainokori: balance due)     to pay + remainder

This word is synonymous with 残額 but is casual and unlikely to appear in documents. One doesn’t even hear it that often.

By now, you will likely have noticed that all these words involve (ZAN, noko(ru), noko(su): to remain), a kanji we’ve examined for the past few weeks. The first three words here feature its on-yomi, whereas 払い残り (harainokori) showcases the kun-yomi.

There are lots of types of remainders, from the unpoetic sort (e.g., remainders in long division and remaindered books) to the lyrically phrased “remains of the day.” Let’s explore remainders across the spectrum.

The following words are about concrete situations in which you remove part of something, and another part remains:

残り物 (nokorimono: remnant, scraps, leftovers)
     remainder + thing

This can refer to any kind of remnant or leftovers.

残部 (zanbu: remainder, the rest)     remainder + part
残量 (zanryō: remaining quantity, residual quantity)
     remainder + quantity
(zanyo: remainder, the rest, residue)     remaining + surplus

All straightforward. Now we get to a more unexpected type of remainder:

残留 (zanryū: residue; staying behind)     to remain + to stay

This is typically used in the phrase 中国残留孤児 (Chūgoku zanryū koji: China + country + to remain + to stay + solitary + child). These were Japanese children abandoned in China at the end of the war and brought up there. Typically, they weren’t true orphans (孤児: koji). A Japanese native tells me, “In most cases, the Japanese parents weren’t killed. Either they decided they couldn’t safely bring back the children with them back to Japan, or the parents and kids got separated in the confusion at the end of the war.”

What else can remain? Well, doubts can!


Gimon ga nokoru.
There are still some doubtful points.

疑問 (gimon: doubt, question, problem)
     doubt + question

You hear 疑問が残る in a variety of situations. In a press conference, a politician might go through the motions of responding to accusations while evading crucial points. A doctoral dissertation could be insufficiently conclusive. In these cases, critics would say 疑問が残る.

We find a final type of remainder in the natural world. Light, snow, heat, and things of that ilk can linger in the most sensual and beautiful of ways, as is the case with colorful sunsets. In such cases, a remainder and a reminder are nearly the same thing. In the Verbal Logic Quiz, you’ll find compounds about this very phenomenon. I hope the quiz provides lingering pleasure. If that’s not possible, I hope it doesn’t cause lingering pain!

Verbal Logic Quiz …

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