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Airth
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Yahoo News

Postby Airth » August 5th, 2006 4:24 pm

I often use the Yahoo daily news to help build up my vocabulary, practice my kanji, and generally help me understand what's being talked about on TV. I like it because it presents each story in a small digestable chunk, so the little and often technique comes nicely into play. It also lists stories by topic, which helps keep vocabulary building balanced.
Take a look at http://dailynews.yahoo.co.jp/fc/

I thought I would try putting a story here now and again, and maybe practice some of the words from it or maybe work on a translation if anyone fancies having a go. You can also use it as kanji reading practice; read it first and then compare what you thought against the list underneath.
Here is a strange one from today about a stag beetle that is female on the left side and male on the right discovered by a junior high school student in Arao city, Kumamoto.

右半分はオス、左半分はメス 両性クワガタ発見 荒尾市
 右半分はオスで左半分はメスという珍しいノコギリクワガタを、荒尾市の中学生が見つけた。熊本市博物館によると「雌雄モザイク(ジナンドモルフ)」という現象で染色体異常の一種。同館は「全国で年間1例報告されるかどうかだが、ここまではっきりと左右に雌雄が分かれている個体は大変珍しい」という。(西日本新聞)


右半分ーみぎはんぶん - 左半分ーひだりはんぶん
両性ーりょうせい
発見ーはっけん
荒尾市ーあらおし
珍しいーめずらしい
中学生ーちゅうがくせい
見つけたーみつけた
熊本市ーくまもとし
博物館ーはくぶつかん
雌ーめす ー 雄ーおす - 雌雄ーしゆう
現象ーげんしょう
染色体ーせんしょくたい
異常ーいじょう
一種ーいっしゅ
同館ーどうかん
全国ーぜんこく
年間ーねんかん
一例ーいちれい
報告ーほうこく
左右ーさゆう
分かれているーわかれている
固体ーこたい
大変ーたいへん
西日本新聞ーにしにほんしんぶん

Male and female are key words in this article. I remembered them by thinking that men are always pushing = おす and women are always messy = めす (sorry!). I remembered the Chinese readings by thinking you (ゆう) are male and she (し) is female. And finally I remembered that when combined women always go before men = しゆう. Hopefully that will be of use to someone.

I could read this article without too many problems, but I have a couple of questions about the quote contained within it; I've never used かどうか in this way, I'm assuming it means that "maybe there is one example of this phenomenon each year", or is it "even though there is..." Also I don't quite understand the nuance of 左右 in this case. I thought it meant 'control' or 'influence over', but that doesn't seem to make sense here. Any comments would be appreciated.

Bueller_007
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Re: Yahoo News

Postby Bueller_007 » August 6th, 2006 3:31 pm

Airth wrote:I could read this article without too many problems, but I have a couple of questions about the quote contained within it; I've never used かどうか in this way, I'm assuming it means that "maybe there is one example of this phenomenon each year", or is it "even though there is..." Also I don't quite understand the nuance of 左右 in this case. I thought it meant 'control' or 'influence over', but that doesn't seem to make sense here. Any comments would be appreciated.

左右 simply means "left and right", as the title suggests.
As for the other one, I'm not sure, as it's new to me as well, but I would say it means "may or may not [be announced]".
But I'm just glancing at the article to answer your questions, I didn't actually read it.

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Airth
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Postby Airth » August 8th, 2006 5:18 am

Thanks, Bueller_007. That's what you call not being able to see the wood for the trees; reading it again it should be obvious that the meaning is simply left and right. Sometimes simple is best, isn't it?

I'm guessing the かどうか sentence has been abbreviated, so we have to imagine the implied meaning.

Thanks for your input.

iresera
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:)

Postby iresera » October 10th, 2006 12:48 pm

well. thanks for the link which is most interesting!
I also think your idea is great! yes, looking and posting aricles and try to understand what is in thereis very useful and challenging...as far as I'm concerned!

Just one question: how long have you benn practicing and studying to understand most of the article? It seems a little harsh for me..but anyway, till the next news! :shock:

Airth
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Postby Airth » October 11th, 2006 3:21 pm

Thanks for your message Iresera. I've been chipping away at Japanese for about 6 years now; I promised myself I would be fluent after 5 years, but it looks like I'll have to at least double that.

You've prompted me to read up on the latest news and make a new post. The current lead story is quite dark as it concerns the murder of a young girl in Nara, but I think has some interesting vocabulary. You can see it on Yahoo at http://dailynews.yahoo.co.jp/fc/local/nara_murder/

奈良市の小学1年女児=当時(7つ)=が2004年、誘拐・殺害された事件で、殺人などの罪に問われ、一審の死刑判決が確定した小林薫死刑囚(37)が、女児の命日の11月17日までに死刑を執行するよう望む手紙を法相あてに準備していることが11日、分かった。

奈良市 ならし
小学1年 しょうがくいちねん
女児 じょうじ
当時 とうじ
誘拐 ゆうかい
殺害 さつがい
事件 じけん
罪に問われ つみにとわれ
一番 いっしん
死刑判決 しけいはんけつ
確定 かくてい
小林薫 こばやしかおる
死刑囚 しけいしゅう
命日 めいにち
執行 しっこう
望む のぞむ
手紙 てがみ
法相 ほうしょう
準備 じゅんび
分かった わかった

I didn't know the phrase 殺人罪に問われて (さつじんざい に とわれて = on a charge of murder).
I've never before noticed the use of つ in the news (as opposed to さい) when referring to the age of a child.
Also, it may perhaps come as a surprise that as many as five words from this very short article do not appear on the Japanese Language Proficiency Test official vocabulary list: 女児 primary schoolgirl; 命日 death anniversary; 一審 first trial; 執行 enforcement/execution; and 法相 Minister of Justice. On the other hand, they are all marked as priority words in Edict.

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Postby tiroth2 » October 11th, 2006 5:30 pm

It's often suprising what makes the cut and what doesn't. For instance kanji such as 襖・遥か・麺 and 痒い are very common (priority entries and >1,000.000 hits in google), ye none are in 常用漢字. In contrast kanji like 朕・璽 have no priority entries, yet *are* in the 常用漢字.

I guess also JLPT1 only targets a vocab of 10,000 words and only actually draws from a set of ~8000, whereas there are >20,000 priority entries in EDICT.

Do you know, does 男児 have the same connotation of schoolboy?

Bueller_007
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Postby Bueller_007 » October 12th, 2006 12:55 am

tiroth2 wrote:It's often suprising what makes the cut and what doesn't. For instance kanji such as 襖・遥か・麺 and 痒い are very common (priority entries and >1,000.000 hits in google), ye none are in 常用漢字. In contrast kanji like 朕・璽 have no priority entries, yet *are* in the 常用漢字.

Yeah, what's Joyo and what's not is often quite surprising. As more significant examples, 誰 ("dare", who) and the 阪 of 大阪 (Osaka) are not Joyo kanji. Good luck reading a newspaper without them. The reading "yatsu" of the kanji 奴 is not approved by the Japanese government, nor is the reading "hoka" of the kanji 他. That word, should, in theory, be written as 外.

Do you know, does 男児 have the same connotation of schoolboy?

It doesn't. Nor does 女児 mean "schoolgirl". They just mean "male child" and "female child" respectively. Unlike schoolboy and schoolgirl, you can use them for boys and girls who are not attending school, but fall into that age group.

Airth
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Postby Airth » October 12th, 2006 1:30 am

I agree, the lists can be a bit of a joke in some respects; even so, they help to give a little structure to the learning process. These days I reference three lists: the world of Japanese according to JPLT; the world of Japanese according to EDICT's priority entries; and finally my world of Japanese, i.e. anything else I find to be of interest.

The most recent use of 男児 I've seen was in the title to this brief report on the recent addition to the royal household - http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/feature/fe6800/. I took the translation of 女児 from EDICT, which gives 'primary schoolgirl'. Thinking about it, I would say that is probably incorrect. The 'school' connotation simply comes through inference and that the characters should probably be read as infant or very young boy/girl.

I've aways had a soft spot for 朕 (ちん), but it is without a doubt one of the least useful Kanji out there. Surely, there is some political reasoning behind its continued inclusion in the Joyo Kanji list.

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Postby Bueller_007 » October 12th, 2006 2:02 am

Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

朕(ちん)
かつて中国の古代において使われていたが、始皇帝が皇帝のみ使用できる一人称として独占した。それをならい日本においても天皇が詔勅や公文書内における一人称として使った。戦後、公式文書やお言葉の中から朕の使用は徐々になくなり、今上天皇明仁はわたしを使用する(ただし戦前においても朕は文書上で使われたのみで昭和天皇なども口語ではわたしを使用していた)。

So its usage has been in decline since the end of WWII. Since the Joyo kanji were assigned in 1981, and Akihito (who refers to himself only as "watashi") didn't become emperor until 1989 or something, "chin" seems to have been included because it was a word that Hirohito used to refer to himself in writing before he died.

--Edit--

Also, Jim Breen's priority list is drawn from newspapers (not official publications of the imperial family). Newspapers cannot use 朕 to refer to the imperial family unless it is a *direct quotation*, because "chin" is a *first-person* pronoun.

So regardless of how often it is actually used by the imperial family, it's not likely to show up in the priority list.

Airth
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Postby Airth » October 12th, 2006 2:55 am

Thanks for the information, Bueller. Very interesting.
I wonder if we'll see a review of the Joyo Kanji anytime in the foreseeable future. If you think about the huge impact the internet and IME has had on Japanese writing over the last 20 years, surely it's about time that the list was given a bit of a dust down?

Just as a rough and ready list, here are a bunch of Kanji that perhaps should be considered for inclusion:
熊 嘘 亀 靖 癌 旭 柏 阪 岡 嵐 韓 誰 頃 謎 叱 嬉 餌 只 凄 貰 俺 奈

Now of course, some are only found in names with 靖 in particular being something of a hot potato. But at the very least - 誰 頃 嬉 只 凄 貰 and 俺 should get in there. We could argue about the importance of 奈 from 奈良, but it really is criminal that 阪 from 大阪 is omitted.

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Postby Bueller_007 » October 12th, 2006 4:09 am

Airth wrote:Thanks for the information, Bueller. Very interesting.
I wonder if we'll see a review of the Joyo Kanji anytime in the foreseeable future. If you think about the huge impact the internet and IME has had on Japanese writing over the last 20 years, surely it's about time that the list was given a bit of a dust down?

Just as a rough and ready list, here are a bunch of Kanji that perhaps should be considered for inclusion:
熊 嘘 亀 靖 癌 旭 柏 阪 岡 嵐 韓 誰 頃 謎 叱 嬉 餌 只 凄 貰 俺 奈

Now of course, some are only found in names with 靖 in particular being something of a hot potato. But at the very least - 誰 頃 嬉 只 凄 貰 and 俺 should get in there. We could argue about the importance of 奈 from 奈良, but it really is criminal that 阪 from 大阪 is omitted.

Yeah, I agree. A Joyo review is probably in order.

I wasn't aware that "kame" wasn't joyo. That was one of the first kanji I learned, merely because it's one of the few that actually looks like what it represents. "Koro" should definitely be on the list as well.

The funny thing about the last kanji in "Osaka" is that it was the Japanese government who chose to use that kanji in the first place. The name used to be 大坂, but after the Meiji Restoration, they looked at the kanji as if it were three pieces: 大土反. The second one could easily be mistaken for 士, since it's all crumpled up in the side of 坂. Osaka had never really played by the Japanese government's rules, so they were afraid that if it were written 大士反, it might be construed as meaning "big samurai rebellion", which was not exactly what the Meiji government wanted. So they changed it to 阪. Which they now don't even recognize as being a "practical kanji". [There are variations of this story. Your mileage may vary.]

Airth
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Postby Airth » October 18th, 2006 2:32 am

I'd never heard that story about Osaka before. It's both fascinating and funny.

I was a little confused about the kanji for kame. It was my understanding that it was one of a bunch of kanji that the newspapers successfully lobbied to have added to the Joyo list. But, as far as I'm aware it doesn't appear on the official list. Like you, it was one of the first characters I learned, and remains one of my favourites.

Airth
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Postby Airth » March 21st, 2007 2:36 am

On Monday Miyazaki's next film was announced. Here is how it was picked up by Yahoo (reported by Sports Nippon)
Link to article - http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20070320-00000020-spn-ent):

宮崎駿氏“長男教育”反省し次作製作

 宮崎駿監督(66)の新作(08年夏公開予定)が19日、都内でスタジオジブリの鈴木敏夫プロデューサー(58)から発表された。04年の「ハウルの動く城」以来の劇場公開作となる。

タイトルは「崖の上のポニョ」。人間になりたいと願う金魚の姫ポニョと、5歳の男子・宗介の物語。宮崎監督が04年に社員旅行で訪れた瀬戸内海の町を気に入り、翌年春に一軒家を借り切って2カ月ほど滞在。その間に構想を練った。鈴木プロデューサーは「“宮崎駿版・人魚姫”のようなイメージ」と話した。

 宗介のモデルは宮崎監督の長男吾朗氏(40)。吾朗氏が昨年、「ゲド戦記」で映画監督デビューしたことを、宮崎監督は自分への反抗ととらえ、「こんなことになったのは吾朗が5歳の時、仕事ばかりで付き合っていなかったからだ。二度と吾朗みたいな子をつくらないために」と反省の気持ちを込めているという。

 披露されたイメージビジュアルは「原点に戻ってアニメ本来の楽しさを追求したい」と、これまでとはひと味違う柔らかいタッチだ。


- I won't go through it line by line, but here are some key points:

*I wonder why they use 氏 (し - Mr) after his name in the title in preference to commonly used 監督 (かんとく - director) as seen beneath. Space? Variation?

*The title is 「崖の上のポニョ」 (がけのうえ・・・ - 'Ponyo On A Cliff' according to http://www.nausicaa.net)

*It's about a 金魚の姫 (きんぎょのひめ - princess goldfish) called Ponyo who wants to become a 人間 (にんげん - human) and a 男子 (だんし - boy) called 宗介 (そうすけ)

- The next part talks about how the idea came about while on a company recreational trip:

*The first new word I came across was 瀬戸 (せと - a strait), which says something about my geographical knowledge as 瀬戸内海 (せとないかい) is the Inland Sea of Japan between Shikoku and Honshu.

*I knew 一軒の家 (いっけんのいえ) means 'a' house, but I didn't realise that 一軒家 (いっけんや) means a 'detached' house.

*A word I've never used is 滞在する (たいざい - stay). My dictionary says it can refer to staying somewhere on business or staying somewhere for private reasons. I haven't quite got a clear distinction between this and 留まる (とどまる) and 泊まる (とまる), but I'll take a stab and say 滞在 is slightly formal Chinese style, 留まる is the more spoken Japanese style, and 泊まる is basically for short stays.

*I like this next phrase - 構想を練る (こうそうをねる - flesh out an idea, elaborate a plan). こうそう is one of those nightmare Japanese words that could mean one of at least 29 different things. So I think it's important to learn it at a collocation. Here are two more: 構想が浮かぶ (うかぶ) Conceive an idea; 構想を立てる (たてる) Formulate a plan.

- It goes on to explain the inspiration for the character Sosuke came from the relationship Miyazaki has had with his son:

*As you might expect the word 反抗する (はんこう - oppose, resist, disobey, defy, rebel) is used. As I understand it 反抗 expresses a feeling of opposition that comes from within you, whereas 抵抗 (ていこう) is used when you put up resistance against an external force.

*Next is a very commonly used word in these days of dirty dealings and exposure - 反省する (はんせい - remorse, self-examination)

- The last sentence touches on the way the film is expected to return to the roots of hand-drawn animation:

*Another new word for me was 披露する (ひろう - announce, introduce, advertise). My thesaurus indicates it is predominantly used to announce a celebratory event to a great number of people, such as a marriage, beginning of a new venture, or an inauguration.

*Let's finish with a fine word: 追求する (ついきゅう - pursuit) as in 幸福の追求 (こうふく) 'The Pursuit of Happiness'.

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