April 1st, 2012

My Widdle Bwain

The Importance Of "U"

Japanese isn't tonal, like Chinese is. However, it does differentiate between short and long vowels. Making sure to note (and pronounce) the lengthened vowels is critical. A case in point:

Shōjō is a type of Japanese monster (of Chinese origin).

Shoōjo is a young girl.

Shojo is a virgin.

It was rather amusing listening to someone talking about a virgin in a bottle. :)

(Yes, this does mean I'm finally caught up on Supernatural. Was highly amused by their "Shinto blessing" -- particularly since it starts out with an invocation to the Seven Gods of Good Fortune. Japanese religion is syncretic as all-out so it's not that much of a fax-paux to put Buddhist deities in a Shinto ritual -- though it did make me giggle. Particularly since Wikipedia notes sometimes Fukurokuju and Jurōjin are lumped together as one deity (no wonder I have so much trouble differentiating them), and the Shōjō is filled into the blank spot. Because nothing says good fortune like boozing it up!)
My Widdle Bwain

Too Much Networking

I saw a picture of seven people holding up signs that together spelled out "1000000". I was rather baffled as to what the significance was of a Japanese girl idol group was holding up a sign that said "64" in binary.

I did eventually figure out that they meant the base-ten number.